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!
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.
We love the post on 'On Simplicity' entitled, 'How to Use Big, Dramatic Pieces to Simplify Your Home and Wardrobe.' Her point is that you don't have to stick to all neutrals to be a minimalist.... 'Here's the fun of going a bit minimalist: it's actually an excuse to indulge your wildest tastes. Who knew, right? The trick is that you just have to do it in moderation. What does that mean? It means that you just need to find one big, bold item to build an entire room or look around.' We couldn't agree more and think this is a great way to approach the nursery as well. A minimalist room really does allow you showcase a great piece of art or a bold color on the wall. We rounded up a few of our favorite nurseries that have that minimalist touch while maintaining a sense of style and individuality.
What about the opposite: those who flourish in a more orderly office? Get a glimpse at few desks whose occupants stay on task by staying tidy - then leave us a comment to let us know what kind of space keeps you motivated, and why. Designer Jonathan Lo's weekend workspace in the San Diego area finds order not only in its cleanliness, but also its color scheme. The home office of Los Angeles-based mobile app developer Garrett Murray includes an especially tidy Airia desk and Mirra Chair combo. The work of interior designer Jayne Michaels of 2Michaels is known for its spare, undecorated style - and it shows in her personal desk space in Manhattan. Streamlined bookcases and neatly organized office accessories surround this desk and Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair pairing at Treehouse Design Partnership in Los Angeles. The lack of extra 'Stuff' in graphic designer David Airey's workspace in Northern Ireland can be explained by a lifetime of moving houses. 'That'll be why there's not a lot in my office - you tend to shed the junk each time you move.' Designer Matt Singer's laptop shares a few trinkets and a set of speakers with an otherwise clean-topped desk space. Three white Eames Molded Plastic Armchairs line up all in a row at one long wood desktop at the creative agency Juliet Zulu in Portland, OR. Former Unplggd contributor, Mike Tyson, was a devout practitioner of the clean desk. Then there's this 'Meticulously modern' corner home office where everything seems to have its place, a post complete with a sourcing list so you can follow Lungho's footsteps.
AT reader Danny sent us a link to these great images from Architectural Digest, including the above Chicago house designed by Richard Himmel in the late 1960s. Above: A Chicago house designed by Richard Himmel in the late 1960s features polyurethane floors and furnishings in Plexiglas, vinyl and chrome. Lee F. Mindel, of Shelton, Mindel & Associates, collaborated with architect Reed Morrison on the design of his own retreat in the Hamptons. In his Palm Springs house, built by John Lautner in 1968, interior designer Arthur Elrod arranged the ribbon chairs, covered in stretch fabric, and curved sofas-all of which he designed-to maximize views. Shelton, Mindel & Associates restored and renovated a family's Central Park West apartment, turning two units into a unified 8,000-square-foot whole-half of which is designed to host philanthropic events. Shelton, Mindel & Associates' Lee F. Mindel added a two-story poolhouse to his Hamptons property. Above: The horses can enter the open area of the yard through two rectangular openings in a wall that Barragan, a horse lover himself, designed to the scale of a horse's body.
Name: Taylor Location: Toronto Canada Division: International Inspiration for my palette: We just moved to a house from a condo and our living room was actually part of AT's 2012 Room for Color Contest. When I look back at the pale walls we had throughout the condo, it makes me feel like we were 'Just visiting' and I knew I wanted fearless and bold colour choices in our house. Even with all the moody blues and greens, this room still feels happy and homey. I think it's because our inspiration and philosophy was to just choose colours and accessories we love. We were surprised to find that so much art that we have owned for years but were unable to display before, really ties in well with our colour scheme. I suppose this is a lesson that we should have just gone with our gut from day one.
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.
Elaine wrote in just in time for the end of Bathroom Month. I thought I'd send some photos of the typical SF flat split bath set-up. One of the few side benefits of a recent apartment fire that stranded me for 6 months was my landlord let me pick the new paint colors for my entire 11 room flat.... ...I went wild with a pink sherbet in the tiny, sunny lavatory and periwinkle blue shower room.
These colorful pillows from Canadian design shop Manor 12 call to mind the fresh, citrus hues of summertime. Handprinted on heavyweight organic cotton with a wool backing, we think they're just the thing to perk up a dull sofa. Manor12 is the work of Canadian textile designer Julie Moschenross. In addition to pillows, Julie is also working on a full line of textiles for interiors with a focus on hand-printed wallpaper and hand-embroidered upholstery. Prices for the pillows start at $60 USD and can be purchased through these Canadian retailers, or online at Modern Karibou.
Strange name huh? My first thought was coffin, which is not really where you want to be, but perhaps office furniture maker Bene meant it to be a combination of 'coffee' and 'office'...which is a bit more inviting. Strange names aside, while the Coffice seems to be more suited for commercial environments, we can see this as an alternative to a desk or dedicated office in a small space. We always use our laptop stretched out on the couch anyways, so having a power outlet and even network connection built into an extra wide armrest makes working at home that much more relaxed.
Black and white is a classic color combo - at once simple and sophisticated. If your ideal sleeping space is one with a little bit of dramatic contrast, you'll find plenty to inspire you in these 13 bedrooms that get black and white just right. Above: Black and white in a Stockholm apartment from Fantastic Frank. A black, white, and textured bedroom from The Style Files. Black and white in a luxurious Paris space from Yatzer. The beautiful black bedroom in Jenna Lyons' old Brooklyn townhouse, spotted on The Style Files. Black and white in a luxurious Moroccan rental spotted on SF Girl by Bay. Black and white gets a boost from textured pieces and antiques in this bedroom from Skona Hem.
Jenny describes the 'Before' of her compact kitchen best: it was safe. So she decided to add color - but in a practical way. She'd keep the black floor tiles that hide dirt, but add a cheery pop of color in an unexpected place, and throw in some efficient storage ideas for good measure. We started out with basic colors for our apartment when we got married. Last year, I decided to do something more dramatic about the color because our kitchen doesn't have any windows and the whole look is starting to get too clinical for me. For an added boost, I also had the inner walls of the cabinets painted yellow so there is a wonderful colour pop when you open the cabinets. To keep the space clean and clear, I replaced the old dish rack with a couple of hanging dish racks from Ikea. A few command strips were used to hang the kitchen utensils and the kitchen towel - it's fast and easy and I can easily remove and change the layout. Lastly, we added a sliding door at the entrance to screen the kitchen from the little one when some serious cooking is happening. He likes going to the kitchen for a quick snack and to chat with us. Working in such a cheerful environment makes chores and cooking so much more pleasant.
As someone who is perpetually considering refacing my kitchen cabinets, I am always on the lookout for ideas to use once that day finally comes. While a natural wood Shaker-style cabinet door is beautiful, it can also look a little too commonplace. Build that same cabinet door in a paint grade poplar and give it a coat of a brightly-hued paint and you liven things up considerably. The style keeps things grounded while the color allows for a little self expression. If you tire of it in a decade, you can always cover the color with white or gray, and that Shaker style is here to stay. What do you think of this style of kitchen cabinet door?
Cleaning out your bathroom cabinet can sometimes be painful. Sorting through old or unused items in your bathroom cabinets is as easy as coming to terms with what your family is actually using. Check out the tips below to make purging and cleaning as easy as can be! Pull Everything Out: You can't clean what you haven't faced. For bathrooms sinks with storage underneath, it's amazing how many things can fit underneath, so pull them out. Make Things Pretty: Although it seems silly to make your medicine cabinet or storage area pretty, you're more likely to keep things clean and sorted if you enjoy the space. Do you have a trick that always helps you clean things out? Share your secret in the comments below!
For today's color combo, we thought we'd start with black and white, then spin the wheel for bold accent colors. We love the way yellow offsets the high-contrast scheme in this room, so we went on a search for other cool rooms that do the same using orange, purple, green, blue, red, and pink.... Black, White, and just a tiny bit of Red: Vitra.
I've been known to beg Calgon to take me away on occasion, but somehow my cramped bathroom and uncomfortable bathtub never seem to do the trick. In honor of those times in the upcoming holiday season when we all will wish for a relaxing break from the holiday lines and hectic schedules, here are some bathtubs worthy of that much needed escape.