Inspiration Album

Living room

Modern living room with fireplace

American retailers have started to climb aboard the small space wagon these days. In Europe they've been working the small space challenge for several centuries, and so many of the best solutions hail from those far shores. With this in mind we're rounding up the best of Swede giant Ikea's small space solutions, starting with the bedroom. Pictured at top, the new Malm Queen Bed with 'Vanishing' Headboard shelves, $189. The headboard unit contains two banks of retracting shelves. A nifty trick for hiding visual clutter, though the unit does still occupy some floorsplace, behind the bed. The bent wood-framed Anes Mirror, $89.99, is a dramatic way to bounce and maximize light in a small space The Hopen Bedside Table, $79.99, gives you easy access to underbed storage: just swivel around to retrieve whatever lurks beneath your bed - as long as you placed it on the platform. Brekke bed with storage boxes, $149, is a twin bed with built-in storage boxes The recently discontinued Hemnes Daybed, $379, extends into a double bed and also has storage underneath. Re-invented as a banquette, it won Ikea Hacker's Hack of the Year award in 2006.

Living room

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Living room

If you liked the Bachelor Party Bloomingdale's window but can't find a reason to hang a bunch of empty frames on the wall, here's a way to take that idea and add a little function. The designer's sketch should give you an idea, but follow the jump to see this wall of frames in action.... Yes, this is a gym climbing wall. Home decor turned exercise equipment seems like a pretty genuis idea to us. When not in use, who would ever guess that the picture frames and deer heads are actually grips for a climbing wall? What usually looks dull and ugly is transformed into a pretty handsome space. We'd like to see these ideas applied to a home. Now if we could only figure out how to turn those treadmills into a lovely piece of home decor.... Photos via the Designer Nendo.

TV unit

We spotted this eclectic bathroom corner in the latest issue of Domino. It's a much more personal alternative to paint, created by Los Angeles designer Schuyler Samperton. She 'Wallpapered' her bathroom with photos, magazine clippings, postcards, and other finds. Domino describes it as 'a constant inspiration board and nostalgia trip' that 'Packs a ton of rock n' roll attitude into a small, nondescript space'.... Have any of you done this in your bathroom? Check out AT:Chicago's other post about this month's Domino here.

Living room large glass coffee table

This kitchen seems to be suffering from a bit of a brown overload. With the combination of wood cabinetry and hardwood floors, plus the black appliances and dark green paint, this kitchen is looking a little dark. Isn't it amazing what a little white paint can do? Of course, it's a lot more than just a little white paint at work here. Over the span of one month Jessie, from the blog Imperfectly Polished, transformed this kitchen with a lot of little touches. There's the subway tile backsplash, the DIY concrete counter tops, and the addition of beadboard to the ends of the cabinetry. The addition of the concrete counter tops and beadboard do as much to spruce up this kitchen as painting the cabinetry. The beadboard has a way of making the sides of the cabinetry and island look finished. The concrete counter tops? Well, they're just plain pretty - and in a sea of granite counter tops, the concrete is a welcome change! To see many, many more photos of Jessie's kitchen renovation, check out her blog: Imperfectly Polished: The Big Kitchen Reveal.

Living room

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Luxurious living room

For many of us, this means purchasing a Christmas tree for the arrival of jolly ole Saint Nick. I grew up celebrating each Christmas with the plastic foilage of a I-pity-the-faux Mr. Tree, assembled yearly in the living room with the precision fit of Voltron, to form a sham of a semblance of an aromatic and grand live tree...trees that seemingly graced the living rooms of all our other neighbors. My better half is allergic to many of the live variety of cut Christmas trees, so she procured via eBay a vintage aluminum tree last year...a fine fit in size and style for our cozy apartment that almost seems as nice as a real tree. Now the Christmas tree lots are about to open, and many retailers are displaying artificial tree selections of various shapes and sizes. We're curious about what sort of tree will grace the homes of our readership.

TV unit

The Macallen building in Southie is Boston's newest, greenest condominium building - and we got a tour. See below for a list of the innovative features included in this stylish building. The 140 Macallen units start in the low 500K range and while environmental responsibility is one of the perks of green development, the condominiums are selling for as much as 10% over market prices because of it - more than making up for the cost of the green features, which are marketed as luxury items promoting a green lifestyle. Sloped green roof that controls stormwater drainage, filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, reducing heating and cooling loads, reducing the project's contribution to the urban heat-island effect, and providing an ecosystem for wildlife. An additional 20,000 square-foot outdoor terrace incorporated into the building provides similar benefits as the green roof. The covered garage was integrated into the building to reduce overall square footage and contribution to the urban heat-island effect and stormwater runoff. The building consumes 30% less electricity than a conventional building through elements such as taking advantage of solar cooling loads, the use of large interior windows to increase daylight penetration, water heaters using waste heat from mechanical systems to heat water, and the use of occupancy sensors to control lights. The building saves 600,000 gallons of water annually through the use of dual-flush toilets and an innovative irrigation system.

Luxurious dining room

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Fireplace

Following the fully integrated design style of the Yamaha YSP and Phillips Ambisound systems, the Marantz houses the drivers and amp all in one unit. No bulky separate amplifier to deal with, which is especially useful when you are trying to maintain a minimal aesthetic. The advantage of the Marantz over the other two virtual surround systems? Number of inputs. With 2 HDMI and 3 digital optical inputs you should have no trouble accomodating your gear.

TV unit

We have a white bathroom that we love, but we've been considering ways to add a little bit of color without detracting from the crispness of our blank canvas. When we found this bathroom on the website of British publication Easy Living Magazine, we were struck by how colorful this all-white space became through the addition of just a few key pieces. Dissecting the image, we came up with some easy ways to add color to our own blank bathroom.... The key to this bright, graphic look is to keep all accents in the same color family. Our favorite detail is the teardrop pattern, created using paint stencils. Bathmats and towels in a bold hue add color and texture. A small, mossy green cabinet creates extra storage space. Plastic stools or chairs are both colorful and waterproof. Containers and bottles in the same color appear as a cohesive collection. Using the same hue in different patterns keeps the bathroom from being boring. Easy Living Magazine provides a full list of sources for this bathroom, as well as 4 other jewel-toned rooms to inspire you.

Living room

Different levels... We found a lot of interesting things going on in this image from the May 2007 British Elle Decoration. First off, if you happen to need some extra storage, and you have a backsplash with enough height, we love the idea of putting up corner shelving. Perfect for spices, extra cups, small plates, or utensils. We also are intrigued with the split concrete/wood floor action going on.... We're on the fence about it, since it sort of feels a little too unfinished, but at the same time kind of interesting in a raw/industrial-meets-artsy kind of way. We're also fascinated by the swing arm lamp above the fridge. It's a bit unconventional to use this type of light fixture in a kitchen we like how it is pointed to bounce the light off the walls, which probably works fine because of the apparent high ceilings.

Living room with fireplace

When we renovated our bathroom we saved money by salvaging the sink top from the old cheap vanity and building a new stand for it.... It not only gave us the look we wanted, but saved a LOT of money. The faucet is Kohler, purchased very cheap on e-bay. There was a ledge between the end of the bathtub and the wall. When we renovated, I decided to put the new wall at the end of the tub, and then build storage shelves between the new wall and the old wall. The paint is from home depot, color corn husk by Behr. We re-glazed the original tub, installed the new tile directly over the old tile, and put up the bead-board. We also had a plumber remove a radiator to make room for the bookcase.

Living room

Name: Carly Location: Columbus, OH Division: Light Inspiration for my palette: I have a lot of colorful art, so I wanted a good neutral foundation. I love the yellow and grey color combo, so I tried to balance that through the room.

Living room and stainless steel fireplace

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Living room in converted church

Q: I've recently moved into a renovated rental, which is great... except that the bathroom and kitchen are very modern, whereas my style is more Mid-century modern/vintage industrial. How can I add style to these spaces without changing out everything? -Sent by Teedz. Editor: From your photos, the bathroom looks reasonably neutral in style but man, that kitchen is so shiny and new, verging on futuristic and clinical. Of course, I've lived in 100-year-old homes most of my life, so what's 'Futuristic' to me might just be 'Regular'. How can Teedz bring some Mid-century and vintage warmth, style, and maybe just a little bit of funk to this hypermodern home? Have a question for our community? Send us yours with a photo or two attached.