Maybe we have beach on the brain since we've been spending a lot of time by the water? Or maybe it's just that we are holding onto the end of summer but we've been spotting ocean-inspired accents and.... ...we're loving their look and texture. Shells, coral and sea rocks are great accents in a home and can work in almost any design style. Consider customizing your own shells by picking up some affordable ones at a craft store and painting them to match your color palette in your home.
Drats, we just missed this National Geographic Channel special, Tokyo: Living Small in the Big City, about small space living in Japan. Thanks to AT reader BrookeinBoston bringing it to our attention in a recent post, we were able to hunt down a YouTube snippet online to hold us over till it repeats.
Hidden storage is probably one of the key ingredients to solving small space problems. That's why we love this Storage Cube at Tiny Living.... 'It combines two of our favorites: solid wood and hide-away storage. The cubes are 18 1/2' square and at first glance appear monolithic. The size is great for side tables or stools and the storage you get out of it is icing on the cake.
There's nothing that can freshen up your space or brighten your day like a bouquet of flowers. We've all heard of different tips and tricks to help our flowers stay fresh as long as possible, and I thought I would put some of the common options to the test. Keep reading to see the results and the big winner! All flower ends were cut at an angle before placing in vases. PENNY: 1 clean copper pennyTHEORY: copper acts as antibacterial agent. ASPIRIN: 1 crushed tablet per literTHEORY: mimics effects of traditional flower food. BLEACH: 2 caps full per literTHEORY: kills mold & bacteria. FRIDGE: placed in fridge over night each day THEORY: like fruits & veg, keeps them fresh. CIDER VINEGAR: 2 tsp cider vinegar + 2 tsp sugar per literTHEORY: encourages buds to open and last longer. Just by popping your bouquet in the fridge when you go to bed will help them stay fresh and last much longer and there's no fussing. As you can see, these tulips still have life in them and if you're someone who likes to buy fresh flowers every week, this may even save you the cost of one bouquet a month.
My floor plan is pretty straightforward because our dining room is a basic rectangle and the room is quite empty right now. I used the floor plan to get a sense of what size rug to buy and where a hutch or bookshelf might work best. If you didn't see my 'Before' pics from Monday's post, this is a shot of what the room looks like now - pretty barren. To make a floor plan of how I'd like the room to look post-redo, I found a very user-friendly app called House Design. Rug size: Originally I thought a 5 x 7 was a possibility but that was way off. The current plans show the dining room with a 7 x 11 sized rug, which looks like it will work nicely. The only downside is that 7 x 11 rugs are always SO much more expensive, but I'm pretty good at scouting obscure places and digging for sales, so hopefully there's a big, lonely marked-down rug out there that needs a home. We definitely need another piece of accent furniture in the room, and a shelf will serve a functional and decorative purpose. Seeing it on the floor plan helped clarify the best placement, and was also helpful in thinking about shelf dimensions. I'd like to have a couple proper extra chairs in the room, and I think if they're hip they would look nice flanking the radiator. Overall, the floor plan is getting me excited about visualizing a warm, inviting dining room.
The problem? The bathroom was located off the bedroom, meaning that guests would have to go past my bed in order to use it. If you have multiple doors leading off of your bedroom, say to a closet as well, make it obvious which one goes to the bathroom. This will cut down on the time people spend in your bedroom, looking around. Try to keep a wide, clear path from door to door, with few obstructions in the way. This might simply mean having a quick bedroom tidy before company comes over, or it might require adding storage options to corral your clothes and possessions out of sight. If your bedroom is large enough and you really don't want guests eyeing your thread count, explore some options for adding privacy. A canopy bed can even self-screen, so think creatively. Have you ever lived with the solo bathroom off your bedroom? How did you make it work?
In preparing for my upcoming move to Illinois, I was faced with a decision: live in a town of 9,500 on a quarter acre of land surrounded by neighbors, or live in the country surrounded by 2,000 acres of prairie. It's city or country, y'all! My love of cities is well-documented, and the reasons for that love are endless: culture, walkability, museums, thrift stores, restaurants, used book stores, architecture, hustle and bustle, opportunities, people-watching, people from around the world, and people simply doing fascinating things. I've never had to drive, I can get myself anywhere I need to go, I can walk from my favorite Indian grocery store to my favorite Japanese stationery store, continue on to my screenprinting class, and pick up an excellent tofu mole burrito on my way home, all the while catching glimpses of the dreamy skyline. While I've never lived in the country, I know there will be privacy, space, and quiet. For all my love of Gilmore Girls, small town life confuses me. I can't imagine NOT living in a city, but also having neighbors up in my business. Yet... the small town in question has some nice perks: an excellent Mexican grocery store, an impressively well-stocked liquor store, a bike path that makes it easy for me to get wherever I need to go, and a lovely outdoor park district pool in the summer. Living in the country, I'll be 16 miles from the nearest town, which is a long way to ride my bike for a bag of masa. City, small town, country: what's your choice?
We tend to avoid putting red and green together for obvious reasons. After looking through WorldTraveling's photos of her beautiful flat in Japan, we're starting to reconsider this traditional holiday color combo for the home. The color coordination almost overshadows some of the small living solutions that she and her husband have devised in their stylish home. More details and photos after the jump.... Even though the majority of the furniture in their place came from a leasing company, this couple does a great job making it all their own. The pillows on their leased sofa are made of memory foam and large enough to throw on the floor for extra seating, while the basket next to the sofa holds blankets for lounging or overnight guests. The large mirror behind the sofa opens up the living room nicely, making the apartment seem much wider. Check out more great photos and details at WorldTraveling's flickr.
If mid century is your thing and you want to complete the look with period electronics then there is no better icon than the Predicta television. While the originals are still around if you look hard enough, actually watching TV on one is a little too retro in our opinion. Fortunately Predicta is reproducing these exact sets once again, but with color tube components and all new materials. We quite like the chalet model with its rotating and swivelling stand. These are not 1080p high definition televisions by any means, but rather a decorative piece for your living room that has found new life in 2007.