Inspiration Album

Living room

Living room

We are building a house in a mountain town and are looking for interior design ideas that are contemporary with a 'Nod' to the mountain setting. Are there any books, magazines or web sites I can look to for inspiration? Western Interiors and Design and dwell are sometimes useful. For the most part I'm finding that 'Alpine contemporary' usually involves log furniture, maybe a black hammered-metal chandelier, and snowshoes, animal skins, and blankets on the walls. I would love any ideas or suggestions of design elements/materials/colours that make you think of a mountain life that's not necessarily taking place in a hunting lodge. PS. I'd send a picture of an example interior, but so far I've only found the don'ts and not the do's. Here's a mountain instead.... Kim,.

Living room with black furniture

Some people want their bedrooms to be light, bright spaces - others not so much. I can't help being drawn to these beautiful dark bedrooms. I like how the white bed in the middle of the room almost glows. It says, 'Sleep in me. Stay here forever.' More navy, this time with a wall of trompe l'oeil books. Finally, one last dark bedroom that might seem a wee bit familiar... because it's the same as the one pictured up top. This moody bedroom is from the home of British designer Abigail Ahern.

Rustic walls living room

Spotted on This Old House's website, we like how this homeowner took a too-deep kitchen shelf space and turned it into a secret spot for hiding something behind.... We have some shelves that are way too deep to see the back of too - and while our solution was to put blocks in back to elevate the items in the rear, this pullout secret shelf is great. Spices are stored in the back, behind the cookbooks which are always visible. We play around with spices a bit more than cookbooks, so for us we'd switch and put the spices in front, but we love the dual purpose creative thinking, and applaud people who use every inch.

Small living room

Since they'll eventually sell this house, Kelley didn't want to spend too much money in updating the place. The house has great bones but needs a little TLC and a personal touch, and I'm loving the journey. It can be hard these days to retain a traditional style without things feeling dated, but I'm trying. I want to keep as many original features of the house as possible to retain its vintage charm, so when I recently made over our bathroom I attempted to do just that. I loved the original wall and floor tile, but wanted to create an calming atmosphere that suited our taste rather than the outdated, busy look of the black floral wallpaper that was there when we moved in. Because there is no natural light in the bathroom, the wallpaper made the whole room look dingy, but I knew it was possible to brighten things up. I scraped ancient, peeling wallpaper, sanded, painted, caulked, and scrubbed the tile until it shined. I much prefer the clean, simple look of the new bathroom to the cluttered, dark country feel of the wallpaper. It serves as a great base for switching out accessories when I want to change things up. I can add colored towels, hand soap and flowers according to season and not have to worry about things matching, because basically everything goes with black and white.

Blue chair

In anticipation of the 2013 DC Design House, I was perusing photos of last year's show house, and rediscovered the room of a favorite DC designer, Marika Meyer. Meyer is a master at creating soothing, neutral rooms that are anything but boring. While designers are often accused of going over the top to show off an array of tricks and trends, Meyer's rooms always remind me of the role 'Designer details' can play in subtly elevating a room. Unexpected contrast details like adding patterned fabric to the back of a chair or the back of a bookcase, or a band of trim to the bottom of the upholstery highlights sculptural shapes and breaks up solids without calling too much attention. The subtle patterns on the drapes and rugs, in tones that pick up the wall color, give the eye something to grasp without overpowering the room. Layering a patterned rug over a solid one creates warmth and adds texture. While each piece of furniture could be described as curvy, the variety creates a conversation between the pieces which helps to keep the room from feeling flat. The pops of deep blue move the eye around the room, infusing the greige with a sophisticated pop in every corner. To learn more about Marika Meyer, visit her website.

Living room


Bright living room


Chair and fireplace

We've seen Natalie's 19th century home before and this time she's tackling her dining room. From Natalie: My husband and I bought a circa 1870s house in Pittsburgh nearly three years ago. The house has a wonderful lived-in feeling and great bones, but it needed an infusion of style. We've been working room to room and the dining room is one of my favorite projects. I am an artist so I am inspired by many things, but I was especially excited to do a hand painted mural all the way around the room. I have seen these in grand old houses, and I wanted to do my own take on it. The floors were stripped and re-stained to match the rest of the house, the walls were painted, and the lighting changed.

Living room


Living room

The jumping off point for the entire room was bright ikat fabric that was used for the custom drapes and my daughter's desire for a canopy bed. I selected a subdued color for the wall so the room would age with her as she grows into a teenager. The bright red dresser brings a fun surprise element to the room, and touches of black keep the overall look from being too sweet. The bed is a copy of the more expensive Maison canopy bed from Pottery Barn Teen that I painted gold. I selected different shades of cream and gold for her bedding to make it look more collected. I had a small lumbar pillow made from the leftover drapery fabric to give the room a custom look. The lamps are especially dear, since they belonged to Paige's great-grandmother.

Sofa with colorful throw pillows


Purple living room

Feng Shui informs us that good color for a bathroom would either be water colors or wood colors, to match or support the water element. Well, I sometimes get so sick of powder blue I could wretch, so this week let's look at two more colors from my arsenal of dark colors. Spring has sprung, at least in Hell's Kitchen, and this is one of the most interesting colors I've seen in a long time. We went through a process of choosing and eliminating dark colors for the main room of a studio, and wound up choosing one for the bathroom instead. Something about Spring leapt out of the color deck-it's green, brown and black all at the same time, fertile and loamy, and dances quite well with the warm pinky tile. I thought fiddle-head ferns would sprout from the walls if I just gave them enough water. Oddly enough, Spring is the darker of the two, but it actually feels much warmer than Whitall Brown. There's something simple, powdery and Zen about this room, and it definitely feels 'Woodsy,' in line with our Feng Shui dictum. Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter.

Living room

Black bedrooms, inky kitchen cabinets, and dark living rooms have all been fodder for discussion here on AT, but lately, I feel like I've seen a spate of black walls popping up in bathrooms. On the one hand, black walls in bathrooms can be unbelievably elegant and beautiful, as the bathroom in the Sag Harbour cottage above shows. If you're the sort of person to take long, relaxing baths, the dark walls could feel cozy, intimate, and restful. I had a black bedroom for years, and the color made it feel like a retreat from the world. On the other hand, bathrooms are not all about relaxation. In the morning, when you're getting ready, you probably want some light to jog you into being, and when you're trying to put on makeup, get a close shave, or perform other grooming tasks, it can be helpful to have a brighter space. It would make a difference if the bathroom in question had windows, of course, or lots of white tile or other white accents, but generally speaking, dark walls don't offer a light and bright atmosphere. So what do you think? Are black bathrooms a good idea, a bad idea, or good only in certain circumstances?

Living room with bold details and lamp

2 LIVING ROOM PARLOR CHAIRS These chairs are not your typical side chairs. Less bulky and more ambitiously upholstered, they make a lovely addition to any home. Apartment Therapy Furniture Classifieds are open for your business in the NAV BAR. Post a particularly good thing, and we'll post you here on the front page.... OTHER GOOD STUFF.Thanks, Craig!


Bathrooms don't usually have a lot of room for storage furniture, so wall-mounted pieces can save space while providing much-needed storage. Top: This Steel Cube Wall-Mounted Cabinet from the Container Store is $477.89, and the modular compartments can be rearranged into different configurations. These Freden Wall Shelves from IKEA are paired with a Bekvam Step Stool for easy access. West Elm's Metal/Wood Bath Accessories contain a range of towel bars, wall-mounted shelves, hooks, and rings for $16 - $44. Vitra's Utensilo has been a hold-everything organizer since 1969. It comes in two sizes and runs between $300 and $400. Other suggestions for wall-mounted bathroom storage?

Leather chair

Our mother had big French pendants in our kitchen growing up, so we went looking for more to install in this client's kitchen. We found reproductions at Urban Archeology which are very nice and easier to get your hands on.... Called Single Prismatic Lamps, they come in a few different styles and many different finishes for about $300 each. We particularly like how they cast an ambient light around the kitchen, while still directing a strong light on the counter. To accentuate this, we use small halogen floods to cast a sharper, warmer light.