Inspiration Album

Living room

Living room with great view and art work

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Stairs and library

Recently we traded in our long-standing copper bowl centerpiecefor this crazy African violet. This month on Apartment Therapy we're posting about Setting Up Home, so I've been mulling over the first things I generally do when I move to a new place. It occurred to me that I always feel more at home when my dining table isn't naked. Some kind of centerpiece-be it a vase of flowers, a pretty bowl, or a tray of favorite objects-always makes it onto that table within a few days of moving in. This wide copper bowl occupied the center of our table for a few good years until the African violet came along. I remember when we moved last year, I made sure to know exactly where the bowl was packed so we could establish it quickly in its rightful place in our new home. Do you have a semi-permanent centerpiece that makes you feel at home? Or do you prefer to keep your dining room table bare? Do tell!

Living room red couches

A few months back I busted out some fabric spray paint and painted a pretty chevron on my carpet. Although the looks are alright, there's a new trend sweeping around the internet that will most likely yield better results. See that sofa up there? It's about to get painted - with house paint. Over at Fabric Bliss a vintage sofa was purchased for the small price of $45. It had great bones but those flowers just had to go. Re-upholstering a piece can cost a pretty penny so instead, paint was mixed with fabric medium and the entire sofa was painted. It's a neat trick to spruce up a new to you find when you're working within a budget. The cushions were recovered to give things a little extra oomph and the final look is just fantastic. Check out the full process and step-by-step tutorial over at Fabric Bliss.

Living room with fireplace

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Three white chairs

Help! I just bought a cute little house built in 1940. Most of it is looking pretty good thanks to refinishing the hardwood. The kitchen suffered a redecoration in what I guess would be the 70's and features both fake brick AND fake butcher block. I'm definitely changing the flooring and countertop but how do i deal with the brick? Paint it, remove it, tile over it? Also, the cabinets are red oak with a dark stain. Definitely updating the hardware, but will that be enough? I'm hoping that things start looking lighter once the brick is gone. Rachel,We aren't sure how labor intesive removing all that brick would be, but we fear that it might seriously damage the drywall/plaster beneath turning this into a huge project if you have to basically replace the walls. If you decide to hold off on demo, painting the brick would definitely help to lighten up the kitchen. Readers, how do you think Rachel should handle her faux brick situation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.....

Living room and study desk

It is the most important meal of the day, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun, too. The Pop Art Toaster is a regular toaster with a fun twist: interchangeable plates that burn pictures and messages into your toast. The plates slide in and out pretty easily, so if you want to toast something that you don't necessarily want a picture on, it is easy enough to do, and without them, this is a pretty standard 12 setting toaster. It is a way to bring a little magic to breakfast. A Pop Art Toaster with 6 design plates is $34.99. If you really want to get creative, giving the kids food-safe coloring pens and letting them color their breakfast before they eat it would be a blast.

Large living room

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Living room

A CB2 staple dressed up for spring, the Gaucho chair has been done up in a floral pattern. The addition of a semi-funky side chair into a living room seating area is an easy way to slip some pattern into what is often a room dominated by solids. The chair is also the grand prize in a new promotion being held by CB2.... The contest is called CB2 Go, and all the details are here.

Living room with rustic ceiling

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Living room with pop art

Wall decor in a kid's room doesn't have to be all 'Cutesy' baby animals and Winnie the Pooh. Emily shared with us her fun nursery wall, where she took some of her favorite photos that her husband took and created a graphic photocollage of treasured memories and imagery. The side table was a DIY project with the help of some bright paint and paper stickers.

Living room

Last week, we toured Ulrika & Mark's bright, beautiful Cambridge kitchen and were completely taken with the fabric on their custom window seat and curtains. Designed by Maine artist Gretchen Langner, the subtle, overscaled patterns exude a fresh, contemporary simplicity that works equally well in modern and traditional settings. Each of Langner's designs comes in multiple colorways and can used to as upholstery, slip covers, draperies, quilts, pillows, shower curtains, or lamp shades. Fabrics are hand-screened on 100% linen/cotton, sailcloth, or cotton duck and sold direct to consumer for $78/yard. To see more of Langner's designs, visit her site: Gretchen Langner Dzign.

Sofa and coffee table

To enter our Romantic Bedroom Giveaway, Anne sent us this photo of an inspiration bedroom. I don't love this for the gray walls, but the light and that bright blanket. Below the jump, Anne's bedroom tip.... Romantic Bedroom Tip: Our bedroom gets great light all day, so instead of fancy draperies, I hung plain white sheers and painted the walls a really saturated shade of blue. It makes the light even more amazing, and turned the room from a place I mostly ignored to a place I love to spend time.

Living room

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Living room

If you're like us and don't have a built-in closet in your bedroom, you've got to think outside the closet. Wardrobes are freestanding closets that you can move when you need to. Click below for ways to use them in your space.... A small-scale item like the Narrow Leg Wardrobe from West Elm shown above can work at the end of a hallway. If your bedroom is too small for a wardrobe, a piece like this can be placed in an entryway, dining room, or living room. Line wardrobes against a wall to create a storage space that looks like it's built-in. Image: PAX Wardrobe System from IKEA. In a loft or studio, a line of wardrobes can create a room divider.

Contemporary living room

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Living room with green walls

This is where old products go to die - but in a completely good way! All of the stuff you remember your parents using when you were a child, products that seemed to mysteriously disappear by the time you were a teenager, are to be found at Vermont Country Store. Along with nearly-extinct perfumes, obscure soaps, unusual canned goods, Vermont Country Store also has an interesting array of vintage-inspired toys and home goods that will send you back in time. We had a Raggedy Andy doll when we were very small, and seeing Vermont Country Store's Raggedy Ann and Andy now just makes us all misty-eyed. If your nostalgia only goes back to the '80s you can find a Strawberry Shortcake doll instead. Thrice-brushed flannel sheet blankets can help keep your family cozy this winter whether you're in Vermont or other snowy environs. For us the main attraction to Vermont Country Store is the high chance it offers to O.D. on nostalgia. Besides cool toys and odd knick-knacks, where else can you find Vaseline Soap, Rosebud Salve, Wind Song, a Bulova travel clock a slide viewer and Chiclets all in one place?