When I started decorating The Bungalow, one of the first pieces of furniture I bought was a set of 6 floor model Bertoia chairs. The airy filigreed appearance fit perfectly into the narrow nook in our kitchen; and the maintenance free, wipe-clean metal surface is ideal for our laid back style abode. However, like most non-upholstered dining chairs, I knew I’d have to purchase some type of seat cushion to maximize comfort during the long leisurely dinners we love so much. I have a few inexpensive options that I change out throughout the year depending on the Season, and come Fall simple white sheepskin throws replace round bright-colored linen cushions. There’s super soft and warm, adding the perfect amount of festive coziness for the colder months!
Do you have any accessories you change out with the Seasons?
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I’m currently working with a lovely client on her gorgeous prewar apartment. A few radiators are awkwardly scattered throughout the space, completely negating the beautiful lines of symmetry found in the original architecture. They’ve presented a little design challenge (which of course, I love!), so I’ve been researching a few ways to go about redirecting attention away from the heat exchangers, while still abiding by necessary safety precautions (those babies get hot!). Here’s what I’ve found, and liked:
A cabinet manufacturer can fabricate custom built-in’s based on the individual space, your specifications and storage needs. The design should be complementary to the existing moldings and architectural details found in the room for a seamless look.
Furniture Placement:A less permanent and more cost-effective option (more ideal for yearly renters) is to place a console or shelf above the radiator, treating the radiator as an actual piece of furniture.
Radiator Cover:The most traditional way to redirect attention is with a radiator cover. They are available in a variety of styles and price points – from custom fabricated options (also available through many cabinet manufactures), to off-the-shelf models found online or at your local hardware store, to homemade versions for the adventurous DIYer.
No matter which method of disguise implemented, keep in mind you are trying to avert attention from the radiator. Style with pretty accessories that are appropriate for the location (no bars in the bathroom, please!), hang art and/or mirrors on the wall to assert intention on placement, and incorporate the design in a way it works best for your every day.
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Decorating a small space is usually one of the biggest challenges for city dwellers. Every square inch needs to have a purpose, and multi-functional home decor is not typically the most attractive. Developing a detailed floor plan is essential for any room – especially for small space living – and finding new ways to use everyday items is cardinal. This lovely 800 sq. ft. NYC apartment designed by Ashley Whittaker follows these notions to a T.
LEFT: The oversized parsons desk doubles as a dining table, and the settee (similar) in the “reading nook” can be pulled up to accommodate guests. The Madeline Weinrib rug defines the work/dining space from the rest of the living room, and the bar cart makes entertaining from the table a breeze.
RIGHT: Ms. Whittaker was even able to carve out an entry in the tiny apartment behind the front door, using a petite demilune (similar) as a console. Osborne & Little’s Maharani wallpaper is a showstopper creating a wonderful first impression, while the bamboo mirror reflects light into the dark corner.
The clear acrylic coffee table (similar) appears to float in the middle of the room taking up little visual residency, and the pops of pink guide the eye throughout the room.
LEFT: Hanging the roman shade (or any window treatment for that matter) above the molding is a great design trick, bringing the eye up and making the window appear bigger than it actually is.
RIGHT: White Ikea dressers stand-in as nightstands providing additional storage, and D. Porthault Demoiselles linens add the perfect amount of luxury!
And how incredible is this kitchen?! White cabinets and light countertops always make the space appear bigger, while the Rose Cummings Zebrine wallpaper and birdcage chandelier (and similar here) add so much whimsy! I love how the designer used a countertop high breakfast table that can double as a workspace, and the stool can easily slide under the table when extra space is required.
Check out more tips for small space living here and here.
I was browsing through Southern Living last night and came across the new Idea House located on the grounds of Fontanel in Nashville. The new Southern farmhouse is comprised of one main house and several outbuildings in a horseshoe configuration, reflecting the classic farmstead. The wraparound porch ties all of the buildings together seamlessly and the gable roof adds the perfect amount of charm! While not all the interior rooms are my style – some are a bit too conservative for my taste – there are several show stoppers!
Let’s start out with this AMAZING herringbone inlaid wood door – gorgeous!!! The front porch is so enchanting, I’d drink ice tea out there all day and never leave!
The custom cabinets in the kitchen are stunning painted in Sherwin Williams Pewter Green, and the shaker-style compliments farmhouse aesthetic perfectly. The lighter green (Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay) planked walls provides just the right amount of contrast, bringing depth and dimension to the space. And don’t even get me started on the schoolhouse pendants from Circa!
A complimentary hue in the same color palette (Sherwin Williams Palm Leaf) was carried into the study on both the walls and bookshelves, making the room incredibly cozy, further complemented by the cut out in the built-in’s for the sofa.
The pleated gingham table skirt on the sink makes me incredibly happy!
How do you feel about new construction based on older designs that served a specific purpose – like the classic farmstead? I think there’s a lot of really bad examples out there, but it looks like the Idea House was done well. I’d love to see it in person!
1. Python Trays $50-$60 // 2. CB2 Format Tray $35.95 // 3. John Derian Notes Pencil Tray $92 4. Jayson Home Gold Athena Tray $45 // 5. West Elm Lacquer Tray $32
6. Furbish Paul Marrot Flower Tray $45 // 7. Serena & Lily Teal Pedestal Tray $98-$178
8. Hermes Rectangle Ashtray $830 // 9. West Elm Raffia Trays $29-$59
10. Pottery Barn Speakeasy Tray $49.50
Whenever I select accessories for a room 90% of the time there is some type of tray included. Beautiful as they are functional, trays have so many uses including a place to put your mail in your entry, acting as a bar in a small space, organizing perfume bottles or jewelry, grouping smaller items on a desk or coffee table reducing clutter, and I love using several small ashtrays on a coffee table in lieu of coasters (I am always on the hunt for them in antique stores!).
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It’s incredibly important to establish a space in your home that encourages drive, inspiration and focus. The number of Americans working remotely has increased over 41% in the past decade* and the need for home offices has followed suit. If you are among these 45 million people – or simply need a distraction free zone where your kids can do their homework and you can manage your finances – distinguishing a clean, functional and organized environment is essential.
And if you don’t have an entire room that you can devote to as an office…
carving out a nook in your living room, entryway, bedroom or studio apartment works just as well!
The “office/closet combo” is pretty fabulous – paying bills would be so much more enjoyable when surrounded by a colorful wardrobe!
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