As seen on HGTV's Good Bones, designers Mina Starsiak and Karen E. Laine wanted to make the best use of the natural light that streams into this living room from the bay window. A neutral color palette reflects that light, complementing the beauty of nature instead of competing with it. To give the space a bit of personality, a brightly colored ottoman that could double as a coffee table was selected for this space. They also hung a vintage ladder below the window to add interest in the space, as well to serve as a book shelf.
Vermicomposting is a great way to teach kids about composting while they play in the dirt. To get started, add some holes for air and drainage to a premade bin or box, or make your own. You'll also need some worms--red wiggler worms, or Eisenia fetida, to be specific. As you add food scraps to the bin, the worms will eat them and excrete (okay, poop) castings you can use in your garden. The castings are great for amending your soil and fertilizing plants. Read more about how to care for the worms in chapter 7 of Balz's book (their needs are pretty simple).
Bay windows can be a design challenge. For Jeanine and Bryan they took the opportunity to carve out both a dining and work area in the bay window. A large round dining table is a perfect fit. On the table, which is perfect for both work and entertaining, a dramatic arrangement of branches towers over a collection of favorite books together with a sculpture from artist Murjoni Merriweather.
When a photographer and an author share a home expect the decor to include a lot of pictures and a lot of books. This home doesn’t disappoint on either front as this corner of the living room amply shows. The central piece, a reproduction of a painting first encountered as the couple visited the Jaipur City Palace Museum in India, is accompanied by an image of Martin Luther King Jr. and a bust of Thomas Jefferson showing how the diversity of the family is celebrated in every element of the home.
This shoe closet is so big it can only be captured with a wide-angle lens. Note how the shoes are placed on sliding shelves on a rail system, much like some public libraries use for books in England. That’s where Walter James got this idea, when trying to devise a storage system for his wife Tiffany’s more than 600 pairs of shoes. Walter designed the closet with three stationary back shelves and three additional rows of double shelves on a track with wheels and a header on top to hold the shelves in place and to keep them stable. The entire closet is made of cedar.
A selection of exquisitely wrapped gifts are perfect for pop-over guests and for sprinkling around the house for touches of holiday spirit. "Welcome guests with a porcelain compote filled with tiny boxes of chocolate wrapped in colorful, patterned paper from a stationary store," home stylist Matthew Mead says. For kids, "cards, puzzles and mini games can be wrapped and trimmed with candies." He suggests keeping other little pre-wrapped surprises, such as books and gift cards, on hand as well. Photo courtesy of Matthew Mead.
This space hosts the two Stansell boys, who share this bedroom that could also be described as their own little well-curated museum of interests. Their personalities and evidence of their adventures are proudly displayed around their room. If you look closely you’ll spy that at least one of the boys is a budding chef. They also have a small family of hamsters between them, and they love yellow tractors. The boys’ room is a really good example of how I approach kids' spaces: always go monochromatic with walls and bedding. Between their toys, books, art, rugs, etc. there will be plenty of opportunity for stimulation/adding interest without becoming too busy. My fave in the room? The drapes are perfectly appointed: they look fun and put an exclamation point on the entire space.
Save your old mailbox, even if it has a bit of rust. Designer Janna Allbritton reused a discarded mailbox and crate to fill out a mantel and to display dried flowers, a Bible and a small succulent in a pot. "Use the unexpected to create levels and keep the eye moving for a great eye-catching vignette. Old books, a chippy step-stool, an antique box, or a child's chair are great items to start with ... this will give you a great framework from which to build," she says.
Wool rugs are easy to clean and have fibers that contain lanolin, a natural stain repellent. They're a smart choice for family rooms, where kids and pets spend most of their time. "This open, second floor media room overlooks the living room below. We needed a strong anchor to be the foundation of the space and to define the character of the room. Merida's classic buffalo check was the perfect solution — boldly inviting guests to gather for conversation, nestle in with a book or cluster for watching movies. The check pattern instantly conveys a sense of warmth and familiarity. Additionally, our clients planned to using this space to watch sporting events — so we needed something to withstand rowdy sports fans and the beautiful, quality wool construction of this rug meant it was the perfect yet practical fit," says the designers at Foley & Cox Interiors.
Even when reusing existing items, such as this cocktail table and antique rug, you can decorate the table in a way that modernizes the look. As this table shows, look for a pair of heavy leaded glass candleholders, which designers Lance Jackson and David Ecton with Parker Kennedy Living say you can find affordably priced at local vintage stores or on websites such as Etsy.com. Then add in a piece of cut glass (this one is high-end turquoise, but you can find others on a lower end) to contrast with the glass candlestick holders. The books were already in their homeowner's collection.
When updating a historic home in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, Sabine Klingler Kane designed the kitchen around her clients’ butcher-block island. “My client had the island long before we started the remodel,” she says. “It looks perfectly vintage, but it is actually a reproduction made from reclaimed wood. It is ideal for their young daughter as she does not need to be careful with her crayons and spilling food. It has drawers on both sides, and wine storage underneath as well as shelves for cook books. But the best thing is: Two compartments on top have been outfitted with electrical outlets to plug in tablets, laptops, phones and small appliances. It also has towel bars and a bottle opener attached to it — it is not only great looking, but also totally practical and functional.”
This formal living room is likely Angela's favorite place to get inspired, primarily because she's always wanted a pink room (Sherwin Williams, Lotus Flower). Her design books, magazines and some of her most prized vintage finds are housed in this space. I love that this angle of the room is perfectly balanced and there is a relationship between each of the pieces. The vintage print framed by the pair of lamps, compliments the chairs flanking the console, which is grounded by the ottoman. Angela’s use of black and white in this room and throughout the house adds a dose of classic design in spaces with unconventional wall colors and bold abstract artwork.