“I love modern design and bright color, so I really wanted to keep my Christmas tablescape colorful, but with simple lines,” says Angela Neese Rathbun of Blue i Style. Using papier mache cones found on sale at a craft store and striking paint colors, Rathbun got to work. The resulting centerpiece is certainly eye-catching.
“I have always wanted something taller and more dramatic for the center of our Christmas table, and these painted cones provide just the right height while still keeping a simple, modern style,” Rathbun says.
If the only time you reach for apple cider vinegar is when you’re whipping up a tasty vinaigrette, you’re missing out. Apple cider vinegar has loads of uses beyond the salad bowl. Known as ACV among aficionados, apple cider vinegar is basically apple cider that’s fermented. The fermentation process results in a vinegar packed with probiotics and enzymes. You’ll often hear people speak of using ACV with “the mother,” which refers to a murky, globular substance found in the bottom of organic, unfiltered ACV. The mother contains beneficial bacteria and strands of proteins and enzymes—all good stuff for your body.
A clever use of a small footprint, designer Kristina Crestin came up with the idea to put a queen sized bed together with a twin bunk bed, thinking a family could fit into the small space. To the right of the queen bed, a closet holds essential storage. Black pipe fittings provide a safety component to the twin bed, but also add a little industrial flair.
A budget-friendly pine V-groove in a semi opaque wash on a warm grey was chosen for the walls so they wouldn't compete with the barn board ceiling.
The guest room was a great space to have a little fun, pairing some fun, white animal heads with a found vintage chair. Layering elements to add to the story of the space.
With her son favoring blue ornaments, Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste challenged herself to come up with a creative new palette for her holiday decor. The stunning result incorporates faux flowers with fresh greenery in a Goodwill-found vase, pomegranates and those striking blue ornaments. Runners of thick, black wrapping paper stood in for a more traditional table covering for a modern result.
Muted spaces are all about a well-balanced, calm aesthetic. Rather than hanging high-energy artwork above the desk, a clean, classic grouping was made with framed photographs and women’s apparel. When grouping art and objects together in a saloon wall style, be sure to take scale and proportion as well as textural values into consideration. All the textures found in the framing, mat and woven hat play well together since they’re all from similar color families. Scale and proportion are kept in check by keeping spacing similar between objects.
Your backsplash may technically be functional and keep food and oils off the walls behind the stove, but let’s be honest: in a kitchen renovation, the backsplash is a style leader. It can be a cost driver, as well. But Mary Elizabeth Hulsey founder of Mission Stone & Tile in Nashville, Tenn., says it doesn’t have to be. She says rather than turning the corners with your backsplash and carrying it all along the kitchen wall, just finish the tile where the walls meet. “That ensures you have the tile where it’s most visually and functionally important,” she says. Then you can budget for some really mind-blowing tile in the area behind the sink or stove, and go budget in the other areas around it.
In Chris' bedroom, a mix of high and low created his designer bed ensemble. A custom bed upholstered in automotive vinyl was the area's biggest purchase; however, deceptively budget-friendly purchases were made for the remainder of the space. The demilune-shaped chests came from ZGallerie for $600 each, and not only do they add an elegant touch, they offer concealed storage. Table lamps atop the chests were found at a flea market and updated with red paint and new metallic drum shades. While Ralph Lauren bedding in a classic paisley print was a splurge, custom pillows made from $6.99 per yard IKEA tartan fabric kept the budget in check. To allow Chris to easily change up the looks of his bedding, the backs of each pillow were covered in a nautical print from Duralee.
Holly Marsh set out to conquer the entryway clutter issue by turning a common household item into a clever organizational system. She found this vintage shutter at a local thrift store and hung it up next to the back door where everyone comes and goes. Then, she placed S hooks and clothespins on the wooden slats to hold everyone's keys and outgoing mail, invitations and other important memos. An old wooden box below keeps often-worn shoes contained, too. Now there's no excuse for missing keys, lost invites or misplaced bills.
When Lance Jackson and David Ecton with Parker Kennedy Living saw this French mirror in their client's master bedroom, they knew it had to fill the expansive space above the fireplace and wood mantel. "We moved it because the ceilings were so high. I wanted it to be a statement piece in that room," says Jackson, co-founder of the Atlanta interior design firm. Both the mirror and the framed art, also from the homeowner's collection and previously elsewhere, are good examples of how to reuse existing items in interesting ways. Consider using an oversized dramatic mirror with a petite painting or photo.
STATE Bags’ founders – a husband-and-wife duo who also created the Country Roads Foundation to support kids in New York City – noticed that countless children in the city were carrying their possessions around in trash bags. They formed STATE to address the issue by donating a backpack filled with schools supplies for every bag sold. The biggest impact happens at the company’s Bag Drop events: motivational rallies where children leave with both a new backpack and a renewed belief in themselves.
We laid out a succulent in a cement pot, a copper timer, a brass coin dish with a squirrel on it, and a black and white cross stitch of a cactus. Pulling these things from my client's house together was all we needed for inspiration. The way they played was organic, playful and sophisticated. It was perfect. We let our design juices flow from that beautiful inspiration! The back wall tile was everything. My client knew she wanted it to be green so from there I searched and searched for amazing, jaw-dropping options. We finally found a place in Nashville with the tile we wanted. I can say that when I walked around the corner and saw it for the first time, I got tears in my eyes! It was that beautiful! What a sucker. The rest of the design was intended to enhance that wall, to be well styled but not compete. It's a great balance and 100% my client!
One of the reasons that African prints and patterns make quite a statement in the home, is the graphic nature of the designs. Many of the textile designs from the African continent are based upon mathematic principles and there is a distinct sense of geometry in pieces such as the popular Bogolan fabrics of Mali, more commonly referred to as, “mud cloth.” This traditional Malian textile has been reimagined by Nasozi Kakembo of xnasozi (http://www.osxnasozi.com/), as a modern drum shade (http://www.osxnasozi.com/product/mudcloth-inspired-handpainted-drum-lampshades-domino). The hand-painted design stands out with dots and x shapes that can be found in traditional mud cloth.
No matter where you live, the right design can take you anywhere you want to be in the world. We know that it's true because that’s exactly what Brooklyn-based designer, Malene Barnett (https://www.maleneb.com/), founder of the eponymous lifestyle brand Malene Bhasdone has done. She’s taken her expansive Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone on a journey from New York City all the way to the Caribbean Islands that her family originally hails from. It’s a trip that’s open to anyone who steps through the doors to find the symphony of colors, patterns and accessories that fill the space from top to bottom.
These vintage doors are a clever transition from Angela's daughter's bedroom into her art studio. Angela found the doors, lacquered them and had them put on a track system in order to divide the two spaces. Notice that just beyond the doors in the hot pink studio, the trim color is white as opposed to the tone-on-tone application we've seen throughout the home. Bright white borders on the deep pink tone define the color even more. Another cool trick? When your case goods don't actually match, have them painted the same color simply for continuity. Neither of the tables, chests or dressers in this space were sourced together or at the same time, however the crisp white finish on each makes it look like they were destined to live in the same room.
Sometimes, the architecture of your home is the best guide for the style of the furnishings you fill it with; other times, its surroundings will direct you. When choosing furniture for this living room, designer Kristen Rivoli took the latter tack. “This space is in a building right next to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in New York City, so our inspiration was the classic midcentury modern furniture you might find at the museum,” she says. “We found the side table at a vintage furniture store, but the sofa is new—it’s available through KRID but it has the lines of a classic tuxedo-style sofa. The Brittania light fixture is also new but adds to the midcentury style, and the toss pillows are custom-made in a mellow color palette typical of the ‘50s and ‘60s.”
On a trip to Uganda, one of 31 Bits’ founders discovered that the women in the country were making incredible jewelry out of old paper, but they lacked a way to sell it. That inspired her to team up with four friends to sell the handcrafted jewelry back home, and in turn provide the women with an income. 31 Bits also cares for its artisans holistically through counseling, health education, finance training and business mentorships. Shop their colorful Bitsies collection for the little ones, or their wide selection of statement necklaces and stylish bracelets for yourself.
Camille Simmons has a love of pretty things: a sweet teacup, a beautifully scented candle, a colorful plate. It’s through beautiful objects that Camille believes one can truly enjoy each moment in life. Little moments of pretty, like the perfect pen, or a special piece of stationery, can brighten the day’s most mundane moments, according to Simmons. Her philosophy, dedicated to entertaining and style in pretty fashion, is reflected in the shop she founded with her husband Joe. Located in the historic Bluff Park neighborhood of Long Beach, California, Planning Pretty is a celebration of personal style where beauty reigns. And that pretty-is-as-pretty-does philosophy extends to Camille and Joe’s home. Just blocks away from their shop, the couple’s historic Southern California home is a mix of traditional and modern style where every piece is a little bit of beauty to be explored.
This gumball party wouldn't be vintage-inspired without some soda. "I used Mason jars with stamped lids for drinking glasses," says Kara Allen. "The straws were made out of paper—a perfect vintage-inspired touch." To add to the theme, Kara made "gumball" ice cubes by freezing red punch in a ball-shaped ice tray found at a bargain price online. Aside from the decor, Kara suggests including a theme-oriented activity for guests. "I thought that ribbon wands would be so fun for little guests to play with and they were also easy to make," she says. She attached colorful polka-dot ribbons to the tops of painted wooden dowel rods and placed them in a large mason jar filled with gumballs to fit in with the theme. Photo by Lyndsey Fagerlund Imagery