Create interest and texture with a collection of everyday and vintage bathroom items. This Victorian Gothic wall cabinet is filled with vintage cosmetic jars, ivory grooming implements, shells, sponges, towels and soaps. “If you have glass-fronted shelves, use it as an opportunity not just for storage but for display of interesting objects,” says Susan Sully, author of the book “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques” in which this home was featured. Sully also recommends painting the back of a cabinet a dark color to make light objects really stand out.
As the primary gathering space, a tablescape sets the tone of a get-together—so making it memorable is a must. Jenny Reimold, tabletop guru and HomeGoods style expert (you can check out her tips and tricks on Instagram) suggests getting creative: “Set the stage with several table runners placed vertically along the table, or consider draping a blanket or Turkish towel diagonally across a larger surface as an alternative to a table cloth,” she says.
One spot in the house that's often neglected when decorating for the holidays is the kitchen. Why not add just a few Christmas touches to make it look and feel more welcoming? Hang the same wreaths used in other rooms on the kitchen windows to keep the look cohesive. Add red dish towels, red napkins and stock your cookie jars with treats for guests to take the festive feel a step further.
Take your kitchen project up a notch by building an island out of crates that fits your storage and space needs just right. This DIY plan, from Mindi Carwin at My Love 2 Create, combines small and large crates, along with vegetable bins, from Crates & Pallet to create a kitchen island with multiple sides of pantry storage, as well as room for a cutting board, hanging dish towels and organizing cookbooks.
Many new-construction homes are built with paneled, hollow-core interior doors. These are often considered eyesores, but their presence can be minimized by painting them the same color as the walls and/or covering them with wall hooks to hold towels or robes. Another clever idea is to completely cover the door with art. In order to this this, you'll need anchors to reinforce the hollow veneer of the door and help support each featured piece.
Not all heirloom tomatoes, including most of the heavily-ribbed varieties such as Beefsteak and this rare Zapotec Pleated variety, are pretty and smooth - but they make up for looks with exceptional flavor. After washing the sticky jell off tomato seed, I dab them onto paper towels to dry, then cut the paper into small bits, each with a seed, to plant the following spring.
In a guest bathroom, designer Alisa Hoffman took a creative approach to the design of the vanity. “By ‘floating’ the vanity cabinet we were able to open the space and light it from below which gives the illusion of expanding the room as the floor tile continues underneath the vanity, all the way to the wall,” says Hoffman. She designed the cabinetry with open storage for extra towels, baskets for toilet tissue and a space to sit down. “It’s reminiscent of being in a spa, an experience from which everyone leaves refreshed,” she says.
No luxury feature is spared in this incredible custom kitchen, right down to drawer and cabinet compartments lined with leather. Spot the carved lion's head above the custom mural, which depicts the homeowner's own house among vineyards. Rich oak cabinetry built in France covers side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators, four freezer drawers, and two dishwashers beside the apron sink. Flanking the mural are two pilasters where the homeowner hangs her kitchen towels and hides her dish soap. In the island is a second sink, a Kohler Pro Cook, which doubles as a pasta cooker. For the grand-kids, a flat-screen TV pulls down from above the cabinets.
We all know someone who loves to cook (or eat what’s cooked). A basket full of practical kitchen supplies like this one by Jill Nystul will give the chef in your life fun tools to enjoy for years to come. Arrange kitchen supplies such as colorful utensils and a kitchen timer in a vibrant colander, replacing messy Easter grass with cheery dish towels. Finish it all off with faux carrots and eggs for a festive nod to the holiday.
Sleek and sophisticated, this custom vanity is stocked with storage options. Designer Tracy Black designed this elegant, oversized piece, which measures an eye-catching nine feet long and 25 inches deep. "A vanity is so much more practical and functional with deep drawers instead of just doors," she says. The roomy drawers and center cabinets easily accommodate bath and beauty products, hair-styling tools and more. The lower open shelf is a practical spot for storing towels or baskets and prevents the vanity from overpowering the room.
This closet is actually located in the open corner of a studio apartment, where fashion expert Lindsay Albanese shoots her YouTube videos. Designer Lucinda Pace of Laurel & Wolf found that Lindsay was using her clothes closet for storing boxes, paper towels, and other miscellaneous items, while her clothes hung on collapsible rolling racks. The designer created this “Style Studio” for Lindsay along one wall to act as clothing storage, a video set and an apartment design element all in one. The chaise, formerly a catchall for un-hung clothes, was reupholstered in ivory microsuede, and now serves as the perfect place for Lindsay to interview guests.
If a grow light is out of the budget for starting seeds, a windowsill can work instead. To help your seeds germinate, place them in a spot that stays consistently warm — on top of the fridge or a radiator are good options. Shift them to the sunniest south-facing windowsill you’ve got as soon as a bit of green is showing above the soil line. If your windowsill is drafty or cold, lay down a towel or old t-shirt like a blanket and then set your pots on top.
A south-facing window is your idea
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.”
You don’t have to wait for a custom-made island to enjoy the style and functionality of a stone countertop. The Bluestone Kitchen Island, $1,999, from Crate & Barrel is crafted with reclaimed pine from old buildings and doors and topped with a lustrous slab of bluestone for a high-end look. Inside, two roomy drawers open with antiqued iron pulls, while spacious open shelves and two iron towel bars provide additional storage. The top slab of bluestone is wet sanded and waxed to a smooth finish that reveals its organic character. Two counter-height stools can be tucked inside for casual, in-kitchen dining.
Most owners on RVshare stock their rentals with basics like RV-safe toilet paper and basic kitchen utensils. Our Winnie also came with towels, bedding and even a small charcoal grill, so all we had to bring were our clothes, food and toiletries. There were a few extra items that made our trip more comfortable: Dramamine (at highway speeds, the back of a motorhome can sway like a boat); ear plugs (in case of snoring family members or loud neighbors); and air freshener—even a newer RV like the one we drove, the bathroom can generate funky smells after you flush or when the waste tanks get full. We also fell in love with a pair of Vaya Drynk travel mugs that literally kept our coffees hot for six to eight hours—having hot java at our fingertips was an unexpected luxury.