Friday, March 16th, 2012
It’s another record setting beautiful weather day in Minnesota, and it’s Friday, so needless to say I’d rather not be sitting in front of a computer. (76 degrees in March? It’s beyond fabulous!) So I’ll keep this short and sweet for everyone’s sake.
I just finished reading “Organizing” from the Best of Martha Stewart Living collection, and I found it really inspirational. So if this warm weather makes you want to fling the windows open, dust off those blinds, and do a little spring cleaning/ organizing, this is a great new resource for you.
This slim reference book covers the key spaces in homes most in need of organization: Entryways, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Closets, Bathrooms, Kids’ Rooms, Home Offices and Utility Rooms.
The kitchen section has great examples from past featured kitchens as well as Martha’s many kitchens. But it also combines some top tips from over the years. I’ve been using the “Spice Jar Reminder” idea for years, and I remember the first time I saw the “Helping Hands” tip. Now that I have large drawers like that in my kitchen and a kiddo on the way, I’ve already started looking at how I can rearrange my kitchen cabinets to accommodate a drawer like this for the kid’s plates, bowls, bottles, etc.
Toy storage is always a challenge (with kids of all ages), so I appreciate all the detailed thought that went into this toy chest. Having “parking spots” for the cars could help interest a kid in actually putting his cars back in the proper place.
There are plenty of other creative and less complicated ideas for kids’ rooms as well.
Finally, I’ll leave you with editor Kevin Sharkey’s utility room/ closet. Compared to the entire building Martha has at one of her properties for cleaning supplies (see this past post), Kevin lives in a NYC apartment where storage is at a premium. He cleverly transformed a coat closet into a very functional and organized laundry room with a place for everything.
Here you can see the right side of that closet (the end of the dryer is in the corner of the top left picture above). I love the grid of cleaning tools hung on the inside of the door. All the different types of hooks and baskets he utilized allow each item to hang properly without having to be wrangled into place. Now don’t we all want that? Who likes to fight a broom back onto a hook after sweeping?
Be sure to pick up a copy now since it is for sale at local bookstores and drugstores (most places you buy magazines) until April 30th, or they run out. At only $9.95 it’s a steal.
Now go out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. And maybe organize a drawer or shelf while you’re at it.
Friday, March 2nd, 2012
I saw a fabric with brilliant turquoise and raspberry colors in it the other day (wish I could remember where!), and it popped up in my brain again last night and I suddenly thought, “Blog Post!”
So here are some fun rooms that incorporate these two bold colors, whether in a large splash or a subtle mix of accessories.
1. A bold wall color choice for a hallway is balanced by the large black and white photo, an occasional chair with a subtle pattern, and a floral carpet with a blue background and raspberry flowers.
2. Fabrics on a throw pillow and seat cushion and a Rothko style painting bring drama without overpowering the small multi-purpose room.
3. See how well those turquoise throw pillows work with the raspberry throw tucked into the sofa? The hanging pendant repeats the blue.
4. This banquette is retro with a modern flair. Throw pillows and curtains tie the color palette together.
1. A kid’s bedroom is a great place to embrace bold color, especially on walls which can be easily repainted if they tire of it. Throw pillows and a bench cushion repeat the color.
2. I showed you this bold office not too long ago, and I couldn’t resist adding it here. Saturation is a beautiful thing, when done well.
3. A dining room with an oriental wallcovering and mirror get a modern twist with the turquoise benches and accessories.
4. This nursery with a great mix of artwork shows how easily this bold color could transition from nursery to an older child’s room (like in image 1)
5. Don’t think living rooms can’t handle these bold colors. A bright sofa, upholstered bench, and colorful curtains make for a vibrant room for lively conversations.
1. Raspberry seems to be embraced for bedrooms for all ages. Here is a young girl’s bedroom with a playful Tord Boonjte paper chandelier.
2. This bedroom for the daughter of a former Domino editor mixes classic design pieces (Eames chair, Knoll Saarinen table) with modern bedding for an eclectic look that can transition into young adulthood. Those pieces could easily work in her home the rest of her life.
3. Why should bathrooms always be in calming spa colors?
4. Check out this bold living room: the drama is provided by the wallpaper and window treatments, while the furniture is done in quieter tones to allow the walls to shine. Notice the trim has all been painted a red-pink to disappear by complementing the walls.
5. A grown up bedroom where the bedding, chairs and fresh flowers provide punch against the soft walls and gorgeous views outside.
1. From Children’s Spaces by Wilson
2. Dining Room by Sarah Tuttle via sweetiepie blog
3. Unknown. Perhaps from decor8 blog years ago
1. Kid’s Bedroom- inspired by The Incredible Book Eating Boy, from Cookie magazine
2. Office from Elle Decor 9-2011
3. Dining Room from Living Etc.
4. Nursery – Ashley Rose photography via Dwell blog 4-18-11
5. Living Room from Living Etc.
1. Bedroom from Cookie magazine
2. Unknown source. Domino editor’s home.
3. Bathroom from Ideal Home
4. Living Room by Katie Ridder via Elle Decor
5. Bedroom by Angie Hranowsky via Charleston Home magazine
Friday, November 19th, 2010
Well it’s been a busy couple of weeks with no signs of slowing down, but I feel guilty leaving you hanging too long without a fresh dose of design. So I am hard at work on a post on the latest trends in the interior design world fresh from the color trend forecasting group and the High Point Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina.
In the meantime, here is a reminder for the weekend to act like a kid and have fun in your space! Even if you don’t have children, a well designed home allows kids of all ages to play (even if they are 64 with grandchildren on their knees… Vera, Chuck and Dave. Sorry, The Beatles just pop into one’s head without notice sometimes. That one was for my parents.)
Seriously, why isn’t every home built with a staircase like this?! Sliding down the stairs on your butt or on a pillowcase for better traction is nice and all, but a true slide? That’s love.
You don’t need a New York City loft in order to build your kids a maze, though it doesn’t hurt. What about the long unfinished basement you’ve been wanting to turn into a playroom? This could be fun for the whole family and with little play areas inside the maze, kids can tuck themselves away from others for some privacy (a room of one’s own, in a sense).
When designing a backyard, some people think in linear terms: benches are for sitting, and steps are for walking. Pish-posh. Think like a kid – every surface is ripe for usage. A bench becomes a table and steps become seating.
This is how landscape architects think when they create public spaces. They know that people like to have options and to make the space their own. For example, in Bryant Park in New York City, the lawn is full of lightweight chairs that people can move to suit their mood. Being able to move the chair where they want it gives them a sense of ownership. Do the same for your family and guests – create flexible spaces and seating options so they can play in their own way. [For more on this topic check out William H. Whyte's studies of people's movements in and through public spaces. Fascinating!]
Ok, so you’re grown up now, no longer living the Joey and Chandler bachelor lifestyle with a foosball table where a dining room table should go. But just think: if you buy one for your kids you have an excuse to play it whenever you want and now it’s called bonding time with your kids instead of goofing off. Pretty cool, huh?
Not to mention, adding a punching bag to help release all that pre-teen angst is a pretty good idea while you’re at it.
And if all else fails, kick off your yellow rain boots and jump on the bed until you feel better. (I think she’s jumping on her brother’s bed, by the way! If you jump on someone else’s bed you don’t have to worry that you’re ruining your own bed, and worrying would take some of the fun out of the jumping.)
I hope this has inspired you to cut loose this weekend and have some good old fashioned fun.