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    Our friends at Selvedge, the UK textile magazine and dry goods shop, are hosting their Winter Fair this Friday and Saturday on November 29th and 30th at the Chelsea Old Town Hall in London. More than 100 vendors will be exhibiting goods with an emphasis on fabrics new and old and things made from them. Come join us—we'll be there offering our new book, Remodelista, A Manual for the Considered Home, at a special price of £20 (it retails for £25.99). We're at Stall D103, which we're sharing with knitwear designer Alpaca Pie.

    Here are the details:

    • Selvedge Winter Fair Dates and Times: Friday, November 29, 11 am to 5 pm; Saturday, November 30, 10 am to 5 pm. 

    • Evening reception: Friday, November 29, 6 pm to 8 pm.

    • Location: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Rd., Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3 5EE.

    • Admission: Day ticket (valid Friday or Saturday), £5; both days, £7.50; Friday evening reception, £7.50.

    Selvedge Market 2013, Chelsea Town Hall, London | Remodelista

    Above: Selvedge vendors include, left to right, from top left: Original Little BirdTamara Fogle Bags, Folk at HomeMinus SunShirdakBlueberry ParkMaud Interiors, Parna, Pippa Small, and Retropoodle.

    To see what else is being offered at the sale, go to The Selvedge Winter Fair 2013. And don't miss our post Shopper's Diary: Selvedge Dry Goods in London.

    The map below shows the location of Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, Kensington and Chelsea, London SW3 5EE. 


    View Larger Map

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    As we prepare to feast, we're admiring British duo Thornback & Peel's rendition of the noble bird in a navy-on-white print. Benjamin Franklin, champion of the wild turkey, would approve. 

    Turkey Prints from Thornback & Peel in the UK | Remodelista

    Above: The Turkey Apron in heavyweight white cotton; £24 each. Thornback & Peel also make robin, stag, rabbit, and lobster prints.

    Turkey Prints from Thornback & Peel in the UK | Remodelista

    Above: The Turkey Napkin Box Set of Four is made of printed white linen, each 45 centimeters square; £40.

    Individual Linen Union Napkin from Thornback & Peel | Remodelista

    Above: The Turkey Napkin is also sold individually for £9.95 each.

    Turkey Prints from Thornback & Peel in the UK | Remodelista

    Above: The Turkey Tea Towel is printed on a linen-cotton blend fabric; £12.95 each.

    Thornback & Peel turkey handkerchiefs | Remodelista

    Above: The design also comes as a Turkey Hanky Box£15.95

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 9, 2011.


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  • 11/28/13--06:00: Gift Guide: For the Foodie
  • Foodies tend to be a tad fanatical—a sweeping generalization, I realize, but having had to find gifts for several such friends, one that I can attest to. Here's a roundup of gifts that will please the most discerning of palates.

    To make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the Gift Guides to date in our archive.

    March Sprices Togarashi/Remodelista

    Above: What do you get the domestic goddess who has everything? When Julie made a guest appearance on the Martha Stewart Show a couple of years ago, she brought Martha a selection of spices and herbs from March Pantry in San Francisco. Happily, the wares are now available online. Our favorite: Shichimi Togarashi, made from mustard seed, orange peel, sichuan pepper, lemon myrtle, and dry chili; $25.

    Bittered Sling - Remodelista

    Above: Bitters are one of those versatile ingredients that are great to have on hand—whip up a cocktail with them or add a dash of flavor to soups, stews, curries, and marinades. Our favorites are made by Canadian company Bittered Sling whose flavors include Orange & Juniper, Grapefruit & Hops, Lem-Marrakech, and Plum & Rootbeer. They offer =4-ounce bottles for $29.95 each, as well as a gift pack of six signature extracts in 25 ml bottles for $59.95, from The Meadow. For other dealers across the country as well as drinks recipes, visit Bittered Sling.

    CRAFTSMAN & WOLVES CONFITURE CAFÉ AU LAIT AND PASSION FRUIT-OLIVE OIL CURD

    Above: Food guru Heidi Swanson's latest find for her online shop Quitokeeto: San Francisco patisserie Craftsman & Wolves' Confiture Café au Lait (L), a coffee-infused dulce de leche, and Passion Fruit-Olive Oil Curd (R), which she describes as "passion fruit with notes of tropical flowers and a bold, addictive tang." For dolloping on ice cream, toast, or yogurt, or baking into tarts, they're $25 for the set of two 7.5 ounce jars.

    Grove 45 Olive Oil: Remodelista

    Above: Grove 45 is a Napa Valley estate-produced extra virgin olive oil. Harvested and pressed on the same day, the smooth, peppery blend of Tuscan oils with a dash of Sicilian is packaged in a design-worthy re-useable aluminum bottle with pewter label; $43 from Ultra Lavish. See my Gardenista companion post about Grove 45 and How to Choose a Good Olive Oil

    Valerie Confections: Remodelista

    Above: We're big fans of LA-based Valerie Confections, in particular their Pumpkin Seed Caramels (L) made with fresh cream and pumpkin seeds and accented with soy salt, $16, and their Citrus Bark (R), hand-candied organic citrus with bittersweet chocolate; $15. 

    René Redzepi: A Work in Progress

    Photograph via Eater.

    Above: Learn from the leader. Rene Redzipi's Danish restaurant Noma has two Michelin stars and was named best restaurant in the world for three years in a row by British magazine Restaurant. His latest publication, René Redzepi: A Work in Progress, is a well-designed bundle of three books: a cookbook, a personal journal by Redzepi, and a pocket book of images; $46.29 from Amazon.

    Want to hear the essential kitchen tools and pantry staples from two pros? See Expert Advice: 10 Secrets from the Girls from Food 52. And if you missed our recent Tupperware party, see 10 Easy Pieces: Food Storage Containers.


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  • 11/28/13--08:00: 14 Ways to Feather Your Nest
  • Is the feather the new owl? The decorating motif of the season? We're starting to think so (and not just because today is Thanksgiving).

    Mantel with Feathers and Antler Remodelista

    Above: A mantel setting via Design Love Fest.

    Pheasant Feather Centerpiece Remodelista

    Above: Domino contributing editor Nathan Turner devised a floral-free Thanksgiving table setting using pheasant feathers.

    Feather Place Setting Remodelista

    Above: For a Christmas Eve dinner, stylist Kara Rosenlund sets the table with feathers.

    Kara Rosenlund Feathers Remodelista

    Above: Feathers in Kara Rosenlund's kitchen.

    Feathers with Copper Accents Remodelista

    Above: Black and gold and copper via Plaza Interior.

    Feather Lampshade Annaleena's Hem/Remodelista

    Above: A DIY feather lampshade via Annaleena's Hem.

    Feather Headboard A Merry Mishap/Remodelista

    Above: Jennifer Hagler of A Merry Mishap affixed feathers to the wall with washi tape to create instant bedroom art.

    Laura Makabresku Workplace Remodelista

    Above: The workspace of Brzesko, Poland-based photographer Laura Makabresku.

      Laura Silverman Feather Vase Remodelista

    Above: Laura Silverman collects feathers on her walks in the woods and repurposes them as decor throughout her house (see At Home in Sullivan County, Turkey Feathers Included).

    Imogen and Willie Feather Wall Remodelista

    Above: A feather wall via Imogene and Willie.

    Laura Silverman Bedroom Michael Mundy/Remodelista

    Above: Laura Silverman bedroom displays.

    Feather Garland Remodelista

    Above: Strung on a deer buckskin lace, the Feather Garland from the Wonderful Collective features 24 feathers and measures 61 inches long; $45.

    Feathers on the Wall Remodelista

    Above: An array of subtly colored feathers, an Instagram photo making the rounds on Pinterest.

    Feather as Decor Remodelista

    Above: At a Marin County wedding celebration, paper feather garlands flutter in the Headlands reception hall; via Green Wedding Shoes. For something similar, consider the Paper Feather Garland by Tucker Reece on Etsy ($16 for 18 feathers on three yards of twine).

    For more style curating, see 10 Favorites: Tools as Decor and 10 Favorites: Portraits as Decor.


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    A reimagined 1820 farmhouse situated at the edge of a waterfall fuses country primitive with urban industrial architecture.

    NY-based architectural designer and builder Tom Givone is on a mission to explore "the contrast between historic and modern and play these extreme elements against one another." Case in point: Givone's four-year renovation of a dilapidated farmhouse in Upstate New York, which is "a study in contrasts; fully restored to its period grandeur while featuring purely modernist elements." To see more of his work, go to Givone Home.

    N.B.: Fun fact: Floating Farmhouse is available for rent.

    Above: The 22-foot-high glazed curtain wall in the kitchen is made from skyscraper glass with a steel framework. The kitchen overlooks the brook and a gazebo.

    Above: A trio of French doors opens onto the cantilevered porch.

    Above: A vintage sink contrasts with sleek bluestone countertops.

    Above: The floors are polished concrete; the wood-burning fireplace is faced with oxidized Cor-Ten steel.

    Above: A bedroom with a full-length mirror as headboard.

    Above: A shingled eave adds an outdoors touch.

    Givone Marble Bathroom Sink, Remodelista

    Above: A vintage Italian marble sink seems to hover, thanks to angle supports concealed in the wall.

    Above: A austere bath combining old and new elements.

    Above: Faucets from Hudson Reed contrast with a salvaged bathtub encased in stainless steel.

    Above: A simple outdoor shower.

    Above: Old (traditional porch rocking chairs) contrast with new (steel-framed skyscraper windows).

    Looking for more rustic modern inspiration? Browse our Farmhouse Style posts and have a look at Barn-Like Living (Only Better).

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 12, 2012 as part of our Harvest issue.


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    There’s little you can’t make (or bake) with a 10-inch cast iron skillet, and if you look after it properly (season it regularly), cast iron cookware will last you a lifetime and beyond. Here are five favorites.

    Above: A chef's dream: a row of variously sized cast iron skillet. Image via Brook Farm General Store.

    Remodelista-10"-Cast-Iron-Skillet--Griswold

    Above: Vintage Griswold or Wagner cast iron skillets, the Rolls Royce of the cast iron world, can be found on eBay from $80 to $250.

    Remodelista-10"-Cast-Iron-Skillet--Lodge-Logic

    Above: The 10-inch Lodge Logic Skillet is available through Amazon; $15.92.

    Camp Chef Cast Iron Skillet

    Above: The 10-inch Camp Chef Cast Iron Skillet is available through Amazon; $17.99.

    Remodelista-10"-Cast-Iron-Skillet--Lodge-Signature-Collection-Stainless-Steel-Handle

    Above: The one drawback of the cast iron skillet is that its handle gets very hot. The Lodge Signature 10-Inch Cast Iron Skillet with Stainless Steel Handles offers a cooler handle option; available through Amazon, $57.39.

    FeLion cast iron pans in shape of US map, Remodelista

    Above: At FeLion Studios, you can even have a cast iron skillet made in the shape of your homestate. See FeLion for more details. 

    As you get ready for the holidays, have a look at our post 10 Easy Pieces: Oven to Table Cookware. And for more cast iron, see Iron Man, Jasper Morrison.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 18, 2012.


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    OK, so he's more style-conscious than you are. What to do on the gift-giving front? Here's our roundup of presents for the sartorialist in your life.

    To make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the Gift Guides to date in our archive.

    Shinola Runwell Orange Watch, Remodelista  

    Above: And you thought only cars and music were made in Detroit. The Shinola Runwell Watch is hand-assembled in the Motor City from 46 Swiss-made components. It has a stainless steel case and the strap is crafted of premium American-made orange leather (other strap colors available); $575 through Shinola.
    Hill-Side Scarves at Union Made, Remodelista
    Created by brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo of Brooklyn, NY, Hill-side scarves are handcrafted in the US from heavy-duty fabrics, most of which are sourced in Japan. The Hill-side Grey Border Stripe Flannel Scarf (L) is made of a Japanese wool and cotton blend fabric that's washed for softness; $104. The Hill-side Apple Green Modified Herringbone Scarf (R) is a cotton-blend fabric made from recycled yarns in Virginia on a vintage shuttle loom; $97. Both designs are available at Union Made. 
    The Travel Almanac, Remodelista  
    Above: Published twice a year, The Travel Almanac "explores topics of traveling and temporary habitation from the personal perspective of innovative figures in the fashion, music, art, and film worlds." The current Autumn/Winter 2013 issue features contributions by and conversations with Matthew Barney, Linder Sterling, Juergen Teller, Ian Schrager, and Shintaro Sakamoto. The magazine is published in English in Berlin; current and past issues are available for $18 each through Nationale. 

    Imperial Barbershop Product Bundle, Remodelista

    Above: "Made by barbers. Made to work. Made in the USA." is the motto of Imperial Barber Products. The Imperial Barber Shave Bundle is a collection of natural potions to enhance the non-electric shave. It includes glycerin face/shave soap, blade glide enchancing pre-shave oil, and Bergamot after-shave; $34 from Imperial.
    Makr Carry Goods Latigo Wallet, Remodelista
    Above: Simple, clean, and well crafted, the leather Makr Charcoal Latigo Round Wallet features front and rear pockets for cards and a concealed center partition for cash; $125 at the Old Faithful Shop. 
    Postalco Notebook, Remodelista
    Above: Made in Japan, the spiral-bound Postalco Notebook features pin-graph paper and a cloth-bound cover that when flipped over extends beyond the bottom of the paper to better support your hand while writing. The Small Postalco Notebook, 3.25 inches by 5 inches, easily slips into a pocket. The Medium Postalco Notebook measures 4.5 inches by 7 inches. Both are available in navy (as shown), red, yellow, and light blue; $12 and $19 respectively at Kaufmann Mercantile. 

    Read The Pocket Notebooks of 20 Famous Men and you will be inspired to give the hipster man in your life a supply of notepads. 
      Kill Spencer Daypack, Remodelista
    Above: Designed and manufactured in LA's Silverlake neighborhood, the Kill Spencer Original Wax + Suede Daypack is made of waxed canvas and suede with an antique Swiss Riri silver zipper, padded straps, and a leather or canvas handle. The interior features a laptop sleeve and small pockets. Shown in black waxed canvas (L) and Korean-era waxed canvas (R); $325 at Killspencer. 

    Mopha Tool Roll, Remodelista
    Mopha Tool Roll, Remodelista
    Above: For the bike-riding sartorialist. Inspired by a group of cyclists called Mopha who wanted a simple, functional way to carry their cycling tools, the Mopha Tool Roll is crafted in Seattle of oiled canvas and leather trim secured with a vintage toe strap. Available in eight color combinations, it's $44 at EH Works. Tools not included.

    Shopping for a man who likes toiletries? See 10 Favorites: The Best of Black Soap. A great cook? Check out Now Serving: Perfected Tableware from the Past.


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    I've wanted to put plants on a Christmas tree since I was a kid. I've imagined trees strung with pomegranates, trees covered in black mondo grass, and trees decorated with mossy branches. I like the idea of decking the tree with organic friends. 

    Plants and greenery are hard to forage in my San Francisco neighborhood, but Julie's Mill Valley house is surrounded by a verdant border. She wanted a tree; I wanted to put plants on it. She had a garden; I wanted to cut it up. A match was made, and it was as much fun as I'd hoped. 

    Photography by Meredith Swinehart

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: Our completed tree in Julie's living room. To recreate the look, start with a Fresh-Cut Noble Fir Tree, available at The Home Depot; $89.98 for an eight-footer like ours. 

    Photography shot with the Canon EOS 70D digital SLR camera, with Dual Pixel AF technology and built-in Wi-Fi.

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: We began by covering the fir with 35 feet of cedar garland; I wanted a subtle contrast between the two greens. For a similar look, The Home Depot sells White Pine Garland; $34.95 for 25 feet. We covered the base with a roll of Easy Gardener 3-foot by 24-foot Natural Burlap Fabric; $12.37 at The Home Depot.

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: Next, we added four strands of 25-Light Clear C7 Lights; $35.12 for two strands at The Home Depot. 

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: I then cut up some plants and introduced them to the mix. I secured them using Gardener's Blue Ribbon Sturdy Twists Plant Tie Wire; a 100-foot roll of wire is $2.97 at The Home Depot. Artichoke fronds were a great find from Julie's garden, and a perfect partner to the bright red berries I found there.

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: I wanted the tree to have a full look, so I sourced extra holidayesque plants at my local Home Depot nursery and cut them up. To me, Japanese andromeda 'Flaming Silver' and Japanese variegated lily of the valley are both reminiscent of holly. At the top, little bouquets of lavender cotton dot the tree as silver-green "ornaments."

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: For extra berries, I cut up a Japanese skimmia. To extend the life of the foliage, soak the stems in water overnight before decorating. How long the clippings stay fresh depends on many factors, including exposure to direct heat and sun. For a tree that will be on view for a while, consider using a plant anti-transpirant, such as Wilt-Pruf Plant Protector available at The Home Depot.

    DIY Foraged Christmas Tree, Home for the Holidays with The Home Depot, Remodelista

    Above: The tree begs for a closer inspection of its many textures and colors.

    -Meredith Swinehart


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    With Thanksgiving under our belts, we're settling into winter—and devoting next week to DIY seasonal decor, modern menorahs, and getting a jump start on holiday gifts. In the meantime, take a look at what's piquing our interest right now.

    DIY Simple Advent Wreaths for the Holidays, Justine Hand | Gardenista

    From birch bark and berries to buttons and newsprints, we like these 24 DIY wreath ideas via Country Living. For more projects, see DIY: Simple Advent Wreaths Made from Foraged Flora.

    Get pinning: create a holiday decor pinboard for a chance to win a $500 gift card from Domino Magazine (entries due December 4th).

    Mette Schelde Cooking Pieces Made in Denmark | Remodelista

    Above: Danish designer Mette Schelde pares back cooking essentials with her indoor/outdoor EtKøkken designs, a kitchen trio consisting of a "block station" for food prep, a gas-powered "fire station" for cooking, and a "water station" for cleanup.

    Skipping Rope Necklace from Bread Studio | Remodelista

    Above: LA-based Bread Studio is hosting a holiday sale on, Saturday, November 30th, at 3355 Wilshire, 1202B in the Gaylord Building. For more details, visit Bread.

    Next vacation: Stay in an underwater room off Pemba Island in Tanzania, via Yatzer.

    Bed Frame with Built-In Under-Bed Storage | Remodelista

    Above: Alexa is admiring this genius built-in storage bed frame featured on Coco Lapine.

    Colombian atelier Hechizoo's enchanting textiles, exotic fibers, and vibrant colors now on display at Cristina Grajales Gallery in NYC, via Architectural Digest.

    Makers & Brothers Pop-Up Shop in Dublin, Ireland | Remodelista

    Above: Christine has been contemplating a quick trip to Dublin to shop at the Makers & Brothers' Tiny Department Store—open until Christmas. Watch the shop come together in Makers & Brothers & Others | The Film.

    Once you've properly stored your Thanksgiving leftovers, it's time to get creative with these 12 turkey sandwich recipes via Real Simple.

    Book Events & Markets

    Remodelista in Los Angeles: Join Julie and Sarah this Wednesday, December 4, from 6:30-8:30 pm, at Anthropologie in Glendale (519 Americana Way), where they'll be discussing home design and signing books. And on Saturday, December 7, the Remodelista Holiday Market returns to Big Daddy's Antiques from 10 am to 5 pm (3334 South La Cienega Place). Hope to see you there!

    Remodelista NYC Market

    Thanks to all who dropped by our first ever Remodelista Holiday Market in NYC (scenes from our opening night party, above).

    Remodelista Book Signing Event at Guideboat in Mill Valley, California | Remodelista

    Julie signed copies of Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home at a recent book fete in Mill Valley, CA, hosted by Stephen Gordon (the founder of Restoration Hardware) at his new venture, Guideboat. 


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    With the help of some of our favorite online shops, we've curated a Cyber Monday sale custom designed for the Remodelista reader. Read on for special deals and act fast: most offers begin on Monday morning, December 2, and, unless otherwise noted, end at midnight.

    L'Aviva Home Turkish Hammam Towel Collection | Remodelista

    Above: Remodelista readers get 15 percent off of all items today at artisanal housewares specialist L'Aviva Home; use the code "REMODELISTA" at checkout. Shown here are some of the towels in the Turkish Hammam Towel collection.

    Jielde S133 Bronze Lamp Remodelista x Horne | Remodelista

    Above: Remodelista collaborated with Horne on the design of this special edition Jielde S133 Signal Lamp in bronze; it's on offer today for 25 percent off (a discount of $123); use the code "REMOD25." N.B.: Horne is also offering a site-wide Cyber Monday discount of 15 percent off. Note that the two codes cannot be used together; those purchasing the Jielde should use the Remodelista code for the full discount.

    Black Dura Cup from The Future Perfect | Remodelista

    Above: The Future Perfect design gallery is offering readers a 15 percent discount that applies to all of its home furnishings, excluding larger furniture and lighting; use the code "CMTFP15". Shown here are Ryota Aoki's Dura Cups in a matte black glaze.

    Terroforma Tabletop Products Cyber Monday Remodelista Readers

    Above: From Monday through Friday, December 6, Scandinavian tablewares specialist Teroforma is extending Remodelista readers a 30 percent discount on its Ekke Medium Tapas Bowl and Lid (a ceramic and wood design made for serving and storing food), striped flax Stuga Kitchen Towels, and Avva Serving Boards of maplewood in three sizes. Use the code "Remodelista."

    Beam & Ancor Long Neck Vase by Lilith Rockett | Remodelista

    Above: Portland, Oregon, design collective and shop, Beam & Anchor, is offering readers 10 percent off on any online purchases made with the discount code "beam." The shop's categories range from apothecary to kitchen to vintage. Shown here is the Long Neck Vase handmade of porcelain by ceramic artist Lilith Rockett.

    A Détacher Reed Box from Anaïse | Remodelista

    Above: Fashion and housewares shop Anaïse is offering readers 20 percent off on all items; use the code "Remodelista." Shown here is the A Détacher Reed Storage Box.

    Enamelware Products at Brook Farm General Store in Brooklyn, New York | Remodelista

    Above: Brook Farm General Store is offering readers 20 percent off on all of its Enamelware products from Monday, December 2, through Tuesday, December 3, at 12 pm. Use the code "ENAMEL20."

    Alder & Co. New Website and Cyber Monday Deal for Remodelista Readers

    Above: Portland, Oregon's neo-general store Alder & Co. is offering 10 percent off on all products on Monday to those who use the code "LETSPLAY10."

    Cousu de fil Blanc Soap at Spartan in Austin, Texas | Remodelista

    Above: Austin design boutique Spartan is offering 10 percent off on all items in its online shop; use the code "Spartan." Shown here is the Cousu de Fil Blanc Soap, scented with chestnut honey and packaged in stitched recycled paper.


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  • 12/02/13--02:00: Gift Guide: For the Techie
  • I live in San Francisco, startup capital of the world, and I have a lot of techie friends. If you'll allow me to generalize, one thing I've noticed: Most techies won't go out of their way to find stylish goods—they're a utilitarian bunch and when handed a company sweatshirt, they'll wear it thin—but when the opportunity presents itself, techies really appreciate good design.

    To make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the Gift Guides to date in our archive.

    American Giant Gray Hoodie, Gift Guide for the Techie, Remodelista

    Above: Help upgrade the Zuckerberg look with the Men's Heavyweight Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt or Women's Heavyweight Full Zip Hoodie, made in the US and designed with the help of a former industrial designer from Apple; $89 each from San Francisco's American Giant. Read Slate's article about it, This Is the Greatest Hoodie Ever Made.

    Stanley and Sons Olive Drab Bread Messenger Bag, Gift Guide for the Techie, Remodelista

    Above: Replace the startup-branded backpack with a duck canvas Bread Bag made by Stanley & Sons. Stitched on an old-fashioned single-needle sewing machine and measuring 12 inches tall and 16 inches wide, the bag is $167 from Hickoree's Hard Goods. 

    Filson Harris Tweed Laptop Case, Gift Guide for the Techie, Remodelista

    Above: For the techie with a traditional streak: the Harris Tweed Laptop Sleeve; $125 from Seattle-based Filson. The padded interior is lined with moleskin and Scotland-made tweed wool. 

    Muji Splash Proof iPhone Case, Gift Guide for the Techie, Remodelista  

    Above: For the person who hates to be parted from his or her phone: the Splash-Proof Speaker for Smartphone allows for not only music in the shower, but typing emails and browsing the internet, too; $69.50 from Muji.

    Vers Audio Noise Canceling Bass Headphones, Gift Guide for the Techie, Remodelista

    Above: Made of American hardwood and designed to deliver for bass-heavy music, games, and movies, Vers 7E Extended Bass Earphones have play/pause controls and an integrated microphone. Shown here in walnut; $79.99 from Vers. 

    For fresh gadgetry straight from France, check out A Good-Looking Wireless Charger and Other Breakthroughs. Navigating the uncharted terrain of Parenthood 2.0? See our post 10 Tips for Keeping Tech in Check, Family Edition


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    Once you've procured the perfect gift for each person on your holiday list, the realization sets in that your task isn't complete at the swipe of a credit card. You have to wrap your finds, too. To create that final winning touch, here are five simple gift wrap ideas that make use of brown paper and string (and just a few other things).

    N.B.: Today, to celebrate the season, five lucky Terrain shoppers will walk away with a $1,000 Terrain gift card. Want to be one of them? Make a purchase at shopterrain.com—today only—and you’ll be automatically entered to win, or enter here.

    Finished Look

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Gifts in a range of shapes and sizes, wrapped and ready. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker's camera.

    Materials

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Accessories to pull the packages together include rubber bands and baker's twine.

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: The containers: Weck jars, kraft paper, and boxes.

    Wrapped Candles

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Start with two sets of three Pure Beeswax Tall Tapers ($24 for a set of two), 18.5 inches long, in white and natural beeswax; group each trio into a pyramid and secure with a rubber band. (For a moody look, Terrain also offers 10-inch-long Pure Beeswax Tapers in black; $28 for 6.) Next, fold in the edges of a strip of kraft paper to wrap around each bunch.

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Tie off the paper with white cotton string, twisting it around itself in the front and back three times; secure with a bow.

    Cedar Wreath Gift Box Decoration 

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: A porcelain beaded trivet (see DIY Video: Wooden Bead Trivet for how to make one) and four Washed Linen Napkins in navy blue ($12 each from Terrain) get tucked inside a box and wrapped in kraft paper.

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Start with a bunch of preserved or fresh cedar branches (see Materials above); cut off 2-3 inch pieces and then connect the pieces by tying them in the center of each branch with cotton string. Work the shape into a circle and finish it by tying the two ends together. Tie on more pieces of cedar to fill out the wreath to your liking. The result: a tiny wreath sized to fit on the top of your box.

    Canning Jars and Baker's Twine

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: For homemade holiday treats, Weck jars are a favorite gift box: they keep food airtight and can be used as pantry storage after the holidays.

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Simple and to the point: tie colorful baker's twine around the clamps of the Weck jars to keep everything in place, add a tag to each, and let the clear glass show off the gift inside.

    Minimalist Gift Wrap

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Binchotan charcoal is the perfect present for spa fans: Japanese activated charcoal is known to increase blood circulation, deflect negative ions, remove toxins, and more (see Black Magic: Japanese Charcoal). Here, a charcoal-infused Eye Mask ($26), Toothbrush ($8), Pumice Stone ($16), and Scrub Towel ($18) are ready for a gift box.

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Wrap box with kraft paper, then gather about 10 stems of oat grass (see Materials above) into a bundle and secure with a rubber band. Tie the grasses onto the box with a long strand of cotton string.

    Birch Bark Trees Package Decorate

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Using a few birch bark strips (see Materials above) and a pair of floral scissors, cut out crude shapes of Christmas trees and pierce them at the top with a small pin creating a hole for string.

    DIY Holiday Gift Wrap, 5 Ways with Terrain | Remodelista

    Above: Using washi tape to mimic ribbon, tape off the outside of the package. Thread the string through each birch bark tree, knot it, and tape it to the top of the gift—after the present is opened, the trees can be used as holiday ornaments.


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    Designer Brendan Ravenhill's latest take on the pendant lamp feels refreshingly new, no mean feat for something so utilitarian. Described by the designer as "a study in materials and process," the Bare Pendant features an aluminum shade that's formed over a wooden mold sandblasted to accentuate the grain; during the metal spinning process, wood grain patterns are impressed in the metal on both sides. The result is a simple, elegant form that reflects nature. Prices begins at $345. 

    N.B. This Saturday, December 7, LA readers, can check out Ravenhill's lighting and meet the designer himself at the Remodelista Holiday Market at Big Daddy's Antiques (3334 La Cienega Place, LA), from 10 am to 5 pm.

    Brendan Ravenhill bare pendant light: Remodelista

    Above: The Bare Pendant in black and brass. 

    Brendan Ravenhill bare pendant light: Remodelista

    Above: The pendant comes with a half-chrome G25 bulb, which is easy on the eyes and reflects light up, accentuating the wood grain embedded in the metal shade. The design was inspired while Ravenhill was working on a metal wastebasket with a fabricator, who warned him that the wood grain from the spinning mold might be visible. Intrigued by the concept, Ravenhill came up with a shade that highlights the pattern: "In 20 years, he said, I was the only person that heard his disclaimer and wanted to double down." 

    Brendan Ravenhill bare pendant light: Remodelista

    Above: The Bare Pendant comes in the three finishes: black and brass, $370; aluminum, $345; and brass, $360. 

    For more, see our previous posts on Brendan Ravenhill designs, including his ingenious Dustbin, a garbage can with a detachable dustpan lid.


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    Every winter, a new crop of impressive DIY advent calendars rises above all the internet clutter. (For proof, see our post on last year's calendars, and more from the year before.) With December underway, it's time to get a jump on the countdown. For a guaranteed hit at home, here are five projects to consider replicating, plus a calendar to purchase (for a quick fix).

    DIY Advent Calendar from Merry Thought | Remodelista

    Above: Deck the halls with a bow of decorated greenery: Caitlin of The Merry Thought affixed numbered birch rectangles to the front of 25 matchboxes. For more on the project, visit The Merry Thought.

    Zenzi Design Advent Calendar for Kids | Remodelista

    Above: From German company Zenzi Design, an advent calendar made from a thin piece of wood cut in the shape of a cloud that rains down 25 small numbered pouches.

    Fabric Advent Calendar from Pi'Lo in Toronto, Canada | Remodelista

    Above: An advent calendar to use year after year, from Toronto artist Heather Shaw. Made of linen with hemp pockets (that can be filled with treats or messages) and a small handmade bear that gets moved from day to day, the Advent Calendar is $100 CAD from Heather's shop Pi'lo. For more on Heather, see our post, House Call: Heather Shaw in Toronto.

    Advent Calendar Sachets from Madame La Chouette | Remodelista

    Above: An idea inspired by potpourri sachets via Madame La Chouette: Gather 25 fabric pouches (or sew them yourself), number them, and tuck small gifts inside, then hang in a large, tempting ensemble.

    Recycled Paper DIY Advent Calendar from Le Petit Pot in Barcelona, Spain | Remodelista

    Above: A calendar from Le Petit Pot in Barcelona, Spain, is made out of paper bags threaded with twine; each day a square gets pulled off the string. See more at Le Petit Pot on Etsy and note that custom orders are available.

    DIY LED Tealight Advent Calendar from Picholine | Remodelista

    Above: From Véronique of Pichouline via Bloesem Kids, an advent calendar created from magnetic chalkboard wallpaper and LED tea lights on magnets. The flickering design—which you can recreate using magnetic chalkboard paint on heavy paper or fabric—brings Christmas lights to Véronique's home in Africa even during power outages.

    For more seasonal ideas, visit our Holiday pinboard on Pinterest. And check out Meredith's Foraged Christmas Tree decorated with plants.


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    On a sunny morning last spring, our team—including photographer Matthew Williams, Francesca Connolly (carrying great bundles of leafy branches), and me with my notepad—arrived on the doorstep of Julianne Moore's 1880s townhouse to photograph her just-finished kitchen for our book, Remodelista, A Manual for the Considered Home. It was our final shoot, planned months in advance with her talented architect (and brother-in-law), Oliver Freundlich, and it was the project that made the 400 pages suddenly feel complete.

    Remodelista Julianne Moore Kitchen

    Above: Scenes from Julianne Moore's kitchen; photos by Matthew Williams. See pages 178—185 of Remodelista, A Manual for the Considered Home for a detailed look at the kitchen, complete with sourcing information down to the flatware and doorknobs.

    Julianne led the way to the just-finished room, which feels like a glimpse into the future: a fully equipped, heart-of-the-house kitchen designed like a living room, with freestanding furniture-like cabinetry, large-scale contemporary photos hung gallery-style, and a Berber carpet under the table. It's a room that's at once formal and informal, welcoming and grand. "Isn't it risky to have a shaggy wool rug in the kitchen?" we asked. "Actually, it's incredibly forgiving," she said. "Everything comes out of wool."

    She may be one of the great actresses of our day, but she moonlights as one of us: a design junkie (case in point: she acted as the shoot stylist, looking into the camera and readying every angle). Just get her on the subject of doormats, and you know she's fully committed. During idle moments on movie sets, she told us, she strikes out in search of ceramics ("I like local pottery, utilitarian things"), such as the stoneware candelabra on her kitchen table, a find from the Mississippi Mud shoot near Marigold, Mississippi.

    Julianne Moore Book Remodelista

    Above: Photograph by Alexa Hotz. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker's camera.

    Over the years, Julianne has developed her own design rules—inspired in part by the spare yet warm aesthetic of Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen ("I steal from his stuff all the time")—which go something like this:

    • Control the colors you allow into your life. The palette in the house (and even the backyard garden) is limited to ivory, gray, black, brown, and the occasional touch of purple. When she initially remodeled the townhouse 10 years ago, the first floor was done in shades of gray (shots of it buzzed around the web, inspiring copycat paint jobs the world over). But she started longing for a brighter outlook and went for an off-white: "It felt dark in here. White lets the furniture to pop."

    • Spotlight interesting textures. "Color is just not what I like to look at," she says. "I like natural things." Toward that end, a giant sea sponge rests on an Eames pedestal, antique turtle shells decorate the back wall, a brown sheepskin from the Union Square Farmer's Market drapes over a wooden armchair, and a thrift store driftwood lamp stands like an animated scarecrow next to the sink. Also high on her list: natural materials like plaster, wax, rattan, and rice paper (the latter is what the room's giant Noguchi lantern light is made of).

    Julianne Moore Book Remodelista

    Above: Photograph by Alexa Hotz. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker's camera.

     Matte trumps shiny. Oliver knows never to suggest any finish that gleams. The counter is honed black granite. The backsplash is made from concrete squares that closely match the color of the wall. (And it was such a hard sell that Julianne only agreed to add it to the stove area; the kitchen sink is deep enough that it gets away without a backsplash.) And the table, a modern farmhouse design, has a vegetable-based finish that she points out is satisfyingly "super matte."

     Art should be everywhere. It elevates a room and works its magic over a sink just as much as it does over a formal mantel (yes, the kitchen has one of those, too, a holdover from its days as a parlor). Currently on display: Large-scale photos by Jack Pierson, Ori Gersht, and Nan Goldin. 

    Everything should be put to use—or else nixed. Julianne credits this philosophy to her mother: "I was a military brat and we moved a lot, but my mother knew how to pull together a room and liked a Scandinavian aesthetic. She inspired my interest in design." The use-everything approach extends to the furniture: "Nothing should be so precious that children and dogs aren't welcome on it."

    Remodelista Book Cover

    Above: Photo by Matthew Williams.

    Nice way to live, right? For a full exploration of the kitchen, see our new book, Remodelista, A Manual for the Considered Home, with a foreword written by Julianne Moore herself. And you can get copies autographed by Julie Carlson via Book Passage.

    For a look at the kitchen in its former guise, go to Steal This Look: Julianne Moore's West Village Living Room. Check out more of Oliver's work at Oliver Freundlich Design.


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    Spotted (and envied) on the Style Files blog: a closet converted into a practical utility space, complete with a sink and homemade built-in shelving. Styled by Dutch interior designer Kim Timmerman, it's the perfectly ordered and sparkling extra storage everyone could use. Here, a look at the closet and how to recreate it. 

    A Dutch Small Utility Closet I Remodelista  

    Above: A utility room that serves as a space for storing kitchenwares and washing up, it's tidily covered in white tiles and kitted out with shelves resting on brackets made from peg. The same pegs are used as simple hooks over the sink. One of reasons the setup is so pleasing to the eye is its simple palette of black, white, and gray, with a wooden accent. Steal This Look with these elements:

    American Standard All Purpose Sink in Porcelain I Remodelista  

    Above: The American Standard All-Purpose Sink is designed be wall hung and measures 22 by 30 by 9.5 inches; $607.72 from Amazon. 

    Element of Design Vintage Wall-mounted Faucet I Remodelista  

    Above: The Elements of Design Vintage Wall-Mounted Vessel Sink Faucet with Double Cross Handles has a 9.75-inch spout reach from the wall; $97.47 in polished chrome via Wayfair. 

     

    Antonius Shelf by Ikea I Remodelista

    Above: Ikea offers several basic white shelving options. The Antonius Shelf is 31 1/8 inches wide and 11 inches deep; $5 each. 

      Building Blocks made into Hooks I Remodelista

    Above: To create shelf brackets and wall hooks, consider Wooden Building Blocks or a Hardwood Dowel cut into the desired lengths and painted white. Drill a hole in the back of each, insert a screw, and attach to the wall using anchors. See our post DIY Instant Hallway Hooks Made from Blocks for tips.  

    Kaico Coffee Pot I Remodelista  

    Above: The Kaico Coffee Pot by designer Makoto Koizumi is made in Japan of enamel-coasted steel with a maple knob; $130 from Emmo Home.  

    Staub Cast-Iron Mini Cocotte in Matte Black from Williams-Sonoma I Remodelista  

    Above: The French-made Staub Cast-Iron Mini Cocotte in matte black is currently on sale for $50 (marked down from $72) at Williams-Sonoma. Looking for more options? See 10 Easy Pieces: Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

    Amber Glass Jug I Remodelista

    Above: The One Gallon Amber Glass Jug with a handle and cap is $8.69 from My World Hut. 

    Lidan Baskets from Ikea I Remodelista  

    Above: Ikea's handmade Lidan Basket comes with a loop for hanging; $9.99 for a set of two.

    Pair of Scissors from Brook Farm General Store I Remodelista

    Above: These Scissors are made by a Chinese scissor and knife company in business since 1663; $12 from Brook Farm General Store. 

    Dessert Bowl in Onyx by Heath Ceramics I Remodelista  

    Above: Sized for ice cream, the Dessert Bowl in onyx is part of the Heath Coupe Line designed in the 1940s; $24 from Heath Ceramics. 

     

    The Ilse Container in Brass for Georg Jensen I Remodelista  

    Above: The Ilse Container is an all-brass receptacle designed by Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen; $275 via The Future Perfect. 

    Large Grey Pitcher by Up In The Air Somewhere I Remodelista

    Above: Chicago artist Susan Dwyer hand builds ceramics, including this Large Light Gray Pitcher; $58 from Dwyer's studio, Up In the Air Somewhere.

    If, like us, you love looking at storage options, peruse our image gallery of Laundry & Utility Rooms. Also see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Inventive Wood Wall Hooks


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    Last week our Novice Gardener, Meredith Swinehart, installed three DIY black window boxes on the front of her San Francisco home. She filled them with plants. But with the holiday season officially underway, she's ready to decorate for Christmas with the help of our partner The Home Depot.

    String lights were a given, as was some seasonal greenery. But as Meredith wandered the nursery aisles at her local The Home Depot store, she found herself drawn to succulents and black plants. At first, she tried to ignore the urge, knowing it was not the traditional holiday look. But when have we been traditional?

    Could Meredith create a holiday window box with atypical ingredients? Inspired by the challenge, she set to work.

    Photography by Liesa Johannssen. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker’s camera.

    Above: Meredith couldn't help but notice that her holiday arrangement appears inspired by Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. (The Tim Burton film is her favorite holiday movie.)

    Above: To start, Meredith found some small birch tree logs and wrapped them with Brite Star LED Clear White Battery-Operated Dome Lights; $10.99 for a 20-light set.

    Above: She wound three light strings around a manzanita branch.

    Above: Meredith loves finding new uses for utilitarian products. To make ornaments, she used Corry's Slug and Snail Copper Tape; $7.42 for a 15-foot roll. She wrapped the tape around a set of plain Christmas ornaments like those in the Martha Stewart Living 70mm Christmas Ornaments Set; $5.98 for a pack of 18. And voilà: copper Christmas ornaments. 

    Above: Meredith added boughs of cedar to the mix. The Home Depot sells a variety of Fresh Christmas Wreaths and Garlands, including balsam, pine, and fir. To secure the branches in case of wind, Meredith used Gardener's Blue Ribbon Sturdy Twists Plant Tie Wire; a 100-foot roll of wire is $2.97. 

    Above: Meredith wanted to display the lighted manzanita branch in the center of the three boxes, so she planted drought-tolerant ground cover there: Dwarf St. John's wort and 'Silver Carpet' dymondia margaretae.

    Above: She perched the lighted manzanita branch on the ground cover, flanked by succulents and other drought-tolerant plants. (Meredith has accepted that she's not an over-waterer.)

    Above: Coprosma 'Martini Midnight' instantly reminded Meredith of pomegranate seeds, which remind her of Christmas. The black-purple "flower" in the back is Aeonium 'Zwartkop,' a succulent. 

    Above: Meredith wrapped white lights in and around dwarf boxwoods; a variety of Boxwoods are available at The Home Depot. She bought 1-gallon plants for $5.98 apiece.  

    Above: This bromeliad was too perfect as a Christmas star; Meredith couldn't resist it. It's a Dyckia hybrid 'Arizona' x 'Brittle Star' and is as spiky as it looks; gloves are required here. Meredith likes the simplest pairs, such as G & F Women's Washable Suede Pigskin Leather Garden Brown Gloves; $12.97 for three. 

    Above: Meredith added white dried tallow berries for good measure (their wintry look reminds her of toasted marshmallows). 

    Above: The three completed holiday window boxes.


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    After watching my children play with my mother's saved wooden barnyard animals and my childhood friend's old Steiff collection, I've decided to seek out toys made to last—and to potentially become tomorrow's heirlooms. Towards that end, for this year's kids' gift guide, we're zeroing in on lovingly created designs from small workshops near and far.

    To make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the Gift Guides to date in our archive.

    Alphabit letters by Looodus, Remodelista

    Above: Found via our friend Deborah Beau at Kickcan and Conkers, AlphaBits by Milan-based Looodus are an artful reinvention of the classic refrigerator alphabet. The set includes 66 magnetized, laser cut letters (two full alphabets, plus 13 extra common letters), so your child can practice letter recognition and spelling; $113.

    stacking circus animals by Watermelon Cat Community, Remodelista

    Above: A stacking toy of play animals, this jolly Circus Animals Act XL is handmade from solid lindenwood and non-toxic paints by Netherlands-based Etsy seller Watermelon Cat Company; $48.69.

    modular castle by Manzanita kids, Remodelista

    Above: For budding architects, Manzanita Kids of Seattle makes a series of modular dollhouses, buildilngs, and towns in high-grade birch ply. Shown here, its Castle Building Blocks, $75, that allow children to build, destroy, and redesign to their hearts content. 

    fox mask by Lucille Michieli, Remodelista

    Above: Playful and pretty, these individual Fox Masks made from Liberty cotton are hand stitched in Paris by Etsy seller Lucille Michieli; $52.87.

    world wall cork board from ANthropologie, Remodelista

    Above: Help your children learn their place in the world. Both decoration and teaching tool, this Corkboard Map from Anthropologie is the perfect place to pin travel souvenirs; $48.

    ceramic dishes by Milimbo, Remodelista

    Above: From Limiceramics of Torres de la Alameda, Spain, the ceramic Trio design is a three-part storage container that can also be used individually as bowls and cups. Part of a series featuring the work of five different illustrators, it's available for $62.82 from Limiceramics' Etsy shop.

    Ouef tree swing, Remodelista

    Above: Big swing sets with all the bells and whistles may be irresistible, but all you really need is a disc on a rope, such as The Original Tree Swing from Oeuf, $55. My own children spend hours on theirs; they love it because it not only goes back and forth, but round and round.

    dino by Poosac, Remodelista

    Above: I had the hardest time choosing which of the witty stuffed animals by Poosac to single out. Handmade in Edinburgh, Scotland, and available via Poosac's Etsy shop for $41-$66, they all have such personality. Shown here, the Plush Dinosaur made of poly-filled linen and felt, $53.89.

    Big Tilt by Ply Play Designs, Remodelista

    Above: A modern see saw inspired by the iconic Creative Playthings Hobby Horse, Ply Play's Big Tilt is handmade in St. Louis, MO, of sustainable bent birch plywood and holds four; $800. The Mini Tilt for two is $400. 

    Looking for more play equipment? See 15 Radical Kids' Climbing and Sliding Spaces. And don't miss our past posts on Children's Room designs.


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    Are you social media savvy? Can you converse on multiple channels and engage in lively repartée? Do you live in the SF Bay Area or in NYC and are you available to freelance for 20 to 30 hours per week for us (both Remodelista and Gardenista)? If so, we want to hear from you. Please email the following to edit(at)remodelista(dot)com:

    • Your résumé
    • A short note about yourself and why you should be part of our team
    • A link to a Pinterest board of at least 20 images that will give us a sense of your aesthetic (please select images from sites beyond Remodelista.com and Gardenista.com)
    • Include "Social Media Manager: <your name>" as the subject heading

    N.B.: Please note that while we will not be able to respond to every applicant, we are reading and have received your information.

    Remodelista Desk, Social Media

    Above: A typical Remodelista's desk tends to be more of a makeshift workspace. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker's camera.


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    Kitchen cabinets play a leading role in determining the look, feel, and functionality of your kitchen. If you're thinking of remodeling or are building a house from the ground up, no doubt you've got kitchen storage on your mind. As an architect who's navigated the process for clients and my own family, I always begin by asking these five questions:

    1. Are you after a Ford Escort or a Rolls Royce?

    Purchasing kitchen cabinets is something like buying a car: when it comes down to it, an economy sedan does the same job as a limo. In other words, there's a big world of good options. Start by thinking about the job you want your cabinets to perform, what you envision them looking like, and how much of your budget you're willing to spend on storage (maybe professional-grade appliances are more important to you, for instance). From readymade to custom, all kitchen cabinet begin as boxes kitted out with shelves or drawers and fronts. It’s the craftsmanship, materials, hardware, design details, and level of customization that accounts for all the differences.

    Platt Dana Architects, White Bulthaupt Kitchen in Architect Is In | Remodelista

    Above: The Rolls Royce of cabinetry: In this Manhattan kitchen, Platt Dana Architecture (members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory) used semi-customized kitchen cabinets from high-end German company Bulthaup. Photograph by Ty Cole.

    2. What are the basic cabinet types?

    There are three basic cabinet types: in-stock, semi-custom, and custom. While in-stock and semi-custom cabinets are pre-fabricated, custom cabinets are entirely built to your specifications.

    In-stock cabinets:

    The most economical choice, and the Ford Escort of the cabinet world, in-stock cabinets average $75 to $400 per linear foot. Pre-made (and often pre-finished), they're sold off the shelf in standardized sizes at home centers like Home Depot and Lowes and by online suppliers. Most require little more than installation (by you or someone you hire)—though some, such as Ikea's popular options, come flat packed and need to be assembled. Pre-made cabinet measurements range from 12 to 36 inches wide (changing in 3-inch increments) and make use of infill panels to cover up gaps. Counter heights are the industry standard 36 inches tall.

    Studio One, black Ikea kitchen cabinets, SF | Remodelista

    Above: In-stock, pre-made Ikea Cabinets in a kitchen by Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Lisa Collins of Studio One|San Francisco Interiors & Design. Photograph by Mark Adams.

    Semi-custom cabinets:

    Averaging $150 to $900 per linear foot, semi-custom cabinets are selected from existing designs and pre-fabricated off-site in standardized sizes, but with many more options in terms of sizing, styles, materials, and finishes. Outfits that offer customizable designs generally provide crucial assistance from in-house kitchen designers and installers. This level of services comes at a price, however: the fabrication of your kitchen doesn't begin until plans are finalized and drawings are approved, meaning a long lead time (and longer still if you're working with an overseas manufacturer). From approval of shop drawings to delivery, it can take up to 12 to 14 weeks. Manufacturers worth exploring: Henrybuilt of Seattle and UK-based Plain English, luxury kitchen makers who have developed lower-priced lines. And, at the highly engineered, luxury end, check out Bulthaup, a German company with US showrooms, and Boffi, an Italian line with a highly refined aesthetic.

    British Standard, multi colored cabinets, Hoxton Showroom | London

    Above: Semi-custom cabinets from UK kitchen designer Plain English's British Standard line: cabinets are pre-made and delivered primed and ready to be painted any color. For more on British Standard, see A Kitchen for the People, Courtesy of Prince Charles.

    Custom cabinets:

    Like having a suit tailored to your measurements, working with a local cabinet fabricator has many advantages (you can spec odd-sized cabinets to work with your room dimensions, for instance). The finished results average $500 to $1,400 per linear foot. Depending on the materials, finishes, and hardware you choose, costs need not be prohibitive, and average lead times of 6 to 8 weeks are considerably less than the wait for semi-custom cabinets. Plus, you can check on progress and make minor adjustments along the way.

    O'neill Rose Architects, white kitchen cabinets in West Side Townhouse NY | Remodelista

    Above: Customized cabinets run along the length of the kitchen area, and make the most of the room's available height, in a New York townhouse designed by O'Neill Rose Architects. Photograph by Michael Moran.

    3. How do I calculate the costs?

    With cabinet prices ranging from $75 to $1,400 per linear foot, it's imperative that you scope your project wisely. Determine your guideline budget by measuring how many linear feet of cabinets you need (both above and below the counter). If you're remodeling an existing kitchen, you can do this to scale with a tape measure. If you're working on a new design, you'll need to use a scale ruler—and will probably want to enlist the help of an architect or kitchen designer. Multiply your number of linear feet by the quoted cost per linear foot, and you'll quickly arrive at your answer. 

    Abby Campbell kitchen with Plain English cabinets | Remodelista

    Above: London photographer Abi Campbell was on a limited budget when she designed her kitchen but knew she wanted Plain English's top-of-the-line, semi-customizable cabinets. See how she managed her budget in Reader Reahab: A Photographer's Kitchen in London. Photograph by Matt Clayton.

    4. When do custom cabinets make sense?

    The bespoke approach is ideal for kitchens with specific requirements (in a room with an irregular floor plan, for instance, or with counter heights that differ from the standard). For my family's own recent kitchen remodel, which involved general contracting work to remove walls and rewire, my architect husband and I went with custom kitchen cabinets for reasons that came down to design, cost, and coordination. After researching various options, our builder found a cabinet maker who could give us exactly what we wanted at much less than semi-custom prices (for more, see Sleuthing for Space in My Kitchen).

    Ice blue kitchen cabinets,Ercol chair, London | Remodelista

    Above: I opted for customized cabinets in my own recently remodeled London kitchen. Because the room is open to our dining area, I wanted cabinets that don't shout "kitchen!"  Photograph by Kristin Perers.

    5. Built-in cabinets or open shelves? 

    Now that open-plan living and multi-functional rooms are becoming the norm, the kitchen with cabinets that run from wall to wall is no longer the gold standard. Like me, many people want their kitchens to blend into the surrounding decor. But while it may be tempting to do away with fitted cabinets altogether, they're valuable and efficient for storage, particularly if you have a small kitchen and a lot to pack into it. Instead of clearing the decks, find the balance that works for your needs. A popular compromise is to use fitted cabinets below the counter and open shelving above. But remember that what's in the open is on display—unlike what you tuck behind closed doors.

    Yellow kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances, small kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A combination of premade fitted cabinets below the counter and open shelving above the counter keeps this small kitchen by Brooklyn-based Loading Dock 5 Architecture from looking hemmed in, while still providing ample storage. See more in Architect Visit: Broome Street Loft. Photograph by Sophie Munro

    Ready to tackle more kitchen decisions? See Five Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Kitchen Countertops. And for more specifics on the subjects, check out our Remodeling 101 posts: Butcher Block CountertopsThe Intel on Black Marble Countertops, and A Marble Countertop Lookalike, Minus the Maintenance.


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