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    Wishing all our readers happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year from all of us at Remodelista. For a dose of holiday inspiration, here's a look at some of our favorite Christmas decor ideas.

    Christmas Tree Decor | Remodelista

    Above: A giant pine cutting from 5 Quick Fixes: Pine Branch Holiday Decor.

    Christmas Decor


    10 Favorites: Scandi Christmas Decorations

    Earthy Holiday Decor from LA

    5 Quick Fixes: Holiday String Light Decor

    DIY: Simple Advent Wreaths Made from Foraged Flora

    5 Favorites: Holiday Trees for Apartment Dwellers

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    Noticed lately: sheepskins, reindeer furs, even sheared mink (don't ask) in otherwise understated bedrooms. Here are 10 spaces we're swooning over.

    Above: Aerin Lauder's bedroom in Aspen, photographed by Francois Halard for Vogue. See the entire house here.

    Fur Bedspread Gold Mirror/Remodelista

    Above: A bedroom in Barcelona via Nuevo Estilo.


    Above: A Scandinavian bedroom via Stil Inspiration.

    Delfina Delettrez Bedroom/Remodelista

    Above: The Paris bedroom of Fendi fashion scion Delfina Delettrez features a fluffy fur bedspread; photo by Ditte Isager for Harpers Bazaar.

    Fritz Karch Fur Bedspread/Remodelista

    Above: The bedroom of architect David Mann and Martha Steward Living editor Fritz Karch and (see An Architect and a Collector at Home). Photograph by Michael Mundy of An Afternoon With.

    Gray Fur Bedspread Remodelista

    Above: A gray fur bedspread via Tutze.

    Above: A Swedish bedroom via Emma's Design Blogg, photographed by Kristofer Johnsson.

    Above: A bedroom in Marietta Beasley's Atlanta, Georgia, loft; via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.

    Above: An austere bedroom in Holland; see more at Designer Visit: Paula Leen Studio.


    Above: Black fur bedspread; with a black-painted Alvar Aalto stool as bedside table, in a Finnish house by Tuomas Tionen, photographed by Morten Holtum.

    Above: In the bedroom of Workstead founders Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler, a cowhide bed covering from Ikea adds an outdoorsy note to the sleeping space.

    Above: An entire wall painted in chalkboard paint in the bedroom of German fashion designer Hanne Graumann; image via Vosges Paris.

    Above: The guest house at Hourglass vineyards in the Napa Valley; photo by Mimi Giboin.

    Sprucing up your bedroom for the New Year? Have a look at our Bedroom photo gallery and browse our hundreds of Bedroom-related posts.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 5, 2013 as part of our On the Mountain issue.

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    We recently remodeled a house that had two fireplaces. To create a better architectural flow, we unfortunately had to put a sledge hammer to one of them (we debated this back and forth for weeks before execution). Here are five well-designed modernist options I'm considering for storing our firewood.

    Above: The Rustic Log Holder from Civico Quattro in Italy is a favorite; go to Civico Quattro for ordering information.

    Firewood Holder designed and made by Roy Hardin

    Above: The Firewood Holder designed and made by Roy Hardin; $350 from the New General Store.

    24 Inch Firewood Holder | Remodelista

    Above: The Firewood Loop Log Rack (24 inches in diameter) is $111.18 from In and Out Lifestyles.

    The Firewood Holder from Iron Design Company

    Above: The Firewood Holder from Iron Design Company; $360.

    Kanto Firewood Rack by Artek

    Above: The Kanto Firewood Rack by Artek is available in white, gray, red, and birch veneer; $200 from All Modern.

    Considering a wood stove? A new generation of designs offers high fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Have a look at 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Wood Stoves. Wondering about the best woods for a roaring fire? Don't miss Erin's Gardenista report: The 411 on Firewood.

    N.B: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 20, 2012 as part of our Winter Cabins issue. 

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    Six hundred miles north of Stockholm, on a remote hunting estate near Jarpen, Magnus Nilsson mans the kitchens at a restaurant straight out of ancient agrarian times.

    "We do things as they have always been done at Jämtland mountain farms," he says. "We follow seasonal variations and our existing traditions." Everything on the 12-course tasting menu at Faviken is made with just-foraged ingredients: local garden produce, locally raised meat, wild game, herbs, and mushrooms from the estate, cheese and other dairy from the surrounding region of Jämtland, and seafood from the neighboring region of Trøndelag, Norway. During the summer, the chefs build up their stores for the dark winter months: "We dry, salt, jelly, pickle, and bottle."

    N.B. If you're not planning a trip to the northern edges of Sweden anytime soon, Phaidon has just published Faviken, a cookbook by Nilsson. All photos via Faviken unless otherwise noted.

    Above: Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson in his trademark furs. Photo by Howard Sooley via Nowness.

    Above: The dining room accommodates just 12 diners.

    Above: Local scallops.

    Above: Dried bundled and jarred herbs function as decor.

    Above: A single log serves as a side table. . Photo by Howard Sooley via Nowness.

    Above: Scenes from the dining room; hanging cured meats add a medieval touch.

    Above: Illumination by fire: candles and a wood-burning stove.

    Above: Nilsson's furs, at the ready. Photo by Howard Sooley via Nowness.

    Above: Diners can opt to spend the night; snowy landscape and sauna included.

    Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson | Remodelista

    Above: Fäviken, by Magnus Nilsson, is $36.03 from Amazon. Photograph via Eater National.

    Taking a trip? Have a look at our City Guides to see all of the Remodelista recommended hotels, restaurants, and shops. A restaurant not to miss in Stockholm: Museet, A Modern Bistro that Doubles as a Museum.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 19, 2012 as part of our Winter Cabins issue.

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    Dating back to the 16th century, Huberhaus is a traditional alpine log dwelling located in the Upper Valais, an area noted for its skiing and mountain scenery (the Matterhorn included).

    This rustic house sat empty for 70 years before it was renovated; the owners preserved the original wood walls and floors and added modern touches (a state of the art kitchen, for instance). For more information, go to Urlaubsarchitektur, which also offers other architecturally worthy homes to rent in Europe.

    wood burning stove in rustic Swiss house

    Above: The wood-burning stove in the kitchen is the only source of heat in the house.

    Rustic Alpine house in Switzerland with timber walls

    Above: The dining room retains its original timber walls.

    Rustic Alpine house in Switzerland with modern red kitchen

    Above: A modern kitchen has been installed in a stonework setting. Rustic Alpine house in Switzerland with red kitchen

    Above: Double doors create an indoor/outdoor feel.

    Above: The living room is furnished with modern designs sourced in Switzerland.

    rustic wood stairs

    Above: A new metal stair rail has been artfully paired with the original wooden stairs.

    rustic wood bedrom in Switzerland

    Above: The original upstairs bedroom.

    Above; The bathroom is a modern addition to the rear of the building.

    Above: The house dates to the 16th century.

    Above: The Alpine view.

    Looking for more Swiss Finds? Take a look at the country's most coveted spa stay.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 2, 2013 as part of our On the Mountain issue.

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    Some of us at Remodelista (OK, all of us) are mildly obsessed with the Swiss cross motif; here are six ways to help you survive your next mountain holiday in style.

    Two Wood Log Bags made from Swiss Army Blankets from Des Alpes filled with logs

    Above: Dutch-born, Switzerland-based interior designer Mikee Westerling has made a career out of creating inventive pieces made with vintage Swiss Army blankets, such as these Wood Log Bags. Contact Westerling directly at Des Alpes for pricing and ordering information.

    Swiss Cross Red Metal Box | Remodelista

    Above: A Swiss Cross Medicine Box is an apt way to organize all your first aid medical supplies; $39.27 from Amazon (in the UK, it's £17.86 at Amazon UK).

    Above: A holiday in the mountains is not complete without the requisite Swiss Army Blanket; $298 from Sundance. Etsy seller Ode to June always has a few on offer as well.

    Above: Swiss Army blanket candleholder; contact Des Alpes for pricing and shipping information.

    Swiss Cross Red Touch Sigg bottle

    Above: Hydrate yourself in the dry mountain air with the Swiss Cross Red Touch Sigg Bottle; $23 from Swiss Made or £15.33 from Amazon UK.

    Einstein Theory; lip therapy

    Above: Einstein Lip Theory can go a long way to relieving those chapped lips; $1.75 from Simply Swiss or £4.18 from Amazon UK.

    Obsessed with the Swiss Cross like us? See our back posts on the Swiss Cross.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 6, 2013 as part of our On the Mountain week.

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    Shouldn't all houses have alcove beds for overflow guests and lazy afternoon reading? Here's a roundup of some favorites:

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: A niche bed via Designed for Life.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: A bedrooms from Invention: The Architecture of John B. Murray.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above L: An alcove bed via Greige. Above R: Pippi's built-in daybed on My Scandinavian Retreat.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: An alcove bed in Annabel's House in London.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: A Swedish bedroom, via My Scandinavian Retreat.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: A purple reading nook from interior designer Steven Gambrel.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: Built-in beds at the Grinda Wardshus in Sweden.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: The Scherer house in upstate New York, via Andrea Raisfeld Locations.

    Niche Bed Pine Remodelista

    Above: A wood paneled bed at the Manor House Stables in Lincolnshire via Elite Cottages.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: A painted panel bed photographed by Mary Beth Koeth via Desire to Inspire.

    Wooden Alcove Bedroom Roundup | Remodelista

    Above: A house on Shelter Island by Schappacher White (see the whole project at Architect Visit: Shelter Island House by Schappacher White).

    For more inspiration, have a look at all our posts on Beds, including Here Comes the Sun: 10 Bedrooms with Yellow Accents and our roundup of Favorite Mattress Toppers.  New sheets for the New Year? Go to 10 Easy Pieces: Simple White Sheets.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 12, 2011 as part of our Refining the Kitchen issue.

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    It makes sense, doesn't it, that the cleanliness-obsessed Swiss would produce the world's best-looking trash receptacle? And offer it in several guises (including a stool-height bin with a felted wool seat cushion).

    Founded in Zurich in 1928, Patent Ochsner is a household name in Switzerland. "The name is synonymous with waste disposal," the company says. "For decades, there was hardly a Swiss household that didn't have a stainless steel rubbish bin with the Swiss cross and the words Patent Ochsner embossed on the lid." Now, the company has launched a reedition of the iconic Ochsner bin, made from stainless steel; the larger size is available with a beech wood seat and felt cushion for instant seating.

    Patent Ochsner Bin Brush Remodelista

    Above: The Compact Bin with Sweep Set is made of rust-free stainless steel and certified FSC beech wood with a horsehair brush; SFR 278.

    Patent Ochsner Bin Remodelista

    Above: The lid is stamped with the Swiss cross symbol.

    Patent Ochsner Bin Red Felt Cushion Remodelista

    Above: Patent Ochsner Standard 37L Bin (SFR 258) with Felt Seat Cushion (SFR 44) and Beech Wood Seat (SFR 54).

    Patent Ochsner Dustpan Broom Set Remodelista

    Above: The Patent Ochsner stainless steel, beech wood, and horsehair Dustpan Set is SFR 45.

    Interested in more classic cleaning implements? Check out 10 Best Old-World Household Essentials.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 9, 2013 as part of our Get Organized issue.

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    Brücke 49 Hotel Pension, a modern-rustic guest house in the alpine spa town of Vals, is exactly where we'd like to be right now. Located in a 1902 house with four guest rooms, the B & B is the work of Ruth Kramer and Thomas Schacht, a Swiss-Danish couple who traded careers in Denmark—she as a designer, he as a business developer—for mountain village living. They restored and designed the place themselves: It's not fancy," they say, "just very personal with a lot of thought going into what we think will give you a cozy feeling." From what we've seen, they got that last part exactly right. For more information, go to Brücke 49 Hotel Pension.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: The century-old house is painted slate gray with white shutters. Vals is a historic Alpine village with a population of 950 (mostly farmers and craftspeople, say Ruth and Thomas). It's situated in the country's largest canton, Graubünden, not far from the borders of Austria and Italy, and has a five-lift ski resort and an extraordinary thermal hot springs resort, Therme Vals, designed by architect Peter Zumthor (day visitors welcome). Read about the spa in our post Poetry in Space: Vals Thermal Spa in Switzerland.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: We love the B & B's glossy black front door. The house had been damaged by a fire before Ruth and Thomas took over; they've resuscitated every inch of it.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: Vals is famous for its limestone, and the entrance of the house has its original, locally quarried stone floor and stairs. The couple painted the walls in a charcoal gray that carries over from the exterior. We like the way they paired it with doors in a soft brown. The side chair was in the house when they bought it, and is emblematic of the way Ruth and Thomas introduced a mix of old and new: they upholstered the seat in a Paul Smith stripe from Kvadrat.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: All of the floors in the house, including the living room, shown here, are original wide-plank pine—"long, massive planks that came from the local woods." The couple added new panels to the walls in the old style. The rug-free room is furnished with Danish clasics, including a 1940s armchair by Finn Juhl.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: Guests are not only welcome in the stainless-steel-appointed kitchen but encouraged to cook if inclined. Note the apples stored in a wooden crate on the floor.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: A guest room under the eaves. The B & B sleeps a maximum of 10 people.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above L: A turn-of-the-century doorknob with its original key. Above R: A bentwood chair hung on a peg rack in a bedroom.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: A patchwork-upholsted vintage Danish chair in a guest room.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: A case for the (nearly) all-white bathroom.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: A montage of Brücke 49 details: including tasseled towels designed by Ruth and made for the B & B by a friend in Turkey, a Royal Copehagen mug, and a window railing—"a little bent and bitten by time."

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: Breakfast at Brücke 49 is served on Royal Copenhagen's hand-painted Multi-Colored Elements porcelain. Yes, that's the B & B's signature homemade bread and muesli with yogurt and fresh fruit. 

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: An alpine arrangement that we plan to replicate.

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: The 1902 knob on a bathroom window. The couple went to enormous trouble to restore the house's details—though this closure is original, "the rest is handmade new" to fit it, explains Thomas, and includes old handblown glass "which makes looking through the windows a little unsharp."

    Brucke 49 guest house Vals Switzerland | Remodelista

    Above: Folding wooden chairs for taking in the mountain air year round. For rates and reservations, go to Brücke 49 Hotel Pension.

    For more design and travel inspiration, browse our posts on standout lodgings around the world. And don't miss, For Rent: A Ski Cabin by Peter Zumthor, World-Renowned Swiss Architect.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 15, 2013 as part of our Under the Covers issue.

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    Is it just us, or does this waldhaus (weekend house) in the middle of the Brandenburg Forest in Leipzig remind you of a bespoke jacket—perfectly proportioned, exquisitely detailed, and thoughtfully executed?

    With a limited palette of only three shades—white, black, and natural wood—German architecture firm Atelier St has created a weekend retreat that feels as timeless as it does modern. Its traditional flared pitched roof and dark wood exterior lends the feeling that the house has been in the forest forever. A few extra-wide-set wall openings, however, reveal the modern sensibility of the architects, Silvia Schellenberg Thaut and Sebastian Thaut, both graduates of Zwickau WH. The way the piping of a jacket matches its lining; we are especially drawn to the way the white of the interior spills out to the exterior as the trim of the window openings.


    Above: The treated pine cabinets of the kitchen units introduce the third color of the black and white palette, which appears modern in this context.


    Above: The treated pine from the kitchen becomes the frame of the interior opening.


    Above: All the surfaces of the living area are painted white. A ladder reaches up to an open attic space that acts as a study.


    Above: A wood-burning stove provides heat for the small cottage.


    Above: Below the pine opening, a lower opening is lined with pine and serves as a bookshelf.

    waldhaus-by-atelier-st-in-leipzig-treated pine

    Above: The treated pine becomes an accent in the bathroom.


    Above: The architects continue to play with the lining of surfaces and edges as the shower tiles spill out to line the frame of the opening.

    waldhaus-by-atelier-st-in-leipzig-dark-wood-exterior-painted-white trim

    Above: The exterior of the Waldhaus reveals only two of the three colors used for this house: the dark wood clapboards and the painted white trim. The extra wide opening adds a modern touch to a traditional form.

    Interested in looking at more cabins and cottages? Browse our photo gallery of Rustic Interiors and our collection of Cabins & Cottages posts.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 4, 2012 as part of our Beyond Bauhaus issue.

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    In my house, the prospect of the smoke alarm going off is almost as terrifying as the idea of an actual fire. It's the devastating scream of the contraption that I fear (along with my likely inability to silence it without grabbing the batteries). As for our carbon monoxide detector, it has yet to sound, but after a near-death experience during a weekend in an old house with a furnace that wasn't venting properly, I am ready to own the most state-of-the-art version. Enter the new Nest Protect, a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector that aims to right all of the wrongs of its competition—looks included. Its motto: "Safety shouldn't be annoying."

    Nest Smoke Detector Remodelista

     Above: Nest Protect is the latest product from Nest Labs, a company founded by former iPod chief Tony Fadell that's devoted to reinventing "unloved but important home products." 

    Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Remodelista

    Above: The Nest Protect comes in black (available only from Nest) or white (available from Apple, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon), and retails for $129—approximately four times the cost of most high-end smoke detector/carbon monoxide alarm combinations, but initial reviews say it's worth it. It's available in two versions, wired (120V) and battery powered. 

    Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm via Remodelista

    Above: Before its alarm sounds, the Nest Protect placidly speaks in a woman's voice, warning you that your house may be in danger and what the problem is. If you happen to have just blown out a bunch of birthday candles or torched a roast, you can silence the contraption with the wave of a hand. 

    Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Remodelista

    Above: The Nest Protect can be connected to your phone or tablet. It will send notices if the alarm has gone off or the batteries are running low. And should you also own a Nest thermostat, the detector will communicate with it—alerting it, for instance, to turn off the gas furnace if the carbon monoxide alarm sounds.

    Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Remodelista

    Above: When the lights are switched off at night, the Nest Protect momentarily glows green (a sign that it's fully functioning). It also has "activity sensors" that act something like a motion-sensitive night light: in the dark, if you walk under the alarm, the light comes on to guide your way. 

    For more details, go to Nest.

    To read about Nest's other invention, see Fixtures and Fittings: the Nest Learning Thermostat and Design Sleuth: the Nest Learning Thermostat.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 16, 2013 as part of our Handyman Special issue.

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    Around this time of year, when my sisters and I migrate home for the holidays, we become what my dad calls "fire gloms." We can't help it. My parents' house is never exactly toasty, and the roaring fire in the kitchen fireplace is the perfect spot for gathering. Enter the house during the winter and you'll no doubt see all four of us lined up, bums toward the fire. 

    Of course someone needs to keep the fire roaring, so a few years ago I generously gave my dad a log carrier to help him with the task.

    Here's a roundup of ten firewood log carriers, perfect for toting logs from woodshed to fireplace without snagging sweaters or mussing rugs in the process.

    Above: This is the Log Carrier I gave to my parents a few years ago. It's 19.5 inches wide by 43.5 inches long and made from twill and bridle leather; $80 from Filson.

    Above: The Steele Canvas Log Carrier is striking in black canvas with contrasting deerskin straps, 22.5 inches wide by 35.5 inches long; $98 from Kaufmann Mercantile.

    Above: The Shanty Man Log Carrier is made of waxed canvas and leather straps from dead stock WWII leather gun slings. Brass grommets lend an extra layer of support; 18 inches wide by 38 inches long and $115 from Peg & Awl. 

    Above: The Firewood Log Carrier is made from canvas and leather with wooden dowel handles. It measures 19.75 inches wide by 45.5 inches long; $105 from Vermont Farm Table.

    Above: The leather and canvas Firewood Sling is 21 inches wide and 52 inches wide and is $85 from Frost River. A less expensive alternative, the Log Carrier, is 18 inches wide by 56 inches long and is made from waxed canvas and wooden dowels; $60.

    Above: It might be cheating to put up a vintage carrier, but I couldn't help myself. This Vintage Suede Ombré Wood Carrier Tote made from suede with wooden dowels for support is $42 from Ethan Ollie.

    Above: I'm a big fan of Beckel Canvas tents and duffels, so no surprise that I love the classic canvas look of this Log Carrier made from 20-ounce canvas duck with 2-inch cotton webbing wrap; $28 from Beckel Canvas. 

    Above: The Canvas Firewood Tote is made from 18-ounce canvas and polypropylene and cotton webbing that's been triple-stitched for strength; $60 from Patzbag.

    Above: The Easy Tote Firewood Carrier made on Vashon Island, Washington, uses a one-strap and handle construction so the sling can be worn over one shoulder while being loaded. Made from canvas, nylon webbing straps, and wooden dowels; $35 from Shangobrand.

    Above: The Carrier Company offers an all-jute Log Carrier that measures 52 by 95 centimeters; £29.50.

    Have a lighter load to carry? See A Bag for Kindling. And for fireside log storage, don't miss 5 Favorites: Firewood Holders.

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    We like this concept: oversized lanterns with rustic raw linen shades, spotted in an Italian interior designed by Orietta Marcon.

    The Lampade Bigger by Vicenza-based Orietta Marcon of Oggetti measures about 20 to 24 inches in diameter and is made from hand-finished linen fabric. Interested in something similar as a DIY project? See our sources and instructions below for making a 20-inch-sized lamp.

    DIY rustic linen lampshades by Oggetti in Italy

    Above: Marcon's installation in an open stairwell. See more of her work at Designer Visit: Civico Quattro in Vicenze.

    DIY linen lampshades lit in hallway by Oggetti in Italy

    Above: The natural linen filters bright light from naked pendant bulbs.

    DIY linen lampshade detail project

    Above: Imperfections are welcome; note the slightly lopsided hem.

    Rustic linen lampshade by Oggetti in Italy

    Above: Detail of the red hem on the Lampade Bigger shown with a painted iron base.

    Here's What You'll Need:


    • Cut the length of wire to 60 inches, make a circle by overlapping the ends just a bit and taping them together (you can use electrical, floral, or duct tape for this).
    • From your 2 yards of linen, you'll need about 64 inches: 60 to 61 inches to cover the circumference, and 2 to 3 inches for a healthy seam allowance. Moving slowly around the wire, hand-stitch the fabric until the two ends meet up.
    • Using a sewing machine and the red thread, sew the hem down the side (you can even go with a French seam if you're savvy with sewing), leaving about an inch open at the bottom for a little movement. Then finish the bottom of your fabric with another red hem.
    • Center your pendant cord (Ikea's has instructions for proper centering) and tie your string from the cord through the diameter of the circle, attaching on both sides. Hang the cord from a ceiling hook or as desired.

    For more DIY fabric light fixtures, go to Julie's roundup of Camouflage for Unsightly Lights. Also don't miss Izabella's recent DIY: Pendant Lights Made From Drinking Straws (for Less Than $20).

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 14, 2013 as part of our Roman Holiday issue.

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    We love a rebel with a cause: In this case, the rebel is German designer-turned-chef Laurin Hackney, and his cause is bringing random people together over a home-cooked meal.

    Hackney, along with furniture designer Travis Broussard, began serving drinks and small meals at a rogue daytime cafe in Berlin inspired by the leisure of a beer garden. When patrons began asking for evening meals, their higher calling—The Parlour Dinners—was born.

    Soon, Hackney found a prewar apartment in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin and began inviting 30 guests into his living room every Thursday night. At first, the dinners were comprised of friends, then friends of friends, and eventually the evenings featured his desired motley crew. Guests sit on furniture designed by Broussard, at places set by Hackney's girlfriend, and dine on food prepared by Hackney himself. But The Parlour is not a place for avant-garde cooking. "I’m not a professional chef, so I’m not interested in serving something people have never seen before. In fact, I prefer to make something they have eaten at least once in their lives and can easily relate to." The Parlour is filled with Broussard's rustic, conceptual furniture designs, all of which are for sale. At dinners, he commonly takes orders for lamps, tables, and art installations.

    Of course, supper clubs like Hackney's are not always fully legal, and The Parlour Dinners has had its detractors. After a year in the Berlin flat, The Parlour Dinners had been forced to move. Hackney has yet to resume the supper club, but says, "Thanks to you for celebrating with us, dining with us, for lovely discussions and cheering times. Signed, The Parlour Dinners—Still Cooking for Love!!!"

    Photography by Ailine Liefeld and via Bettery Magazine.

    Chef of The Parlour Dinner in Repose, Remodelista

    Above: Amateur chef and rogue restaurateur Laurin Hackney.

    Dining Room at The Parlour Dinners, Remodelista

    Above: The Parlour Dinners supper club in a prewar apartment in Berlin.

    The Parlour Dinners Dining Room with Lantern Pendant Lights, Remodelista

    Above: One of Hackney's biggest joys is watching diners become friends; in a small, intimate setting, he says, "You're forced to talk to strangers whether you like it or not."  

    Simple Purple Flowers in Glass Jar Vase, Remodelista

    Above: A pallet wood table and glass jar vase play off the glamor of an antique brass candelabra.

    Pink Flowers in Simple Glass Vase, Remodelista

    Above: Furniture designer Travis Broussard uses the variation inherent in reclaimed materials to create a striped wood table.

    Arranging Flowers for Tablescapes, Remodelista

    Above: Hackney's girlfriend prepares flowers for the evening's simple tablescapes. 

    Simple Rustic Dining Room of The Parlour Dinners, Remodelista

    Above: The dining room functions as a showroom for Broussard's furniture—still available from Travis Broussard.

    Simple Rustic Place Setting with Dish Towel and Wood Charger, Remodelista

    Above: The simplest table settings often achieve more than their fancier counterparts.

    Stack of Wood Cutting Boards and Kitchen Towels at The Parlour Dinners, Remodelista

    Above: Wood cheese boards serve as chargers and kitchen towels as napkins. 

    Ceramic White and Blue Food Storage Jars, Remodelista

    Above: Blue and white ceramic jars hold noodles and rice. 

    Magnetic Knife Rack Holding Pot Lids, Remodelista

    Above: A clever dual use for a magnetic knife rack; pot lids are always within easy reach. 

    Rustic Swag and Bread at The Parlour Dinners, Remodelista

    Above: A swag of dried flowers and wheel of bread are among the rustic decorations. 

    Simple Wood Dining Table with Black Industrial Pendant, Remodelista

    Above: During the rest of the week, the space functions as Hackney's home and a sometime gallery and event space.

    Visit another striking setting that doubles as a supper club in Alice in Wonderland in Australia. Heading to Berlin? Have a look at our hotel, restaurant, and shop recommendations in our Berlin City Guide.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 3, 2012 as part of our Renovation and Reclamation issue.

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    2014 is almost here—stay tuned for champagne buckets and glasses this week. Meanwhile, pour a sparkling drink and take inspiration from what's been grabbing attention around the web.

    Dimore Studio Milano Solferino | Remodelista

    Above: Alexa can't get enough of Dimore Studio's design at Milano Solferino.

    Did you see Julie's Q & A with Washington Post Home Front readers?

    Winter Ilex Berries from Justine Hand's Blog, Design Skool | Remodelista

    Above: Justine has been admiring bright winter ilex berries near her home via her blog Design Skool.

    Highlights of 2013's best designer dwellings via Curbed National.

    Christina-Kim-Hermes-Tokyo-windows | Remodelista

    Above: Margot has been studying Snow Country, the indoor blizzard that LA artist Christina Kim of Dosa spent weeks creating in the Hermès flagship in Tokyo designed by Renzo Piano. Kim used recycled fabric scraps and reflective iridescent window linings to evoke a flurry of snowflakes—or are they cherry blossoms?

    Speaking of wintery weather, now is the time to rediscover ice skating: for those living near Brooklyn's Prospect Park, indoor-outdoor skating pavilions designed Todd Williams and Billie Tsien have just opened, via Brownstoner.

    Bassam Fellows Furniture from Dering Hall | Remodelista

    Above: Having a look at the Bassam Fellows furniture showcased on Dering Hall.

    Many of us have energy efficiency on our minds when it comes to New Year's resolutions; here are three alternatives to traditional incandescent light bulbs via Real Simple.

    Khaki Heavy Weight Linen Throw from Spartan | Remodelista

    Above: Sarah likes this Caroline Z Hurley Khaki Heavy Weight Linen Throw available at Spartan in Austin, Texas.

    Lendager Arkitekter's Upcycled House | Remodelista

    Above: Impressed by Lendager Arkitektur's Upcycled House made entirely from recycled materials. Shown here, a room with walls and floors of OSB panels composed of pressed wood chips from construction sites, via Inhabitat.

    Viewing Southern Living Magazine's archive of decorating videos for storage tips in the laundry room and more.

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    Chad Oppenheim of Miami firm Oppenheim Architecture took a 1971 Aspen ski chalet with period interiors (read: nightmare) and did the seemingly impossible: turned it into an of-the-moment eco-chic retreat with a distinctly Axel Vervoodt vibe.

    Located in the enclave of Red Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, the ski chalet is "an homage to the Japanese sensibility of wabi sabi," according to Oppenheim. "The house is clad in reclaimed regional wood, stone, and steel, with the intention of making a minimal impact on the natural resources and merge effortlessly with its surroundings of forest, stream, and mountain. Solar collectors provide needed energy for power and hot water, while extremely large operable panels of insulated glass blur the boundaries between inside and out."

    Photographs by Laziz Hamani, via Arch Daily, unless otherwise noted.

    Above: A pair of Charlotte sofas by Verellen are slipcovered in gray linen.

    Above: A series of grays intersect in the living room. The moss vertical frame is from JF Chen in Los Angeles.

    Above L: A reading chair is draped in fur. Above R: A study in textures: moss art, antique oak dining table, and leather banquette.

    Above: Even the kitchen is completely clad in reclaimed barn wood.

    Above L: Oppenheim keeps the detailing simple. Above R: A dramatically positioned bathtub. 

    Above: A bed carved into a wall.

    Above L: A reclaimed barn wood console with stone sink. Above R: Mismatched reclaimed wood creates a headboard effect. Photos by Robert Reck for the NY Times.

    Above: In the library, a pair of metal chairs serve as desk seating.

    Above: A lounging area with linen-covered sectional sofa.

    Above: Raw steel doors close off the fireplace when it's not in use.

    Above: A simple rectangular hot tub is cut into the stone patio.

    Above: Oppenheim wanted the house to disappear into the landscape. To see more, go to Oppenheim Architecture.

    And for more Rocky Mountain inspiration, have a look at our Architect Visit: John Pawson in Telluride. Are you as enchanted by cozy winter bedrooms as we are? Don't miss: 10 Space-Saving Ski Cabin Bunks.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 8, 2012 as part of our North by Northwest issue.

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    If the magical wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were to go modern, it might look something like this holiday retreat in the Italian alpine village of Madesimo.

    While alpine conditions are conducive to small and cozy living, Italian architect Enrico Scaramellini's insertion of a finely crafted, narrow wooden box (380 square feet) between two existing farm buildings is so small and cozy, it could actually be mistaken for a wardrobe. And with the omnipresent wintry landscape, who knows? This could be Narnia.

    Photography by Marcello Mariana via This Is Paper.

    A wooden door opens out to a wintry alpine landscape

    Above: A view out into the wintry alpine landscape.

    Gray wood modern facade between a rural stone and gray stucco building with snow on the roof

    Above: Scaramellini used silver-gray paints to echo the existing aged and weathered wood of the surrounding rural buildings.

    natural tones of the wood warm up the interior

    Above: The natural tones of the wood warm up the new construction.

    bedroom lined from floor to ceiling in wood

    Above: The scale and material of the wood-lined bedroom is similar to the inside of a cedar closet.

    vertical and horizontal grains of wood make an abstract composition

    Above: Scaramellini uses the vertical and horizontal grains of the wood to create abstract geometrical compositions.

    closed gray wooden doors

    Above: The wooden panels in their closed position.

    open gray wooden doors

    Above: The wooden panels offer different levels of transparency.

    morning view and evening view of the same house

    Above: The wooden panels open in the morning (L) and return to their closed position in the early evening (R).

    plan view illustrating narrow insertion

    Above: A plan of the ground and first floors illustrating the narrow insertion.

    Warm and cozy on your mind? See our photo gallery of Swiss design. Also don't miss, 12 Wood-Paneled Alcove Beds, Winter Edition.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 4, 2013 as part of our On the Mountain week.

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    Our favorite options for keeping your Champagne cold, no matter the occasion.

    bucky ice huzza

    Above: The nickel Bucky Ice Bucket from Paola C. is $275 from Huzza.

    Above: The Maison Martin Margiela Champagne Pail adds an industrial note; $530 from A+R.

    tina frey champagne bucket

    Above: Tina Frey's Resin Champagne Bucket with leather handles is $190 from Horne.

    Above: Designed by Ettore Sottsass for Alessi, the stainless steel Champagne Bucket is $257 at Amazon.

    Above: Stainless Steel Shiny Champagne Bucket with double wall insulation (stays cold inside, dry outside); $44.95 at CB2.

    Tom Dixon Hex Brass Champagne Bucket | Remodelista

    Above: Tom Dixon's Hex Champagne Bucket is made from solid copper with a hammered pattern; $235 from Matter.

    Crate & Barrel Gatsby Silver Champagne Bucket | Remodelista

    Above: From Crate & Barrel the Gatsby Champagne Cooler is made from stainless steel; $49.95.

    restoration hardware ice bucket

    Above: The Vintage Hotel Silver Champagne Bucket is $129 at Restoration Hardware.

    Octagon Insulated Champagne Bucket | Remodelista

    Above: Designed by Nick Munro, the Octagon Insulated Champagne Bucket is $199 from Horne.

    Crate & Barrel Orb Champagne Bucket | Remodelista

    Above: The Orb Champagne-Wine Bucket is made from stainless steel with a brushed silver plating and clear lacquer coating; $49.95 at Crate & Barrel.

    Above: Part of the silver-mirrored glasses line by London designer Michael Anastassiades, the Silvered Mirrored Ice Bucket is $240 from The Future Perfect (its also available for £122.50 directly from Michael Anastassiades). 

    Above: The stainless steel Contas Champagne Bucket is made in Germany; $133 at AllModern.

    Match champagne bucket

    Above: The pewter Italian Match Champagne Bucket; $470 from the Silver Gallery.

    A fishing bait bucket as a Champagne cooler? Have a look at our post: Holiday Cocktail Party in Pope Valley, CA. Stay tuned for our favorite Champagne flutes. 

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 23, 2009 as part of our Textiles & Textures issue.

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    I'll never forget the day my floors were sanded during our months-long (and torturous) remodel. As I walked into the living room, my contractor presented his labor of love: pink-hued oak floors. With a sweep of the hand, he said, "How do you like your new floors?" I replied, "They're red!" I’m not sure if he detected the disappointment in my voice, but he said, “Of course, that's because they're red oak.”

    At this point, my floor contractor realized he wasn't dealing with a typical client. To resolve the "red" problem, he suggested a range of dark stains: ebony, walnut, and chestnut, which are commonly used on red oak flooring. None of the above reflected my vision; I was adamant that I wanted an all white house with white floors and I was prepared to go to battle for them. But according to my contractor, if we whitewashed the floors we would risk producing an even more pastel pink floor.

    "Have you ever bleached floors before?" I asked (in my research on creating whitewashed Scandi floors, I had discovered designer Betsy Brown's foolproof Recipe for creating white wood floors).

    The contractor looked at me bemused, and after a pause informed me of potential damage to the fibers of the wood caused by the bleach. Apparently, I was asking him to break a sacred oath of the wood finisher’s union. He also made it very clear we would be entering into a contract from this point forward, without the standard "satisfaction guarantee." We were past the point of no return.

    I handed him a printout of the instructions, which called for a tedious process of bleaching the floors (twice), mixing a stain, and finishing with three layers of water-based poly (oil-based polys can turn amber over time). He also needed to lightly sand in between the first and second poly layer—oh, and factor in endless hours of drying time in between each layer.

    Interested in how the project turned out? Read on.

    Above: My dream white-bleached floors realized; for step-by-step instructions, go to How to Create a Whitewashed Scandi Floor.

    Sanded Red Oak Flooring, Remodelista

    Above: About 70 percent of our floors were old, and in the other areas, new floor boards were added to match the old floors. This image shows an old bedroom floor completely sanded. We added a small patch of clear poly to see how the old floor would look with a clear coat; I was shocked to see how the finish intensified the pink color.

    Bleached Floor Boards, Remodelista

    Above: The floor contractor patiently bleached a series of sample red oak floor boards to see what the floor would look like with three different stains: white, gray, and clear.

    Bleached Floor Boards, Remodelista

    Above: These test boards were bleached twice. When I saw this, I knew there was hope.

    Bleach Process Applied Twice to Floors, Remodelista

    Above: The floors after two rounds of wood bleach. You can still see a hint of redness. We ended up bleaching the floors three times to get the look we wanted. After the bleach dried, our contractor applied a Duraseal Country White stain to the old floors (leaving the new floors without the white stain). This process gave us the best matching result between new and old. A sealer was applied to keep the wood bleach from changing the color of the floor after the process was completed (apparently, without the sealer the bleach can cause the wood to change colors), and finally, two coats of Zenith Matte Waterborne Polyurethane Finish (for commercial use). My husband was relieved when we discovered this is the same product used on basketball courts (needless to say, our floors are child proof).

    Looking to add a little remodeling stress to your life? Get advice from our Remodeling 101 posts, including Five Things to Know About Radiant Heat Flooring. Considering bleached wood floors? Have a look at World's Most Beautiful Wood Floors. And for more approaches to lightening wood floors, see our book Remodelista, A Manual for the Considered Home

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 13, 2013 as part of our Do-It-Yourself issue.

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  • 12/30/13--08:00: High/Low: Cocktail Shakers
  • Whenever we can get over to Bar Agricole in San Francisco, we find ourselves enamored with their stock of vintage cocktail shakers. Here are two current favorites, one high, one low (in price, at least).

    Alessi Avio Cocktail Shaker | Remodelista

    Above: Designed in 1957, the Avio Cocktail Shaker from Alessi is a modern classic still in production; $133 at Canoe in Portland, Oregon.

    Schott Zwiesel Bar Cocktail Shaker | Remodelista

    Above: The streamlined Schott Zwiesel Schumann Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker; $35 at Amazon.

    Planning a party? Have a look at our Cocktail Accessories posts. And don't miss our roundup of Gifts for the Host.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 1, 2010 as part of our Holiday Glamour issue.

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