Articles on this Page
- 01/09/14--08:00: _New Year Upgrades: ...
- 01/09/14--10:00: _A Seattle Oyster Ba...
- 01/09/14--12:00: _Modular Storage: Cl...
- 01/10/14--02:00: _Rare Fruit: Design ...
- 01/10/14--04:00: _Cincinnati Storage,...
- 01/10/14--06:00: _Happy at Work: Tren...
- 01/10/14--10:00: _10 Ways to De-Clutt...
- 01/10/14--10:00: _Office Visit: Evern...
- 01/11/14--02:00: _Current Obsessions:...
- 01/11/14--04:00: _The Architect Is In...
- 01/13/14--02:00: _A Minimalist LA Jew...
- 01/13/14--04:00: _Turn on the Brights...
- 01/13/14--06:00: _DIY: Ceiling Medall...
- 01/13/14--08:00: _A Cut Above: Servin...
- 01/13/14--10:00: _A Small Shop with a...
- 01/14/14--02:00: _Steal This Look: Ac...
- 01/14/14--04:00: _Design Sleuth: 5 Ba...
- 01/14/14--06:00: _Small-Batch, Big-De...
- 01/14/14--09:30: _Remodeling 101: How...
- 01/14/14--10:00: _High/Low: Linen Pen...
- 01/09/14--08:00: New Year Upgrades: New Features for Remodelista Readers
- 01/09/14--10:00: A Seattle Oyster Bar on Wheels
- 01/09/14--12:00: Modular Storage: Clutter-Eliminating Solutions from Go-Organize
- 01/10/14--02:00: Rare Fruit: Design Distilled in Southern Germany
- 01/10/14--04:00: Cincinnati Storage, Golden Spikes Edition
- 01/10/14--06:00: Happy at Work: Trending on Gardenista
- 01/10/14--10:00: 10 Ways to De-Clutter Your Tech Experience
- 01/10/14--10:00: Office Visit: Evernote in Redwood CIty, CA
- 01/11/14--02:00: Current Obsessions: The Great Closet Cleanout
- 01/11/14--04:00: The Architect Is In: The Twice-Designed New York Loft
- 01/13/14--02:00: A Minimalist LA Jewelry Designer Goes Maximal
- 01/13/14--06:00: DIY: Ceiling Medallion from The Brick House
- 01/13/14--08:00: A Cut Above: Serving Pieces with a Star Following
- 01/13/14--10:00: A Small Shop with a Big Network: Chay in LA
- 01/14/14--02:00: Steal This Look: Ace Hotel in LA Bathroom
- 01/14/14--04:00: Design Sleuth: 5 Bathroom Mirrors with Shelves
- 01/14/14--06:00: Small-Batch, Big-Demand: Humble Ceramics of LA
- 01/14/14--09:30: Remodeling 101: How to Choose an Overhead Light Fixture
- 01/14/14--10:00: High/Low: Linen Pendant Shades
We're always looking for ways to make Remodelista easier to use. Towards that end, we've introduced three new features we want you to know about:
1. Browse Back Issues of Remodelista
Above: Every week we run a new issue of Remodelista, and you can now easily browse all our back issues, dating back to Remodelista's first posts in 2007. Navigate to back issues via the "Inspiration" tab at the top of any page, and click "Back Issues."
Above: Alternatively, click on any issue name throughout the site—for example, "New Beginnings," shown here—and to see more, choose "All Back Issues" at the top left of every issue's landing page.
Above: Remodelista issues are organized by theme and are a fun, targeted way to browse the site. See all Back Issues here.
2. Save and Bookmark Gallery Photos
Above: We've made it easy to save and bookmark photos from our vast Image Gallery. When you click to view any photo, you can then click to "See Image on Full Page."
Above: The image will open in a new window, allowing you to "Save As," bookmark or share the URL, or clip the image to Evernote or any other photo organizing tool you like to use. Get started in our Photo Gallery by browsing our galleries of Art in the Kitchen and Books on Display.
3. Receive Our Newsletter Daily Digest
Above: Newsletter subscribers now have the option of receiving a shorter Daily Digest version of our newsletter featuring teasers and links to each post without the entire post body pasted into your email.
Above: Update your preferences by scrolling to the bottom of any newsletter and clicking "Update Your Profile."
Above: Choose which version of the newsletter you'd like to receive—the Daily Digest, the full version, or both. Subscribe to our newsletter here. New subscribers will receive the Daily Digest version, but you can update your settings any time to receive either or all versions.
Have requests for future improvements? Fill us in in the comments section.
Above: Erickson enlisted a vintage 1960 Divco dairy van turned food truck, which appears at the Queen Anne Farmers Market and other locales around the city.
Above: The menu includes fried oysters, smoked trout salad, and celery soda.
Above: Making the rounds, cafe seating included.
Above: Seattle artist Curtis Steiner came up with the swirly scripted logo.
Our other favorite mobile cafe? Check out Pizza del Popolo (they sold out at our recent Remodelista Holiday Market at Heath Ceramics).
It's a new year, and time to finally get organized—do it while you still have the drive. Get started with modular, stackable storage furniture that you can easily customize as your needs and spaces change.
Go-Organize.com offers affordable, easy-to-assemble furniture designed to be used in personalized configurations. Go-Organize furniture is available in maple, espresso, and white finishes and regular shipping on all furniture is free.
Here, a few ideas to get your organizational juices flowing:
Above: Go-Organize offers modular, stackable Craft Storage solutions for keeping supplies findable and tidy, including a mobile Craft Center, shown at left, and a series of organizer cubes and desktop shelves, center, that can be combined to create work stations. Craft storage cubes are made of durable MDF in a painted finish.
Above: Home Organizing solutions include cabinets, modular cubes, shoe storage, and more. An online tool called Design Your Storage Unit helps you tailor a storage setup for your space. Go-Organize also offers a range of Bookcases and Multifunction Storage units, all made of veneered particle board.
Above: Modular Cubes are designed with flexibility in mind. Cubes are kitted out with shelves, drawers, and other organizational setups, and because each cube is the same size, it's easy to expand your configuration over time.
Philipp Mainzer, the founder of Frankfurt furniture company e15, does minimalist glamor well; we especially like his design for the Stählemühle Distillery in Southern Germany.
Located on an 18th-century steel mill estate in Eigeltingen, near Lake Constance, the distillery is owned by Christoph Keller, a former art publisher who became enchanted with the idea of creating spirits from an array of rare fruits: greengages, damsons, russet apples, and myrobalans. Mainzer overhauled the public spaces, using an artful mix of rustic and modern elements. To see more of his design work, go to Philipp Mainzer.
Photography by Ingmar Kurth for Philipp Mainzer.
Above: Designed by Hans De Pelsmacker for e15, Main, the Tafel Bench is $8,560 at Hive Modern. Mainzer used raw smoked oak flooring with a soap finish in the tasting room; the cast-iron stove is original to the building.
Above: The Habibi Tray from e15 is available in stainless, polished brass, or polished copper.
Above: In the tasting room, Mainzer used exposed concrete on the walls and ceiling and installed new asphalt flooring. The metal shelving is backlit with LED lighting, illuminating the blown-glass bottles filled with liquors. The TA01 Ponte table and the BE01 Calle benches from e15 add warmth to the otherwise austere space.
Above: The Stählemühle Distillery makes more than 70 varieties of brandies and other spirits using rare and obscure fruits.
Above: A cut-out light box in the hallway adds a sense of airiness to an otherwise narrow space.
Above: The pristine production areas feature highly polished custom distilling equipment.
Above: A view of the distillery entrance.
Location of Stählemühle in Germany:
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 4, 2012 as part of our Beyond Bauhaus week.
The son of an architect and an interior designer, John Dixon is a Cincinnati native who's helping to kickoff a design movement in his city. A furniture and homegoods designer with serious machinist skills, he worked in Paul Loebach's studio in Brooklyn before returning to Ohio. He now divides his days between the University of Cincinnati, where he's a professor of industrial design, and Losantiville, a design collective he co-founded in a 19th century beer ice house. Home to seven independent businesses that share equipment and a showroom, Losantiville is the base for Dixon's own Dixon Branded line. Check out his new line of wall hooks, entirely made by his own hand.
Above: The ash and brass Intersect Valet combines wall pegs and a small shelf that's perfect as a perch for a wallet, phone, pair of sunglasses, or mug. The design is 20 inches long and requires only two screws: the pegs are angled to secure it so that, as Dixon points out, "it maintains five contact points with the wall"; $148 from Dixon Branded.
Above: The Intersect Valet ships flat and includes the required wall anchors. It's available with the shelf on either the left (as shown) or right side.
Above: The Intersect Hook Rail is $120. The brass, which Dixon machines himself, will patina over time.
Above: The Intersect Hook is made of oiled ash and brass; $29. It's also available in dyed black ash and brass. Dixon's goods arrive hot off his workbench, and take about three weeks for delivery.
Above: Erin created a low-effort living wall; see DIY: A Living Wall for the Office, Lazy Person's Edition.
Above: Queens of all things houseplant, the experts at The Sill shared the down-low on the benefits of plants in the office along with their top recommendations for office-friendly specimens. Oh, and they have some suggestions for how to take care of those plants after they've made their way into the workplace. See Ask the Expert: 10 Tips for Office Plants.
Above: Michelle rounded up ten attractive humidifiers sized to sit on a desk. "Your droopy office plants will thank you too if you get the moisture level up," she says. See 10 Easy Pieces: Desktop Humidifiers.
Above: Justine dropped in on Oakland blogger-knitter-designer Emma Robertson and admired her way with houseplants: see Getting Creative with Plants at Emmadime's New Studio.
Above: Michelle challenged Justine to create a "non-tacky, non-cheesy" zen garden. Miracles do happen: see the results: DIY: A Desktop Zen Garden.
My desk at home is tidy: its surface is clean, drawers organized, plants watered. But my desktop, until recently, was a hodgepodge of image files and documents, cluttered folders, and forgotten emails. A change was needed and to kick off the year, I've cleaned up my act. You can, too. Here, 10 tips for streamlining your entire tech experience, laptop, tablet, and smartphone included.
Above: Minimalism achieved in the office of glass designer Ingegerd Råmen at her house in Sweden designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune.
1. Keep your desktop clear.
Whether digital or three dimensional, a cluttered desk is an impediment to clear thinking and getting work done. Delete downloads you no longer need, organize file systems, and devote time daily to clearing out the unnecessary. That includes emptying the trash.
2. Reap the benefits of a smart calendar.
Who needs a virtual assistant when you can use Tempo? This app connects to your calendar, your contacts, and even your email if you'd like. For a “breakfast, 9 am, Scott/IDEO” meeting, Tempo will pull up Scott’s contact information, IDEO company information, as well as any relevant emails or documents for your meeting. (It might even suggest the best pancake place in the area.) My husband, Jay, also swears by Google Now, which has similar knows-what-information-you-need-before-you-do capabilities. It pulls up our current flight information before we’ve even packed a carry-on.
Above: Kinfolk editor Nathan Williams' desktop computer at home along the Oregon coast via Hear Black.
3. Effectively manage your To Do’s.
In his book, Get Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, author, consultant, and international lecturer David Allen recommends taking your To Do’s out of your cluttered mind and writing them down, yes, but also: further breaking them down into Next Action lists. A single To Do, such as “set up meeting with IDEO,” actually involves several steps: find the contact, send invitation, decide where to meet, etc. There are a slew of task management apps— Evernote is one of the most popular; others include Things and Wunderlist—that will handle your lists in all of their parts. One important tip for email-based To Do’s: enter the action item (ie. call Julie Carlson) into your task management system of choice, and then delete the email.
4. Get a handle on your newsletters and junk mail, and bring your inbox down to (nearly) zero.
Now that you’ve cleared out your email-based To Do’s, your inbox is still cluttered. Why? Oh, right: your daughter’s school newsletter, plus sale notifications from the zillion places you shop online, and so on. The genius site unroll.me will manage all of your newsletters/subscriptions/invitations for you. When I logged in, I had (eek!) 354 subscriptions, most of which were junk. In one fell swoop I unsubscribed from 310 sites and “rolled up” the rest. Now, instead of receiving 44 emails scattershot throughout my day, I receive one “rolled up” email per day that includes all blasts from newsletters, digests, invitations, affinity groups, etc. Genius.
Above: The app Self Control allows you to keep out distractions.
5. Work sensibly and productively online.
It’s hard to concentrate when reading, socializing, and shopping are ever lurking, just one click away. Self Control lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. WasteNoTime is a browser extension (for Safari or Chrome) that will also give user-defined limited Internet access. The Time Quota feature, my personal favorite, blocks access to a site after you’ve reached your quota for the day. (Because really, do we need to spend more than ten minutes on Facebook?) The Internet-blocking productivity software Freedom (for Windows and Mac) will block your Internet access entirely for up to eight hours at a time.
6. Take frequent breaks.
As author and founder of The Energy Project, Tony Schwartz explains, the daily battle is not about time management but energy management. Our bodies (and brains) need us to work effectively and sustainably, not to log in extra hours confined to a seated-and-going-blind-from-the-glare position. One tool to this end: Timeout. This app will remind you to take periodic breaks (whether to rest your eyes, take a quick walk, realign your posture, or get in a few stretches). Customize the app as you like, and then on schedule your screen will start to slowly dim as your breather begins.
Above: Emma Persson Lagerberg's office via iDeasgn. See her kitchen in our post, Steal This Look: A Mint Green Kitchen from a Scandinavian Stylist.
7. Organize your files in the Cloud.
Keeping track of your files and making sure that everything is safely backed up is relatively pain free thanks to programs like SkyDrive, DropBox, and GoogleDrive. Personally, I use GoogleDrive for all of my files (giving me instant access from any browser) and DropBox for storing photos.
8. Streamline (and boost the security of) your passwords.
1password helps you to create strong, secure passwords for all of your accounts—and equally importantly remembers them for you. It can also safely store your credit card information, and stands ready to securely populate forms for you.
9. Consolidate apps on your tablet or phone.
Go through all of your apps and delete the ones you never use. I also suggest deleting the ones you do use but don’t actually need. I deleted my Facebook and Instagram apps—while they are good boredom-killers, I don’t need more time wasted on social media. Put your apps into category-based folders like travel, music, or food.
10. Expand your access.
LogMeIn allows you remote access to your desktop from anywhere. It's a lifesaver for those of us who have ever run out of the office for a meeting, only to find the very document you need is saved to your (now blessedly uncluttered) desktop.
Enhanced productivity through plants? Designed by San Francisco-based O + A, the Silicon Valley offices of Evernote feature an exuberant explosion of tillandsias against a white wall. That plus a work environment "attuned to informal collaboration, with a large communal dining room and plenty of spaces to promote casual interactions." We're guessing productivity is soaring.
Photos by Jasper Sanidad via O + A.
Above: In the reception area, tillandsias are arraying in a starburst formation against a white wall.
Above: Up close, you can see that individual tillandsias are mounted on metal plant holders. Each thigmotrope holds a single tillandsia. A steel plant hook that screws into a wall, a set of three Thigmotrope Satellites is $40 from Flora Grubb.
Above: "The strict budget and swift pace of construction helped determine the direction of the design," according to the designers. "In lieu of expensive interior branding, Evernote hired chalk artist Dana Tanamachi to draft a wall-sized representation of the company's identity."
Above: The designers clad the reception area in Douglas fir plywood panels: "the texture and grain of which provide their own graphic patterns."
Above: "Adding to the informality is our placement of a coffee bar at the reception station."
Above: In the large communal dining room, a mix of dining chairs adds to the ad hoc feel of the space.
Above: An industrial take on the chandelier: cluster lights with half chrome bulbs.
Want your own vertical garden of tillandsias? Gardenista recently visited Flora Grubb to get step-by-step instructions for design and installation. Wondering how to care for your tillandsias? See Gardening 101: How to Water an Air Plant.
What is it about the New Year that makes us want to clean out our closets, purge our pantries, winnow our wardrobes?
Francesca recently discovered Cuyana, a fashion company out of SF espousing the Lean Closet Movement. "Collect fewer, better things and donate the pieces in your wardrobe to those who need them." Shown above: Cuyana's Perfect Leather Tote, photo via Ann Street Studio.
Above: This elegant Walk-In Closet from Hosun Ching opens out into a mini-fitting room, complete with mirrors. Sold.
Julie's taking a look at Sofie D'Hoore's spring 2014 collection.
Built from plywood and fiberglass, Czech firm Mjölk Architekti's garden library is the ideal place to read in silence, via Architizer.
Finding a better way to vacuum thanks to Real Simple.
Over on Gardenista, Michelle and Erin discovered the world's prettiest plant stands from Ferm Living.
New Year's resolution: environmental responsibility at home, starting with these ideas for a green home remodel from Sunset Magazine.
Is Bouli Bar (from the team at Boulette's Larder) San Francisco's most serene, pared-down restaurant? Julie's voting yes after eating there last week. Interiors by Kallos Turin.
Liking this roundup of 10 lasting kitchen trends—from open shelving to brass and Ikea done well—from Centsational Girl.
Margot is intrigued by Bon Appetit's Food Lover's Cleanse and is thinking of jumping in.
Pantone's color of 2014, radiant orchid, is a bold color choice; Country Living shares tips on how to integrate it at home.
This week, Jeff Murphy and Mary Burnham of New York firm Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects talk about upgrading a New York loft they converted for the same clients 11 years ago. They're available for the next 48 hours to answer your questions, so ask away!
In 2003, the clients originally commissioned Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects (members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory) to combine two lofts into one. The result was an expansive 4,200-square-foot space that acted as a backdrop for the clients’ extensive art collection while offering unfettered views of the midtown skyline to the north and Wall Street to the south from the top (10th) floor of what had been a printing warehouse. At the time, the couple had recently had twins, and as the children have gotten older, the family felt ready to recast and update their setup a bit. “As architects, it is an unusual pleasure to have the opportunity to revisit a previous design with the same clients,” Murphy says. “Having been through a renovation together already, our relationship as architects and clients was familiar. It didn't take us long to settle on the right approach and to make the appropriate changes.”
Photography by Ty Cole.
Above: The second time around, the architects kept the general layout, but upgraded finishes and renovated the kitchen as well as all the bathrooms. "Our client has an aversion to wood and an attraction to stainless steel, making it an obvious finish choice in the kitchen," Burnham says.
Above: The glassware cabinet over the sink is clad in 5/16th inch sandblasted tempered glass. The clients' glassware collection creates a colorful backdrop.
Above: The stainless steel sink was welded to the counter and backsplash. The weld was then ground smooth and brushed integrating the sink into the unit. The architects used 16-gauge stainless steel sheets with a #4 brush finish. The grain runs vertically to match the refrigerator and wine cooler. While pleasing to the eye, brushed stainless steel with welded corners requires regular maintenance; the owners regularly apply an aerosol stainless-steel cleaner with a cotton cloth to keep the design clean and polished. "To address this issue, there is a chemical treatment that minimizes fingerprints, but it will change the hue of the stainless steel," Murphy says. "Alternatively, in the future, we would use a coarser brush finish."
Above: "The orange Poltrona Frau sofas and custom Tibetan silk rug in the living room were selected in response to the client's love of color," says Murphy.
Above: A view from the living area toward the master bedroom suite tucked behind translucent glazed doors. The floors are a white-washed oak with 4-inch wide planks.
Above: Beyond the internal stair that takes the family up to an outdoor space on the roof terrace is a dressing room. Instead of a railing that is required to highlight the level change, the architects designed a bench, which provides useful additional seating when the family entertain.
Above: The translucent wall of the dressing room is made of channel glass, an extruded structural glass product, and is lit from below with discrete LED lights installed flush in the floor and ceiling. At night the wall glows like a lantern and conducts light into the living room. Conversely, during daylight hours, the dressing room is flooded with natural light from the stairwell. The Keith Haring bench is part of the owners' art collection.
Above: The walls of the powder room are a combination of custom back-painted glass, mirror and stainless steel panels.
Above: In the loft's original layout, there was a closer connection between the adult and children's spaces. "As a natural evolution of family dynamics, we have created more private space that allows for a greater separation between adult and children's activities," Burham says. An example of this is the former children's game room; now an extension of the master bedroom suite, shown here, it takes full advantage of the views of the Empire State Building.
Above: A plan of the loft shows the office space next to the twins' bedrooms, which has become their new hangout room where they can watch television and socialize with friends.
Want to live in a loft but contrained by your architecture and budget? London architect Jennifer Beningfield offers some useful tips in Loft Living in a Victorian House. For inspiration, view our photo gallery of loft spaces.
LA jeweler Kathleen Whitaker recently invited us into her turn-of-the-century, wood-framed house in Echo Park; as longtime fans of her quiet eponymous jewelry line, we were curious to see how her understated aesthetic might play out in the home that she and her cinematographer husband, Bradford Whitaker, have remodeled by themselves over the last three years.
Instead of imposing a minimalist aesthetic on the 1909 house, the couple let the structure speak for itself by coaxing out its latent character, dormant since the 1960s when it was converted into three apartments. Strategic doorways were relocated to their original positions (restoring the original flow of the house in the process), original beadboard paneling was retained, and the Douglas fir floors were refurbished with a century's worth of wear and tear intact. And as the couple literally rebuilt their place by hand, they simultaneously renewed its Southern California spirit by filling it with expressive colors, lush and verdant houseplants, and the artwork and designs of their artist friends. "We chose saturated colors for the rooms because in an old house, color is more forgiving than white," says Kathleen. “I suppose my jewelry designs are the antithesis of the expression displayed here at home.”
Photography by Nancy Neil.
Above: On the front porch, the couple moved the front door back to its original location, so that visitors enter into the foyer instead of straight into the living room. Bradford then moved a window from another part of the house to replace the door. Working with color consultant Teresa Grow, they opted to paint the shingled exterior of the house in Milk Mustache from California paint company Dunn-Edwards, and the doors Farrow & Ball's Mahogany. "My husband is fond of saying, 'We needed to pay someone to tell us to paint the house white?' But, yes, we did," Kathleen says, " White can go very wrong."
Above: A former potter, Kathleen selected a pendant light by mid-century Californian ceramicist Stan Bitters for the entry; it came from Silverlake dealer Ten10. The relocated front door (just out of the picture frame on the right) restores the foyer as a place of welcome.
Above: The freshly painted living room, with Martha Stewart Living's Heavy Goose on the walls with Popcorn on the trim, provides a calm backdrop for the cool tones of the upholstery. Kathleen updated used and found furniture—the sofa is a Room & Board design purchased on Craigslist—with sapphire teal blue French cotton poplin and purple linen from Diamond Foam and Fabric. The African Aso Oke fabric pillows came from a textile dealer in the Rose Bowl Flea Market. The ceramic candle holder on the coffee table is by artist David Korty.
Above: June, the couple's rescued Terrier mix, soaks up the sun on the sofa.
Above: After Bradford gutted and dry walled the living room, he installed a walnut mantel over the fireplace. "I discovered that my husband could very easily make a living as a high end contractor," Kathleen says. "He spent his teen summers fixing up houses in Kentucky and knows how to do everything." Art on the new walls includes a vintage Belgian tapestry hung wrong side-out (for a preferred color palette), an oil painting over the mantel by Margaret Anne Smith (who works almost exclusively in Cobalt yellow), and a watercolor by Mike Mills aptly titled Bruises. A large Elephant Ear potted plant introduces an organic sculpture to the arrangement.
Above: In the open kitchen, the U-shaped layout of the cabinets separates the cooking area from the dining area.
Above: The couple kept the as-found kitchen (including the Wedgewood stove), but removed all of the upper cabinets to open up the space, and added a Copper Pot Rack from Old Dutch International.
Above: Kathleen and Bradford updated the existing kitchen cabinets by painting them in Avocado Peel from Martha Stewart Living and adding brass pulls and handles from Crown City Hardware. "Repainting the cabinets a dark green helped to warm up the existing Silestone quartz countertops," says Kathleen.
Above L: What was once an open sleeping porch was converted by the previous owners into a fully enclosed room, now the office and study. Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue paint was used to draw out the texture and character of the original beadboard paneling. Above R: When the couple began working on the room, there was only one opening which led to the living room.They soon discovered that a door to the kitchen had been closed off. They reinstated that and surrounded it with newly built bookshelves. "This room gets a lot of afternoon sun, so the plants are very happy here," Kathleen says. "Their greens and terra-cotta pots stand out from the deep green-blue of the wall." The folding rocking chair is from Costa Rica.
Above: A vintage Hermes scarf that came from an old family friend is framed as art; its colors are complemented by a Rieko Miyata Ribbon Project Bowl in the same fuchsia.
Above: A pendant light by Heather Levine hangs from the ceiling, and an outdoor café table with a marble top has been turned into a small writing desk. "I found the Thonet Chair under some things in the corner of an antiques shop in Summerland, near Santa Barbara," says Kathleen. "The shop owner didn't know she had it!"
Above: In the TV room, Bradford replaced a window with new French doors that open onto the back deck and lawn. The paint choice—Mossy Rock from Martha Stewart Living on the walls with Mahogany from Farrow & Ball on the door trim—heightens the indoor-outdoor effect. The couch from Room & Board was previously a divan. When Kathleen had it recovered in saffron yellow linen, she asked the upholsterer to build a back to make it more comfortable. The curtains are African Aso Oke fabric. The ceiling pendant is by Ramsey Conder and the pillow covers are hand-painted silk by British artist Rose de Borman. Kathleen rejuvenated an "end of the day" coffee table find from the Rose Bowl Flea Market with coat of lavender-rose spray paint.
Above: In her studio upstairs, Kathleen works on a large drafting table that she acquired from an animator. It has a slide-out leaf that provides two work surfaces when required. The Mexican hanging basket is from her friend Beatrice Valenzuela's new store in Echo Park. An old stool is freshened up with violet paint, while inspiration on the wall includes everything from old photos to fabric swatches.
Above: "My studio and our kitchen are where many hours are logged—both are places of creativity, design, and nourishment."
Above: The beadboard-paneled guest bedroom was most likely a sleeping porch like the office/study below. Remnants of turquoise paint on the antique iron bed frame work well with the painting by Margaret-Anne Smith.
Above: In the bathroom, the couple hung a wood-framed vintage mirror from the Rose Bowl Flea Market onto walls newly re-dry walled and painted Bonsai from Dunn Edwards. The bronze Satellite Sconce is from Schoolhouse Electric. "A lot of our furnishings are found, traded, or made by hand," says Kathleen. "It's hard to find brand-new furnishings that have genuine character."
Bradford built shelving throughout the house. Above L: He notched plywood shelves into a wall in the living room. Above R: In the bathroom he ran a wooden frame around the opening before installing the shelves.
Above: Thanks to a relocated window in the living room, the couple have a view onto their garden. Stay tuned for our Garden Visit on Gardenista next week. A vintage Venetian glass pendant blends in well with the exterior foliage and Benjamin Moore Olympus Green-painted gate.
The Whitaker's Echo Park neighborhood is teeming with creatives, including lighting designer Brendan Ravenhill—see Live/Work in Echo Park: A Designer at Home. Their local green grocer, Cookbook, also has a creative edge.
Introducing a new May-December romance: happy young colors applied to age-old macho industrial fixtures. Yes, we think it's a promising pairing. And we commend Barn Light Electric for allowing LA designer and stylist Veronica Valencia to, as she says, "go a little wild and give a fresh, meet the ladies, sunny California vibe" to the company's US-made versions of classic factory fittings.
Valencia herself is a master of design transformations, having spent nearly five years remodeling houses for the ABC television series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. During the course of that job, she enlisted Barn Light Electric to contribute lights, which is how she got to know the family-owned Florida company. More recently, Valencia founded her own design company and blog, Design Hunter LA and her Barn Light Electric collection is just now debuting.
It consists of sconces, pendants, and other designs with powder-coated aluminum shades, all available in five colors: teal, blush pink, magenta, sherbet orange, and lavender. And how do lights in nail polish hues work in room? No one understands the possibilities better than Valencia herself. Here, a look at her own Downtown LA loft and two neighboring locations kitted out with the designs. To see the full Veronica Valencia Collection, go to Barn Light Electric.
Photography by Ala Cortez of Love Ala.
Above: The Blake SoHo Pendant in magenta; $332. The mid-century chair is from Sunbeam Vintage. "The goal was to bring a fresh presentation of the old and the new," says Veronica. "It's a direction I feel is prominent in fashion and design, yet lacking in the light industry. I thought, let's have fun with these lights."
Above: At Valencia's loft, the Penelope SoHo Stem Mount Pendant in teal, $372, hangs next to Blake SoHo Pendants in lavender and magenta, $332 each. The collection's cord-hung pendants are available in standard or cloth-covered cords (available in red, gray, and black). Stem-mount pendants, such as the Penelope SoHo, come with three canopy options: standard, hang straight, and heavy duty. They're suitable for damp settings, such as covered porches or bathrooms (as are the pendant lights with standard cords).
Above: The Sophie SoHo Pendant in magenta, $354, hangs in the Nate Starkman building, a Downtown LA old warehouse and loft that's used for movie and television locations, including the bar in the series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Above: A closeup of the Blake SoHo Pendants in blush pink and sherbet orange, $332 each. All of the lights have powder-coated aluminum shades and are made in Barn Light Electric's Florida factory; watch a video of the start-to-finish manufacturing process here.
Above: Next to Valencia's dresser, the Lola SoHo Pendant in lavender, $343, is paired with the Eli SoHo Stem Mount Pendant in sherbet orange, $361. The Blake SoHo Pendant in magenta, $332, rests on the chair. Valencia says that the lights are named after "muses and people in my life, each one representing a different lifestyle."
Above: The Sophie SoHo Pendant in lavender, $354.
Above: The Lola SoHo Pendant in sherbet orange, $343, and Blake SoHo Pendant in blush pink, $332, work well with Valencia's green Parson's desk and concrete walls. "This lighting line can be grouped, but it's bold enough to stand on its own," says Valencia. "It's for people who love being happy."
At our recent holiday market in LA, Sarah and I finally got a chance to meet one of our blogosphere friends, Morgan Satterfield of The Brick House (she was one of our vendors, selling her Camp line of clever DIY wares, which include leather cabinet pulls, beaded lights, and her own Simple Light fixtures). We've been following The Brick House forever, taking inspiration from Morgan's clever upgrades to her mid-century house near Palm Springs. So it was a thrill to finally meet and talk shop and see her wares in person.
Our latest DIY obsession? Morgan's minimalist ceiling medallion; for step-by-step instructions, go to The Brick House.
Above: Morgan created a simple plywood disk to cover an unsightly ceiling electrical box.
Above: The view from below; the brass Simple Light is Morgan's own design; $125 from Camp, her online shop.
Above: The Simple Light is also available in white (and black, too).
Above: The installation in progress.
Another favorite DIY project from Morgan? See DIY: Slat Railing Project.
On a recent trip to Garde in LA (a must-stop on any design lover's list), I admired a line of chunky cutting boards made by The Wooden Palate, and discovered via the Huffington Post that Jennifer Aniston, Ringo Starr, and Cameron Diaz all own one. Ryan Silverman (he creates wood floor and interiors for Hollywood's elite) and Eileen O'Dea (a former cooking teacher turned wood worker) use reclaimed, recycled, and sustainably harvested North American wood for the creation of their cutting boards and other serving pieces, all meticulously fabricated in their LA studio.
Above: Wooden Palate's hand-carved American Black Walnut Serving Bowls; the large, 21.5 inches long, is $350, and the small, 9 3/4 inches long, is $155.
Above: Silverman and O'Dea use salt-air-cured wood salvaged from the Atlantic City boardwalk for their Salt Cellar with Lid; $55.
Above: The 14-inch-round end-grain White Oak Chopping Board is comprised of dozens of pieces of milled wood, glued together and then sanded and oiled; $350.
Above: The Three-Bowl Dip Board in Fumed Oak, $350, is ideal for serving bread and cheese alongside dips, herbs, and nuts.
For more inspiration—and more affordable cutting boards—see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Display-Worthy Wooden Cutting Boards.
Chay Wike grew up in New York City, the daughter of rock 'n roll musicians who emigrated from South Africa in the 1970's. A child actress for many years, she quit in her twenties to become, among other things, a sommelier in France. It wasn't until she met her now husband, Mark Wike, and moved to Los Angeles that she began exploring design. Two years ago Chay opened up her eponymous shop on West 3rd Street specializing in household wares and other works that she makes in collaboration with some of our favorite LA designers, including jewelry designer Kathleen Whitaker (see our post today on her house), Christina Kim of Dosa, and Wendy Polish of Le Feu de l'Eau. Have a look:
Above: A plywood jewelry counter in the back displays pieces by Suzannah Wainhouse, Fort Standard, Grace Lee, Kathleen Whitaker, and more. Chay fully remodeled the space with local designer Lauren Soloff, exposing its concrete floor and adding natural light through skylights.
Above: After seeing the custom folding dining table at Dosa 818 in Los Angeles (for a look at the space, pick up a copy of our book Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home), Chay was introduced to architect Lindon Schultz who first designed the table with Dosa's Christina Kim. Chay and Lindon began collaborating on a version of the table for Chay's home, a project that evolved into the Live/Work Table now at Chay. Available in two sizes, the design is made from coffee- and tea-stained sugar pine and finished with a food-safe wax. "It's a perfect example of an essential piece for the home, so I'm thrilled to have it in the collection," she explains; for more information contact Chay directly.
Above: Native Line hand-woven wall tapestries are made from wool, brass, gold, and silver. The display below the tapestries includes Neon Acrylic Bookends designed by Chay that are $325 each or $600 for the pair.
Above: Chay Wike sits in the front of her small gallery-like shop.
Above: The shelving throughout the store is custom built of plywood with copper hardware. This group displays a Turkish Copper Watering Can ($70), Skultuna Brass Flower Pots ($115 each), Bellocq Teas ($33 each), and Mt. Washington Ceramic Mugs (ranging from $40-$60 each).
Above: Chay's geometric logo is seen on the front of the building and on the clotheshangers. Beyond designing bookends and collaborating on jewelry and tea towels, Chay is currently working on her line of clothing, "all utilitarian, easy pieces that can be worn to the market, work, or out to dinner," she says. Stay tuned for that collection.
Don't miss our other favorite shops, restaurants, and places to stay nearby in our Los Angeles city guide.
Location of Chay in Los Angeles:
Whenever a new Ace Hotel opens, we always seem to gravitate to the bathroom design. The just-finished Ace in LA, with interiors by Commune, is no exception. We'd happily copy the bathrooms in our own homes. You, too? Here's how:
Photos by Spencer Lowell for the Ace Hotel.
Above: The black and white palette of the bath is reminiscent of the early days of cinema (note the thumbnail photo of Louise Brooks).
Above: Commune used metal factory windows to delineate the bathrooms from the bedrooms; for inspiration, see 10 Glamorous Baths, Metal Factory Window Edition.
Above: Exposed concrete walls keep the space from looking too "done."
Above: The Robert Abbey Bradley Bronze Wall Sconce measures 15.25 inches wide and can be hung vertically or horizontally; $297.91 from Lamps Plus.
Above: Designed by Philippe Starck for Duravit, the Happy D Washbasin Console is a modern classic; $522.90 from Quality Bath.
Above: Dornbracht's Wall-Mounted Basin Mixer in matte black is $1,760 from Decorative Plumbing.
Above: Pearl+ Detox Soaps, handmade in Portland, OR, contain crushed natural pearl, charcoal powder, and a blend of oils; a pair of Large Peal+ Detox Soap Bars is $12; a set of four Small Peal+ Detox Soap Bars is also $12.
Above: The Niez Tissue Box Cover by Michael Verheyden is made of hand-sewn saddle leather (also available in white); CA $160 at Espace D.
Above: Simplify your bathing routing with a trio of products developed for Davines for Rudy's Barbershop: a 16 oz bottle of #1 Shampoo is $20, a 16 oz bottle of #2 Conditioner is $24, and a 16 oz bottle of #3 Body Wash is $20. Looking for a wall-mounted bottle caddy for your shower (Atelier Ace designed the one shown above and had it fabricated by Amuneal in Philadelphia)? Consider a Soap & Lotion Caddy ($15.95) from Williams-Sonoma.
Above: Did you notice the mini photo of Louise Brooks reflected in the bath mirror? For something similar, consider the porcelain Louise Brooks Tile Coaster; $12.50 from Cafe Presse.
How useful: bathroom mirrors with a shelf for assorted sundries. We especially like the vintage-looking 1930s French models, but here are a few modern options as well.
Above: A pair of midcentury modern vanities are a perfect foil for this contemporary bath in Australia by Wonder.
Above: The Astoria Mirror with Tray is available in two sizes (the small is 28 inches high and the large is 36 inches high) and four finishes; prices range from $415 to $635 at Restoration Hardware.
Above: The Bathroom Mirror with Shelf is £70 at Ben Pentreath.
Above: The institutional-grade Bobrick Welded Frame Mirror with Shelf is $207.95 from Global Industries.
Above: The Fullen Wall Mirror with Shelf is $9.99 from Ikea.
Above: Finally, a more rustic contender: the Elm Shelf Mirror from VivaTerra; $349.
LA-based artist Delphine Lippens first started working with ceramics just three years ago after taking a six-week introductory pottery course. Her simple, one-of-a-kind pieces quickly gained a following at local maker events, and before she knew it, several Los Angeles retailers showed interest and Humble Ceramics was born. Lippens is staying busier that ever, trying to keep up with demand from both stores and restaurants.
Pieces are available from a small roster of retailers, and can also be ordered directly from Humble Ceramics (email firstname.lastname@example.org), but prepare to be patient: this work is small batch at high demand.
Photos via Ceramics by Delphine (Humble Ceramics Pinterest page).
Above: The color palate is peaceful and discrete, and parts of pieces are often left unglazed. "When I choose a glaze, I want to make sure it harmonizes yet doesn't overpower the texture or color of the clay and marries well with its shape. Just like cooking, it's a play of balance and proportions between the ingredients", says Lippens.
Above: Lippens calls these dishes cazuelas, Spanish for shallow-rimmed ceramic cooking vessels.
Above: Humble Ceramics' corked jars come in several glazes and sizes.
Above: A close-up of cazuelas in a subtle range of blues.
Above: A lineup of black vases with the unglazed bases.
Above: Lippens' ceramics tools.
Above: Bowls ready to be glazed.
Above: Clay molded into cylinders, soon to become one-of-a-kind pieces.
Above: Since Lippens doesn't own a kiln (yet), she fires her ceramics at various studios throughout Los Angeles. It requires lots of loading and off-loading of pieces.
Into ceramics? Our post A French Potter at the Wheel in New York highlights the work of Eric Bonnin, another one of our favorite artists.
Before you fall in love with an overhead light fixture for your house, be it a pendant or a chandelier, ask what it can do for you, not what you can do for it. Lighting designer Thomas Paterson of Lux Populi in Mexico City and London points out that hanging a chandelier or pendant light in a room can be completely transformative: “They can add an element of glamor and luxury while modulating the scale of a space,” he says. "But there are many variables to consider, such as whether they cast light up or down, provide diffuse light, or simply sparkle prettily. It’s important to understand how a particular design will affect your space.” Towards that end, Paterson advises asking yourself these five essential questions:
Do you want to light the ceiling or floor?
Washing the ceiling with light using an up-light pendant provides an overall general illumination that can also make a space feel larger.
Above: The Carl Hansen & Son Uplight Pendant can illuminate a sloped ceiling thanks to its special mounting system that enables the fixture to hang from an inclined as well as flat ceiling.
Do you want to see exactly what you are doing?
Down-light fixtures direct the light towards the ground and are perfect for illuminating tasks, whether it be preparing food, reading the newspaper, or playing cards. Shining a pool of light on the project at hand, they're ideal for kitchen counters and islands.
Do you want atmosphere?
Want to show a room in the best (ie. most forgiving) light? Consider a fixture that gives off diffuse light, which casts a pervasive soft, warm light that flatters the way you look and masks the marks on your walls.
Above: The diffuse light of a Noguchi Akari Pendant imparts a glow over Kathleen Whitaker's kitchen table; for a full house tour, see A Minimalist LA Jewelry Designer Goes Maximal. Photograph by Nancy Neil.
Do you want to make a statement?
If it's glamor you're after, nothing beats the glittering effect of a chandelier. Insider tip: For extra sparkle, install a pair of ceiling down-lights to spotlight the chandelier and use minimal wattage in the chandelier itself. "You get more sparkle lighting from without than from within," Paterson says.
Above: An Arctic Pear Chandelier by Ochre brings a touch of glamor to a rustic kitchen in Portland, Oregon. See High/Low Arctic Pear Chandelier for more views of the light and its more affordable lookalikes. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.
Exactly where will you hang the light?
How to make your ceiling fixture work best for you? After you've selected the right type of overhead light, the crucial final step is to hang it at a height that enhances the space. Too low, and it gets in the way. Too high, and it doesn't feel like part of the immediate space. For dining tables and kitchen counters, the general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the chandelier should be around 30 inches above the surface of the table. If your ceilings are more than 8 feet high, you can raise the fixture 3 inches for each additional foot. If you have ceilings lower than 8 feet, make sure the bottom of the fixture clears your tallest vase or candlesticks.
Above: An 11 Globe Bubble Branching Pendant by Lindsey Adelman hovers as a canopy over a dining table in a residence designed by Chicago-based architects Vinci Hamp. Photograph by Eric Hausman via Lux Populi.
We love the look of linen pendants, and have previously posted on how you can make your own Rustic Linen Lampshade. Well, for those of you who shy away from DIY projects, there's hope: CB2 recently came out with an attractive and affordable linen pendant, and we weren't surprised to find a higher-priced version by Italian furniture maker Cattelan Italia. Here they are at opposite ends of the price spectrum:
Above: The Dream Pendant Lamp, designed by Modus Studio for Cattelan Italia, is a suspended ceiling shade made from natural linen and can be used on its own or in a group; $525 each (the price decreases if you order in multiples; two shades, for instance, are $825).
Above: The Linen Pendant Lamp from CB2 has a linen shade and a steel canopy with nickel finish; $69.95.