Articles on this Page
- 01/21/14--02:00: _Steal This Look: Cr...
- 01/21/14--04:00: _The Last Trash Bin ...
- 01/21/14--06:00: _Remodeling 101: Soa...
- 01/21/14--08:00: _DIY: Watercolor Jap...
- 01/21/14--10:00: _The Hub for Iceland...
- 01/22/14--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Eco...
- 01/22/14--04:00: _DIY Walls: Tiles fo...
- 01/22/14--06:00: _A Parisian Colorist...
- 01/22/14--08:00: _The Unbuttoned Pale...
- 01/22/14--10:00: _Jewel-Toned Lights,...
- 01/23/14--02:00: _Luis Barragán: The ...
- 01/23/14--04:00: _Color-Drenched Bath...
- 01/23/14--06:00: _Just Open: A Hidden...
- 01/23/14--09:30: _Colorful Tables fro...
- 01/23/14--11:00: _Trend Alert: 10 Roo...
- 01/24/14--02:00: _Expert Advice: Patt...
- 01/24/14--04:00: _Going Tropical on G...
- 01/24/14--06:00: _Escape to the Tropi...
- 01/24/14--08:00: _Giant Storage Baske...
- 01/24/14--12:00: _Downtown LA's Splas...
- 01/21/14--02:00: Steal This Look: Creative Color in a Dutch Kitchen
- 01/21/14--04:00: The Last Trash Bin You'll Ever Buy
- 01/21/14--06:00: Remodeling 101: Soapstone Countertops
- 01/21/14--08:00: DIY: Watercolor Japanese Lantern
- 01/21/14--10:00: The Hub for Icelandic Design
- 01/22/14--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Eco-Friendly Paints
- 01/22/14--04:00: DIY Walls: Tiles for Commitment Phobes
- 01/22/14--06:00: A Parisian Colorist Works Her Magic
- 01/22/14--08:00: The Unbuttoned Palette: Sexy Paint Colors from Paris
- 01/22/14--10:00: Jewel-Toned Lights, Matched and Mismatched
- 01/23/14--02:00: Luis Barragán: The Architect Who Loved Pink
- 01/23/14--04:00: Color-Drenched Bath Linens from Portugal
- 01/23/14--06:00: Just Open: A Hidden Beach Hotel in Oaxaca
- 01/23/14--09:30: Colorful Tables from an Etsy Star
- 01/23/14--11:00: Trend Alert: 10 Rooms with Color-Washed Wood
- 01/24/14--04:00: Going Tropical on Gardenista: Top Posts of the Week
- 01/24/14--06:00: Escape to the Tropics: Leafy Handmade Wallpaper
- 01/24/14--08:00: Giant Storage Baskets with a Dose of Color
- 01/24/14--12:00: Downtown LA's Splashiest New Restaurant
There’s an elegant insouciance that we admire in this kitchen in the Netherlands by Dutch textile designer Hellen van Berke, especially in the nonchalant way the colors come together.
After graduating from the Design Academy in Eindhoven with a degree in graphic design, Hellen van Berkel began her career in the fashion industry designing scarves; eventually, she launched her own label Studio Hellen van Berkel specializing in the creative use of textiles. Her offbeat color concepts are in high demand, and it’s easy to see why. Here, a look at her kitchen (spotted on Bloesem) and how to source some of its key colors and materials.
Photography by Marjon Hoogervorst.
Above: Van Berkel uses an array of atypical greens to set a fresh tone in her kitchen.
Above: Red accents complement the unusual greens.
Above: Cross-Colors porcelain tile collection comes in Primavera and Oceana.
Above: The backsplash is comprised of Mint Green Mosaic Tile like these from the Daltile Sonterra Collection at Discount Flooring Supply or 3/4 Inch Brio Color Spearmint Glass Tiles, prices starting at $4.25 from Mod Walls.
Above: On Our Table's solid walnut Knife Shelf, a dual-purpose knife rack and wall shelf, is $125 CAD. It measures 24 inches by 4 inches by 1.75 inches. For more see our post, A Cut Above: Handmade Knife Storage.
Above: From the Color Cord Company, the Red Pendant Light Cord is $25. See more in our post, Design Sleuth: Mix and Match Lighting from Color Cord Company.
Above: The Round Scored Board is made in the US by Amish woodworkers using a variety of American hardwoods; $61.20 at Canvas.
Above: Red accent colors in a kitchen can be worked in with linens like the Red Chef's Tea Towels, $12.84 each from Amazon.
Above: Van Berkel's kitchen counters are made of a black hard-wearing composite material; for something similar, consider Nocturne from Corian.
Above: A majestic Elk Antler Mount rides high on van Berkel's kitchen wall; $219 from Roughing It In Style.
Above: Still life paintings like the ones van Berkel hangs on her kitchen walls are available at reasonable prices on Etsy.
A little bit of colored tile can go along way; seeking more inspiration? See 510 images of Colored Tiles in our Photo Gallery of rooms and spaces.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 6, 2012.
Designed by Frédéric Périgot for Rossignol, the French manufacturer of ski and snowboard equipment, the Frisbee Trash Bin is a sleek column of color for the kitchen.
An industrial designer, Périgot started his eponymous brand in 1995 and has been reinventing a catalog of utilitarian products ever since. When collaborating with Rossignol on the bin, Périgot chose to work with epoxy metal. "I didn't want to design just another trash bin. This one is shaped like the body of an aircraft, with a perfect finish. It's ultra-flat lid resembles a Frisbee, and when you close it, it sounds like the door of a sedan," he says. The robust design is likely to withstand the test of time—a good thing since the price tag ensures that the trash can is a life-long investment.
Above: The Frisbee Trash Can holds up to 30 liters, or about 8 gallons, of garbage. It's 27.5 inches tall and costs $610 NZD (about $500 USD) from Everyday Needs in New Zealand.
Above: The design features a removable liner bucket. This one pairs with the gray design, shown above.
Above: The Frisbee in a palette of primary colors (including a yellow liner bucket), from Everyday Needs.
Above: Périgot describes the object as the "belle, belle, belle" trash bin.
Above: Each trash bin is made by Perigot in France; shown here, the Frisbee Bin in olive green.
Above: A variety of color combinations are also available directly through Perigot for €298, as is a rectangular trash can with two interior bins.
Look to science labs for the evidence: soapstone is the material of choice for countertops designed to take a beating. Soapstone is a durable and hardworking natural stone that is virtually maintenance free. Too good to be true? We've done our research and test drives (I used soapstone in my Seattle kitchen remodel) and created a soapstone primer to help you decide if this is the countertop material for you.
Above: A soapstone counter defines the kitchen at Harbor Cottage in Maine designed by architect Sheila Narusawa (for more of this project, see our feature A Cottage Reborn in Rural Maine). Image by Justine Hand.
What is soapstone?
Soapstone is a natural quarried stone. It's a metamorphic rock that is called soapstone because of the soft, or soapy, feel of its surface, which is thanks to the presence of talc in the stone. Most American soapstone is sourced from the Appalachian mountain range, or imported from Brazil and Finland. There are two varieties: artistic and architectural that are differentiated by talc contact. Artistic-grade soapstone has a high talc content and is soft and easy to carve. Architectural-grade soapstone has a lower talc content (usually between 50% and 75%), which makes it harder—and more suitable for countertop use. It's not as hard as granite or marble, however, and can be easily cut, shaped, and installed. Unlike granite and marble, however, it's typically quarried in smaller slabs, meaning that for counters longer than 7 feet, several pieces (and visible seams) are necessary.
Above: A detail of lightly veined soapstone from Brazil. Image by Janet Hall.
Above: Architectural-grade soapstone can be easily fabricated to include options like an integrated drainboard. Image by Janet Hall.
Soapstone has three properties that set it apart from other natural stones, and make it a great countertop material:
1. It doesn't stain. Soapstone is dense and nonporous; it does darken when liquid pools on its surface, but it lightens back up when the liquid evaporates or is cleaned off.
2. It can stand up to acidic materials. The fact that soapstone is chemically inert means it's not harmed by lemon juice or cleaners that must be avoided with other natural stone surfaces. That's why it's so popular for use as science lab tops.
3. It's heat resistant. The density of soapstone makes it an amazing conductor of heat, which enables it to withstand very high heat with no damage. You can put hot pans right on the surface without worry about scorching or staining.
Above: In a San Francisco kitchen renovation, architect Mark Reilly used soapstone countertops to give a warm feel to the modern space.
Do soapstone counters need to be sealed?
Because soapstone is nonporous, it doesn't need to be sealed or protected. Not only does this cut down on maintenance (see below), the absence of chemicals in the fabrication and ongoing care leads many to consider soapstone an environmentally responsible choice.
Above: In addition to not requiring any sealer, soapstone stays looking good. Scratches and nicks are part of its character, but bothersome marks can be removed with sandpaper. Image via Mark Reilly Architecture.
Is soapstone available in a variety of colors?
Soapstone is available in a range of shades on a sliding gray scale, some with blue or green undertones. Each slab is unique and varies from quarry to quarry. The widest variation in soapstone is in the quartz fleck and veining patterns. Some slabs have large but few veins; others have dense veining.
Above: Soapstone naturally darkens with use over time. Architectural grade soapstone can be altered to achieve a dark-charcoal black by applying mineral oil. You can see the result on this slab of soapstone that has been coated with mineral oil on the left, and is in it's natural state on the right. This process can also serve to highlight veining. Image by Janet Hall.
Above: MADE LLC a New York-based design-build practice, often chooses soapstone for countertops. "We like to use materials that develop character as they're lived with, becoming increasingly beautiful as they wear in over the years," says founding partner Ben Bischoff. "Soapstone is one we come back to again and again. It's beautiful at the start and becomes even more so as it breaks in with your work patterns." Image via MADE LLC.
Above: Food Grade Mineral Oil; $7 from Brooklyn Slate Co.
To darken soapstone, MADE LLC specifies: "You can speed up the natural darkening process by flooding the material's surface with mineral oil, allowing it to soak in, and then wiping it off. We repeat this process a few times before the client moves in and then provide a bottle of mineral oil that they can use to re-coat as necessary until the surface is completely saturated."
Where can you use soapstone?
Because of its resilience and adaptability, soapstone can be used for much more than countertops; it works well as sinks, fireplace surrounds (thanks to its heat resistance), flooring, and throughout the bathroom. It's also a great choice for outdoor counters and sinks as it's impervious to weather and bacteria.
How do you clean and maintain soapstone counters?
Low maintenance is the name of the game with soapstone. Soapstone's nonporous quality makes it bacteria resistant, so harsh cleaners are not needed. Simple soap and water cleaning is all that's recommended.
If there is one maintenance issue with soapstone, it may be its softness and susceptibility to scratches and nicks. You can protect the surface by using cutting boards. And the good news is that user-caused imperfections generally can be removed, as mentioned above, with a quick sandpaper buffing. No professional repairs required.
Above: An architectural-grade, mineral-oiled darkened soapstone counter and apron sink. Image via M. Teixeira Soapstone
How much does soapstone cost?
Soapstone Counter Recap
Intrigued by the idea of a soapstone sink? See our Soapstone Sink Roundup.
Researching new countertops? Read Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Kitchen Countertops. And for more specifics on the subject, see our Remodeling 101 posts:
To be filed under "Do try this at home": watercolor-splashed Japanese paper lanterns, courtesy of Danish textile and product designer Ditte Maigaard, who runs the Ditte Maigaard Studio.
To see more DIY products from this inventive Dane, go to Made by Maigaard.
Above: Maigaard bought a trio of "anonymous, cheap" Regolit Pendant Lamp Shades from Ikea ($4.99 each) and created a hanging lamp "made much more interesting with watercolor paint."
Above: A detail shot of Maigaard's handiwork.
Above: Maigaard used standard-issue watercolors; for something similar, consider Faber Castle's Watercolor Paint Set, $8.99 from Amazon.
Above: The lanterns installed over Maigaard's dining table.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original post ran on March 8, 2013 as part of our Japonesque issue.
On a recent trip to Reykjavik, Iceland, we found ourselves spending hours at Spark Design Space, a combination exhibition space and shop founded by Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir, professor of product design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.
Located on a hilltop in the center of the city, Spark happens to be the only gallery in Reykjavik dedicated to showcasing design, and offers a year-round calendar of exhibits. Its companion shop, meanwhile, sells a stream of products from its shows past and present. "We call this our slow shop," says Sigríður who originally started the retail space as an extension of her classroom and a way for her students to collaborate and have an outlet for their work. Textiles, ceramics, small toys, and household goods are displayed in the sunny storefront. Framed posters by graphic designer Goddur—a colleague of Sigríður's at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and a major force in the Icelandic design scene since the 1980s— are stacked along the walls. They became our favorite souvenirs of the city.
Above: Spark is half gallery, half shop. Shown here, a roll of salmon pink bubble wrap for packing and showing objects. Photograph by Nomar Parker.
Above: A display of necklace-like Sasa Clocks. The color-coded beads hang around a mirrored wheel that turns every five minutes, dropping a bead down the cord. See more from our post, The Hours: Measuring Time with Wooden Beads. Photograph by Nomar Parker.
Above: The Spark shop sells current pieces and past favorites from its companion design gallery. Shelves are packed with items from the Designers & Farmers project, Vík Prjónsdóttir, Goddur posters, handmade sticks by Brynjar Sigurðarson, and perfume by Andrea Maack. Sigríður will ship pieces on request. Photograph by Nomar Parker.
Above: Art books and exhibition catalogs. Photograph by Nomar Parker.
Above: The gallery's Hanna Dis Whitehead show. Her ceramic mugs, vases, and pots are made of stoneware slip clay and characterized by their prominent handles. Photograph by Nomar Parker.
Above: Spark is currently collaborating with Textílprentun Íslands on a textile pattern by artist Siggi Eggertsson.
On the search for the best design galleries around the world? Have a look at the Museums in our City Guide section for more.
Location of Spark Design Space in Reykjavik:
No longer does "going green" mean a sacrifice in paint or color quality.
The eco-friendly paint market has grown and evolved: the paints we feature here perform like premium conventional paints (offering good coverage, vibrant colors, durability, and longevity) but without harmful odors, chemicals, or added solvents. For a quick primer on the definitions of paint toxicity and the like, see What is the Greenest Can of Paint? by one of our favorite paint experts, Philip Reno of G&R Paints in San Francisco. One tip: Look for products that are low- or no-VOC in both the paint and the colorant.
Most of the brands featured offer large painted color cards and/or small sample pots, a low-waste way to test the color in your space.
Above: Several years ago Farrow & Ball moved its paint to a water-based formula, significantly reducing the solvents in its products to low and zero VOC. Colors are derived from natural pigments, as well as other natural ingredients such as china clay, lime putty, and linseed oil. And the company doesn't use harmful ingredients like ammonia or formaldehyde. The price for a standard gallon of Farrow & Ball Paint is $95 from Farrow & Ball.
Above: Developed by UK-based Marston & Langinger after the garden rooms company found most paints were too toxic to use for its greenhouses, the Marston & Langinger Paint Range ($75 for 5 liters) offers 72 shades available in matte and eggshell for interiors and in eggshell for exteriors. Marston & Langinger architectural paints are water-based, non-toxic, non-flammable, and virtually odorless—and when dry, are safe for pets and children.
Above: C2 LoVo Paint is a premium, non-toxic, low-VOC paint with infinite color options. The only pigment system in the United States to use European colorants, C2 Paint can be customized in any color and is available in the full range of Philip's Perfect Colors (see Paints & Palette: Philip's Perfect Colors). More recently, C2 Paints introduced C2 Studio, a low-VOC, value-priced paint available in all 496 C2 colors. Both paints are available at G&R Paints.
Above: Returning to methods used before the advent of petrochemicals, Ecotrend Collagen Paint is a no-VOC, odorless paint that uses collagen (eggshell lining recovered from commercial bakery waste eggshells) as the paint's binder. It is rated very high in coverage.
Above: Another historic paint formula, SafePaint from the Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company uses casein (milk protein) as a binder. Both organic and biodegradable, SafePaint is a zero-VOC, newly formulated milk paint designed for use on walls. Milk Paint is environmentally safe and non-toxic (there is a slight milky odor when it is applied, but it is completely odorless when dry). One gallon of Safe Paint for Walls is $45.95.
Above: Natura Paint is Benjamin Moore's zero-VOC, non-toxic, most environmentally sensitive paint offering. The waterborne paint is available in all Benjamin Moore colors; $56.99 per gallon.
Above: Mythic Paint is a non-toxic, ultra low odor paint that provides the durability and coverage you expect from a premium paint, without emitting the VOCs or toxins that can continue to be released into the air for years after application. Made by Auro, a German company that now distributes in the US, Flat Mythic Paint is $43.99 per gallon.
Above: Stark Paint, with colors by British designer David Oliver of Paint and Paper Library, is a water-based paint with no VOCs in the paint and colorants. All colors are available in three paint finishes: velvet emulsion, porcelain shell, and lacquer gloss. A Sample Pot of Stark Paint is $9.75 each.
Above: Devine Color is an Oregon company founded by artist Gretchen Schauffler. The paint is low odor and meets the strictest green standards, requires only one coat, and creates a luminous surface. We especially like the Northwest-inspired palette. Devine Delicate Wall Finish is $59.95 from Devine Color.
Above: A truly sustainable product made from plant resins and mineral pigments, Green Planet Paints are zero-VOC paints that have moved away from petroleum. Available in three finishes (flat, eggshell, and semigloss) and 120 mineral- and clay-based colors. One gallon of Premium Interior Flat Paint is $52.99 from Green Planet Paints.
Above: For exterior or interior woodwork, consider Eco by Fine Paints of Europe, an American-based company that makes its paints in Holland. The Eco Satin Paint is $50 per liter from Fine Paints of Europe.
Need advice selecting paint shades? See our posts: 10 Happiness-Inducing Paint Colors, Architects' White Paint Picks, and Architects' Moody Paint Picks. And for even more possibilities, peruse our Palettes & Paints section.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 28, 2009.
Perfect for renters, change-up artists, and the pattern shy: Moonish of Brooklyn silk screens geometric designs onto thin wooden wall tiles that hang from magnets. Use them to build a backsplash, headboard, or accent wall—and switch (or remove) the pattern as you please. You can even take the tiles with you when you move.
The company is the brainchild of Giovanna and Matt Taylor. "I'm from Italy," she says, by way of explaining how a couple formerly in the entertainment world—she worked in film production, he's the lead singer in the band Mammal of Paradise—found themselves silk screening patterns onto plywood in a Brooklyn workshop. After a visit to Giovanna's mother in the "tiled landscape" of Puglia in Southern Italy, the two spent months to developing Giovanna's idea for grout-free wooden wall tiles that require nothing more than magnets to mount. Here are the results.
Above: Moonish wall tiles are made of silkscreened marine grade plywood, which is water resistant. Each "tile" measures 6 by 6 inches, and patterns, such as Arlequin, shown here, are sold in boxed sets of 36 tiles for $256.50 directly from Moonish. Giovanna and Matt screen print the tiles themselves using water-based pigments, and allow customers to select any color combinations from the company's palette. The couple describe their work as "combining the geometries of traditional tile with the warmth and natural patterns of wood in a new format."
Above: The tiles can be applied to any smooth surface; here, a $256.50 set of 1977 - Triangles tiles—enough to cover 9 square feet—decorates a kitchen wall. No glue or grout is needed; the tiles have a magnet on each corner and come with a corresponding square steel "sticker" that's applied to the wall. The couple report that the tiles can be easily cut to size, and if you're okay making a few measurements, you won't need installation help. Once in place, the tiles can be rearranged in different patterns. And when you're ready to remove them altogether, the wall stickers can be pried off using a blade ("the paint on the underlying wall may need a touch up, but in most cases it won't," says Giovanna.)
Above: B & W - The Victorian creates instant wainscotting on a bathroom wall; $256.50 for a set of 36 tiles. All Moonish wall tiles are available in two finishes: wax (for a matte textured look) and polyurethane (recommended for use in moist areas, such as bathrooms).
Above: Music - The Fifth, $256.50 for a box of 36 wood tiles.
Above: The Modernist set is $198 for 36 wood tiles, each 6 by 6 inches. Sample tiles for all patterns can be ordered for $10 each.
Above: B & W - Tokyo; $256.50 for a set of 36. Delivery for orders is 2 to 4 weeks.
Above: Moonish also offers a small line of patterned floor tiles made of 3/4-inch-thick fir plywood. Each is 12 by 12 inches and sells for $26 a tile, including biscuit joiners. See Moonish for more details.
Based just north of Paris, interior designer Marianne Evennou believes that houses have souls and are the "carriers of mysteries and stories"; her aim is to "create interior spaces that transcend fashion and trends and are a refuge from the world." For this loft, designed for her friends Helene and Marc, she used a pale gray as a base color and unleashed a subtle combination of aqua, dusty rose, cornflower blue, and Hermès orange as accent colors—an unlikely palette, but we think it works.
Above: A velvet upholstered sofa adds a dash of color to the living room, which is painted a cool gray.
Above: A polished aluminum Arco Floor Lamp from Flos ($2,950 at the Dwell Store and Y Lighting) adds a dash of glimmer to the space.
Above: A five-arm Serge Mouille light fixture hovers over the dining table; the line is available online at Horne.
Above: The dining table is surrounded by a set of Cherner chairs ($749 each at DWR).
Above: The living space is divided by interior steel factory windows.
Above: The kitchen features an unexpected combination of dusty pink and steely gray.
Above: Evennou painted a wall mural in the bedroom.
Above: In the bath, a pair of Cone Lamps from Atelier Areti provides illumination (€210 from I/Object in Belgium).
Above: In the bathroom, a mirror frame painted gray contrasts with the lighter gray of the walls.
For another example of how Evennou incorporates unexpected colors in her interiors, see Steal This Look: Offbeat Colors in a Bathroom in France. And to see a more neutrally shaded project, go to A Modern Atelier in France, Books Included.
What do US-based French designers stock up on during visits home? Tester-size cans of house paints from Ressource Peinture. Corinne Gilbert—whose Brooklyn apartment is featured in our new book—says Ressource offers "a range of gorgeous saturated colors that you can't find anywhere else." Unlike other paint lines that we love, such as Farrow & Ball and its cool English colors, Ressource specializes in joie de vivre shades: unabashedly rich, full-bodied, and sexy.
Above: Ressource offers several palettes from the recent past; The 1970s Colors shown here include Burnt Orange and Purple Ink. On trips home to Paris, Corinne Gilbert stocks up on the company's tester-size cans, which she uses back in New York for decorative painting.
Above L: Ressource is best known for its vibrant shades; shown here samples from the Subtles Patinas group. Above R: The company also offers a collection of 24 different "broken whites".
Above L: Ressource's Confluence Collection was created by architect designer Robert Gervais and consists of eight shades that he envisioned for his dream cabin situated "between sea and forest." Above R: Confluence colors in a rustic setting. For matte fans, the paints are available in three versions: Matte Powder, Classic Matte, and Matte Silky.
Above: Ressource has eight locations in France, two of them in Paris, at 62 rue de la Boétie, on the Right Bank, and 2-4 Avenue du Maine (shown here) on the Left Bank. It also has 120 distributors in Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. For details, go to Ressource.
Above: A group of 48 shades make up Ressource's 1950's Colors collection. Shades deemed relevant for today were selected from the first ready-to-use paints established by the British Standards Institute in 1955.
Easier to procure paints? Have a look at all the posts in our Paint & Palettes section. And if you're after a pop of color, check out the new Veronica Valencia Lighting Collection from Barn House Electric.
One of the UK’s last remaining glassworks, Rothschild & Bickers make hand-blown, colored-glass pendants that sparkle like jeweled baubles, too tempting to resist—even for the color shy.
Above: Though they're made using traditional glass-blowing techniques, Rothschild & Bickers' Pick-n-Mix glass pendants have a contemporary look; £295.
Above: The Pick-n-Mix Collection comes in the company's full range of signature colors. For added embellishment, fabric-covered cords (known in the UK as "flex") are available in a wide palette, including neons and herringbone patterns.
Above: And for the color shy, why not start gradually with clear glass pendants while experimenting with colored cords?
Above: With the Vintage Light, Rothschild & Bickers play with a fringe-festooned traditional shape; £380.
Above: The rainbow range of cloth-covered electrical cords available to accompany fixtures. For more details, see Rothschild & Bickers.
Need advice selecting the right pendant for you? See our recent Remodeling 101 post, How to Choose an Overhead Light Fixture. Know what you need? Have a look at our favorite pendants in our 10 Easy Pieces roundups: Glass Pendant Lights, Black Pendant Lights, and Silver Pendant Lights.
When I was introduced to the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragán, I couldn’t understand why anyone would think of modern architecture as a cold discipline.
Looking back on my architecture training, one of my fondest memories was artist Lauretta Vinciarelli's graphic arts class, where she asked a roomful of Columbia undergraduates to render Barragán's captivating work on paper. Fifty pink Prismacolor pencils later, I was on my way to becoming an architect.
Above: Barragán developed his own take on modernism, with the use of vivid colors and textural contrast as shown here in the Caudra San Christobál stables designed in 1966. Photograph by Steve Silverman on Flickr.
Above: At the Caudra San Christobál stables, there is a sequence of horse pools. Photograph by Steve Silverman on Flickr.
Above: Barragán is regarded as one of the most important architects of the 20th century; his buildings are especially memorable for their mastery of space and light. Photograph via Zero 1 Magazine.
Above: Barragán was also a landscape architect; his sculptural forms and bright colors accentuate the natural surroundings.
Above: Water features are a common theme in the architect's work. Photograph from the Luis Barragán foundation.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 23, 2012 as part of our Color Coded issue.
Seeking color-saturated luxury bath linens? Portuguese company Abyss & Habidecor is the go-to source (just ask the geniuses at Seattle shop Totokaelo). Abyss & Habidecor began as a partnership between boyhood friends 30 years ago in Northern Portugal, and is split into two departments. Abyss focuses on bath robes and towels, while Habidecor handles bathmats and larger rugs. All bath linens are available in a range of colors—60 different pigments to be exact—and manufacturing is environmentally conscious and focused on an efficient use of natural resources.
Above: On a recent trip to Seattle, Washington, Julie spotted Abyss & Habidecor towels at Totokaelo's Art-Object. Shown here, a stack of bath mats and white towels in different patterns and colors. Photograph by Inward Facing Girl.
Above: The Medium Reversible Mat in Alpine Blue is $160 at Totokaelo.
Above: Abyss & Habidecor use a mixture of techniques from hand tufting to high-tech weaving; the Dolce Mat is an example of both.
Above: The Large Pigment Mat measures 27 by 47 inches and is made from a rich ombre of blue combed cotton; $220.
Above: The bath towel is detailed with rounded twill edging in the same shade of blue.
Hidden on a pristine beach in the Oaxaca surf town of Puerto Escondido, Hotel Escondido is the latest addition to a roster of Mexican boutique hotels created by Grupo Habita (which also owns the Hotel Americano in New York). Escondido follows the same formula as the others: small scale, good design, and just a touch of luxury. In this case that translates to guest quarters in 16 beachside palapas with air conditioning and private pools. For outdoorsy types, there's surfing and birding. A hotel beach club and underground bar also await.
Photos via Grupo Habita.
Above: Federico Rivera Río of CHK Arquitectura designed the interiors using a largely neutral palette with accents of Mexican-inspired color.
Above: The floors of each palapa are inlaid with tropical hardwoods. We love the way the painted striped floor defines the space around the bed—it's something to try at home.
Above: The rooms have a modern rustic look, with simple furniture and local finds on display.
Above: Though the palapa rooftops are a nod to traditional Oaxacan design, each 375-square-foot hut is equipped with modern luxuries, including air conditioning, polished concrete baths, and private decks with plunge pools.
Above: Set directly in the sand, a 50-meter pool and wood deck run parallel to the ocean.
Above: Though the hotel has a restaurant and "acoustically isolated" hidden underground club, the property is tranquil and sparsely populated—at least so far.
Above: An ideal spot for apres-surf lounging.
Above: The small town of Puerto Escondido is known for world-class surfing, and nearby opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and birding await.
Below: Hotel Escondido's location on Oaxaca's Pacific coast. Visitors fly into Puerto Escondido Airport or Huatulco Airport, both of which have flights from Mexico City. For rates and booking information, visit Hotel Escondido.
Here’s a true story of our age: When Etsy, the digital storefront specializing in the handmade and vintage, was looking to furnish their headquarters in Dumbo, Brooklyn, they shopped the makers on their own site. What did they find? Colorful, hand-crafted, welded metal and wood furniture with a certain whimsical utilitarian appeal by SAWhomeBK, the Etsy shop set up by furniture maker Sawyer Devuyst. And his studio's bricks and mortar location is—Brooklyn, where else?
Photography courtesy of SAW Home.
Above: The Front Stools that populate Etsy Headquarters in Dumbo, Brooklyn, have a dip-dyed look. They're 18 inches tall, 15 inches wide, and $375 each.
Above: The color of the powder-coated, dip dyed foot detail of the Front Stool can be customized.
Above: The Clinton Coffee Table is made of blackened steel and white oak with vintage crates; $875.
Above: The Wythe Side Table is made of powder-coated, hand-welded steel. It's shown here mint; custom colors are also available. (Alexa seems to remember that when she stayed at the Wythe Hotel in November, her table was red!)
Above: Devuyst learned his craft as an apprentice to an architectural metal fabrication shop in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. When the metal fabrication shop fell on hard times and let him go, Devuyst set up SAW homeBK on Etsy, and was recently selected as a member of Boom Brands 2013 by New York Magazine.
Have a look at more of our favorite Brooklyn finds: Reincarnated Furniture by Nightwood, The Primary Essentials, Shark Tooth, and Ceramics by Paula Greif. And of course, there's also The Brooklyn Flea.
Suddenly everywhere: color washed wood surfaces in interiors: paneled walls, flooring, furniture, table tops. We're onboard.
Above: The ColoRing Table by Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects.
Above: The home of Gu Qi, a furniture designer in Bejing, features a color-washed wall; via Daily Dream Decor.
Above: In the kitchen of London-based food maven Anissa Helou, a portion of the floor is washed in green; via Design Sponge.
Above: A "ghosts of blue" tabletop via Norwegian blog Loppelilla.
Above: Wallpaper from Dutch company Eijffinger creates the illusion of color-washed wood paneling; see more at Instant Ombre for Your Walls.
Above: Wood-paneled walls are washed in palest gray in David Kohn's Norfolk Stable.
Above: For the commitment phobe, DIY Wall Tiles from Moonish.
Above: A concrete wall washed in shades of gray to create the illusion of wood paneling; photo via Fritz Hansen.
Above: Timeline Wood in Los Angeles offers a "design alternative to reclaimed wood"; the company uses new wood and stains it in varying shades to create distressed-looking flooring and siding.
Above: A staircase stained yellow in the Member's Reading Room of the Grazer Kunstverein by London artists Celine Condorelli and Harry Thaller, via Domus.
Interested in more color ideas? See Half-Painted Walls in Bold Colors.
Here at Remodelista, we have often been (accurately) accused of a predilection towards the monochromatic. That said, we are not averse to mixing prints and patterns in a myriad of colors, it's just that it takes a certain talent. That knack is one that our friend designer Erica Tanov puts to good use: with effortless aplomb, Tanov incorporates multi-patterned prints in charming colors in both her clothing and home collections. We asked her for tips on how she does this—and how we, too, can pull off the look.
Above: Embroidered sheets with a checkered quilt and pinwheel pillowcase from Erica's 2013 collaboration with artist Emily Payne. Photo by Erica Shires via Popsugar.
Remodelista: How do you go about mixing print and patterns in your home design collection?
Erica Tanov: There are no set ways or hard and fast rules and it differs from each collection. My current bedding is called the Bookprint collection. I had collected some vintage leather-bound books and inside the end papers are these incredible patterns. I took four of them that I thought somehow all worked together and played around with scale and color. It's very intuitive for me. The prints are graphic and very different, but by mixing the patterns and keeping a similar color palette and scale it all seems to work.
Above: Erica's journals, the source of her inspiration for Bookprint.
Above: Swatch samples from Erica's Bookprint collection.
RM: How do you translate this into a home?
ET: If you are unsure of how to mix things then stick with one element like color. You can mix a floral in that color with an ethnic print and then a pattern print, all in the same color. If you're scared to use a lot of color, keep it monochromatic and bring in patterns in different scales. Right now I'm working with artist Lena Wolff. We've taken an eight-point star pattern from a simple dahlia motif and created an abstract print. We've also taken half of it and used it on the borders then played with scale. Although the pattern looks different, it all comes from the same original motif. It's a natural palette with black, ivory, and sepia and then I brought in a pop of bright coral. It's not about color, but more about graphics and scale. It just feels right.
RM: Tips for a minimalist like me on integrating color, and pattern into the home?
ET: I'm not a minimalist myself, but my home is pretty much a natural palette against which I love introducing pops of color. I feel a shock of color stands out more against a neutral background.
Above: The living room in Erica's home with a Beni Ouarain rug and hits of pink. Photograph by Kelly Ishikawa for Anthology Magazine.
RM: Any advice on how to work with a patterned rug?
ET: It depends on the space. I love tribal rugs, such as the classic Turkish prayer rugs—they work almost anywhere. I have a Beni Ourain Moroccan rug and I love to introduce ethnic items to a super-clean room, to add something rough hewn to the mix—it's a great combination.
RM: Favorite Wallpaper?
ET: De Gournay's Chinoiserie collection. It's hand painted with tarnished silver and is so gorgeous. It's like artwork.
Above: The bedroom in Erica's bedroom with a wall covered in hand-painted wallpaper from de Gournay's Chinoiserie collection.
RM: How do you make wallpaper work?
ET: I used the de Gourney wallpaper in my bedroom as a beautiful backdrop and the rest of the room is white. I like to wake up to white so I only wallpapered the wall behind my bed. The pattern creates warmth and beauty in the room and I can see it as I walk in.
RM: Favorite shade of paint?
ET: I've just been asked to decorate a designer suite at the Sir Francis Drakem a San Francisco Hotel. I love white, but in a hotel room you want to feel more romantic, sexy, and warm. I'm thinking of a rich gray that is soothing and beautiful, something like Benjamin Moore's Nocturnal Gray, a deep gray with a bit of blue.
RM: Your favorite white?
RM: How did you come up with the contrasting wallpaper in your hallway?
ET: It's by Osborne and Little. So much of the house is white that I wanted something bright, but not in a room we're in all the time, so I did the whole hallways in pattern and color. One is flocked forest green with a bohemian royal pattern and the other is a green citron with metallics in a large deco pattern. I didn't follow any of my own rules, but I love the pattern, color and bigness.
RM: Colored towels or white towels?
ET: I am a white towel person; that's what I prefer to use, but have a bunch of colorful towels by Layla that my kids use. I love opening the linen closet and seeing the patterns.
Above: A striped coat from the Erica Tanov 2013-2014 Collection.
RM: Stripes versus florals?
ET: I like them together—it's almost safer than mixing a bunch of florals. But that doesn't mean any stripe goes with any floral. Graphic stripes with classic feminine florals could work if they're all done in bright bold colors.
This past week while most of the country was in a deep freeze, Michelle and Erin visited a trio of tropical gardens, looked into lei-making, and designed a tropical floral arrangement. Maybe it's time for a vacation?
Above: Did you know that there's a new Ace Hotel in Panama? Designed by Commune, no less? Makes us want to get on a plane, now.
Above: Michelle took a tour of a breeze-filled Walker Warner-designed house on the Big Island of Hawaii inspired by the great ocean camps of Old Hawaii.
Above: And closer to home, Michelle dropped in on Courtney Klein's Mission District garden, a backyard oasis with a tropical feel.
Above: And don't miss Michelle's 7 Secrets: How to Save a Dying Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, in which she attempts to resuscitate her pet fig tree. That's the fiddle leaf fig in better days, above, when Michelle wrote about 10 Tips for Caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig. Hint, she broke one of her rules.
Run by artists (and sisters) Amy and Noelle Mills, Paper Mills of Oakland, California, is an entirely handmade operation, specializing in wallpaper designs with nods to Matisse and Picasso. What's more it's a green enterprise: based in live/work lofts on the edge of East Oakland, the company sources local materials, uses water-based paints, and works with recycled renewable paper. We particularly like their floral patterns, which remind us of the Bloomsbury group's painterly walls at Charleston.
Photographs by Alexa Hotz.
Above: A trio of Paper Mills' botanical designs by Amy and Noelle Mills, who are both printmakers. "Noelle and I studied art together and wanted to continue the dialogue," says Amy. They carve their patterns on huge sheets of rubber and hand print their papers one block at a time on a very long table.
Above: Palmy Little Havana is one of Paper Mills' most popular designs. It comes in seven color combinations.
Above: Olivia, a leafy pattern with a wide repeat.
Above: Pablo, a floral ode to Picasso, comes in five colors "studies." Paper Mills stands ready to adapt patterns to meet clients' needs and also offers custom designs. The company sells its designs through a number of showrooms across the country and abroad, including in the UK, Japan, and Russia. For information, see Paper Mills.
A set of brightly colored wire baskets has us asking ourselves: is there anything better than a giant catchall?
The baskets are by Gaurav Nanda of LA design studio, Bend Goods, the same studio responsible for one of our favorite wire chairs and a set of animal-friendly trophy heads. Nanda, a former car designer, and his team hand bend iron wire into each structure before the wire is sandblasted, primed in an anti-rust zinc formula, and finished with colorful powder coating.
Above: Each basket is available in a tall (18 by 10.5 inches) and wide size (22 by 6 inches). The Oversized Baskets are $250 each from A+R Store in LA; shown here in bright red.
Above: An added benefit of investing in a basket from Bend Goods is the knowledge that each piece is made in Los Angeles and its materials can be repeatedly recycled down.
Above: The lemon yellow Oversized Basket in a wide size fits nicely on open shelving in the kitchen.
In its 87-year history, the hotel's Spanish Gothic 13-story structure has served as the United Artists Theater, as headquarters for Texaco, and most recently as a Christian ministry center (complete with giant neon "Jesus Saves" sign). Now the building has been reborn as the latest outpost of the Ace Hotel, anchoring a formerly barren stretch of Broadway, with a restaurant from the team behind Greenpoint, Brooklyn, hotspot Five Leaves. We're plotting a visit.
Photos by Laure Joliet for Remodelista,
Above: The restaurant's exterior includes cafe seating for sunny days.
Above: Commune unleashed an array of patterns—checkerboard included—in their design for LA Chapter.
Above: A bird's-eye view of the dining room.
Above: The ambience is reminiscent of the grand cafes of Europe (and NYC).
Above: A banquette overlooking the urban street scene.
Above: Stained glass panels subtly reference the building's past life as a Christian ministry center.
Above: A detail of the abstract stained glass panels.
Above: The Haas Brothers contributed the pencil drawings on the walls.
Above: Throughout the restaurant, brass details add a touch of glimmer.
Above: A corner banquette upholstered in green leather.
Last week we did a Steal This Look on the hotel's bathrooms; stay tuned for more posts on the hotel (up next: the lobby and rooms). And to learn more about Commune, see Designer Visit: Q & A with Commune in LA.