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    The email from my friend Stephanie was terse and urgent: "I found a cocktail table for you. It is in a warehouse in Emeryville and they said we can come see it. What time can you go?"

    I immediately leapt from my desk and jumped in the car. Wouldn't you?

    Stephanie had spotted a little brass-legged table for sale on a website called Previously Owned by a Gay Man, one of a growing number of online marketplaces for vintage, antique, or gently used furnishings. From 1stdibs, the default showcase for covetable best-of-breed antiques from around the world, to Chairish, a one-year-old site with 5,000 examples of the sort of furnishings your mother might have described as her "good pieces," there's something special about something that's one-of-a-kind.

    I suppose everybody has an obsession with obtaining the singular object—something unique, the one and only, the solitary example of perfection in the universe. Ahab sought a white whale. Others searched a lifetime for the Holy Grail. For me? My Moby Dick was a vintage cocktail table.

    You know how you don’t want to go to a party and see three other people in the same dress you’re wearing?  I don't want to walk into someone else's house and see my cocktail table sitting in another living room.

    Saarinen Knoll Coffee Table Marble/Remodelista

    Above: A 1970 Oval Coffee Table by Eero Saarinen achieves one-of-a-kind status via its Italian marble top with distinctive inclusion; $4,000 from Art of Vintage on 1st Dibs.

    Anna Brockway, who founded SF-based Chairish after years as a self-described serial redecorator ("My husband and I were always having classic husband-wife smack downs about what to do with armoires that weren't right anymore for the space"), has a theory about why.

    "People think of their homes as an expression of their personal style," she says. "The same way they think about fashion as an expression of their style. A few years ago, people like Kate Moss and stylists who were working with celebrities brought back the idea of one-of-a-kind vintage fashion. You see old Halstons or Valentinos at awards ceremonies. It's the idea of honoring great fashion from the past by wearing it in its original form. It has made people think, 'Yeah, I could go into a store and buy a whole room full of furniture, but it feels more valuable to get something unique, with a history.' " 

    Each vintage furnishings site operates a little differently. On 1stdibs, for instance, many sellers are high-end antiques dealers; buyers and sellers can negotiate price via email and sellers often ship directly from their inventory. At Chairish, most sellers are individuals who upload photos and measurements; sometimes pieces ship directly from the seller and other times from Chairish, which offers storage and a turnkey "concierge service" in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. And San Francisco-based Previously Owned by a Gay Man will store (and deliver) items locally in the Bay Area.

    Dorie Marble Coffee Table Devlin Studio/Remodelista

    Above: Brooklyn-based James Devlin will make you a custom Dorie Marble Coffee Table (base choices range from satin brass to blackened steel); $1,100 from James Devlin Studio on Etsy.

    Which was how Stephanie and I found ourselves the other day peering through the rain at the addresses on warehouses in the East Bay. Then we spied a chain link fence, discreetly ajar: This was the place. What would we find inside? 

    I've been imagining the perfect coffee table for some time now: it has a brass base—but not too shiny—with dimensions of about 30 by 20 inches, and a veined Carrara marble top. How beautiful would that look in a small sitting room with a brown velvet sofa, leather-topped side tables on wheels, library lamps, and my mother in law's perfect bergère (reupholstered recently in a flax colored linen)? 

    In the dim light of the warehouse, we picked our way past ghostly shapes: a pedestal dining table, a mid-century dresser, a roll-arm sofa wearing a 1970s plaid. And then—

    Contemporary Coffee Table Neiman Marcus/Remodelista

    Above: The Olivia Marble Top Coffee Table is $2,000 from Neiman Marcus.

    Glinting in a weak shaft of sunlight from the open doorway was a brass cocktail table. As I inspected it, I realized what a funny thing it is, this notion of one-of-a-kind furniture. Most pieces didn't start out that way. In the not too distant past, this particular 20th century coffee table must certainly have been produced en masse in a factory. But in the ensuing decades, it has had a life—picking up a little ding here, a soft patina there. Objects acquire a uniqueness after you've lived with them for a while.

    Somewhere in the world, there is probably another nearly identical cocktail table or two: not too shiny, not too big, not too small. Still, at $250 it was one-of-a-kind enough. Except.

    "It has a glass top," I said.

    "That has to go," Stephanie agreed. "But I know where you can get a piece of marble cut for the top."

    "Custom?" I asked doubtfully, with visions of dollar signs dancing before my eyes.

    "Very reasonable," she said. "Marble cutters in Hunters Point."

    So that is exactly what I did. I took the base to Andreas Marble and Stone (owned by a lovely family). And a week later, the little marble topped table sits in my house, making me happy every time I walk past. There is nothing like it in the world.

    And what about you? Do you have a special, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture with a story all its own? Tell us about it in the comments below.

    N.B.: For more of Michelle's adventures in decorating, see the rest of her weekly Domestic Dispatches. She's been on a tear lately; see What We Love (and Hate) About Ikea and last week's Goodbye to the Romance of the Fireplace.


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    London designer Harriet Anstruther (her tagline is "shit loads of talent") worked with architect Alex Michaelis (a lifelong friend) on her streamlined yet luxe kitchen in an 1840s landmarked London townhouse. Marble? Check. Unlacquered brass? Check. Prouve? Yes. We've sourced the essential elements:

    Photographs by Henry Bourne (husband of Harriet).

    Harriet Anstruther Kitchen Steal This Look/Remodelista

    Above: Unlacquered brass fixtures add warmth to the Carrara marble countertops, backsplash, and shelf.

      Harriet Anstruther Kitchen/Remodelista

    Above: Anstruther used Bulthaup b1 Kitchen Units and added custom brass strips to echo the brass faucet.

    Harriet Anstruther London Kitchen/Remodelista

    Above: In the airy atrium-like dining area, Anstruther used a suite of powder-coated Tolix Marais Chairs ($250 each from Design Within Reach).

    The Basics

      Farrow and Ball All White/Remodelista

    Above: Anstruther painted the walls in All White by Farrow & Ball, which the company describes as its "cleanest and whitest white." Photo via House Beautiful. For more guidance, see 10 Easy Pieces: Architect's White Paint Picks.

      Carrara Marble Countertop/Remodelista

    Above: Countertops, backsplash, and floating shelf are all Carrara marble. Agonizing over your own counters? See Remodeling 101: Five Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Kitchen Countertops. Wondering whether marble is for you? See My Dirty Secret: How I Learned to Live with a Marble Backsplash from Michelle's Domestic Dispatches series.

    Bulthaup Linear Kitchen Detail/Remodelista

    Above: A detail of the German-made Bulthaup B1 Linear Kitchen drawers with an angled recessed grip. The B1 features birch interiors and Alpine White lacquered exteriors (it's the high-end company's least expensive offering).

    Lighting

    Prouve Potence Wall Light/Remodelista

    Above: The Prouve Potence Lamp is $1,760 from Design Within Reach.

    E27 Muuto Pendant Light/Remodelista

    Above: Anstruther hung a trio of Muuto E27 Ceiling Light Fixtures in black ($79 each from Fitzsu) over her kitchen island.

     Sink Accessories

    Wallingford Soap Dish Waterworks/Remodelista

    Above: The Waterworks Wallingford Soap Dish in brass is $34.99 from Nordstrom.

    Restoration Hardware Pharmacy Soap Dispenser/Remodelista

    Above: The glass Pharmacy Soap Dispenser from Restoration Hardware is $39.

    Vintage Wire Dish Drainer/Remodelista

    Above: The metal Vintage Wire Dish Drainer from the 1930s is $28 from Barge Canal Market on Etsy.

    Perigot Golden Sponge/Remodelista

    Above: Spotted on L'Arco Baleno's Maison Objet report: a golden sponge from French housewares company Perigot. For something similar, consider EZ Brite Deluxe Non-Scratch Scrubbers; $7.95 for two from Amazon.

    Explore more Steal This Look posts, including A Low-Cost Kitchen for Serious Cooks. And, over at Gardenista, learn how to recreate A Romantic Outdoor Kitchen in Puglia.


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    When Deborah Osburn of Clé tiles in Northern California unveiled her Watermark tile collection at our LA Remodelista Holiday Market last December, it was a show stopper. Everyone was mesmerized by her indigo dip-dyed designs, and her gold verdigris patterns that turn to turquoise as the dye travels. While using old world colors, the collection introduces a thoroughly modern note to the world of tile.

    Osburn has spent many years developing and manufacturing tiles, and most recently has been focused on commissioning artists to create tiles for Clé. "It was my work with so many artists and tile artisans that inspired the Watermark collection," she explains. On a trip to a local tile-making company, Osburn was taken with their unglazed pieces, and came home with a couple of boxes. She started playing around with them and says, "I had no idea what I was going to do, but they felt like small empty canvases and were very compelling to me." A recent obsession with Delft and ombre images on Pinterest led her to the idea of leaving the tiles in a bath of indigo dye to see what they would do on their own. The result is the Watermark Collection in which Osburn hand dips each tile into a pool of dye, allowing it to absorb the color in its own way and create one-of-a-kind patterns every time. 

    Cle watermark tiles indigo sink | Remodelista

    Above: Clé Indigo Dip tiles installed above a sink. Each tile absorbs the indigo in its own way. Osburn notes, "Some are stubborn and won’t absorb much at all. Others are wildly flamboyant, drawing up a lot of the indigo into thin shades of the dye. And then others are moderate, soaking up line after line of color creating multiple horizons. It’s really indigo magic."

    cle-watermark-tiles-indigo-wash-remodelista

    Above: The Watermark Indigo Series comes in four patterns. Shown here, Dip (L) and Stroke (R).

    Cle Watermark Indigo series in Wash and Stain | Remodelista

    Above: The Watermark Indigo Series in Wash (L) and Stain (R).

    Cle Watermark tiles indigo | Remodelista

    Above: An installation of Indigo Stain and Dip tiles. Once the color is absorbed by the porcelain, it is completely stable. The unglazed tiles are finished with a barely visible seal to protect them.

      Cle Watermark gold verdigris tile | Remodelista

    Above: Osburn expanded the line beyond indigo to include a gold verdigris that becomes turquoise as the dye travels. Each unglazed tile is hand cut, fired, and dyed, which allows it to absorb the pigments differently, making each result unique. 

    Cle Watermark gold verdigris wash tile | Remodelista

    Above: The Watermark Gold Verdigris Collection in Wash. Like the Indigo Series, it is also available in Dip, Stroke, and Stain. 

      cle-watermark-tile-gold-verdigris-remodelista

    Above: A Gold Verdigris Horizontal Dip installation. The Watermark tiles can be installed indoors or out, and on walls and floors. All Watermark tiles are available in 3- by-6 inch, 4-by-8 inch, and 6-by-12 inch sizes (note that since each tile is hand cut and fired, sizes and colors vary). The Dip tiles are $68 per square foot, and the Stroke, Wash and Stain tiles are $59 per square foot.

    See more Clé tile designs in these posts: Can We Now Call Tiles Sexy? and Shakespearian Inspired Tiles with a Touch of Goth. And for additional ideas, take a tour of our Tile posts. Looking for an outdoor solution? Head over to Gardenista.


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    A couple months ago, I was at a Rainer Werner Fassbinder retrospective watching In a Year with 13 Moons. The bedroom of the main character, a tortured transsexual in West Berlin, is equipped with a full sheepskin bedcover and a nightstand cluttered with cut crystal glasses. Clearly in 1978, Elvira was ahead of the rest of us.

    Of late I've been noticing that cut crystal—the very same Waterford knockoffs on display in my grandmother's dining room armoire that have been so uncool for so long—is making a comeback. But it's come out of the china cabinet. The modern context for crystal glass is a minimalist backdrop, where the refracted light bouncing off its edges is the focus. Here, to convince you, we've rounded up nine examples of the cut crystal comeback.

    Babylonstoren Restaurant Visit | Remodelista

    Above: Babel Restaurant at Babylonstoren in Cape Town uses an assortment of vintage crystal vases for its signature vegetable arrangements of everything from sprouted fennel and carrots to halved cabbage heads. Photograph by Sam Woulidge.

    Jelly Glassware by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell | Remodelista

    Above: Italian designer Patricia Urquiola's Jelly Glassware designs are available through Kartell.

    Cut Crystal Wine Glasses at an Italian B&B in Rome | Remodelista

    Above: Cut crystal wine glasses in the dining room of Arco dei Tolomei in Rome, a family home turned B & B.

    Vintage Crystal Plate at Clarisse Demory's Home in Bulgaria | Remodelista

    Above: French designer Clarisse Demory decorates her pied-a-terre in Sofia, Bulgaria, with found crystal glassware from local charity shops.

    Crystal Glasses at a Bed and Breakfast in Italy | Remodelista

    Above: Crystal glassware on steel shelves at Villa Chiesuola, just outside of Milan, designed by Marina Sinibaldi Benatti.

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: Crystal glasses on the table at Kul, a new restaurant in Copenhagen. Stay tuned for a full tour of Kul tomorrow.

    Marina Dragomirova Cut Crystal Glasses from Bread Studio | Remodelista

    Above: Bulgarian designer Marina Dragomirova makes her Mixers, shown here, from vintage crystal sourced at charity shops that she then hand cuts and rejoins. For more details, see our post Pioneering Design in Bulgaria: Q & A with Michelle Lane of BREAD Studio.

    Babylonstoren Crystal Vases on the Table | Remodelista

    Above: Another set of vintage crystal vases at Babylonstoren in South Africa, this time filled with dried poppy pods. Photograph by Robyn MacLarty.

    Crystal Glasses at Jeffrey's in Austin, Texas | Remodelista

    Above: Cocktails at Jeffrey's in Austin, Texas, are served in a mix of vintage crystal and Zwiesel glassware.

    Inclined towards simplicity? On Gardenista, have a look at 10 Easy Pieces: Simple Glass Vases for Under $30. For more trend predictions, see our recent posts on Chateau-Style Geometric Wood FlooringColor-Washed Wood, and Ugly Marble.


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    This week's stealth luxury theme at Remodelista put us in mind of Kettner's, a London lounge, brasserie, and collection of private dining rooms in what was once the French Quarter of Soho. Founded in 1867 by Napoleon III's former chef, August Kettner, the sprawling venue is set in a row of Georgian townhouses that were masterfully reinvigorated in 2008 by designer Ilse Crawford of Studioilse.

    At once inviting and quite elevated, Crawford's design style is synonymous with careful detail and understated luxury. Her approach proved the perfect counterpart to Kettner's historic backdrop—its quarters over the decades have been known to inspire gossip and scandal. Jess Tully at Studioilse told Design Week, "The idea is play on the creative life within the building and give it a new identity by building up its past. We wanted to create the restaurant’s future story."

    Photography by Paul Raeside for Yatzer.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: Kettner's brasserie, located on the lobby floor, features a marble island down its center and mauve upholstered bar chairs. Kettner's was historically a place for aristocratic men; Studioilse had the intention of making it, as Tully says, "more of a female-friendly venue—somewhere where people can use the space flexibly, by having breakfast, holding a business meeting, or just hanging out with friends."

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: The brasserie and pudding bar (not shown) occupy half of the lobby floor; a Champagne bar fills the other half.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: Padded velvet sofas in the Champagne bar stand ready for 21st century gossip and scandal.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: The Apartment, one of Kettner's private dining rooms, was once frequented by Edward VII and his mistress. Edward VII was responsible for the creation of a secret passageway between the Palace Theater and Kettner's basement.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: A gray suede sofa and love seat in The Apartment's lounge.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: Crawford furnished the Apartment with surprise hits of electric blue.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: A large private dining room in the Studio Room seats 40.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: The Salon is a dining room with the feel of an elevated conference room.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: The Attic Den on the top floor is possibly the most understated dining room of all, appointed with a series of simple caned dining chairs, a few palm plants, and an upholstered wooden bench.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: Another private dining area on the top floor, the Cabinet Particular, features white-painted bentwood chairs surrounding a candelabra-filled oval table.

    Kettner's in London by Studio Ilse, Photo by Paul Raeside | Remodelista

    Above: The third room on the top floor, the Salle de Fête, is all white save for a collage of vintage composition books—something we'd like to copy at home.

    For more designs by Studioilse, see our previous posts: A Glamorous Hong Kong Flat, Subtle Splendor at Stockholm's Ett Hem Hotel, and The Olde Bell Inn Dining Room. For another London spot not to be missed, read about FARM:shop on Gardenista.

    Location of Kettner's in Soho, London:


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    While working on his thesis at Parsons, Ryden Rizzo found himself watching a series of YouTube tutorials about basic woodworking. Pairing his past experience with technology and lighting design with his newly acquired woodworking skills, Rizzo moved back to Sea Cliff, New York, and established a lighting studio in his parents' garage.

    After building a few small pieces for friends, Rizzo founded Allied Maker, a company selling bespoke lighting and home items. He takes pride in stamping "Made in USA" on everything that he sells and packs shipments in full recycled and biodegradable materials. For more information, visit Allied Maker.

    Allied Maker Brass Dome Pendant/Remodelista

    Above: The spun brass and blown glass Dome Pendant is $392; it includes a turned black walnut wood handle, fabric cord, and matching brass canopy. It's also available with a white shade.

    Brass Dome Wall Lamp Allied Maker/Remodelista

    Above: The Arc Wall Lamp features an American black walnut mounting bracket and a spun brass half dome shade; $480.

    Allied Maker Arc Brass Wall Lamp/Remodelista

    Above: Another view of the Arc Wall Lamp.

    Allied Maker Dome Task Lamp/Remodelista

    Above: The Dome Lamp features an American black walnut base and a herringbone woven cotton cord; $725. The lamp is also available with a white maple base and with a black or white powder-coated metal shade and pipe.

    For more from our favorite lighting designers, see 10 Easy Pieces: Affordable Lighting from a New Crop of Designers.

     


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    Is there something in the air? We recently spotted a blue velvet sofa at The Apartment, Vanessa Traina's new retail concept shop in Soho, and since then we've seen them seemingly everywhere. Here are 10 favorites, ranging from high (make that very high) to low in price.

    Ochre Snooze Sofa Blue Velvet/Remodelista

    Above: The Small Snooze Sofa from Ochre is available in mohair blue velvet; contact Ochre for pricing.

    Dmitry Velvet Settee/Remodelista

    Above: Dmitriy & Co.'s Bespoke Settee is available in mohair velvet; contact Dmitriy & Co. for pricing.

    Anthropolgie Willoughby Settee/Remodelista

    Above: The Willoughby Settee from Anthropologie is available in navy or duck egg blue velvet; $1,598.

    Canvas Blue Velvet Sofa/Remodelista

    Above: The Mercer Tufted Sofa from Canvas is available in three shades of hand-dyed cotton velvet; $4,290.

    Butterfield Sofa Jonathan Adler/Remodelista

    Above: The Butterfield Sofa from Jonathan Adler is available in seven different shades of cotton velvet and in a choice of base colors; $3,945.

    Cobble Hill Sofa ABC Carpet Blue Velvet/Remodelista

    Above: The Cobble Hill Hudson Sofa from ABC Home is available in 12 shades of cotton velvet; $2,045.

    The Line Apartment Sofa/Remodelista

    Above: The Las Venus Custom Ludlow Sofa is an interpretation of a Milo Baughman tuxedo design and has commercial-grade velvet and chrome legs; $12,000 from The Line. Tour the Line's combination showroom and store in our recent post, A Soho Dream Loft (iWhere Everything is For Sale).

    Fab Blue Velvet Sofa/Remodelista

    Above: The Up Three Seater Sofa by Artless is available in three shades of aged velvet; $3,800 from Fab.

    Goddard Sofa Russell Pinch/Remodelista

    Above: UK designer Russell Pinch's velvet Goddard Sofa is constructed of coconut fiber, horse hair, natural latex, and wool, all on a frame of sustainably harvested solid beech hardwood; $6,820 from The Future Perfect.

    West Elm Blue Velvet Sofa/Remodelista

    Above: The Everett Sofa in ink blue performance velvet is $1,149 from West Elm.

    In the market for a new sofa? Check out all our Sofa Picks on our shopping page.


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    Kul is the latest restaurant addition to booming Kødbyen, aka the Meatpacking District of Copenhagen. Chef-owners, Henrik Jyrk and Christian Mortensen, met at Tivoli’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The Paul, where they worked side by side in the kitchen. After a quick stint in California, Jyrk returned to Copenhagen inspired by American cooking, and the duo set out to create an affordable gourmet restaurant with a focus on multi-national grilled cuisine. Kul, which translates to coal, refers to the charcoal-fired Spanish Josper oven and Japanese yakitori grill where all meals are prepared. Space Copenhagen (the team behind Noma and Kødbyens Fiskebar) designed the 90-seat eatery, setting it in a relaxed open space that takes the color charcoal and works wonders with it.

    Photography via Restaurant Kul and by Morten Lundrup, unless otherwise noted.

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: In the dining room, black tables are accompanied by black Windsor chairs with yellow cushions. The hint of warm color is picked up by the Shade pendant lights, a hand-spun aluminum design by Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou of Space for Mater. The wine menu is written on a chalk-painted blacl wall, and a row of menus hang off a black pipe. A white-tiled wall adds a sharp contract to the otherwise charcoal space. 

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: Crystal glasses add a glamorous touch to a simple table set against a backdrop of tableware-lined niches. For more crystal inspiration, see Trend Alert: Your Grandmother's Cut Crystal Makes a Comeback.

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: The linear space is defined by charcoal gray—the ceiling beams echo the lines in a grill—dramatically set against a white-tiled floor and walls. Diners at the bar have prime views of their food sizzling in the kitchen. Photo via Space Copenhagen.

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant's sign is as bright as burning embers.

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: The Kul logo was designed by Kornmaaler Graphic Design of Copenhagen. 

    Kul Restaurant in Copenhagen I Remodelista

    Above: Owners Henrik Jyrk and Christian Mortensen. "You can have the best food, the best service, and the most delicious surroundings at a reasonable price. That is what we want from Kul, " says Jyrk. For menus and reservations, go to Kul.

    Eyeing the black Windsor chairs? We've got you covered: check out 10 Easy Pieces: The Windsor Chair Revisited. And if a trip to Copenhagen is in the offing, also have a look at the city's Most Happening Bar, Flames included. Ready to do some of your own grilling? See Gardenista's World's Best Barbecue Grills.


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    Philadelphia design company Amuneal has taken the industrial pipe shelving look to new heights with its Collector's Shelving System. Sporting a solid brass framework and oxidized oak shelves, the system is fully configurable to fit any space. We're reminded of DIY: Shelving System from the Brick House, but we like the Amuneal version's sophisticated design elements and finishes.

    Amuneal has nearly 50 years of experience in highly technical metalworking (think healthcare and aerospace applications), and just within the last 15 years expanded into custom furniture and architectural features. We've admired their work before; spot their custom-designed shower caddy in Steal This Look: Ace Hotel in LA Bathroom.

    For pricing and purchasing information, visit Amuneal.

    Oak and Brass Shelving System from Amuneal, Remodelista

    Above L: Frame rods and hardware are made of solid brass with a warm finish and are adjustable to change shelf spacing. Above R: A credenza-dominant configuration. 

    Oak and Brass Shelving System from Amuneal, Remodelista

    Above L: Oxidized oak shelves with an optional knife-edge detail. Above R: A two-bay shelving system, sans credenza.

    Oak and Brass Shelving System from Amuneal, Remodelista

    Above L: The three-bay system shown here includes an optional hanging shelf and posting shelf with straps made of patinated steel. Above R: The steel straps are finished in a leather-inspired patina.

    Oak and Brass Shelving System from Amuneal, Remodelista

    Above L: An LED light bar is an optional feature of the Collector's System. Above R: Patinated steel hanging straps support an oxidized oak shelf.

    Oak and Brass Shelving System from Amuneal, Remodelista

    Above L: A single bay is 36 inches wide. Above R: The same bay fitted with a 42-inch wide credenza with patinated steel doors.

    For more storage solutions, see 10 Easy Pieces: Wall-Mounted Shelving Systems, High/Low: Metal Shelves, and 10 Easy Pieces: Garage Storage Units.


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    I first took note of the burgeoning ugly marble trend last year, and ever since I've been visiting salvage yards in search of marble scraps and stopping at old downtown buildings (just to soak up the pink marble lobby walls). It's clear that Carrara is no longer the only option for aesthetes with an ample budget. Perhaps the best room to experiment with richly veined slabs is in the bath, a finite space well suited to marble everything.

    Annabelle Selldorf Marble Bathroom | Remodelista

    Above: A dramatic marble bath in an East Village townhouse designed by Selldorf Architects.

    The Viceroy Hotel's Marble Bathroom | Remodelista

    Above: A multi-marble bathroom in a London house in Cleveland Square by Colin Radcliffe.

    Rundell Associates, Rundell Associates, Bathroom covered in Brescia Violetta, shower area covered in Flor di Pesco | Remodelista

    Above: A wild patchwork of pink Flor di Pesco marble in a London Victorian townhouse by Rundell Associates.

    Rundell Associates, Bathroom covered in Brescia Violetta | Remodelista

    Above: From the same Rundell Associates project in London, a master bathroom clad in Brescia Violetta, an extremely rare marble

    Altamarea Bathroom Sink | Remodelista

    Above: A custom bathroom sink with dark veined marble from Italian design company Altamarea.

      Viceroy Marble Bath New York/Remodelista

    Above: Roman & Williams' design for the bathrooms at New York's Viceroy Hotel feature intricate marble tiling.

    David Hicks Pink Marble Sink the Bath | Remodelista

    Above: A penthouse bath by designer David Hicks features a richly-veined marble sink; see it in 10 Favorites: Exotic Marble in Modern Spaces.

    Pierre Yovanovitch Marble Bathroom | Remodelista

    Above: Salumi-like marble walls and countertops in a bath by architect Pierre Yovanovitch. (When we last posted on ugly marble, a reader told us that the marble Baths of Diocletian in Rome remind him of prosciutto and other cured meat. Now we know what he means.)

    Annabelle Seldorf Collector's Townhouse Marble Bath | Remodelista

    Above: A marble bath in a Collector's NYC Townhouse designed by Selldorf Architects and featured in 10 Favorites: Exotic Marble in Modern Spaces.

    Gilles and Boissier Marble Bathroom | Remodelista

    Above: A slightly pink-tinted marble in a bathroom designed by Gilles & Boissier.

    Barbara Bestor LA Home: Pink Marble in the Bath | Remodelista

    Above: A bathtub in a Topanga Canyon, CA, house designed by Barbara Bestor.

    Lonny Bathroom Marble Wallpaper/Remodelista

    Above: Another way to splash out: marbled wallpaper, seen here in a bathroom via Lonny Magazine.

    Prefer Carrara and other white marble? Have a look at our post, 10 Favorites: Marble Baths from the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.


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    A former flophouse on West 8th Street has just received a glam, French-inflected makeover, complete with buzzing bar and restaurant. The Marlton's new guise comes courtesy of hotelier-about-town Sean MacPherson (also an owner of the Bowery Hotel, Maritime Hotel and The Jane, to name but a few). MacPherson masterminded the redesign himself, installing herringbone wood floors, oak paneling, brass faucets, and hand-shaped bedside sconces that look as if they've been in place for decades. An aesthete with an acute sense of what's next, he's pointing our collective compass in the direction of classic comforts (think cherry leather armchairs) and Parisian-size accommodations: the Marlton's tagline is "Honey, I Shrunk the Ritz." Fortunately, there's room to spread out in the lobby.

    Photographs by Annie Schlecter via the Marlton Hotel, unless otherwise noted.

      Marlton Hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: The Marlton was built in 1900 as a cheap place to stay. Over the years a number of famous characters have checked in, including Jack Kerouac (who wrote two novellas while in residence), Lenny Bruce (while standing trial for obscenity), Dame Maggie Smith, and Mickey Rourke. More recently, the building was a freshman dorm for The New School. It now has 107 newly finished guest rooms spread over its nine floors. Washington Square Park is nearby, as is a yet-to-be gentrified stretch of 8th Street.

    Marlton Hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: In the cold months there's always a fire blazing in the wood-paneled lobby. Starting at 5 pm, the space fills up with as many locals as guests, but even when buzzing, it remains a surprising oasis of civility.

    Marlton Hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: A range of seating options are spread out before the old-fashioned front desk (with keys rather than key cards). Rates start at $250 a night. 

    Marlton House NYC coffee bar | Remodelista

    Above: Situated across from the front desk, the Marlton's espresso bar serves Ferndell coffee from LA.  

    Marlton House hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: The hotel refers to its 107 guest rooms as "baby grands." They range in size from small (100 square feet), medium (125 square feet), and large (150 square feet) to penthouse suites (425 square feet). MacPherson has said that his inspiration for the design came from his stays at the Hôtel de Saints Pères and Ritz in Paris, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald's descriptions of Rosemary's hotel in Tender is the Night.

    Marlton House hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: Brass hand sconces, reproduction of antiques, serve as bedside lighting. The headboards are upholstered in velour.

    Marlton hotel Apparatus light | Remodelista

    Above: A Serge Mouille Three-Arm Ceiling Lamp, a French classic available from DWR. Photo via The Pursuit of Style .

    Marlton House hotel NYC | Remodelista

    "The Marlton feels more feminine than some of my other projects," says MacPherson. Above L: Plaster shell sconces in the guest rooms. Above R: Curtained closet doors inset with chicken wire.

    Marlton hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: A 1920s-style black-and-white tiled bathroom with a mirrored door (to make the rooms feel bigger). All have marble sinks with brass fixtures from Waterworks. The black toilet seat is a great finishing touch; see our Design Sleuth to source your own.

    Marlton hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: Waterworks brass faucets and shower caddy with Côté Bastide toiletries. Photos via Yelp.

    Marlton hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: The hallways are painted what MacPherson calls "French blue."

    Marlton hotel  penthouse suite | Remodelista

    Above: One of two penthouse suites, terrace included. The cluster light is by Apparatus Studio of New York.

    Marlton hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: A penthouse bathroom with off-center Waterworks sink (markedly bigger than the marble sinks in most rooms) and distressed mirrored lighting.

    Marlton House hotel cocktail bar NYC | Remodelista

    Above: A cocktail bar adjoins the lobby's fireplace lounge.  

    Marlton House hotel cocktail bar NYC | Remodelista

    Above L: The cocktail bar leads to Margaux, the in-house restaurant. Above R: Framed Yves Saint Laurent prints hang on the oak paneled walls.

    Marlton House hotel Margaux restaurant NYC | Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant has two-toned banquettes and lighting by Apparatus Studio.

    Marlton hotel Margaux restaurant NYC | Remodelista

    Above: Margaux's menu is Mediterranean. Photo via Trip Advisor.

    Marlton House hotel Margaux restaurant NYC | Remodelista

    Above: Herringbone wood floors lead to seating in a sun-lit atrium. 

    Marlton House hotel Margaux restaurant NYC | Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant is filled with homey French details, including tiled columns. For additional hotel and restaurant details, go to the Marlton Hotel.

    Looking for more New York hot spots? See our New York City Travel Guide for shops, restaurants, candy stores, and more hotels, including the Gothic Getaway and a Glamorous Retreat for Modern Mad Men. For the horticultural side of the city, see Gardenista's New York posts, such as A Tropical Paradise Attainable by Subway and How to Navigate the Flower Market.  Like the Marlton's wood floors? Have a look at Trend Alert: Geometric Wood Flooring.


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    This week on Gardenista, Michelle and Erin ask, "What makes a garden grand?" It's not size, necessarily, or wealth, they say. It's more a state of mind, and in this week's Grand Gardens issue they explore that je ne sais quoi that elevates an everyday garden.

    Doyle Herman Grand Garden/Gardenista

    Above: Meredith perused the Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory and rounded up 10 Stately Gardens.

    James's Daughter Flowers/Remodelista

    Above: Inspired by Alexa's post on the return of cut crystal, Erin challenged an up-and-coming floral designer to come up with an unfussy arrangement for a fussy vase in DIY: Reclaiming an Outmoded Cut Glass Vase with James's Daughter Flowers.

    Martin Veltkemp Black Fence/Remodelista

    Above: And speaking of trends, Erin rounded up our favorite edgy fences in Trend Alert: Black Fences—we think it's a thing.

    Crocuses Field Guide/Gardenista

    Above: For the latest Field Guide installment, Amanda investigates the ins and outs of crocuses (known as the "early risers").

    French Garden Compost Bins by Paul Hendershot/Gardenista

    Above: And for the practical-minded pursuer of beauty, Meredith offers a Steal This Look on Elegant French Country Compost Bins


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    During a recent stay at a nice hotel, I started thinking about what it is exactly that makes hotel bedding so great. Beyond having the resources to make a fresh bed daily with high-thread-count sheets, I think what a nice hotel does so well is strike a balance between textures. It's the combination of quilted and woven fabrics with a touch of silk or sateen that is so luxuriant.

    After reassessing my own bedding situation, I realized that a little silk never hurt anyone. Let's be clear: I'm not advocating floor-length velvet and silk bathrobes here, but who decided silk bedding had to be sleazy?

    Try incorporating a single silky pillowcase into your regular linens lineup (add more than one and you may encounter some slippage). In addition to feeling good, resting your head on silk comes with some surprising—and not entirely proven—health and beauty claims: a night of silky rest purportedly reduces wrinkles, softens and detangles hair, helps controls allergies, and regulates body temperature. A month into my own experience, I can't claim that a single pillowcase has drastically changed my life (though my hair is definitely a bit softer). The biggest benefit? It's the ne plus ultra of creature comforts; a minimal investment for an experience that makes being in bed—a place you spend a lot of time—feel substantially more special. Here are five silk and sateen pillowcases worth considering:

    Silky (Sateen Cotton)

    Above: From Matteo in LA, the Washed Sateen Pillowcase Pair is what I splurged on. The cases are pre-washed for both softness and shrinkage control, the fabric is a 300-thread-count cotton, and is available in a full gray-scale spectrum; $55 for a pair of queen size shams.

    Coyuchi sateen sheets | Remodelista

    Above: Coyuchi's Sateen Pillowcase is made from 100 percent organic cotton; $40 for a set of two standard pillowcases at Coyuchi.

    West Elm Sateen Pillowcase | Remodelista

    Above: The Organic Sateen Set of Standard Pillowcases from West Elm is made from 350-thread-count organic cotton; $29 for the set of two.

    Restoration Hardware Sateen Pillowcase Set | Remodelista

    Above: Restoration Hardware's Italian Banded Sateen Pillowcase is tailored from ultra-soft white cotton sateen by a third generation bedding company in Italy. A set of two standard pillowcases with a band of color is currently on sale for $79.

    S Ferra silk pillowcases | Remodelista

    Above: The most luxurious (and luxuriously priced) of them all is the Italian Egyptian Cotton Sateen Pillowcase from the Sferra Milos Collection; $375 for a pair of standard cases.

    Eileen Fisher Sateen Pillowcase | Remodelista

    Above: The Eileen Fisher Lustrous Cotton Sateen Bedding has a 400-per-inch thread count and comes in six colors; $60 for a pair of standard pillowcases from Garnet Hill.

    Pure Silk

    Jasmine Silk Charmeuse Pillowcase | Remodelista

    Above: From Jasmine Silk in the UK, the 16 Momme Charmeuse Pillowcase;has a genius cotton underside to keep the pillow from sliding around; £13.99 from Amazon UK.

    19 Momme Oxford Silk Pillowcase from Lily Silk | Remodelista

    Above: From Lily Silk, the Oxford Silk Pillowcase is 19 Momme in weight (meaning that the silk weighs 19 pounds per every 100 meters, the equivalent of a very high thread count); $70 for a set of two.

    SpaSilk Pure Silk Beauty Pillowcase | Remodelista

    Above: SpaSilk's 100 Percent Silk Standard/Queen Pillowcase makes claims to eliminate bed head hair (the bad kind) and minimize wrinkles; $27.46 each from Amazon.

    The Silk Lady Organic Silk Pillowcase | Remodelista

    Above: The anti-aging hypo-allergenic Organic Silk Pillowcase by The Silk Lady is a 600-thread-count silk for $49.99 each from Energetic Nutrition.

    For more of our favorite sheets, shop through our Bedding;finds—and don't miss Pillow Talk: 7 Secrets to Making a Perfect Bed. Like a little color? See In the Pink: 5 Bed Linens for Romantics. And for well-priced luxury sheets, have a look at the offerings from Ariel Kaye's LA company Parachute.


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    Wanting to experiment with metallic paints, we asked members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory for their recommendations. They pointed us to Modern Masters, a widely available, latex-based line that comes in a huge range of shades. 

    Since most metallic paints contain real metal, they can be pricey. Modern Masters is no different—its prices are comparable with other metallic paint lines. But Modern Masters is the only brand we came across that offers affordable testers: its six-ounce sample pots are $10 each. Before blinging out your walls, we recommending doing some testing.

    Not ready to go fully metallic? Here's a tip we plan to try: architect Jonathan Teng of Heliotrope Architects in Seattle mixes Modern Masters metallics with regular latex paints to add just a little glow to walls. And when using metallics, several painters told us to stretch our dollars by first priming with a comparably colored latex paint and then adding the metallic on top.

    We tried Modern Masters in six colors and varying degrees of opacity; here are our results: 

    Photography by Meredith Swinehart

    Swatches of Modern Masters Metallic Paints, Remodelista

    Above: Top row, left to right: Modern Masters Warm Silver; English Brown; and Ivy. Bottom row: Silver; Black Pearl; and Flash Copper

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Sample Jars, Remodelista

    Above: Modern Masters sells six-ounce Sample Pots for about $16 each on their website. (We bought ours for about $10 each at local paint stores.)

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Warm Silver, Remodelista

    Above: Though the name is a bit misleading, we think opaque Warm Silver is the perfect gold. It's not too bright or too yellow, and has a subdued shiny hue. 

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in English Brown, Remodelista

    Above: English Brown is an opaque, grown-up color that would make a nice addition to another dark latex paint.

    Above: Semi-opaque Ivy is my personal favorite. It's too green to replicate any natural metallic color, so it looks like a very intentional pick. 

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Silver, Remodelista

    Above: Silver is an opaque, metallic silver that would work just as well on architectural details (or objects, such as terra-cotta pots) as on a whole wall. 

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Black Pearl, Remodelista

    Above: Semi-opaque Black Pearl means business. This was the only shade that had so much metal it looked sparkly, so I'd recommend mixing iy with another latex paint if you don't want a glittery look.

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in Flash Copper, Remodelista

    Above: Sheer Flash Copper, one of several colors in Modern Masters sheer line, is meant to be applied over a wall of regular latex paint or over another metallic hue. It adds just a touch of pearlescence to a wall finish. Viewed at an angle, all of the shades except Flash Copper were very obviously metallic. 

    Modern Masters Metallic Paint Swatch in English Brown, Remodelista

    Above: Another view of English Brown.

    Terra Cotta Pot Painted in Farrow & Ball Mole's Breath and Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Ivy, Remodelista

    Above: I painted a single swipe of Ivy on a garden pot I'd previously painted in Farrow & Ball's Mole's Breath. I love the subtle two-tone effect.

    Find the perfect color to mix with metallics in our Palette & Paints series, which includes expert advice on Pink, Jade Green, Copenhagen Blue, Moody Hues, and Happiness-Inducing Colors. And on Gardenista, have a look at Architects' White Exterior Paint Picks.


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    During our recent remodel, I installed a pair of Industrial Pendant Glass lights from West Elm in our dining room. I loved their overall look (and price), but I found that the shiny nickel hardware and white plastic cord were all that I noticed for months (the problem was particularly glaring because our room has gold and brass overtones). So, after a year of living with a less-than-perfect situation, I decided to take matters into my own hands. For less than $7, I like to think I completely changed the look of the lamps. See if you agree.

    Photography by Izabella Simmons unless noted.

    Above L: The  Industrial Pendant Glass lights from West Elm ($99 each) before. Above R: The pendants lights after a coat of liquid gilding paint in brass. I used a sample pint of leftover charcoal paint from Sherwin Williams to paint the cord.

    Above: L: The West Elm Conversion Kit in Polished Nickel, a necessary add-on for mounting the light on the ceiling; $25. Above R: The kit after I painted it.

    Paint 

    Martha Stewart's Liquid Gilding Paint in Copper, Gold and Brass I Remodelista  

    Above: I covered the polished nickel fittings in Martha Stewart's Liquid Gilding Paint in Brass; $6.98 from Amazon (copper and gold also available). The oil-based color adhered well, so no need to use a primer. Photo by Chelsea Costa of Lovely Indeed via Poppy Talk.

     Finished Project

     

    Above: We call our dining room the Parisian Room, thanks to our salvaged French mirror and brass vitrine that make our upgraded pendants look right at home.

    Another easy DIY with paint? Check out Gardenista's Envy-Inducing Planters (Spray Paint is Involved). Looking for more brass lamps? Consider these Brass Pendants from Allied Maker


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    My living accommodations in architecture school came with windows, but no window treatments. On a student budget, I did nothing, a solution which suited me just fine—the purist in me strongly believed that windows should be allowed to do their job of letting light in unfettered by the messiness of curtains or the clutter of Venetian blinds. And then one day a friend pointed out that while I may be comfortable exposing myself for the sake of architecture, those with a view into my room at night might not feel the same way. The owner of the local hardware store suggested roller blinds. I installed them myself—my first DIY—and have been committed to their simple effectiveness ever since. Read on to see why roller blinds have been my one and only window treatment everywhere I've lived.

    What is a roller blind?

    A roller blind is comprised of a rectangular swath of material (it can vary from  attached to an aluminum tube and mounted between two brackets. A chain pulley system or a spring mechanism rolls the fabric up or down, depending on where you want it. Automated roller blinds are available, but in my opinion automation seems to unnecessarily complicate things. That said, hanging cords and loops present a bonafide hazard in house's with young kids; read the New York Times' report on the subject before selecting the right model for you.

    Ikea Enje Roller Blind | Remodelista

    Above: The Ikea Enje Roller Blind filters light and reduces glare on computers and televisions; it's available in a variety of sizes. The Enje Roller Blind UK comes with a pulley cord and is priced at £14 to £22, while the Enje Roller Blind US comes cordless for increased child safety, $17.99 to $34.99.

    Why are roller blinds my favorite window treatment?

    I like the dimensions of my windows to be fully exposed, and in their open position, roller blinds disappear in a way that curtains, shutters, Venetian blinds, and Roman shades never do. And when I have to lower them, roller blinds have a visual consistency that allows them to become part of the architecture as opposed to an added layer of decoration (though, conversely, curtains can add a grandeur that shades lack. They can also keep out drafts). 

    Sheer roller Blinds in white living room | Remodelista

    Above: Simple roller blinds in a white setting become part of the architecture of a room. In a room with a series of same-sized windows, roller blinds lined up at the same height appeal to those of us who appreciate precision. Image via DBA Blinds.

    How much light can roller blinds let in or block out?

    Whatever your reasons for needing window shades, there are many fabric options from sheer to opaque to give you the degree of control you're after. In our house in London, we wanted two extremes: we are inclined to let in as much light in as possible during the day, and yet when we sleep, we want to be able to black out all early morning light. We needed blinds on all our windows because on the street front we have a privacy issue and throughout there's computer glare. For visual consistency, we chose the same sheer fabric for all our windows, and our solution in the bedrooms was to install a double roller blind with sheer fabric on one roller and a blackout shade on the other.

      Double roller blinds | Remodelista

    Above: Three double roller blinds are used to cover a wall of windows. During the day, the sheer blinds filter and diffuse the light coming in, while the blackout blinds keep the room dark at night. Image via Ati Shutters and Blinds

    Double roller blind hardware | Remodelista

    Above: On a double roller blind, two rollers can accommodate two different fabrics, so you can have sheer and blackout options. Image via Sunlight.

    What type of settings do roller blinds work well in?

    In their simplicity, roller blinds have a neutral appearance and go with all styles of decor, from traditional to contemporary. They can be mounted a number of ways: in between the window frames (but beware that some light may leak in from the sides), in front of the window frames, or even from the ceiling. The mounting options, of course, depend on your existing conditions. When roller blinds are mounted between the frames, the windows stand out; if they're mounted in front of the window frames, they typically mask the frames, and a ceiling mount can make a room feel taller.

    Sheer roller blinds in traditional window frames | Remodelista

    Above: The roller blinds have been mounted to the underside of these traditional wooden window frames and the fabric, when rolled up, sits between the frames as a barely noticeable horizontal line. Image via Solid Frog.

    Sheer roller blinds in white diining room, white ceiling pendants | Remodelista

    Above: This modern setting has a roller blind that's been mounted to roll down in front of the window and its frame. Image via Slijkhuis-Interieur.

    Are roller blinds easy to clean?

    It's recommended that roller blinds be cleaned once a year, whereas curtains, because they harbor dust mites, require more frequent cleaning—three to four times a year depending on how prone your family is to allergies. Cleaning roller blinds is relatively straightforward and involves removing them from their brackets and rolling them out on the floor to towel them off with a mild cleaning solution. Curtains, on the other hand, need to be dismantled, washed, and pressed, or dry cleaned and then remounted. In my time-pressed schedule, maintaining roller blinds doesn't fill me with dread the way cleaning curtains does, increasing the likelihood that it may happen.

      Cleaning Venetian Blinds | Remodelista

    Above: The process of cleaning each individual blade of a Venetian blind rules them out for me. Image via The Blinds Review.

    How much do roller blinds cost and where can I get them? 

    Roller blinds come in a wide range of sizes and prices, from readymade versions you install yourself to designs that are made to measure. At Home Depot, a Bali Cut-to-Size White Light Filtering Vinyl Roller Shade costs 50 cents a square foot, while made-to-measure roller blinds from Levolor, The Shade Store, and Smith+Noble cost around $9 to $15 a square foot, depending on fabric and accessories. The Shade Store offers local certified installers who will come and measure and install at an additional cost; Margot tried this and was happy with the results. Well known brands like Levolor and Hunter Douglas can be ordered online or through window covering specialists in your area. In the Bay Area, Julie uses Burris Window Shades.

    Roller Shade Recap

    Pros

    • Clean look that becomes part of the architecture
    • Tend to be more cost-effective than curtains
    • Easier to clean and maintain than other window treatments

    Cons

    • Roller blinds with cords present a safety hazard for households with young kids
    • Shades aren't as effective as curtains at keeping out draughts
    • Roller blinds that are installed in between window frames allow light to seep in in the gap between the blind and the frame
    • Not as formal or elegant as curtains

    For more window treatment ideas, see Five Ways to Cover 50 Windows on a Budget. And learn The Secret Ingredient to Make Windows Shine Bright Like a Diamond. Contemplating a remodel? Have a look at all of our Remodeling 101 posts.


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    Before introducing his eponymous label in 1991, the French designer spent his formative years working alongside Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler and as an assistant to Christian Lacroix. He accepted the role of artistic director at Lacoste in 2000, and in 2010 he became the artistic director at Hermès, where he continues to design the women's collection. Despite holding key positions at major fashion houses, Christophe maintains his anti-fashion approach, offering timeless design, season-less garments, all with a focus on superior simplicity.

    Christophe's collections reflect a penchant for precision detail, seen in the tailoring of even the most basic white shirt. Sarah-Linh Tran, Christophe's partner in life and work, is an integral part of the design process. As she explains it, "we design for a woman who has found her style and lives it with grace. Her clothing is a way to simplify her life and highlight her personality."

    Here's a look at the Christophe Lemaire spring collection as well as a Q&A with Christophe and Sarah-Linh about their personal uniforms, maintenance tips, and style essentials.

    Christophe Lemaire Spring/Summer 2014 Presentation | Remodelista

    Above: The Christophe Lemaire 2014 women's spring collection was presented at a French Protestant temple converted into a home. "We wanted somewhere very intimate to show a woman in the poetry of everyday life, and we fell in love with this place which is both strange and beautiful. The light, the vibe; we also like sets that are not easily defined, such as this," says Christophe.

    Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran, Photographed exclusively for Remodelista

    Above: Sarah-Linh Tran and Christophe Lemaire at home in Paris. Photographed for Remodelista.

    RM: How would you describe your personal style?
    Christophe Lemaire: I like the concept of a personal uniform, it is what I am looking for myself. I don't like clothes that are too fragile or precious. I like functional and durable garments.
    Sarah-Linh Tran: Practical and discreet.

    Christophe Lemaire Men's F/W 2013 Collection | Remodelista

    RM: What are your wardrobe essentials?
    Christophe: My uniform is made-to-measure leather boots, tapered chinos, a fishermen's rib yak sweater (both from Christophe Lemaire), and a vintage wool and alpaca single-breasted three-quarter coat.
    Sarah-Linh: I always wear second-skins sweaters in silk and cashmere under my shirts or pullovers.

    RM: What season is your favorite?
    Christophe: Spring in the morning.
    Sarah-Linh: Fall in Paris.

    John Lobb Leather Shoe Cream | Remodelista

    RM: Wardrobe maintenance tips?
    Christophe:
     Leather shoe shine is necessary; like John Lobb's Shoe Cream.
    Sarah-Linh: I don't have any legitimate advice, I'm afraid.

    RM: What are the key essentials that you always carry with you?
    Christophe:
     My iPhone and Ricola sweets.
    Sarah-Linh: A notebook and a hand sanitizer.

    Aesop Shine Serum from Nouvelle in Denmark | Remodelista

    Above: Photograph of Aesop's Shine oil on Danish site Nouvelle.

    RM: Groom or un-groomed? What are your favorite products?
    Christophe:
    Groomed (I like to be manicured). Aesop’s Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream and Fabulous Face Cleanser.
    Sarah-Linh: And I just discovered Aesop's Brille for hair. It nourishes very dry hair without weighing it down.

    RM: Do you have a scent that you are loyal to?
    Christophe:
     Natural amber.
    Sarah-Linh: Agrumes [citrus], basil, olive oil, and the scent of very basic moisturizers like Nivea.

    Christophe Lemaire Women's S/S 2014 Collection | Remodelista

    RM: Are there any styling principles you rely on when preparing the show of each collection?
    Christophe: Never trying hard, and never too obvious.
    Sarah-Linh: I picture a better version of myself.

    RM: What is the best complement to a minimalist wardrobe?
    Sarah-Linh and Christophe:
     A beautiful skin and healthy hair!

    Atlas Pasta Machine | Remodelista

    RM: What is the last thing you purchased for your home?
    Christophe: A Korg keyboard.
    Sarah-Linh: A pasta machine to make homemade pastas. [The Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine, $69.95 at Crate and Barrel.]

    RM: What is next on your wish list?
    Christophe:
    To rearrange the furniture at home.
    Sarah-Linh: To be with my family in New York.

    Villa Müller by Architect Adolf Loos | Remodelista

    Above: Adolf Loos' Villa Müller in Prague, Czech Republic designed in 1930.

    RM: Favorite art piece or architectural work of the moment?
    Christophe: The work of architect Adolf Loos and painter Odilon Redon.
    Sarah-Linh: Giacometti's Disagreeable Object to be Thrown away.

    For similar snippets of advice, see our previous posts, Expert Advice: 10 Wardrobe Maintenance Essentials and Style Counsel: Apiece Apart on Living with Less.


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    My ceramicist/aesthetic arbiter friend Richard Carter recently introduced me to the work of Yolande Milan and Christian Batteau, describing the creative duo as "true Renaissance people." He was right. The brother and sister are both fine artists who show their work independently; together, they create luxurious, hand-painted textural wallpapers and surfaces that they describe as "like the shadows on a wall in autumn." Callidus Guild, their Brooklyn atelier, counts Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tiffany, and, recently, Roman and Williams, among its clients. Their approach involves far more the pigment and paper; here's how Yolande explains the process: "I create techniques to manipulate marble dust, mica and bronze powders, pigments and waxes to achieve unusual results out of historical materials." She goes on to explain, "I try to make art for walls, but art that is also a ground for great art collections and objects, or even intimate, domestic quiet spaces." 

    To see more of the Batteaus' one-of-a-kind creations, visit Callidus Guild; for pricing and ordering, go to Jean de Merry

    Callidus Guild Wallpaper/Remodelista

    Above: Linear wallpaper (shown at right) from Callidus Guild's Sinuous Collection, which they describe as "crystalline lines encapsulating blooming dispersions of jewel-colored threads." The Sinuous line papers have a base of hand-tinted marble dust plaster with varying degrees of polish and sheen. Yolande explains, "Italian architect Carlo Scarpa reintroduced the use of ancient encaustic—a type of marble dust plaster—in many of his renovations of museums as an aesthetic bridge between ancient buildings and his contemporary additions, since the feeling of the plasters evoke both so well. We do the same in our approach to finishes."

    Callidus Guild hand-painted ribbon wallpaper | Remodelista

    Above: Ribbon from the Sinuous collection in two-tone Begune ivory with a softly undulating waxed finish. Asked about what inspires her, Yolande supplied a long, far-reaching list: Japanese tea houses, Villa Kerylos in Greece, Ewe textiles from West Africa, Belgian farmhouse walls chalk-painted with horsehair brushes, decaying Milanese Palazzos ceiling frescoes, Japanese Anagama-fired ceramics, Meiji lacquer embedded with mother of pearl, Art Deco screens, homespun linen."

    Callidus Guild Sacred Geometries wallpaper | Remodelista

    Above L: Tessellation is said to echo the natural forms found in the growth pattern of crystals, honeycombs, and lava flows. Above R: Folded Origami.

    Callidus Guild hand-painted Louis Vuitton wall | Remodelista

    Above: One of the surfaces created for the Louis Vuitton store in Sydney, Australia. Yolande and Christian worked with a team in Paris to make a slew of new papers for Louis Vuitton stores.

    Designer Jean Louis Deniot's Paris dining room | Remodelista

    Above: Custom wallpaper by Callidus Guild in designer Jean-Louis Deniot's Paris dining room. Photograph via Jean-Louis Deniot.

    Callidus Guild Yolande Batteau | Remodelista

    Above: Yolande in her Brooklyn studio making verre eglomise mirrors to be used as panels for the walls of the Chanel Ginza Fine Jewelry store in Tokyo. 

    Christian Batteau Callidus Guild | Remodelista

    Above: Christian Batteau works out of a studio in rural Arkansas where he is creating a sustainable art farm and residency program. He's shown here (in the foreground) creating a Linear wallpaper design called Caviar with one of his team. The Batteaus work with a team of painters, sculptors, artisans, plasterers, and gilders in both Brooklyn and Arkansas.

    For more ideas on wall coverings, check out our Wallpaper posts and read How to Pick the Perfect Wallpaper on Gardenista.


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    On a recent trip to Paris for the Maison & Objet design show, I kept hearing people talking about Clamato. As a kid I had a strange affinity for the salty, clammy, tomato-based drink, and so my ears perked up. Soon, I was making my way over to the Faubourg Saint-Antoine neighborhood in the 11e, where chef Bertrand Grebaut and his creative team have opened their third spot, Clamato, a rustic seafood restaurant that’s as unpretentious—and appealing—as its namesake.

    Parisian architects Guillaume Jounet and Remy Bardin of Hold Up Architecture designed the space in close collaboration with Grebaut and his creative team, taking cues from the chef's other restaurants, Septime, a laid-back modern bistro that’s one of the most sought after tables in town, and its companion wine bar Septime La Cave. The group bestowed Clamato with a fresh green facade and interior walls, long wooden bar, and biergarten tables with painted tops. I could happily drop in daily.

    Photographs courtesy of Hold Up Architecture, unless otherwise noted.

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: The façade of the restaurant is painted a vibrant green framing big bay windows that give a grand view into the space. The location on the Rue de Charonne has become a dining destination thanks to chef Bertrand Grebaut’s triad of excellent restaurants, all on the block.

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: The dining room ceiling is finished with raw wood planks and earthy rustic tiles line the floor. A newly installed bay window overlooks a garden in the building's courtyard.  

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant doesn't take reservations, but features a long bar that runs the length of the space with bentwood bar stools.

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above L: Rustic wood benches are paired with biergarten tables with painted tops. The spiral stair leads to an office and staff changing room. Above R: Flatware is casually stowed on tables in Mason jars—a detail worth copying at home. Photos via The Hip Paris Blog by Dider Gauducheau.

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: The bar is perfect for sampling oysters and low-sulfite wines from boutique producers (a specialty Grebaut developed at his nearby wine bar, Septime la Cave). 

    Clamato seafood restaurant Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Clamato is stocked with notable details, including Falcon Enamelware and brickwork-like tiles that run up the side of the bar. Explain the architects: "One factor taken into consideration was the 'design without design' approach matching with Septime's expectations of what a home-like restaurant should be."

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above L: Meals are accompanied by slabs of butter in blond wood dishes and hearty brown bread from Landemaine. Above R: The daily changing menu celebrates the bounty of the sea—fat oysters from Maldon and Normandy. Photos via The Hip Paris Blog by Dider Gauducheau.

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Tabletops and a few walls are in a dark green that ties together the interior and exterior.

    Clamato seafood restaurant in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Gilded cattail and pressed glass lighting dresses up the otherwise rustic space.

    Clamato seafood restaurant Paris | Remodelista

    Above L: Sea urchins, oysters, and shrimp accompanied by house-made hot sauce and mignonette in tiny mason jars. Above R: Clamato's ceviche served in Falcon Enamelware plates. Photos via Clamato.

    Clamato is at 80 Rue de Charonne in Paris's Faubourg Saint-Antoine neighborhood in the 11 arrondissement.

    Looking for a place to stay in Paris? Consider the Hotel Amour just south of Montmartre. For more of our favorite spots, peruse our Paris Travel Guide. And go to Gardenista to see Odorantes, a Parisian Florist Where Flowers Are Arranged by Scent


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    In honor of Michelle's one-of-a-kind marble cocktail table (see Domestic Dispatches: The Allure of the One of a Kind), we did some sleuthing and found a trio of appealing options—very similar in looks (both have marble tops with wooden bases) but at different ends of the price spectrum. 

    High

    Atlas Coffee Table in Arabescato via DWR I Remodelista

    Above: The Atlas Coffee Table with an Arabescato (marble) top by NYC designer Brad Ascalon features a solid base made from North American black walnut; the table is currently on sale at Design Within Reach for $1,585.25 (down from $1,865). The table top also comes in black marble and travertine.

    Low

    Free-Range-Coffee-Table-by-BluDot I Remodelista  

    Above: The Free Range Coffee Table features a honed marble top with a base of solid walnut joined with brass hardware; $699 from BluDot. 

    Reeve Mid Century Coffee Table in Marble by West Elm I Remodelista  

    Above: A third option, West Elm's Reeve Mid-Century Coffee Table with a Marble top is currently on sale for $399 (down from $499). 

    Considering marble in the kitchen? See our latest Steal This Look: Glamorous London Kitchen from a Designer with "Shit Loads of Talent." And here's Michelle's post on her adventures with marble: My Dirty Secret: How I Learned to Live with a Marble Backsplash


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