Articles on this Page
- 03/14/14--02:00: _Happier at Home: Th...
- 03/14/14--04:00: _Trending on Gardeni...
- 03/14/14--06:00: _Althaus: A Brave Ne...
- 03/14/14--08:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Woo...
- 03/14/14--10:00: _Remodeling 101: The...
- 03/15/14--02:00: _Current Obsessions:...
- 03/15/14--04:00: _Win a $5,000 Shoppi...
- 03/17/14--00:15: _This Week's Table o...
- 03/17/14--04:00: _House Call: Slow Li...
- 03/17/14--06:00: _Raise a Glass: A Ne...
- 03/17/14--08:00: _DIY: Painted Canvas...
- 03/17/14--10:00: _Industrial Lighting...
- 03/18/14--02:00: _Steal This Look: An...
- 03/18/14--04:00: _Pattern Play: Wallp...
- 03/18/14--06:00: _A Remote Scottish B...
- 03/18/14--08:00: _Palette & Paints: C...
- 03/18/14--10:00: _Design Sleuth: The ...
- 03/19/14--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Flo...
- 03/19/14--04:00: _House Call: A Ceram...
- 03/19/14--06:00: _An Irish Designer R...
- 03/14/14--02:00: Happier at Home: The Zero-Waste Challenge, Kitchen Edition
- 03/14/14--04:00: Trending on Gardenista: Growing a Kitchen Garden
- 03/14/14--06:00: Althaus: A Brave New Bavarian Restaurant in Poland
- 03/14/14--08:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Wooden Cutting Boards with Cutouts for Hanging
- 03/14/14--10:00: Remodeling 101: The Urban Galley Kitchen
- 03/15/14--02:00: Current Obsessions: Eternally Modern
- A $5,000 shopping spree at Terrain in Glen Mills, PA, with Remodelista's Julie Carlson as your personal shopper
- Lunch with Julie at Terrain's Garden Café
- Roundtrip airfare for two to Philadelphia from anywhere in the Continental US
- A hotel stay on Friday and Saturday nights, April 18 and 19, at the Hotel Palomar in Rittenhouse Square
- Transportation to and from the hotel to Terrain on Saturday, April 19.
- Dinner for two on Saturday evening at Terrain's Garden Café
- A copy of the newly released Remodelista book.
- 03/17/14--00:15: This Week's Table of Contents: British Isles
- 03/17/14--04:00: House Call: Slow Living at La Casita
- 03/17/14--06:00: Raise a Glass: A New Whiskey Tumbler for St. Patrick's Day
- 03/17/14--08:00: DIY: Painted Canvas Tissue Box Cover
- 1 standard square tissue box to use for measurements
- 1/2 yard of canvas fabric or a section of a Painter's Drop Cloth ($26 from Gempler's)
- Sewing machine or a medium size needle
- Green thread, such as Gutterman Sew All Polyester Thread available for $2.90 from Craft Sew Sews on Etsy
- Acrylic paint in a color of your choice; I used Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic Paint in permanent green light; $7.51 from Blick.
- Scissors, seam ripper (for mistakes), and Tailor's Measuring Tape ($2.72 at T Mart)
- 03/17/14--10:00: Industrial Lighting from the Edge of the Cotswolds
- 03/18/14--02:00: Steal This Look: An Attic Bath in a Spectrum of Greens
- 03/18/14--04:00: Pattern Play: Wallpaper, Textiles, and Tiles by Akin & Suri
- 03/18/14--06:00: A Remote Scottish Bolt-Hole
- 03/18/14--08:00: Palette & Paints: Coastline-Inspired Blues
- 03/18/14--10:00: Design Sleuth: The British Cloakroom Basin Tap
- 03/19/14--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Floor Outlets
- 03/19/14--04:00: House Call: A Ceramic Artist's Enviable Life on the Scottish Coast
Several months ago, when I posted about Bea Johnson and her Zero Waste Home (in which she and her family of four essentially live waste free), there was a stream of comments from readers both embracing and questioning the idea. The concept of zero-waste living struck a nerve. It also resonated heavily with me and I kept coming back to the idea—which is why last month at the dinner table I suggested to my husband and two kids that we try living zero-waste-free for a week—that's right, create no trash for seven days. My almost-teen daughter, Imogen, and teenager son, Conrad, gave me one of their are-we-really-going-to-do-this looks. Fortunately, my husband, David, who happens not to be a big consumer (with the exception of outdoor gear), proved game, and once we all started talking about it, everyone got on board.
Armed with good intentions and tips from Bea's site Zero Waste Home (printed out on paper, ironically), we wondered, how hard could it be? Well, let’s just say the project was an epic fail. But we did manage one very low (if not zero) waste day, and we learned some lasting lessons along the way. Here’s what happened on that memorable day:
Above: At home around the dining table with David and our two children. Photograph by Mathew Williams for Remodelista.
Breakfast: homemade granola. Having finally managed to banish large cereal boxes from the house after a ten-year campaign, I thought I had earned a few brownie points with the granola. But then I realized that all the contents with the exception of the oats had come from packaged nuts, fruit, and honey. David has hot cereal (bought in bulk in a reusable bag) with milk. The latter came in a refundable bottle, so we're feeling good about that. Imogen has yogurt from a large plastic container (sending us back three spaces on the Zero Waste Home gameboard). Solution? Switch to Saint Benoît yogurt in recyclable pots (made locally, but more expensive).
We all have water—four glasses filled to the brim and not all finished when cleared away. We realize that we're pouring away perfectly good water daily. Solution? Each of us picks a different cup/glass/bottle that we've started keeping on the kitchen counter and now use throughout the day, vastly reducing the dishwasher load. The newspaper is delivered in a plastic wrap with an elastic band even though it’s not raining. Time to go electronic.
Above: Ceramic yogurt pots from Sonoma Creamery Saint Benoît repurposed as coffee cups at the Stable Cafe in San Francisco.
Showers: I have the kids time themselves and discover they spend way too long preening in the mornings. Having grown up in the UK, I am trying to persuade them that maybe they don’t need to wash their hair daily (it’s better for the hair). And while we're waiting for the shower to heat up, Bea suggests collecting water in a bucket and using it for watering the plants. That one remains on the To Do list. Bea, our role model, is also big on bulk shampoos and conditioners like Dr. Bronners Castlle Soap and suggests making your own toothpaste. A recent clampdown on water usage in our town has all of us aware that running water is a waste, so we're mindful on the toothbrushing front.
Caffeine: I pick up a late morning coffee at my local coffee shop and use my ten-ounce We Are Happy to Serve You ceramic cup (see below). I've been doing this for years, always with my own cup, and have managed to master the art of riding a bike and holding coffee in one hand, while only occasionally spilling (proof that plastic lids are highly overrated). I no longer like the taste of coffee in paper cups (that are invariably lined with plastic), and I'm always amazed by how many people can be found sitting in a coffee shop with to-go cups with lids and cup wraps. I’m also a fan of the Kleen Kanteen, which can be used for both hot and cold liquids. For my brew at home, I like Blue Bottle and other companies that use compostable bags instead of ones lined with plastic.
Above: My ceramic Greek Coffee Cup: $12 from Uncommon Goods.
Lunch: Imogen packs her lunch (mostly leftovers) in metal containers. Water is in a metal bottle from Sigg, but I note that this one was a freebie and is probably lined with plastic (still, at some point you have to let go). Conrad buys his lunch off campus. He says it’s impossible not to get some sort of wrapping with to-go food, whether it’s a burrito or a slice of pizza. It turns out that he drinks water out of plastic cups at school. He says he’s willing to switch to a metal bottle.
Above: Our favorite lunch tote is the Aluminum Box Mini from Sigg; $31.99.
I have a lunch meeting and order a ginormous kale salad; I end up taking half if it to go, generating a box. One of the Zero Waste Home tenets: bring your own container for leftovers. Why didn't I think of that? (Moving backward on the board again). David picks up a sandwich for lunch served in-store on a paper plate with excessive paper napkins. He puts back most of the napkins. He returns home to find the mail, most of it junk. Even though I get us removed from mailing lists, catalogs keep reappearing. Time to sign up for the National Do Not Mail List.
Errands: In the afternoon, I pick up our bimonthly CSA veggie cardboard box and realize that all of the produce comes in a large plastic bag with a layer of paper on top. I head to the bakery for a loaf of bread and forgo the paper bag, but have to drop it in my cloth bag that has a pen and a couple of coins floating around the bottom (not exactly ideal). Solution: bring the furoshiki I usually keep the bread in on the kitchen counter. (I get mine from Ambatalia.)
Above: A linen furoshiki, a giant dish towel of cotton hemp, made by Ambatalia and ideal for storing bread. Available from the Green Tree General Store for $34.
I drive to Whole Foods equipped: I have my baggies for grains, net bags for produce, and cloth bags for the lot. I even reuse the paper tie tags that you have to write the product number on for bulk purchases (I do this really because I can’t be bothered to write out the numbers on each visit). I buy fennel and head for the cauliflower, but note they it's wrapped in plastic— abandon the latter. The bananas and apples come with stickers—oh well. I need to buy pasta. It only comes in packages at this locale (is plastic worse than paper boxes?). Need to find a bulk source. So much to think about.
Above: A variety of the bags I arm myself with for a trip to the store. Eco-bags sells bags in all sizes for every shopping need.
Feta cheese is next on the list; it comes wrapped in clear plastic. I never use cling wrap at home, but here I am buying cheese wrapped in it. Can’t possibly be good for the cheese. Opt for feta in a plastic container (not sure if this is better or worse). I need some meat and have remembered to bring a glass jar as per Bea’s recommendation. I note that the meat is still placed on a piece of plastic on the scale before it's popped into my jar and a label is slapped on. The butcher doesn't bat an eye—It turns out there's another customer who brings in several jars for her weekly meat supplies. The lady beside me says it’s a great idea and she might give it a try.
Last on the list are tomatoes. I had finally moved on from buying tomatoes in cans to tomatoes in jars (because of the BPA from the plastic liners in cans; see Treehugger on the topic). Do I buy off-season tomatoes from the produce section and make my own sauce or just grab a bottle? For my sanity's sake, I grab a bottle that will get tossed into recycling. I'm amazed, and exhausted, by the endless decisions that need to be made. I'm given a receipt at checkout, another bit of waste (and now that many receipts are found to have BPA on them, another thing to avoid). Solution: ask for receipt to be emailed whenever possible.
Above: Bea favors Le Parfait jars for buying meat (and ice cream). The jars are available from Crate and Barrel for $9.95.
Dinner: I make a fennel sausage sugo. Bea suggests foregoing serving platters and placing food straight onto dinner plates to save the water required for extra cleaning. Scraps are composted. She also advocates skipping garbage liners altogether. Leftovers are put into the fridge with the cotton Bowl Over covers that I got awhile back. Heidi Swanson sells some nicer linen versions (see below).
Bedtime: I start removing my makeup with cotton pads and realize I’m generating waste yet again. Bea suggests Reusable Cotton Make Rounds (which she happens to sell); I could be persuaded.
Above: Linen Dish Covers made by Ambatalia are available at Quitokeeto; $58 for a set of five.
Recap: At the end of our first (and only) day, our heads are spinning, but we alI have gotten the point. I had naively thought that by making my own cleaning solution, repurposing rags for cleaning, and drying laundry on a line that we were ahead of the game. I could not have been more wrong. Yes, all those steps help, but to purposefully consider every bit of waste you generate on a daily basis is a true exercise in conscious consumerism. The takeaway? Zero waste is a daunting goal, but refusing more packaging, using less water, and consuming carefully is doable and worthwhile. And all four of us will certainly be more mindful. If you want to try the zero waste challenge yourself, Bea's tips are hugely helpful. And if you decide to go hardcore, you can hire her for a full lifestyle consultation.
We would love to hear your suggestions for consuming less (fill us in below).
See our original interview with Bea Johnson: 10 Ways to Live with Less from Zero Waste Home. For other ideas on living with a small imprint, check out Small Space Living posts, including Erin Boyle's Survival Guide to Life in a Tiny Brooklyn Apartment. And Bea, naturally, is an avid gardener. On Gardenista, see her 10 tips for a Simplified Garden, to Grow More with Less.
While we've been in the kitchen all week on Remodelista, Gardenista has gone deep into Mr. McGregor territory, exploring the no-dig vegetable patch, trugs and harvest baskets, herb markers, and how to grow the vegetable known as "the honey underground." Here's a look at the most popular posts of the week:
Above: Yet another reason to book a flight to South Africa: Blueberry Cafe, in the ZwaZulu-Natal Midlands, a combination general store, cafe, and reception hall—with newly redesigned interiors and dramatic indoor plant displays that we hope to replicate (thanks, Erin).
Above: Like the idea of the busy person's abundant (yet organized) kitchen garden? British gardening and cooking expert Sarah Raven has 10 Tips to show you the way. (We plan to follow her suggestion that "green and purple kale look great in flower arrangements.")
Above: Gardener Charles Dowding's radically laissez-faire approach to gardening yields plentiful results. Is it too good to be true? Find out in Charles Dowding's No Dig (And No Weed) Garden in Somerset.
Above: Soak up more beta-carotene, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, with this cheat sheet on how to grow your own carrots, aka "the honey underground," spotlighted in the latest Gardenista Field Guide.
Above: When Ellen Jenkins was deciding how to finish the roof of her new house on a budget, she turned to asphalt. In Hardscaping 101: Asphalt Roof Singles, Ellen provides the lowdown on types, colors, and costs.
No space for a windowsill herb garden? Have a look at this ingenious option.
Althaus, a recently opened restaurant off a bustling walking street in the centrer of Gdynia, Poland, offers traditional Bavarian cuisine served in an unexpected setting—an inviting mix of rustic Southern German and modern chic with a lot of wood paneling. The space, designed by Hanna Bialic and Jakub Piórkowski of PB/Studio in nearby Gdansk, in collaboration with Filip Kozarski, extends over two stories, and shifts atmospherically: some rooms feature cowhide-covered seating and outsized gingham tablecloths, others green velvet and custom copper lighting. It all adds up to the most stylish Bavarian restaurant we've come across.
Above: Althaus has a modern facade with long windows that provide diners with an elevated view of street life.
Above: The designers embraced Bavarian woodcrafting traditions and tweaked them, creating a warm, entirely wood-paneled, two-toned entry. The floor is covered with handmade Moroccan-style concrete tiles by Purpura.
Above: The combination of old and new continues in the ground floor dining room where, under a wood-paneled ceiling, built-in-banquettes are paired with chairs upholstered in cowhide.The simple farm tables were custom-made for the space.
Above: Lit by industrial pendant lights, the settings, with their outsized checks and clean white enamelware, present a fresh take on Bavarian folk style.
Above: Against contemporary bleached-wood paneling, a grandmotherly sideboard displays Bavarian beer steins and dishes.
Above: The ambiance shifts as you make your way to the top level, from farm-styled dining area to fancy bar.
Above: Custom-made brass lighting hangs over the stair prompting the tone shift between the first and second floors. The pipe-like lights were created by the design team.
Above: On the upper floor, the bar and buffet areas are painted a bottle green, referencing traditional Bavarian style. Green velvet banquette seating follows along the wood-paneled wall adding a glamorous touch. The black chairs, Fotel 24, are made by Polish company Ton.
Above: Oak flooring, paneling, and tabletops tie together the white brick space. Industrial lights are here mixed in with luxurious brass pendants.
Above: Open wooden shelving displays German wine and books. Wood paneling is offset by a wall tiled with faceted white subway-stye tiles from Art De Vivre.
Above L: A custom wall-mounted brass lamp. Above R: A wood-framed round mirror against a wood-paneled wall.
Above L: The dining room's white brick tiles by Polish company Art De Vivre and wood accents carry over to the women's bathroom, which has octagonal floor tiles by Dunin. Above R: The men's room presents glossy black tiles from Dunin paired with a wooden vanity and a black-and-white checkerboard floor.
Above: Even the waiters are dressed in neo-Bavarian folk style. For more details, visit Althaus.
Headed to Eastern Europe any time soon? Don't miss these two restaurants in Bucharest: Romania Rustic Meets Nordic Modern and In Bucharest, Doors as Decor. On Gardenista, see The Dark Mirror: A Reflecting Pool in Eastern Europe.
In my small urban kitchen, everything goes up on the wall: colanders, spoons, spatulas, and now cutting boards. In fact, I've had to pass up hand-me-down John Boos cutting boards because they were too wide, too heavy, and well, you can't hang them all the wall. As a footnote to our previous post on Display-Worthy Cutting Boards, here are 10 boards, all with cutout holes for hanging.
Above: Canadian product designer Geoffrey Lilge's the Hole Slab Boards are made from FSC-certified North American walnut. Shown here on a restaurant wall are the double-handled Culina Tray ($260 CAD), the XL Ring Board ($250 CAD), the Hole Slab Long Board ($140 CAD), and the Hole Slab Pico Board ($140 CAD), all available from Lilge's company OnOurTable. For more, see Design Sleuth: Charcuterie Boards at Luce in Portland, Oregon.
Above: From Canvas, the Large Handmade Holey Cutting Board has two holes on either end and is made in the US by Amish woodworkers using a variety of hardwoods (cherry, maple, oak, and walnut); $72 each.
Above: From Joshua Vogel of Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co., the Large Cutting Board with Handle is made of sugar maple and has a medium-size hole in the handle for hanging on the wall; $210 at March.
Above: Hampson Woods' London Plane Boards are made from salvaged plane trees and finished with olive oil; they vary in price. Shown here, from left: the Size 1 Board (£35), Size 2 Board (£45), and Size 4 Board (£55). For more details, visit our post, British Roots: Hampson Woods' Curvy Handled Cutting Boards.
Above: Objets Méchanique's 23-inch-long Maple Cutting Board 1.2 is made from cherrywood with a dip-dyed handle; $98 each.
Above: From Fern in Upstate New York, the Nesting Amoeba Cutting Boards feature large cut out holes for hanging. For pricing and availability, contact Fern directly. For more on the designers, see our post Shaker-Inspired Furniture in the Hudson Valley.
Above: Lostine's Baguette Cutting Boards are dip-dyed in food safe milk paint. Prices range from $98 to $168 from Lostine.
Above: From Herriot Grace in Toronto, the Favourite Board is hand carved from spalted maple wood with a cutout on the handle; $205 CAD.
For spoons that hang on the wall, see Kitchen Art Installation: 8 Display-Worthy Wooden Spoons. For plants on the wall, see all posts about Vertical Gardens on Gardenista, includidng a DIY Living Wall for the Office.
Feeding the masses? Long favored by restaurants, the galley kitchen is designed for efficient meal production. Derived from the galley kitchens of ships and airplanes, the setup, also known as the corridor kitchen, is comprised of a single narrow passageway with cabinets and countertops on either side. Making the most of limited space, the hard-working galley is a perennial favorite in space-pressed urban dwellings. Here’s a look at 10 inspired takes on the type.
Above: A layout illustrates an efficient setup for a galley kitchen. Image via Momentum Construction.
Above: Ann DeSaussure Davidson and Scott Davidson's 75-square Brooklyn kitchen is the quintessential urban galley. Remodeled on a shoestring budget by the couple and architect Josh Pulver of A + C, the kitchen is stocked with sky-high storage and presents a flush façade thanks to small-scaled European appliances concealed behind paneled doors. For a full tour and dissection of the kitchen, see the Remodelista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Above: A wall of windows flood this industrial-style stainless steel galley with natural light. Image via Nge Blog.
Above: In a 1970's galley kitchen renovated by London's reclamation experts and designers Retrouvius, a sliding door opens (and sections off) the kitchen from the dining room. For a full tour of this apartment, see A Barbican Flat Goes Glamorous. Photograph by Debi Treloar for Ryland Peters & Small from Reclaiming Style.
Above: London architecture and design firm Project Orange designed a commercial galley kitchen for a couple who run a monthly dining club out of their home. A stainless steel cart on casters serves as a moveable island. Photograph via Project Orange.
Above: Almost every inch of my galley kitchen in London is lined with cabinets. For a full tour of my house, see Christine's House: Living Small in London.
Above: Floating shelves made from 100-year-old oak floorboards add a rustic element to the galley in a remodeled Eichler home in the Bay Area belonging to Lisa Collins, founding principal of Studio One|San Francisco. Photograph by Mark Adams.
Above: A small galley kitchen in Sweden finds extra depth by stepping the cabinets and countertop back from the sink. Image via Fantastic Frank.
Above: In her Stockholm galley, photographer and interior designer Benedikte Ugland contrasts black countertops and cabinets—Ikea designs that she refaced and stained—with beveled subway tile. We've got our eye on the sleek black faucet; here are some sources for high/low black faucets. Photograph by Anna Kern for Skona Hem.
Above: In Remodelista cofounder Francesca Connolly's Brooklyn galley, architect Steven Harris created a feeling of openness by floating the long cabinet run off the floor via a stepped-back back). See the Remodelista book for a full exploration of the house.
For more kitchen layout ideas, see our Remodeling 101 posts on The Eat-in Kitchen, The L-Shaped Kitchen, The U-Shaped Kitchen, and Kitchen Islands Gone Glamorous. And for more compact kitchen ideas, see Radical Downsizing: High/Low Mini Kitchens and, on Gardenista, Ikea Ingenuity: A Two-in-One Kitchen and Mini Herb Garden.
We spent this past week in the kitchen, deconstructing layouts and presenting our favorite designs. We also discovered artful coffee drippers, the best tech tools for remodelers, and a London studio apartment with an ingenious kitchen in a closet. Next week, we're heading across the pond to pay homage to the British Isles, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. In the meantime, we'd like to show you a few other things we've been thinking about lately.
Above: Julie is hoping that LA-based architectural enthusiasts will check out Malachi Connolly's Built on Narrow Land, a look at the European modern architecture of the 1960s and 70s on Outer Cape area of Cape Cod. It's at the Architecture & Design Film Festival in Los Angeles this weekend (showtimes are 4:15 pm on March 15, and 8:30 pm on March 16 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center); go to ADFF Los Angeles for more information. Photo of the Hatch House by Anna Moller via Kinfolk.
Above: While hunting for Pierre Jeanneret chairs this week, Alexa came across this amazing photograph of Charlotte Perriand in a Jeanneret lounge chair. The photo—and an extraordinary compact kitchen by Perriand for Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation—are on view right now at MOMA in New York as part of the Designing Modern Women exhibition.
In preparing for our British Isles week, Meredith has taken to the work of Irish painter Eamon O'Kane.
Julie shares her favorite LA spots with Design Milk.
Above: This week Margot has been perusing the offerings from H&M Home, which has been quietly available in this country since last summer.
An otherwise onerous task is made bearable with an artfully crafted toilet brush.
Have you ever seen a great-looking toilet brush? Have a look at this one.
Sarah has been checking out the various projects at The Possible, Berkeley Art Museum's experimental exhibition in which anyone can sign up for public workshops in the dye lab, print shop, ceramics and recording studio (and more). You can also chat with visiting artists working on-site. It runs through the end of May.
Above: At the Berkeley Art Museum, an oversized rug crocheted from rags (left), and indigo dyed fabric drying in the art studio (right). Photographs by Sarah Lonsdale.
We're getting ready for the garden season by browsing Gardenista's roundup of wooden trugs and baskets.
Above: Some of us at Remodelista are a little coffee crazed, so you can say we're slightly envious of NYC photographer Alice Gao's coffee set-up.
See Kitchen Composition for all the Remodelista posts from this past week. And read Gardenista's Mr. McGregor's Garden issue—a look at kitchen gardens—including 10 Tips for Growing a Kitchen Garden and A Greenhouse as Restaurant.
We can't think of a better way to welcome spring than getting back into the garden. To celebrate the season, we're offering Remodelista readers a chance to win a $5,000 spending spree at Terrain in April. The prize includes a trip for two to Terrain's Philadelphia flagship for a day of shopping, lunch, and dinner. Sign up now: the contest ends tomorrow, Monday March 17 at 11:59:59 ET.
Here's what one lucky reader will win:
View the official rules (note that winners must be able to visit Terrain on April 19) and enter to win below:
Above: Enter your email for a chance to win at Terrain + Remodelista's Win $5,000 and a Trip to Terrain contest page. The winner will be selected in a random drawing on March 20, 2014.
Above: Pink Bells of Ireland at Terrain's Glen Mills, PA, flagship store.
Above: A wide selection of plants for sale at Terrain's garden center.
Above: Get to know Julie over lunch at Terrain's cafe, where all the ingredients are locally sourced.
Enter to win the shopping spree and a trip to Terrain.
Join us this week for a loose meander around the UK and thereabouts, with a look at new design from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. And since we're kicking off the issue on St. Patrick's Day, we've included our favorite new whiskey tumblers handmade in Kilkenny. As always, we'll also be investigating crucial remodeling questions, including how to source the best floor outlets—and where to take the dreamiest coffee break.
N.B.: Table of Contents is a new Monday column to fill you in on what's what every week at Remodelista.
We begin the week with Justine's visit to the charmingly homemade family home of artisan and blogger Alessandra Taccia of La Casita, whose handwork is shown hanging in her kitchen in Cambridge, England. Later today also look for Kendra's report on classic British and European industrial lighting from Trainspotters (which has also started making our favorite new stacking chair).
An attic bath remodeled in a spectrum of greens is this week's Steal This Look. Alexa decodes the palette and sources the essentials down to the soap dispenser. And later in the day Meredith will be presenting paint colors inspired by the pale blues and grays of the British isles.
Where to put the outlets? It's a question every remodeler faces. Fresh from a home renovation herself, Izabella shares her favorite floor outlet finds, including this brass example in her living room, where she hides outlets and cords under sofas and rugs. We'll also be touring ceramic artist Lucy Dunce's home in East Lothian, Scotland, and showcasing a standout new stationery store in Glasgow.
Here at Remodelista we love the look of plywood—and the fact that it's adaptable and inexpensive. But not all plywood is equal; in this week's Remodeling 101 Christine explains how to source varieties that are formaldehyde free. On Thursday, we'll also be presenting Eleanor Pritchard's modern updates of traditional Welsh blankets and textiles, and visiting a cafe called Toast House.
In Friday's Ask the Expert column, Corin Mellor of David Mellor Design—makers of the ultimate classic modern cutlery from Sheffield—fills us in on what to look for when shopping for flatware. We cap off the week with a visit to the world's dreamiest mobile espresso truck, shown here in Trim, County Meath, Ireland.
It was the first time I've ever been jealous of doll furniture.
My introduction to artisan and blogger Alessandra Taccia came when I purchased several hand-stitched linen cushions, a luxurious knit cashmere throw, pom pom slippers, and a hand-crocheted pouf, all miniaturized for my daughter's toy mouse. Since then I have been an avid follower of Alessandra's via La Casita, her blog in which she chronicles her home and creations.
Much like her mouse accessories, Alessandra's blog hones in on the little things in life, celebrating quiet moments—a pile of newly washed tea towels or the perfect cup of grape fruit juice. Relaxed and welcoming, her world is not trendy but organic and full of soul. It is populated by storied pieces and personal objects, often crafted by Alessandra herself, that reflect her belief that a home should be a "work in progress, made slowly."
Photographs by Alessandra Taccia.
Above: Born of an Italian father and Argentinian mother, Alessandra grew up by the sea coast of Cinque Terre and studied painting. Today, she makes her home with her husband and daughter outside of Cambridge, England.
Above: In our correspondence, Alessandra informed me that in Italian "taccia," her last name, is the imperative third person of the verb tacere: to be silent. I found that fitting, because Alessandra's house is a bit of an oasis, a place quiet conversation.
Above: Alessandra prefers natural materials—linen, wool, ceramics, and wood—like these simple yet utilitarian objects in her kitchen. Her online shop, Knots, is an extension of her home and blog, offering a select array of one of a kind, handmade, and vintage goods.
Above: Being "often on the move"—the family lived in London before they relocated to their current rental—Alessandra edited down all of their possessions "to only what is really needed, either because it's useful or because it holds a memory we're fond of...For this reason I try to buy handmade things that are respectful of the environment, that are beautifully made, and designed to be passed on to the next generation." Over the dining table, a flock mobile by Bookhou is one example of the soulful accents Alessandra prefers.
Above: Alessandra's mother was an accomplished seamstress and knitter who passed on these skills to her daughter. One of Alessandra's specialities is making these patchwork hot pads that are for sale in her tiny online shop, Knots. Other small production items pictured here include ceramics from Analogue Life and a small wooden plate by Caroline Gomez.
Above: On the table, a mitt crocheted by Alessandra and a wooden trivet made by fellow blogger, Xenia of Eau de Nil, complement a perfect cup of tea.
Above: A leather pull and beaded key ring accessorize a £10 thrift store cupboard; Alessandra painted the piece a succession of Farrow & Ball shades before settling on white.
Above: Alessandra's so-so sofa was a victim of one of her recent edits. She replaced it with a floor cushion that she covered in heavy linen, and an assortment of pillows. Adding a diminutive table by Spielplatz, a low hung mid-century pendant lamp, and one of her own crocheted throws hung on a Nakagawa hanger ($38.50 from Hubu Textiles), Alessandra credited a space both minimal and intimate, and full of character.
Above: Passing on the tradition of making things by hand, Alessandra displays ceramics by her daughter on a small shelf in the living room, alongside a wire crown that they both made.
Above: A mood board in Alessandra's office includes natural specimens and favorite prints.
Above: Hand knit and crocheted items from Little Knots adorn Alessandra's daughter's room.
Above: In a corner, a vintage Dryad chair sits under Alessandra's own woven pieces (also available at Knots) and an Up landscape print from Fine Little Day (€34).
Above: Bookshelves aren't essential.
Above: Oh, and those mouse accessories I mentioned earlier. Too adorable, no?
N.B. Another of my favorite interiors with personality: a New Zealand Ranch Transformed by Mel Bombardiere. Interested in the plants in Alessandra's house? Her living specimens were some of the inspirations for this post: 5 Favorite Mini Plants for Apartment Living.
While the Scots may disagree, many believe that the origins of whiskey can be traced to Ireland. In fact, legend has it that Saint Patrick used the amber liquid—whose name comes from the Gaelic uisge beatha, meaning "water of life"—to teach bible lessons on the importance of overflowing cups of generosity. If Saint Patrick were here today, he’d most certainly be happy to get the lesson across using Makers & Brothers’ new whiskey tumblers, developed in collaboration with Jerpoint Glass of Kilkenny, Ireland. Produced using traditional mouth-blowing techniques, the new glass tumbler, while slighter to the eye than a classic whiskey tumbler, remains pleasingly weighted in the hand. Cocktails, and a lesson in humanity, anyone?
Above: Distilled by monks in the 12th century, whiskey was originally used for medicinal purposes. Photograph by Al Higgins.
Above: The new tumbler was originally designed by Maker's & Brothers as a limited edition of 100 for Irish whiskey distillery Jameson Select Reserve. The Whiskey Tumblers are now available directly from Maker's & Brothers for €34 each.
Above: Would Saint Patrick have enjoyed his whiskey on the rocks? Photograph by Al Higgins. To learn more about Maker's & Brothers, have a look at our post about their workshop in a shed on their family property in Dublin, and see some of their other designs here. Also don't miss their family recipe for Elderflower Cordial.
For more whiskey glasses, go to our roundup of 5 favorites and over on Gardenista, see 5 Favorite Unbreakable Wine Glasses. Like the idea of a traveling bar? Have a look at this Mobile Bar Inspired by Bourbon.
From about mid-February to June, seasonal allergies intrude on my life and I carry a tote bag of tissues to prove it. I can't say that I love the look of cardboard tissue boxes, though, and even worse, if you ask me, are tissue boxes with attempted cool designs on the exterior. I've always longed for a wall-mounted stainless steel cover, but I don't have one. What I do have at my disposal is some excess canvas (thanks to the many painter's drop cloths in my closet) and a few tubes of acrylic paint leftover from that time I thought I'd take up painting. Here's how I solved the problem:
Step 1: Cut a square of canvas larger than you'll need to fully cover the tissue box. Place the tissue box in the center of the canvas and trace measurements onto the fabric. On the perimeter of the square, trace an additional square one inch out for a seam allowance when you hem the fabric.
Step 2: Paint one side of your fabric in the color of your choice and wait for it to fully dry before proceeding. Taking inspiration from Pete Oyler's Roll With It toilet paper holder, I opted for a bright kelly green, perfect for St. Patrick's Day.
Step 3: Once the paint has dried, sew a 1/2 inch hem around each side of the square piece of canvas.
Step 4: Next, gather the four sides of the overall square to make four darts (folds in fabric that will provide a three dimensional shape, also seen below), sewing each on the unpainted side of the fabric and making sure as you go that the shape is coming together nicely.
Step 5: Once you have sewn each corner to create an inside-out box, turn it right side out to reveal the green face of the canvas. Now you can either tuck in each dart or cut a bit of the excess fabric.
Step 6: Finally, make about a three-inch-long cut at the top of the box where you'll pull the tissue through. I left this seam raw because I don't mind the look and the paint actually keeps the cut threads in nicely.
The Finished Look
Above: Set against the background of a mostly white bathroom, the tissue cover creates a pleasant color pop.
Michael Verheyden had a similar idea when he designed a tissue box cover in saddle leather; see it in our Steal This Look on a bath at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. For those in the DIY spirit, consider block printing fabric or, as seen on Gardenista, making your own indigo dye.
Trainspotters, the industrial lighting people in Gloucestershire, take a modern approach to vintage. As salvage experts, founders Tony Brook and Jesse Carrington are only too aware that the supply of discarded street and factory lighting that they source throughout the UK and Europe is finite. They can provide for one-off customers with their eyes closed, but fulfilling orders for restaurants and shops means buying in bulk. Or, better still, making in bulk. Tony and Jesse have put their favorite items back into production, proud to be made in England once more.
The company's full range of designs is on view in the Trainspotters factory showroom in a historic mill in Stroud, on the edge of the Cotswolds. It's open weekdays and is an hour and a half train ride from London.
Above: Originally rescued from the Dunlop factory near Birmingham, England, these 17-inch lights have become Trainspotters classics. Sourcing manufacturers can be more challenging than sourcing the original lights, but thanks to Trainspotters, new versions of these globular shades are now manufactured once again in Birmingham. They're made from heavy spun steel coated in vitreous enamel. The Dunlop Light is available in black, gray, and white; £195. Trainspotters ships internationally and uses UPS whenever possible. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Above: At Trainspotters, there is a certain pride in the words "unlimited stock availability." That is certainly the case with the reintroduced Dunlop Light, shown here in gray, as well as the rolls of braided cord, above right, available in a variety of colors; three meters of "flex," as its known in the UK, are supplied with each hanging lamp.
Above: The British bulkhead wall light also enjoys unlimited stock availability. Using a glass mold from the 1940s, Trainspotters put it back into production at the same glass foundry that made the originals. Classic Prismatic Bulkheads are £145 each.
Above: Another original idea from Trainspotters: the embossed back of the Classic Prismatic Bulkhead light. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Above L: The company has also revived the stacking chair, a village hall classic made from the 1930s in tubular steel and plywood. In its previous life, the stacking chair was perfect for listening to speakers from the Women's Institute; now Trainspotters has stretched its legs to standard dining chair height. Made in England, the Stacking Chair (£120 ) is still plywood, minus the splinters. Above R: The Trainspotters stacking bar stool (£85) has a parallel story except that it was taken from the school science lab. With a stained and beeswax-polished seat, the stacking stool has been reconfigured to bar stool height. A table-height version is in the pipeline.
Above: Trainspotters also specializes in vintage originals, often from factories, sometimes from urban streets.
Above L: Original Czech Munitions Factory Lights are £320 each. Above R: The Ministry of Defense Light in Scotland is £240. There are around 50 of each of these models in stock, but once gone, they'll be hard to replace.
Above: The Decorative Bulb Pendant, another Trainspotters adaptation of a vintage design, includes a bakelite bulb holder, Swiss lightbulb, and black metal ceiling rose, plus the cord color of your choice; £45.
Above: The Trainspotters showroom occupies part of an old mill in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Appropriately, Stroud is at the more industrial end of the Cotswolds and the Trainspotters newly remodeled warehouse, in the same building, occupies a space that was adapted in 1766 for wool dyeing. The final stages of the Trainspotters manufacturing process take place in the mill. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
For more Dunlop lights, see Architecture as Alchemy: A Cobble Hill Transformation. Looking for bold color? Go to Turn on the Brights: The Veronica Valencia Collection from Barn Light Electric. And see Gardenista, for a range of Outdoor Lighting ideas.
Location of Trainspotters in Stroud, Gloucestershire (Stroud is 30 miles north of Bristol, and an hour and a half by train from London via Paddington Station):
A prime example of the successful layering of color comes from Zürich's Bergdorf Agency for Concepts and Communication, a creative group that used 40 different shades in the interior redesign of an old chalet in the Bernese Oberland. Our favorite spectrum in the chalet is the range of greens seen, from watered-down mint to spearmint and dusty sage. Here, we've decoded some of the colors and essential elements in the small attic bathroom to mimic the look.
Above: The small bathroom off the equally small attic bedroom has several shades of paint, from gray to green.
Above: A built-in storage cupboard painted pale gray stands opposite sage-green square tiles.
Above: Pale Powder is a Farrow & Ball color that has white undertones (it's a lighter version of Farrow & Ball's Teresa's Garden, a medium green with blue undertones). Pale Powder is $95 for a gallon of eggshell paint at Farrow & Ball.
Above: Farrow & Ball's Manor House Gray paint is a close match to the gray used on the bathroom armoire, and would also work well on bathroom cupboard doors. The color is inspired by the rich grays of traditional 18th century decor; $95 per gallon.
Above: 2-Inch Square Light Sage Green Glass Tiles are $13.63 per square foot from Susan Jablon.
Above: The Grohe Bathroom Faucet Single Handle with Drain Assembly is $159.39 from eFaucets.
Above: The Duravit 034455 Wash Basin with Overflow and Tap Platform in white porcelain is $180 from Faucet Direct.
Above: The Vitra Wall-Mounted Ceramic Toilet requires Geberit tank and carrier, and a samba flush plate; $302 at The Bath Outlet.
Lighting and Accessories
Above: The Tolomeo Wall Spot Light is currently on sale for $165.75 at YLighting.
Above: Restoration Hardware's Custom Metal Floating Mirror is available with a minimalist frame in a polished nickel, antiqued brass, or raw steel finish; $1,145. Another close match at a more affordable price, the Frameless Round Beveled Mirror is $92.99 from Overstock.com.
Above: The Amerock Large Silver Coat and Hat Hook is $7.99 at Ace Hardware.
Above: Linen Me's Green Multi-Striped Linen Bath Towel is £17.99 for the 65- by 130-centimeter size at Linen Me.
Above: From Beehouse of Colorado, a Large White Ceramic Soap Dispenser is $28.
Above: The Arnev Soft Matte Black Switch Plate Cover ranges in price from $8.87 to $11.87 depending on size.
Above: From Daily General, the Square Waste Basket in Mint, made of powder-coated steel, is $80. Contact Daily General for availability.
For another colorful bath, see Steal This Look: A Bath Inspired by Hermès, and for green exterior paints, see our post on Gardenista, Seeing Green: Architects Pick the Best Exterior Green Paints.
London designers Burcu Akin and Piyush Suri have excised any signs of frumpiness in their version of old-fashioned, homey British style. Instead, the duo's midcentury-inspired geometrics bridge the gap between fresh and cozy. The secret to their success may be their far-ranging references: Akin is Turkish and trained in interior design; Suri is Indian and a textile designer. They began their business with a collection of textiles, and have recently branched out into wallpaper and tiles (they just unveiled a line from esteemed French company Carocim). They showcase their wares, along with the work of kindred artisans, at their shop, Handmade Interiors, in London. We discovered their designs at a trade show in New York several years ago and keep checking back in, watching as they deftly apply their patterns to every surface in the house.
Photographs from Akin & Suri, unless noted.
Above: A sofa from UK company Sofas and Stuff upholstered in Akin & Suri's Elmas pattern. The company's textiles are hand-screened in India. Photo via Sofas and Stuff.
Above: A sampling of Akin & Suri textiles; they're available in 44-inch wide cotton-flax, and 60-inch wide upholstery-weight cotton canvas. The fabrics can be ordered directly via Akin & Suri's shop, Handmade Interiors and a large list of retailers throughout the UK, Europe, and elsewhere. In the US, they're available through Studio Four NYC for $144 per yard for either weight, six yard minimum.
Above: French company Carocim, which specializes in traditional Moroccan-style concrete tiles, has just introduced a line of Akin & Suri tiles. For pricing and ordering information, contact Carocim.
Above: Akin & Suri's first wallpaper collection includes four patterns, including Selin shown here. The company's wallpaper is printed in the UK on a traditional rotary machine using water-based inks and paper from sustainable forests. Its rolls are 50 centimeters wide and 10 meters long (approximately 20 inches wide and 11 yards long). They're available via Handmade Interiors for £60 per roll; in the US, they're sold by Studio Four NYC for $153 per roll (6 roll minimum); note that Studio Four's prices include import fees.
Above: The Selin pattern is available in four color ways. All of the wallpapers are also available as fabrics, in both cotton-flax and cotton-canvas, though not always in same colors as the corresponding wallpaper.
Above: Akin & Suri's Elmas wallpaper, a pattern inspired by 1970s geometric prints.
Above: Nila wallpaper, a pattern similar to Elmas (and to the company's tile design, above), is available in five color ways, four of which are shown here.
Above: Nila wallpaper serves as a backdrop for a chair upholstered in Akin & Suri's Naar fabric with a pillow in Damla, which the designers describe as "a very stylized take on retro Scandinavian studio pottery pattern...the name Damla means water droplets [in Turkish]."
Above: Naar is inspired by Ottoman pomegranate flowers—"a graphic retake on Turkish royal motifs," say the designers. It's available as wallpaper in five color ways, four of which are shown here.
For our post on Akin & Suri London shop, at 4 Formosa Street W9 1EE, see Handmade Interiors. Looking for wallpaper? Browse our archive of posts, including Leafy Handmade Wallpaper, Bookshelf Printed Wallpaper, and Justine's DIY Wallpaper Alternative (hint: stencils are involved). And on Gardenista, don't miss Michelle's take on How to Pick the Perfect Wallpaper.
Gloriously empty sandy beaches, rugged shorelines, and clear blue water make this bolt-hole one of the west coast of Scotland's best-kept secrets.
Rosie Brown, textile designer, stylist, and owner of Papa Stour (an online source for Scottish handcrafted goods), has refurbished a cottage in the far northwest of the country that is available for rent. Situated just 50 yards from the shore, it features views over the sound to the isles of Rona, Raasay, and Skye. The interior mixes old furniture with new, and guests can enjoy firsthand the ceramics and other handmade wares available from Papa Stour. For rates and information, go to Papa Stour.
Above: Known as Callakille, the croft (as small farm holdings are called in these parts), sits on the edge of the water overlooking the sound.
Above: The dining room features an antique table and ladderback chairs with rush seating.
Above: Owner Rosie Brown mixes modern finds with rustic pieces, including locally made goods.
Above: The living room has a wood-burning stove seated in the original fireplace, which retains its wooden mantelpiece.
Above: Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, both with wood-paneled walls and floors.
Above: Tord Boontje's Garland Light is a nice touch above a simple wood bed.
Above: A deerskin softens the floor (Papa Stour sells Deerskins from the Scottish Highlands for £85; delivery to the UK only).
Looking for a getaway? Go to Hotels & Lodgings for more of our discoveries, including an Alpine Retreat for Rent in Switzerland. And for verdant lodgings, see Gardenista's Hotel posts; we've got our eyes on this Off-the-Grid Maine Retreat.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October, 20 2008.
We're in the midst of our British Isles issue, and when we think of that part of the world, we picture miles of coastline and cool, ocean-inspired blues. Here are several of our favorites (plus a few recommendations from members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory):
Above: Sea Salt Blue from Valspar is very similar to Farrow & Ball's Skylight, shown second to last (Sea Salt Blue is slightly greener).
Above: Valspar's Royal Gray is dark and gray enough to be serious, but blue enough to please color lovers. (It also has a beautiful chalky finish that photos can't convey.)
Above: Benjamin Moore's Blue Nose lives in the same cool, dark vein as Valspar's Royal Gray, but is bluer and lighter.
Above: Farrow & Ball Skylight is the pick of Portland, OR-based designer Carole Magness of Magness Interiors, who considers it the most beautiful and flexible blue she knows, and recommends it on an accent wall, ceiling, or trim.
Choosing paint colors can be daunting; browse the designer-vetted colors in our Palette & Paints series, which includes Happiness-Inducing Colors; Moody Paints Picks; Metallic Wall Paints; and the 10 Best Pink Paints and Celadon Greens. Go to Gardenista, for advice on Exterior Paints.
A fixture of the British domestic landscape, the cloakroom tap speaks of utility while dripping elegance—which is why I wanted a set for the sink in my Connecticut shop, Ancient Industries. The cloakroom is the UK equivalent of the powder room, and its sinks are traditionally outfitted with basic, pared-down Edwardian-style taps with tidy cross handles and separate hot and cold "noses" or spouts. Trying to source these faucets in the US, however, is a long and fairly dry road, I discovered, especially for those of us on a budget. It took some trying, but I tracked down five notable examples from sources in the UK and US, and from all ends of the price spectrum. I'm hoping these might inspire an adventurous American manufacturer to follow suit.
Above: A downstairs cloakroom in Yorkshire with a sink and taps from Drummonds, a UK company specializing in luxurious classic bathroom fixtures. (Note that true to its name, the cloakroom has a place to hang coats and park walking sticks and umbrellas, as well as to wash up.) The sink is the Naver, available in porcelain with nickel, chrome, or brass detailing and taps; the faucets are the Classic Basin Taps with Skye Heads & Standard Spout; prices on request.
Above: Bensham cloakroom basin taps offer no nonsense efficiency for those on a budget; £55 from Bath Store.
Above: Aqva's Ideal Standard Pair of Alterna Pillar Taps are a more contemporary take; £26 from Aqva.
Above: Freshly polished or mellowed with age, brass taps are also a fixture in British cloakrooms. Barber Wilsons, the oldest tap maker in Britain and favored by the queen, offers Short Nose Basin Pillar Taps in a variety of finishes, including unlacquered brass, similar to the set shown here. Photo via Salt and Pepper.
Above: Elements of Design in the US also makes a similar tap, the Basin Cock Faucet, in polished chrome; $115 from eFaucets.
During our recent remodel, one of the items at the top of my wish list, was astonishingly doable: I wanted to bring electricity to the center of the living room without having a web of ugly white cords and power strips. The solution was to add strategically placed electrical outlets in the floor. Since our room was under construction, we made cardboard templates of our sofas and placed them on the floor to figure out where to plant the outlets (which are dropped into the floor and stay flush). It was as simple as that. Our house, a 1940s pier-and-beam construction, was a perfect candidate for the install because our electrician could easily crawl underneath the first floor, drill the outlet holes, and eventually pull electrical wire to connect the floor outlets. But a floor outlet, it turns out, can be installed any time if you have a wooden or concrete subfloor, not only during a remodel or new build.
Here are 10 residential floor outlet options to consider in different colors and shapes (round or rectangular), and with single or several outlets on each unit, starting with the one I chose:
Above: Under our living room sofa, I opted for two Carlon Receptacle Drop-in Floor Box Kits with Hole Saws; 39.97 from Home Depot. They each come with a tightly fitted brass top that prevents my daughter's long-reaching fingers from playing with the outlets. And since I like to work on my laptop from my sofa, I can now easily stay charged. Photography by Izabella Simmons.
Above: The Arlington Adjustable Round Floor Box Kit with Outlets and Black Plate Cover is $23.04 via Amazon. The floor outlet is also available in brown and light almond.
Above: The Arlington Adjustable Floor Box Kit with Outlet and Flip Plate in Brown. The complete floor outlet is $18.80 from Amazon. It also comes in black, light almond, and white (shown below).
Above: The Arlington Adjustable Floor Box Kit with Outlet and Flip Plate in white is 18.80 from Amazon.
Above: The Leviton Floor Box Kit in Brushed Nickel Finish is an all-in-one, ready-to-wire unit; $44.16 from Galesburg Electric.
Above: This Stainless Finish Pop Up Floor Box Kit includes the box, cover, and 20 Amp decorative receptacle. The unit pops up when in use and otherwise is flush with the floor; $69 from Garvin. It also comes in a brass finish.
Above: Arnet's Brass Plated Recessed Floor Plate with a Single Receptacle is $81.87. The company specializes in floor boxes and offers 38 custom finishes for outlet covers.
Above: This Lew Brass Covered Electrical Floor Box comes with four outlets; $96.79 from A Plus Supply.
Above: The pop-up Orbit Brass Industrial Floor Box Pop-up with Duplex Receptacle and RJ45 (for phone and ethernet cable) is $149.50 from Alcon Lighting Supply.
Looking for more solutions for hiding computer cords? See Miracles Do Exist: 5 Ways to Banish Computer Cords from Your Home Office. A must in most households: extensions cords. These five are pretty enough not to hide.
With an idyllic garden studio next door to her house, ceramicist Lucy Dunce has an enviable life on the East Lothian coastline of Scotland, one which she and her cabinetmaker husband, Alastair Letch, have been painstakingly fixing up over the past 10 years for their family of four. Home is a stone cottage that was originally part of a block of 10 farm cottages. The group of structures was developed into four individual houses in the 1970s, and when Dunce and Letch came upon the one that would eventually become theirs, it was in a serious state of disrepair without even a staircase connecting upstairs and down. After the couple finished the remodel of their home, they set to work building Dunce’s longed-for studio from the ground up. Inspired by the Scottish countryside at their doorstep, Dunce casts a painterly eye on her ceramic creations while filling the house with sea air and light. Read on for a tour of both.
Above: An avid gardener, Dunce's stone cottage is surrounded by her plantings.
Above: A turquoise door leads into the kitchen. (Dunce's ceramics studio is just a short walk up the stone steps.)
Above: A marble-topped dresser built by Letch displays an array of ceramics and glassware in the entrance of the kitchen.
Above: A series of handmade wood shelves with brackets provide valuable open shelving by the door.
Above: A modern farmhouse table stands at the center of the kitchen. The wood carving above the wood stove was brought home from a trip to Zanzibar.
Above: Letch designed and built a Japanese-inspired open shelving system to fit between the cabinet and the end of the wall. Fresh flowers and herbs from the garden bring greenery inside.
Above: The couple painted the cottage's low ceilings and beams white to keep things bright.
Above: The model ship and driftwood above the living room mantel are reminders of the nearby coast.
Above L: Latch crafted the new staircase out of locally sourced sycamore. Above R: The couple installed skylights throughout the house to bring in more light. A model townhouse fits into the corner of the landing.
Above: A fuschia bedspread supplies some drama to the otherwise calm palette in the master bedroom.
Above: The blue-gray painted wood floor fits in seamlessly with the soft light of the British Isles. For similar shades, see Meredith's Coastline-Inspired Blue Paint post.
Above: A set of bookshelves built by Letch follows the attic roofline of the house.
Above L: Painted beadboard creates a green base that runs around bathroom unifying the cabinets and the bath. Above R: A skyllight fit into the sloping roof above the sink provides light and extra headroom.
Above L: In her garden, Dunce created a decorative path using small stones with a brick border. Above R: The doors of Dunce's ceramics studio open to the garden.
Above: Dunce finds inspiration in the abstraction of nature.
Above L: Dunce's ceramic glazes ready to be applied. Above R: An old mustard crock holds paint brushes.
Above: A collage of inspirations surround Dunce's desk.
Above: Dunce glazes a bowl. To see her finished work, go to Lucy Dunce Ceramics.
Inspired by Dunce's garden studio? Have a look at these idyllic work spaces: model Carolyn Murphy's gorgeous garage, London stylist Twig Hutchinson's summerhouse shed, and London graphic designer Noma Barr's backyard studio. Working out of a cubicle? Here's Gardenista's advice for how to add some crucial greenery.
We recently came across the work of Northern Ireland-born designer David Irwin whose studio, established just three years back, is located in Newcastle, England. His designs are all imbued with a "fundamental usefulness," he says, and his Working Girl collection follows suit.
Made of "robust materials" for high-traffic use, the Working Girl stool, chair, and bench were all designed for British furniture company Deadgood as a reinterpretation of the quintessential workshop stool—this time, with a fine lacquered beech or oak seat, a raw or powder-coated steel frame, and brass hardware.
Above: The Working Girl Cross Stool is a classic barstool with a steel frame and raw steel back; it's £270 from Deadwood. (A powder-coated steel finish in black, red, or white is also available.) It's detailed, like all of the pieces in the collection, with a handy cutout on the seat for easy movability. Irwin's furniture is manufactured in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent in the UK, as well as in Ljubljana in Solvenia.
Above: The Working Girl Bar Stool in powder-coated steel is £245 and available in large (785 millimeters tall) and medium (635 millimeters). A scaled-down version, the Working Girl Low Stool (450 millimeters tall), is £200.
Above: A detail of the shiny red, powder-coated frame.
Above: The simple Working Girl Chair, shown here with a raw steel frame and lacquered oak seat; £230.
Above: The stool in black, red, and white and large, medium, and low.
Above: The oak-detailed Working Girl Bench seats two and stacks nicely; £370.
See the style of stool that inspired Irwin in our post, 10 Easy Pieces: Studio Stools. For a look at public gardens and must-visit shops in Irwin's home country, see our Ireland City Guide on Gardenista.