Articles on this Page
- 03/25/14--04:00: _A Classic Reimagine...
- 03/25/14--06:00: _A Stylist and a Ska...
- 03/25/14--08:00: _Go Big or Go Home: ...
- 03/25/14--10:00: _Object Lessons: The...
- 03/26/14--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Fre...
- 03/26/14--04:00: _High/Low: Cloud Pen...
- 03/26/14--06:00: _The Buzz in Belgium...
- 03/26/14--09:00: _5 Favorites: Displa...
- 03/26/14--10:00: _Style Counsel: The ...
- 03/27/14--02:00: _Rehab Diary: Amanda...
- 03/27/14--04:00: _DIY: 10 Ways to Use...
- 03/27/14--06:00: _Required Reading: L...
- 03/27/14--08:00: _Design Sleuth: A Da...
- 03/27/14--10:00: _Remodeling 101: How...
- 03/28/14--02:00: _Happier at Home: 7 ...
- 03/28/14--04:00: _DIY: A Genius (and ...
- 03/28/14--06:00: _Rehab Diary: Findin...
- 03/28/14--08:00: _Trending on Gardeni...
- 03/28/14--10:00: _The Fish Can Sing: ...
- 03/29/14--02:00: _Current Obsessions:...
- 03/25/14--04:00: A Classic Reimagined: The New T14 Chair from Tolix
- 03/25/14--06:00: A Stylist and a Skateboarder Open an Online Shop
- 03/25/14--08:00: Go Big or Go Home: 10 Geometric Painted Walls
- 03/25/14--10:00: Object Lessons: The Humble Cotton Cleaning Cloth
- 03/26/14--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Wooden Clothing Racks
- 03/26/14--04:00: High/Low: Cloud Pendant Lights
- 03/26/14--06:00: The Buzz in Belgium: Local Color for Sale
- 03/26/14--09:00: 5 Favorites: Display-Worthy Clothes Hangers
- 03/26/14--10:00: Style Counsel: The Housecoat Reimagined
- 03/27/14--02:00: Rehab Diary: Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen Air Their Dirty Laundry
- 03/27/14--04:00: DIY: 10 Ways to Use Vinegar in the Home
- 03/27/14--06:00: Required Reading: Living Life Beautifully
- 03/27/14--08:00: Design Sleuth: A Dan Flavin-Inspired Light
- 03/27/14--10:00: Remodeling 101: How to Install Flattering Lighting in the Bathroom
- Bathrooms require extra care to light well because they're small and the angles of light reflection from mirrors can cause additional complications.
- The simplest and most effective way to light a light-colored bathroom is a diffuse ceiling light.
- Downlights required careful positioning to avoid shadows.
- Vertical lights that flank a mirror provide maximum light without shadows and are ideal for makeup application.
- Light-colored bathrooms reflect light and therefore require less light than dark bathrooms. Dark bathrooms are trickier to get right, but offer opportunities for drama.
- 03/28/14--02:00: Happier at Home: 7 Tips for Mindful Shopping
- 03/28/14--04:00: DIY: A Genius (and Glamorous) Paper Towel Holder
- 03/28/14--06:00: Rehab Diary: Finding Storage in Unexpected Places
- 03/28/14--08:00: Trending on Gardenista: Top 5 Posts of the Week
- 03/28/14--10:00: The Fish Can Sing: A New Restaurant in Reykjavík
- 03/29/14--02:00: Current Obsessions: Passage to India
For the fist time in 80 years, venerable French furniture company Tolix has unveiled a new chair design. Created by the firm in collaboration with French designer Patrick Norguet, the Tolix T14 is a thoroughly modern chair that stays true to what Tolix has long stood for: industrial elegance, durability, and comfort.
The simplicity of the Tolix T14 hides its technically-advanced construction: the shell-shaped seat is crafted from a single piece of very thin but very strong stainless steel. This means a notably light weight and no welds (so less likelihood of corrosion). The chair comes in three models: the Tolix T14 Steel Chair (stainless body, arms, and legs; $395), the Tolix T14 Wood Chair (stainless body and arms with wood legs; $495), and an office-chair variation with castors ($495), all of which are available to order in the US through Antiquaire.
Above: The Tolix T14 Steel Chair is constructed of stainless steel connected with technical plastic parts making it ideal for outdoor use. It's available in white, black, red and avocado finishes, and is $395 from Antiquaire.
Above: The Tolix T14 in white paired with its cousin, the Tolix Marais 18-Inch Stool; $180 at Design Within Reach. (Design Within Reach also sells the classic Tolix Marais A Chair, $250, and Tolix Marais A Armchair, on sale in white for $233.75. And, Antiquaire offers the original Tolix A Chair for $249 in all the available Tolix colors and finishes.)
Above: The little black dress of the new line—the Tolix T14 in matte black; $395 from Antiquaire.
Above: Called an offspring of the original Tolix, the Tolix T14 Chair carries the Tolix genes in its construction and shape and is made in the same factory in France.
Above: The T14 Chair incorporates Tolix design signatures, such as a handle incorporated into the seat for easy maneuverability.
Above: For use indoors, the T14 Wood Chair Model stands on wooden legs; $495 at Antiquaire.
A fan of Tolix? We are, too. See our earlier posts featuring the Tolix Tabouret Stool and the Tolix A Industrial Chair. And, for more outdoor seating options, see Alexa's Cafe-Style Outdoor Seating Favorites.
Get inspired to spruce up your outdoor space with Gardenista's Steal This Look Features.
A prop stylist and a skateboard designer are unlikely business partners.
But for Portland, Oregon, couple Jen and John Vitale, who have just launched their own online shop, Association, embracing varied interdisciplinary passions is all in a day’s work. "I enjoy being married to someone who does something completely different from what I do," explains Jen. "It keeps me inspired and thinking about the ways I can approach styling and make it unique to what is currently out there. At the same time, I think my background has definitely influenced the way John curates The Killing Floor, his skateboard brand."
Association offers a small selection of new, vintage, and special-edition housewares, accessories, and objects. There are goods from designers Jen and John admire, things made by friends, and offerings created or found by John and Jen themselves. As they explain, the shop is "a reflection of a shared appreciation for living an intentional lifestyle." The couple moved to Portland from coastal Northern California in 2012, and Jen notes that the laid-back attitude of the West Coast "definitely influences our aesthetic and overall mentality." For evidence, see their shop category titled "Vibes".
We recently had a chat with Jen and John about their thrifting techniques, prop styling, skateboards, and the current Portland look.
Above: Jen in her kitchen photographed by Carissa and Andrew Gallo for Freunde von Freunden.
Remodelista: Jen, you're an obsessive thrift store shopper. What is your best score ever?
Jen Vitale: I don't know if I'll ever find something and say, "This is my best score ever! This is it." That's because there will always be another gem hidden in a Goodwill somewhere waiting for me to unearth it. I will say that I purchased a small pair of vintage wooden oxen a few years back—they're some sort of folk art piece and they remind me of New Mexico, one of my favorite places. Honestly. though, I have no idea what possessed me to buy them and I don't quite know why I love them so much.
Above: From Portland, Oregon, artist Natalie Busch, the Clover Ceramic Plate is one of a collection of her hand-etched and painted, one-of-a-kind pieces sold through Association; $24.
RM: Can you offer some advice for those of us who are less patient in thrift stores and flea markets? What's the best plan of attack?
Jen: Don't ever go looking for something in particular—you'll never find it. I almost always make my best scores on days when I have no agenda other than to just browse. Also, choose pieces that you can mix with what you already have (whether in your wardrobe or in your kitchen). Don't buy something that is going to look dated when you bring it home; err on the side of classics and inspirational objects.
Above: More on the couple and their home can be found in an interview by Julie Pointer on Freunde von Freunden.
RM: What is an object you wish you had bought when you had the chance?
Jen: Not sure if this counts, but recently I was at the plant nursery and fell in love with the most amazing cactus that must have been about eight feet tall. I regret not splurging on it, because it was truly exceptional and I've caught myself thinking about it all the time.
John: That's an easy one. There was this artist, Mati Klarwein, whose work was used on a lot of album cover art in the 60s and 70s. One of his most recognized albums was Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, which has had a pretty heavy impact on me—the album itself as well as the cover art. The skateboard brand, Western Edition, did a collaboration with Klarwein and released a four skateboard series with the artwork. I didn't buy them when I had the chance, and I'm still kicking myself about it.
Above: A lookbook image from Association displays an array of the shop's goods, including, among other things, the Farrell and Co. Semi Circle Bag ($165), a pair of vintage Ceramic Candle Holders ($34), a vintage Bottleneck Vase (far right, $40), and, on the model, the State Smock in Buttercream ($90).
RM: Tell us about the influence of Portland, and the whole Portlandia thing. How do you find your own voice amid the noise?
Jen: While we both make things, we try not to over-identify with one group or style; that's when we get stuck creatively. We've always had an appreciation for outsider art and that kind of creative energy (the skateboarding culture naturally has this aspect, which resonates with both John and me). We do have a tendency to run in the opposite direction when everyone starts to do the same thing. Portland is definitely having a moment, and while it's inspiring to live in a city going through this process, it's also challenging to keep evolving and avoid getting too caught up in it.
Above: A detail of the couple's antique Navajo rug photographed by Carissa and Andrew Gallo for Freunde von Freunden.
RM: What is your favorite object in your own home and what's the story behind it?
Jen: I think it's our living room rug: a Navajo textile found in California. We bought it six years ago for a ridiculously low price that we still can't believe it was being sold for. It was one of the first pieces we bought together and we've taken it everywhere since. At one point, it came with us when we lived in a closet-sized apartment in New York City. The place was so small that we couldn't have much furniture so we just centered everything around the rug.
Above: The Oversized Basket Tote is an example of a thrift find available at Association; John and Jen updated it with new vegetable-tanned leather handles.
RM: Jen, tell us something we don't know about styling.
Jen: You cannot get sparklers anywhere in Los Angeles in January, but you can have sparklers shipped overnight from Upstate New York. These are the kinds of things I am ashamed to say I know as a stylist, but you have to have lots of tricks up your sleeve for last-minute shoots.
RM: John, tell us something we don't know about skateboards.
John: A lot of people look at skateboarding as a sport. It is a physical actively, sure, but I see it as much more of an art form. There are countless approaches to skateboarding, and, essentially, it's a mode of creative self-expression. I think the more commercialized it becomes, the more the idea of it as just a sport becomes prevalent. What I'm really trying to do through The Killing Floor is to convey the more creative elements of skateboarding culture.
See more at Association. We have lots of favorite finds in Portland, Oregon, including The Woodsman Tavern, Quin Candy, and Spruce Apothecary; have a look at our Portland City Guide. And check out the ultimate Portland nursery, roaming chickens included, on Gardenista.
If these walls were a Myers-Briggs personality type, they might be an ENFP (extraversion, intuition, feeling, and perception). They're energetic, abstract, and silently break all the rules. There is likely nothing more fearless in interior design than approaching a wall with an elaborate pattern in a multitude of colors. Just in time for a seasonal shift, here's a roundup of 10 wild patterns painted on floors, across walls, and even extending onto ceilings.
Above: German painter Ernst Caramelle addresses a South London gallery wall as he would a canvas. Photograph from Mary Mary Gallery in the UK.
Above: Geometric shapes in different colors meet at a point on the wall, photographed for New Zealand catalogue Sett Digital.
Above: A bold dining room by French interior designer Sarah Lavoine has a Mondrian appeal; photograph from Est Magazine.
Above: Painted circles in blue and red revolve around an elongated pink triangle on the studio wall of Melbourne artist Esther Stewart; photograph via The Design Files.
Above: Artist Jessica Stockholder paints a strip of ochre pigment on the floor that extends up along the wall and across the ceiling in red in a MoMA PS1 Artists' Studio installation.
Above: Parisian art director Jean-Christophe Aumas experiments with triangles and squared-off edges in pink, yellow, and two shades of blue in Steal This Look: A Playful Parisian Apartment.
Above: Painted parquet floors pattern the Humlegården Apartment in Stockholm designed by Swedish architecture firm Tham Videgard Hansson. Each room in the apartment has a color scheme that represents the changing seasons seen in the park just outside.
Above: Captured on a tri-colored wall: the moment where simple color blocking turns into a full-blown pattern. Photograph by Petra Bindel.
Above: White circular forms against a black wall function as a headboard in the home of Marni designer Consuelo Castiglione on the Spanish island of Formentera. Photograph from In Decora.
Before the advent of synthetic cleaning cloths and paper towels, the cotton cleaning cloth was the scullery maid’s weapon of choice when attending to a spill. The cloth was dampened slightly then pushed around the floor, using foot or bended knee, to clean up the area in question. These days, there's still no need to get out a bucket and mop (or armful of paper towels) when a cleaning cloth can perform the same duty with less fuss and waste. The cotton cleaning cloth is entirely presentable in its appearance. Tightly woven with a subtly attractive stripe, this cloth is most prized for its durability: it likes to be washed and actually improves with age. Which is more than you can say about its modern descendants. The classic is starting to make a comeback; here are five examples.
Above: The 100-percent cotton Cleaning Cloth, 20 inches by 24 inches, is made in Sweden by Iris Hantverk and is available at Objects of Use in Oxford, England for £4.50.
Above: A dozen Organic Unbleached Cotton Birdseye Cloths are $23 from Juniperseed Mercantile on Etsy.
Above: The Cotton Floor Cloth, a 21-inch square, is available from Labour and Wait in London for £4.50.
Above: From German company Burstenhaus Redecker, the 60-centimeter-by-80-centimeter cotton Cleaning Cloth is $12 NZD from Everyday Needs.
Above: Traditional Woven Cotton Floor Cloths, measuring 53 centimeters by 53 centimeters, are £3 each from Woods Fine Linens.
Stay tuned for Megan Wilson's Object Lessons every Tuesday. Looking for more cleaning tips? Browse our Domestic Science posts, including Move Over, Mrs Meyer, and learn how to make your own Diamond-Bright Window Cleaner on Gardenista.
The humble wooden clothing rack is a design-worthy addition to your entryway or boudoir: here are 10 we've bookmarked recently.
Above: A rack with storage shelves, the made-to-order Blonde American Ash Garment Rack is a collaboration between New Zealand design shop Douglas and Bec and Sam Orme-Gee, a young Auckland-based furniture-maker who specializes in pieces that make subtle statements. Prices start at $1,190 NZD (about $1,015 USD) for a two-shelf rack (shown) from Douglas and Bec.
Above: Is there anything Ana Kraš cannot do? Best known for her sculptural hanging lamps made from thread and wire, she's equally versed as photographer, model, and artist's muse. Her inspired take on the clothing rack, the Ksilofon (Xylophone in Serbian), is made from "oak sticks" and colored plywood panels. Kraš came up with the design to satisfy friends' requests for an easy-to-assemble, well-made clothing stand—a foil to the "bad quality and complicated plastic/steel stands on the market," says Kraš. Contact Ana Kraš directly for availability.
Above: A celebrated Japanese designer living in London, Tomoko Azumi has become known for her rule-breaking sensibility and knack for marrying beauty with functionality. Her exceptionally lightweight Tra-ra Coat Rack is constructed from beech, a wood selected for its flexibility and strength; €159 from The Collection.
Above: The Tent Pole Clothing Rack, as its name suggests, was inspired by military tents. Created by LA-based designer Stephen Kenn, it's made of four military-issued tent poles with a welded steel shelf covered in vintage military canvas; $650 directly from Stephen Kenn.
Above: The Danes do it again: Nordic design house Nomess Copenhagen (not to be confused with Norm Copenhagen) specializes in household organization solutons. Unlike other wooden options, the Nomess Dress-Up Garment Rack has no base, and is pared down to the essentials. Constructed from ash with an aluminum bar on top, the rack is available in multiple sizes and colors (it's shown here in natural and orange). Contact Nomess for pricing and ordering information.
Above: The Servus (Latin for Servant) is a modern, minimalist rack by German designer Florian Saul. It leans against the wall supported by two small rubber feet; the black leather pocket at its base is for storing small accessories. For more space, Saul suggests combining two frames to create a more traditional upright rack shape; €399 through Bolia.
Above: From Japanese company Cosine, the basic maple Dress Luck Rack has a vegetable-tanned leather strap holding its A-frame in place; $266 through Rakuten Global Market.
Above: Meet the new Mr. T: Kieser Spath's Mr. T Clothes Rods consist of two T-shaped wooded strips jointed together by a metal rod in white or black; contact Kieser Spath directly for pricing and information.
Above: The Toj Clothes Rack is a product of Danish design favorite Normann Copenhagen. Created by Simon Legald for the company, the rack is made of ash with a steel shelf and bar that lend an industrial feel. Available in several sizes and colors, the large coat rack is €375 from the Finnish Design Shop (the small size, in gray, is $400 through Normann Copenhagen).
Above: We are, admittedly, a little jealous that the Natural Children's Clothes Rack is sized for kids. The four-foot-tall, hand-finished rack from Such Great Heights is made from West Australian Karri, a hardwood, and is also available in color dips of white, yellow, blue, and pale pink; $190-$210 AUD.
Prefer the traditional closet? See our post on 10 Modular Closet Systems from High to Low and Architects' 10 Favorite Closet Picks. On Gardenista, see how our team pared down excess clothing in Out of the Closet: The Essential Minimal Wardrobe Revisited.
We love a floating sculptural pendant light, especially when hung in a serene bedroom where we go to seek comfort at the end of the day. We've found two similar looking cloud-like designs, one made from paper, the other Tyvek:
Above: The Varmluft Shade from Ikea is made from paper and comes in two sizes (26 inches and 18 inches in diameter). It starts at $4.99 for the smaller size. Pair it with an Ikea Hemma Cord made of PVC, $5, for a complete pendant. (And to source the rest of the bedroom, go to Steal This Look: Serene Scandinavian Winter Bedroom.)
Above: The Cloud Light from Raumgestalt, made from Tyvek with a zipper at the top to enable lightbulb changing, provides diffuse, dream-like illumination; €65. For another Tyvek cloud light, have a look at the Grace Suspension Lamp by Environment; $599 from Rypen, and the Grace Table Lamp, $499 from Environment.
The Belgian design blogs are buzzing over Couleur Locale and we understand why. Owner and shop designer, Ruth Walleyn, a self-described bower bird, traverses the Low Countries and the globe in search of local color—rare vintage pieces as well as handcrafted and artisanal finds—for her storefronts in Antwerp and Knokke, Belgium, and her new online shop, which ships worldwide. Beautifully styled and presented in a lofty setting, the Couleur Locale collection is designed to introduce, as Ruth puts it, "design from the four corners of the earth, globetrotting inspiration for your home."
Photography and styling by Paulina Arcklin.
Above: Couleur Locale's finds are gathered in a soaring loft space. Shown here, a white farmhouse table is lit by Nelson Sepulveda's cloud-like Chinese light, the Ay Illuminate Z1, with a cotton cover over a bamboo frame, €320. (The lamp is also available in a smaller version, the Z5 model, for €275.) The wooden stools are a mix of handcrafted pieces from Indonesia and Danish Have a Seat Stools (€79 each) with wooden seats and metal legs.
Above: The beanbag chair for grownups, ZilaLila's Nest is knit in Nepal from 100% New Zealand wool; €549.
Above: Storied pieces from different places and times are presented against an airy, light-filled background.
Above: A dramatic vignette is lit by one of our favorite hanging light designs: flax rope lamps by Christien Meindertsma (the Single Flax Light is €220 and Flax Five Light, shown here, is €710). Also by Meindertsma, the knit wool Urchins Pouf (small, €530, and medium, €900), available in yellow, blue, red, and gray.
Above: An eclectic array of vintage and ethnic goods line the stairs.
Above: Couleur Locale is also ready to lend character to your child's room with a kid's section that includes Maison Indigo's elephant made in the Netherlands from recycled denim; €65
Above: The Couleur Locale look is fresh and relaxed—and because so many of the goods are one of a kind, the inventory is constantly changing.
Above L: Cubes used to display tableware. Above R: A wall stocked with Happy Lights, a line of wool-wrapped globe lights designed by Couleur Locale owner, Ruth, and her partner, Hendrik. The Big Lamps shown here, are available in four sizes starting at €19 each, and come in 44 colors; they can be used as table lamps or suspended individually or in groups.
N.B. Discover more rare goods from Belgium in Where to Stay (and Shop) in Antwerp. And join Gardenista for a visit with Fashion's Favorite Fleuriste: Thierry Boutemy in Belgium.
Have you noticed? Clothes hangers are getting interesting. You don't need a closetful; just one or two will do—for displaying a favorite frock or a collection of scarves or necklaces.
Above: The handmade Steel Hanger from March is $40; it's lovely (Alexa has one).
Above: The vintage-inspired collapsible Flex Hanger is $14 from Anthropologie.
Above: From Danish design company Hay: we're coveting a set of five Copper Hangers; €10 from the Finnish Design Shop.
Above: Designed by Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten, the Sigmoid Hangers are available in two sizes ($9.24 for the large) from Rakuten Global Market.
See our Clothing Storage and Closet Picks for more ideas. And on Gardenista, have a look at The Closet Cleanout: The Only 10 Pieces of Clothing You Need.
I spend a lot of time working at home, and there are mornings when I wonder if it's worth dressing for a full day or better to slouch around in tattered sweats. I opt for the latter on most occasions, but I'm always thinking: What if the UPS driver shows up? What if a friend happens to be in the neighborhood? And there is something to be said for putting yourself together, even if it's just for...yourself. This led me to the housecoat, a term first used in 1913 to describe an informal garment for women to wear about the house. This option, somewhere in between dressed and undressed, has gone missing from modern life—until recently. Meet the utility dress.
A slouchy answer to the housecoat, the utility dress is a style that's having a moment in western fashion, but its origin is in traditional Japanese house clothes and workwear. Like the rural Japanese workers in photographer Taishi Hirokawa's book Sonomama Sonomama, it's possible to wear an Issey Miyake- or Yohji Yamamoto-like garment and still get work done. The dress is often made from linen and cotton (for breathability), and is shapeless in the best way (for total comfort); here are nine examples we're ready to slip on:
Above: The Navy Small Check Pleated Dress is made of 100-percent linen with three-quarter sleeves and hidden buttons; €140. It's by Muku, a fashion company run by two Lithuanian women designers.
Above L: From Japanese designer Arts & Science, the Gather Big Bottom Dress is 100 percent cotton and shown here in sand beige. Above R: Also from Arts & Science, the Standup-collar Big Tunic Dress is 100 percent linen; shown in natural. Both are from the S/S 2014 Collection. For more about the brand, see our post, Posh Japanese Workwear, by Way of Paris, and visit Creatures of Comfort or Tiina to purchase.
Above: From online fashion retailer La Garçonne's own line, La Garçonne Moderne, the Workwear Smock (available in white, black, ink, and clay) has dropped shoulders and an oversized fit and is made from 100-percent Japanese cotton; $495.
Above: French brand Vestiaire de Jeanne's Uniform Pleated Long Sleeve dress has pockets at the sides and falls just under the knee—a loose fit to throw on in the morning. The dress, made from 100 percent linen, is €150 for the adult size. For more, see our post, Effortless Dressing à la Française.
Above: From Pip-Squeak Chapeau the Long Bib Tunic Dress is made in Brooklyn of 100 percent cotton batiste; $340.
Above: Dosa's Draughtsman Tunic is a loose fit made of dark blue organic cotton; $320 from Farfetch.
Above: A collaboration between Inès de la Fressange and Uniqlo, the Women's Linen Cotton Long Sleeve Shirt in navy is a half and half blend of cotton and linen at an affordable pricE: $39.90.
Above: Fog Linen Work's Adele Long Shirt, Linen Denim has a rounded collar and a buttoned V-neck; $192 from Fog Linen Work.
For those who can sew and read Japanese (a narrow demographic, I know), Japanese dress sewing books are an excellent source for creating similar garments. I recommend Anytime Dresses and Travaux et Mode. What to wear under your utility dress? See The Debrief: 8 New Classics for Your Underwear Drawer.
What to do when you have four sons and an eternal mountain of clothes in need of washing? If you're actress-turned-designer Amanda Pays, you remember the laundry rooms of your childhood in England and set your sights on creating your own. Conveniently, Amanda is married to actor and in-house handyman (and fellow flea market shopper) Corbin Bernsen. While the two were remodeling the family's untouched 1940s house in Studio City, Los Angeles, Amanda claimed the maid's room off the kitchen as the setting for her updated Downton Abbey laundry. She and Corbin worked out the design together—"he's great at space planning, I take care of all the details." The laundry room is now fully finished with ventilated wood shelves, a flagstone floor, deep sink, and the ultimate battery and lightbulb drawer (Corbin himself contributed that last detail).
Photographs by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Laundry Room Overview
Above: A Sheila Maid, an ingenious British drying rack on a pulley, hangs in the center of the room surrounded by a wall of custom cabinets and shelving. Note the slatted wood used on the base of the shelves, ideal for creating a flow of air around just-dried linens.
Above: "I love using outdoor materials inside," says Amanda of her Pennsylvania blue flagstone floor—a good choice for the family's whippet, Digby, who often sleeps in the room on a dog bed. (The flagstones came from Prime Building Materials of North Hollywood, and are used in the bathrooms, too—Amanda is a firm believer in repeating materials throughout the house, both for unity and economy.)
Above: Amanda and Corbin are Rosebowl Flea Market regulars and much prefer to buy vintage than brand new: as Amanda says, "While I'm not opposed to store-bought, I try in my version of green living to restore and reuse whenever possible." Their old wall-mounted sink is a refinished model from Square Deal Plumbing Supplies near Downtown LA. The dog painting—another remembered element from British laundry room past?—came from the Rose Bowl. The old-fashioned metal trash can holds dog food.
Above: The wooden countertop is used as a folding station.
Laundry Room Details
Above: Amanda buys appliances at Sears, where she strikes "crazy deals" by acquiring pieces for several rooms (and sometimes several clients) at once. The top-load washing machine and front-load dryer are Kenmore Elite models. The room doubles as a storage and supply closet—the wall-mounted shelves are built from old scaffolding planks that the couple purchased from their contractor, and are one of Amanda's signatures. The steel cart is a Rose Bowl buy.
Above: The beauty of the Sheila Maid is that it can be raised sky high, enabling wet clothes to dry in the warm air, and then lowered for accessibility. (We like the design so much, we featured it in the Remodelista 100 in the Remodelista book.) Sheila Maids are sold in this country by our friend Megan Wilson at Ancient Industries for $135
Above: The Sheila Maid cord is held in place by an iron cleat on the wall.
Above: Toilet paper and mineral water are artfully stacked on the open shelves. The walls and cabinets are in Sydney Harbour Paint Company's Plaster of Paris.
Above: Corbin inserted a wooden utensil divider into one of the laundry drawers to create a beautifully organized stash of extra batteries and bulbs. The metal drawer and cabinet pulls came from a swap meet—a bag of 50 for $25—and were also put to use in the kitchen.
Above: From Labour & Wait in London, an oak Roller Towel Holder (£28) and Roller Towel (£28 for two) hang above the sink. The chrome gooseneck faucet came from Koontz Hardware of West Hollywood—"in stock, which is how I buy," says Amanda.
Above: In addition to the Sheila Maid, a clothesline hangs in the yard.
Above: Digby's dog door is situated next to the back door, alongside a claw-footed flea market stool.
See Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen's California king-size kitchen, right next door to the laundry, on pages 226-231 of the Remodelista book. And have a look at the shed that they turned into a Backyard Bunkhouse. Interested in hiring Amanda to work some miracles in your own house? Go to Amanda Pays Design.
The owners of the first apartment that I rented when I moved from the UK (via Tokyo) to the West Coast insisted that I use a vinegar and water solution for cleaning the hardwood floors. I have been a convert ever since, creating homemade concoctions and gradually expanding their uses over the years.
What’s so great about vinegar? It contains acetic acid and is typically made from grapes, fermented apples, barely malt, or corn that has undergone fermentation (think of it as what happens when wine goes wrong). It’s vinegar’s acetic property that lends it to cleaning. It’s also cheap, non-toxic, and proven to be antibacterial; I use it to clean pretty much all of the house. For some chores I apply straight vinegar, for other I make my own simple solution from a bulk bottle of distilled vinegar, also known as white vinegar and available at any supermarket (you can read about my mix in the post, Move Over Mrs Meyer). Ready to join me? Here are 10 ways to use vinegar that will leave your house squeaky clean.
Photographs by Sarah Lonsdale, except where noted.
1. Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1 gallon warm water and use to wash your floors. The key here is to make sure the floors do not get too wet, otherwise the wood will warp over time. N.B.: This is not for floors with a waxed finish as the vinegar will erode the wax.
2. Kitchen and Bathroom Surface Cleaner: I make a mix of 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar to 1 cup of water, although you can make it stronger if you like. The smell of vinegar quickly dissipates, but if you prefer a scent, you can add a dash of essential oil, like lemon or lavender. N.B.: For marble and other stone surfaces, you should avoid vinegar—the acid can ruin the surface.
3. Kitchen Degreaser: For general splatters and oven and vent grease, use a brush or sponge with undiluted distilled vinegar. If needed, you can add a little bit of strained lemon juice to help cut the grease.
4. Glassware and Ceramics Cleaner: If you find your glassware clouding over time (or, in my case, white mugs stained with tea rings), clean them with a cloth soaked with undiluted vinegar and then rinse with water.
Above: A bottle of vinegar decanted into a useable size and labeled.
5. Dishwasher Rinse. Most dishwashers offer a dispenser for adding dishwashing rinse (think of it as dishwashing conditioner). I have a feeling most people don’t bother with the rinse (well, I don't), but every once in a while I do fill the rinse aid dispenser with undiluted vinegar; it gets rid of any mineral deposits or buildup on the glassware and dishes, and just seems to add an extra sparkle. (I would avoid this with silverware as it may tarnish). You can do the same with a washing machine.
6. Bath Ring and Shower Grime Remover: Use undiluted vinegar with a scrub brush and cloth, then rinse clean with water.
7. Drain Cleaner: Forget Drano, If you're looking to unclog your drains—or just keep them clean—make a solution of baking soda and vinegar. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of hot distilled vinegar (boil it just like water). Leave for 30 minutes then flush with hot water.
Above: The ingredients for Erin's window cleaner. Photograph by Erin Boyle.
8. Window Cleaner: I used to use a simple vinegar-water solution to clean windows, until I spotted this great mix from Gardenista’s Erin Boyle that steps up the sparkle factor with the addition of lemon juice and cornstarch. Erin mixes the juice from half a lemon, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1/2 cup water, and she uses crumpled newspapers to wipe off the solution. For more details, read her Secret Ingredient to Streak Free Windows.
9. Odor Remover: A bowl of vinegar placed in a room for a couple of hours will get rid of any unpleasant smell.
10. Ant Control: I never encountered an ant problem until I moved to Northern California—they seem to love it here. One year, in desperation, I eradicated the ants by sealing up every entrance to the back of our house with masking tape (it was a little like a Christo installation and meant no one could get to the garden). Only later did I learn that vinegar is equally effective and much less of an undertaking. Wherever the ants are trekking, spray the trail—I use my diluted mix. If you know where they're entering from the outside or the basement, spray there, too. It typically takes a few days of spraying, but once you manage to disrupt a trail, they typically vanish.
Last word: For the naysayers who worry about vinegar's odor, not only does it dissipate quickly, but it's likely far better for you to whiff than what's in most commercial cleaners.
For more ideas on the homefront, read our Editors' Secret Cleaning Tips and our guide to Banishing Kitchen Odors. Also check out our post on SHED in Healdsburg, CA, and the shrubs (vinegar syrups) sold at their kombucha bar. And if fermentation is your thing, you might want to make your own Shrubs and invest in one of these Crocks.
Christina Strutt, co-founder of the English housewares and fashion line Cabbages and Roses, is an advocate for beauty, simplicity, timelessness, integrity, and sustainability. Her just-published book Living Life Beautifully presents a collection of friends' houses that are all about creating harmonious spaces where life and work mingle. A common theme of aesthetic utility runs throughout the pages, feeding our own fantasies of a life filled with well-organized closets and freshly laundered (and folded) linens. "All I ever really wanted was to create something built not just around an idea, but a real life," Strutt says. Have a look at some examples from the book in which order and clean laundry coincide.
Photography by Simon Brown, unless otherwise noted.
Above: Hooks on a wall and open shelves mean a corner of any room can be turned into a linen cupboard or closet. A wooden clothes drying rack can also be used as a casual clothing rack. See 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Wooden Clothing Racks for 10 of our favorites.
Above: At Brook Cottage, Strutt's country home near Bath, a treehouse that was built for her children 20 years ago, became a place of work for her (and received a coat of white paint). It's currently used as a place of repose and a small shelf with hooks holds the necessities for the occasional cup of tea.
Above: In the her Wiltshire cottage, Maureen Doherty—founder of Egg in Knightsbridge, one of our favorite places to browse and shop in London—hangs her laundry to dry in her favorite room, the one where her grandsons stay when they come to visit.
Above: Strutt turns the concept of a linen closet into a vehicle for display in her Cabbages and Roses shop in Chelsea.
Above: Hooks transform stairs into a place for easy and accessible storage.
Above: Strutt's design assistant, Violet Buchanan, moved vintage shelves from the Cabbages and Roses shop into her own home, giving them a new function as a shoe rack.
Above: Living Life Beautifully by Christina Strutt, photographed by Simon Brown, is published by Ryland Peters and Small; $28.91. The book is available in the UK through Amazon; £25. Photograph by Christine Chang Hanway.
Longing for an orderly laundry setup? Have a look at Julie's lineup of Laundry Room Essentials. And on Gardenista, a DIY Instant Tool Shed can help you organize your outdoor life. Go to Required Reading for more of our favorite books—and don't miss Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home!
Noticed lately: Neon lights reminiscent of the work of Dan Flavin, who used off-the-shelf fluorescent lights in his lighting sculptures.
Above: A bedroom by London-based designer Harriet Anstruther; photo by Andrew Lamb.
Above: The Neon Stick Light is available in pink (shown here), blue, purple, and green.See more of designer Harriet Anstruther's work at Steal This Look: A Glamorous Kitchen from a Designer with "Shit Loads of Talent." Also check out our 10 Solutions for Romantic Lighting. And on Gardenista, have a look at a Mad Scientist Light Fixture.
Our lighting designer friend Thomas Paterson, founder of London- and Mexico City- based Lux Populi, is a bit of zealot when it comes to his mission: he wants to make the principles of good-quality home lighting available to everyone. Fully cognizant of the fact that hiring a lighting designer isn't at the top of most renovators' lists, he's generously agreed to share his tips for lighting every room in the house. First up, the bathroom, one of the most challenging rooms to light well.
Above: In a bathroom by Australian designers Hare + Klein, overhead wall-mounted task lamps are directed to shine into the vanity mirrors for ultimate light reflection on the face. "If you use an exposed lamp, try experimenting with Mirror Crown Lamps, says Paterson referring to what are also known as half-chrome light bulbs. "The light they provide can be softer and more elegant." Photograph by Jenni Hare. Want to try double mirrors in your bathroom? Get some ideas from 10 Favorites: The Multi-Mirrored Bath.
Why are bathrooms difficult to light well?
Small rooms like bathrooms are generally difficult to light because they're prone to shadows, especially if they're cluttered. Add the many angles of light reflection caused by mirrors and the challenges increase significantly.
Above: In this small New York bathroom by Uniform Design, one light fixture performs double duty: it shines into the mirror and uplights onto the white ceiling for enhanced reflection. Uniform Design are experts in the design of small bathrooms; have a look at their work in our post The Architect Is In: Instant Affordable Bathroom Design.
What is the simplest way to light a bathroom?
If you have white or pale walls, the simplest and most effective way to light a bathroom is with diffuse ceiling lights. "A simple glowing center light is a great way to push a lot of light into a bathroom and if you have pale walls, it will bounce and bounce, " says Paterson.
Above: In Michelle McKenna and Brenlen Jinken's Renovated London Town House, the master bath has a ceiling light for overall diffuse illumination and supplemental lighting from wall sconces that flank the mirror.
How effective are sconces for lighting a bathroom?
Sconces can be an effective way to light a bathroom and in a light, bright, reflective bathroom, they can even provide enough light on their own. "It's important to focus on the effect of the fixture as much as the look—turn it on in the store and stand just to the side of it as if it were on the side of a mirror," says Paterson. "Does your face look good? Ask a friend, take a selfie, or whip out the makeup compact."
What about downlights in a bathroom?
If you plan to use downlights—ceiling-inset spotlights—in your bathroom, Paterson has a few warnings: "All too often, people use downlights over the vanity thinking this will light the mirror," he says. "The problem is that the light from downlights goes straight down, and like kids playing with a flashlight, scary shadows occur." Downlights should be positioned close to the mirror with the light directed to shine into the mirror so that the light reflects back out onto your face. To avoid shadows, position downlights around the sides of the room as opposed to the middle. And if you have light-colored countertops, they'll reflect the light back up from the downlights.
Above: In a Victorian Remodel with an Industrial Edge, London architects Stiff + Trevillion position downlights around the sides of the bathroom to avoid shadows. In the vanity and sink area, they also installed vertical light fixtures for up close tasks like make-up application and shaving.
What is the best way to light a mirror for makeup application?
Maximum light for detailed work can be achieved with vertical fluorescent light fixtures positioned on either side of a mirror. "This provides lots of light without shadows and can create very appealing and glamorous light if you use a warm bulb," says Paterson. "On the other hand, if you want the precise light that surgeons require, use a cold white bulb. It all comes down to personal taste."
Above: Architect and interior designer Alexandra Loew of From the Desk of Lola, worked with Dan Weinreber, a founding partner in the lighting design firm Kaplan Gehring McCarroll, to create this Hollywood-style dressing room in Chappaqua, New York. To provide a soft and bright (yet dimmable glow) in the mirror, Weinreber mounted vertical fluorescent bulbs on to the back of the mirror where the silver coating had been sandblasted away to accept the bulbs. When the lights are turned on, the mirror itself has an even surface, and when the lights are turned off, the mirror becomes a seamless wall. "The combination of these side light fluorescents and the adjacent incandescent sconces provides excellent color rendition for skin tones," Loew says. "Everything about the room was intended to make my client look and feel glamorous, which she does—in spades!" Photograph by Justin Bernhaut.
Is there a difference between lighting a dark space and a light space?
For those who prefer their bathrooms without drama, it's best to stick with white or pale walls, where the high level of reflectivity from a few or even one diffuse ceiling light source means less light is needed to do the job. Dark bathrooms are dramatic by nature and to successfully light then requires more thought, not to mention more light. The lack of reflectivity means that the light will only go where you direct it. A well-lit sink and vanity area, for instance, need the light source to come from the front—extending out from the mirror, for instance—not from behind.
Above: In a dark bathroom, the light will only go where it's directed because dark surfaces absorb light rather than reflect it. Image via Domienova.
What's the best way to light a bathroom while avoiding a cluttered look?
Often the smallest room in the house, the bathroom can get filled up with necessities very quickly. One way of streamlining is by creating indirect light and hiding your light source—such as a powerful fluorescent bulb or LED strip—behind a floating mirror three inches off the wall. It's a simple and effective way of adding light to a room without introducing clutter.
Above: In a white-tiled bathroom at The Lakes in the Cotswolds, a Philippe Starck property venture, minimalism is achieved by hiding the light source behind a floating mirror positioned in recessed niche painted a flattering shade of pink.
Bathroom lighting recap:
See more of Paterson's home lighting principles in Remodeling 101: How to Choose an Overhead Light Fixture, and if you're shopping for lights, have a look at our catalog of favorites. Struggling with the confines of a small powder room? See The White Album: 10 Tiny Powder Rooms for more inspiration. Over on Gardenista, we've got your outdoor lighting needs covered, from Landscape Up-lights and Pathway Lighting to Outdoor Nautical Bulkhead Lighting.
The possibilities for one-minute impulse purchases abound these days: a download of the latest Oscar-winning movie, an Uber to get you home fast, a pint of ice cream delivered to your front door. Want it? Click—it’s yours. But as Lynne Twist says in her book The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources, “When you let go of trying to get more of what you don't really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have.”
Here, seven tips for becoming a more thoughtful, mindful—and yes, patient—consumer.
Above: A canvas shopper in the studio of Matt Dick of Small Trade Company. Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista (see more at Matt Dick's East/West Style).
1. Just wait.
In an article in Newsweek, economist William Dickens of Northeastern University explains that human beings value current happiness over future happiness. In fact, we may even be hard-wired to do so. How can we override our built-in urge for instant gratificatio ? With patience. My own personal strategy is to “pin” things I’m admiring onto a Pinterest board for later, which could mean a week, a month, or more, and then revisit. Do I still want it? And more important, do I really need it? Research shows that dopamine—one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals—actually gets released in anticipation of a purchase, perhaps even more than during the actual buying experience itself. So go ahead: window shop, pin it, bookmark it, share it on Facebook, or rip out the magazine page—have fun with the fantasy, but stop there.
Above: Everyday essentials from Father Rabbits Finds a New Home.
2. Is it a want or a need?
Before making the purchase, think hard about why you need it. Also, consider: Is it beautiful? Is it useful? Will it enhance your life in some way? Do you have space for it in your house? If not, forget it.
3. Do your homework and look for deals.
If you’ve passed the waiting period and absolutely have to have it, take the extra steps to find the best deal. Websites like Dealcatcher and Pricegrabber offer coupons and sale tips, and the app Yowza will alert you to deals in your geographic area.
Above: Make sure you have closet space before you consider a purchase; photograph by Alexa Hotz from Posh Japanese Workwear, by Way of Paris.
4. Set limitations.
Retailers are savvy about the brain science of shopping and know just how to tempt you with compelling displays, sleek packaging, alluring deals, and well-lit changing rooms with flattering mirrors. (In his book Predictably Irrational, economist Dan Ariely explains that we can become attached to things by simply trying them on or even imagining ourselves using them.) Leave your credit cards at home on days you know you might cruise by a favorite boutique. Even better, set “no spend” months or go an a “financial cleanse.” For one month, consider stretching yourself to a limit of $250 beyond your grocery bill for a family of four, for example. Turn it into a family tradition and get creative in the hunt for free entertainment and easy recipes.
Above: San Francisco-based Matt Dick of Small Trade Company sees art in the everyday (even used shopping bags). Photograph of his studio by Brian Ferry.
5. Think about the full life cycle of the product.
Pause before swiping the credit card and imagine the (most likely huge amount of) time and effort it will take to own this item over its lifetime: Where will you put it? What will you get rid of to make room for it? How will you dispose of the packaging it comes in? How much effort will it take to store, clean, and maintain this item? How long will it last? And later, when you’re no longer using it, how much effort will it take to sell it? Write all of this down, and you might reconsider before bringing home another tempting glass vase or household objet.
6. Track it—use an app to help you manage your spending.
The best way to curb unwanted behavior is to notice it and keep track of it in the first place. The Level Money app is a pretty genius little tool that doesn't involve updating a spreadsheet. This “real-time money meter” links to your bank account. After calculating total income, recurring bills, and recommended savings each month, it will track a simple “spendable” balance for the day, week, or month. After you snag your morning coffee and breakfast, it will update your remaining spending balance for the day. Another app, Good Budget, uses the envelope budgeting method, and sites like Mint, Pearbudget, and Manilla can also help you get a handle on your finances.
7. Remove yourself from temptation.
Unsubscribe from catalogs and shopping newsletters and stay local. Shopping feels good because it taps into the brain's reward channels and provides a temporary “high.” This feel-good sensation comes from the dopamine released when we experience something new, challenging, or exciting (bedroom makeover, anyone?). Attempting to curb a spending spree? Keep it local and keep it boring. Warning for frequent travelers: Indiana University professor Ruth Engs, who studies shopping addiction, explains that people tend to buy more in new surroundings, outside of their regular communities.
Thinking of living with less—much less? Have a look at our Expert Advice with Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home and Sarah's attempt at a Zero Waste Day. And we haven't forgotten about the cradle-to-cradle garden in our post on Gardenista: 10 Tips for a Zero Waste Garden.
Above: "This project is super easy to make," Molly says. "But you do need some good tools and some arm strength."
Above: Go to Almost Makes Perfect for a list of materials, which include a precut piece of birch and length of copper pipe from the hardware store. Molly created her pattern by using the hexagon shape tool in Photoshop and printing it out on cardstock at around 7 inches wide.
Above: She then determined the exact center of the base and drilled a hole using a spade bit.
Above: "Using a paper towel roll as your measurement, cut down your copper pipe with your hacksaw and cap it off," says Molly.
Above: Voila: one of the best-looking paper towel holders we've seen to date. For detailed instructions, go to Almost Makes Perfect.
Not the DIY type? We recently rounded up our top picks in 10 Easy Pieces: Countertop Paper Towel Holders.
As architects who have a penchant for being organized (are there any who don’t?), my husband and I are on a never-ending quest for more storage space. After Living Small in London for ten years with our two sons, we Sleuthed for More Space last year and upgraded our kitchen, taking the opportunity to create as much storage as possible. Come have a look—we managed to find storage in the most unexpected places.
Photography by Kristin Perers.
Our modern London townhouse has three floors, each 500 square feet, with sleeping at the top, working and reading in the middle, and everything else on the ground floor. The first floor acts as the engine room of the house—it's where cooking, dining, meeting, laundering, ironing, newspaper reading, and even ping-pong playing (on the dining table) take place—so it was important to us to create a place for everything, and that it all be easily accessible. Of course, the better you are at putting things away, the more effective this strategy is. Are you listening, my beloved teens?
Above: The tall kitchen cabinets that extend from the front of the house to the back are visible immediately beyond our entry.
Above: While our galley kitchen runs the length of the house, the sizes of the kitchen cabinets vary according to use. In Sleuthing for Space in My Kitchen, I discuss how we found more space without extending the kitchen.
Above: The vents at the top of the cabinet doors hint at what is behind them.
Above: The cabinet doors open up to reveal the laundry area, complete with washer, dryer, and sink—an adapted version of my fantasy laundry room. See more small laundry rooms in 10 Favorites: Clever Laundry Rooms, Space-Saving Edition.
Above L: A before shot of the laundry room shows our open shoe display. Above R: The same shoes are now hidden away behind cabinet doors.
Above: My husband has hats, lots of them. I don't begrudge him his hats because he needs them for good reasons, but they are not easy to store. We used to hang them on the wall going up the stairs, but they kept falling off when people brushed by them. Our new solution: we installed Commercial Kitchen Draining Shelves from Alco—8 1/2 linear feet of them in the entry hall. The shelves work well not only for hats, but for hanging the incidental coat (our coat closet is always filled to the max), as well as dry cleaning, dog leashes, and anything else that needs a temporary home.
Above: In the entry hall, things remain pretty much the same as before, despite the fact that the entire kitchen area on the other side of the gray wall was completely overhauled.
Above: My husband earmarked a sliver of the wall in the entry hall for keys, transit cards, headphones, and other miscellaneous small items that are so easy to misplace and yet so important. He went to Habitat and devised a solution from what was there (he's annoyingly good at this)—he combined Allegro White Metal DVD Storage Shelves with Palaset Acrylic Storage Boxes (no longer available).
Above: I have a friend who thinks Bill and I are deluded in believing we can reduce the essence of teenage detritus into one box each. She may be right, but at least our boys know where their keys, phones, and wallets are (most of the time).
Above: Closets in London, if you have any at all, tend to be small. Two rows of Shaker pegs absorb the overflow of scarves, bags, and jackets, and are particularly useful during the winter. To read about how I used the pegs in Connecticut, see How Shaker Pegs Saved My Summer Sanity.
Above: On the second floor, where we read, work, and watch TV, we installed the 606 Universal Shelving System by Vitsoe to maximize space for our ever-growing library.
Above: The best thing about the Vitsoe shelving is that it can come with us when we move. Because it's a modular system of interchangeable parts, we can add to or subtract from it as needed.
Above: When we moved our bed into an awkward niche in our bedroom, we took the opportunity to integrate overhead storage into the headboard and we added drawers to the base of the bed for luggage.
Trying to maximize your own storage options? Here are 7 Space-Saving Hallway Storage Solutions (that don't require an in-house architect). And if you don't have got room for bedside tables, see 5 Wall-Mounted Bedside Storage Shelves. Got a garage? See Gardenista's 10 Easy Pieces: Garage Storage Units and 10 Easy Pieces: Garage Organizers.
The gang at Gardenista are finally back outside, deep in the dirt, greeting the start of spring. Join them—and if you need tartan kneeling pads, they've got them.
Above: On our Must Visit Now list: The FloraCultural Society in Oakland, CA, an urban flower shop with the motto: "Rewild your life—go for floral mutiny." Owner Anna Campbella grows all the flowers on offer, and we're taking note of her tips for making quick, casual bouquets. Photographs by Liesa Johannssen for Gardenista.
Above: Like to Steal This Look? We would, too. Erin points the way, slate shingles and crab apple tree, included. Photograph by Hufton & Crow for Gundry & Ducker.
Above: "If Mother Nature was not going to bring spring to me, I was going out to get it myself," says Justine who created this DIY Ode to Spring bouquet from nippy Boston. She stands ready to show you how it's done. Photograph by Justine Hand.
Located along the old harbor in Reykjavík, Iceland, Mar is a seafood restaurant with a sophisticated interior and menu that are salutes to the sea, its inhabitants, and the history of Iceland's fishing industry.
Today most of Iceland's fishing industry has pivoted east to the Sundahöfn port, but the infrastructure of the old harbor has been preserved thanks to businesses like Mar and the proximity of popular shopping street, Laugavegur. Hafsteinn Júlíusson and Karitas Sveinsdóttir of HAF Studio were interested in relating both the concept and design of Mar to the surrounding docks, built back in 1917. Here's a look at how HAF Studio's idea unfolded:
Above: Like the name of the restaurant, the signage is in Latin; this one informs diners of the menu style: "an Icelandic offering of pure and delicate Latin American and Mediterranean-style cuisine."
Above: HAF Studio sets the tone of the restaurant with a color palette of black and pale wood, white, teal green, and deep orange.
Above: Paneled walls of black-stained wood reference the weathered wooden houses traditional to Iceland's fishing community.
Above: A map highlights the chef's points of gastronomic inspiration; it was designed by Siggi Odds, who HAF commissioned to create of the restaurant's graphics.
Above: Overhead pendant light bulbs are caught, like buoys or fish, in a web of colored rope—a kitschy concept that HAF presents in a high style way.
Above: The designers' liven up the room by mixing classic black bentwood chairs with single chairs in unexpected colors.
Above: The bar is sheathed in brass.
Above: Prints of seabirds and a breaching whale are framed on the wall. A spot of brass surrounds the porthole window looking into the WC lounge.
Above: Mirrored fish swim against a single teal blue wall in the back of the restaurant.
Above: Tables are set with custom ceramics by artist Guðný Hafsteins. Their organic shapes and colors are inspired by the seabird, skarfur, a kind of raven. The restaurant's ceramics and graphic prints are available at Mýrin, the shop just next door to Mar.
Above: HAF interwove standing metal bars to wine storage along the wall.
For those visiting Reykjavík's, another must-see is Spark Design Space, a concept shop detailed in our recent post, The Hub for Iceland Design. On Gardenista, have a look at our piece on Iceland's bathing spot with volcanic powers, the Blue Lagoon.
Location of Mar on Reykjavík's old harbor:
We're heading to India this coming week; get ready for a color-saturated design tour of one of the world's oldest civilizations. Plus, a few things that have won us over lately.
Above: At South by Southwest, Remodelista contributor Leigh was charmed by artist Amie Siegel's film Provenance (still from the film, shown here) that traces the trade route of Pierre Jeanneret's line of modernist furniture from the dumpsters of Chandigarh, India, to Paris and New York City auction houses. For more on the film, visit the New York Times, and for a look at where the chairs ended up, see Trend Alert: Pierre Jeanneret's Modern Classic Caned Teak Chair.
A glamorous apartment in New York uses gray as a base color for almost every room, but executes it in a way that still remains lively.
In anticipation of the coming India week on Remodelista, Margot has been checking out Love Travel Guides, a series of India guides by Fiona Caulfield. Made by hand in India (and slipped into khadi cotton or silk pouches), the books are filled with insider tips for "the luxury vagabond."
Above: Handmade in LA, a wool and leather tray like this one adds a tactile and stylish element to a desk or workspace.
Shauna Haider, a Portland-based graphic designer and blogger, shares everything she learned during a three-month bathroom remodel.
Sarah's looking for a sleeker place to store bread and she has her eye on a walnut bread box.
Above: Dalilah, our newest Remodelista staffer, is big fan of Swedish Dream, a Swedish-inspired, American-made sea salt soap; $7.50 at Archer Hard Goods.
We're admiring the simple lines and warmth of a new collection of chairs designed by Markus Johansson for HansK.
Above: A young couple's weekend getaway in India combines culture and simplicity.
Grown Alchemist's approach to skin care—and packaging—is pleasingly uncomplicated and pure.
Above: Trying to figure out what bulbs are best to set the mood? One King's Lane's lighting guide breaks down what type of light each bulb gives off, and is offering all of the bulbs for sale.
For one of our favorite places to gather West Coast inspiration, take a look at Sunset, and if you want to know where we like to get answers to hard-hitting home improvement questions, see BobVila.com