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    The designers of the movie Her added a decidedly vintage feel to much of the futuristic technology on the set. Computer monitors are wrapped in wood or canvas, and the smartphone that Joaquin Phoenix carries with him is modeled after the beautiful and tactile address books and cigarette cases of yore. With all the sleek and slim technology in our lives, is it warmth we're after? Or maybe, as Magno Radio designer Singgih Kartono believes, using natural materials will help build a closer relationship between user and device. 

    Here are 12 accessories to add warmth to your cool electronics. 


    Magno Wooden Radio, Remodelista

    Above: The classic transistor radio interpreted in wood: the individually handcrafted Magno Small Wooden Radio IKoNO has a two band (AM and FM) receiver and can be connected to most Mp3 players; $225 at A+R.

    Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers, Remodelista

    Above: Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers are made from porcelain, cork, and Baltic birch. The materials are minimally finished by design; $495 for a pair speakers and an amp.

    Liberatone Airplay Speaker, Remodelista  

    Above: The Liberatone Zipp Airplay Speaker is a wireless portable speaker cloaked in an Italian wool cover that comes in several colors, including salty gray (shown). It works with iDevices, Mac/PC, and Android devices, and is $366 at Amazon.

    Formnation Wood Speaker, Remodelista  

    Above: The small beech Formnation Wood Speaker has a bright red cord that fits into any auxiliary headphone jack and can be charged for five hours of portable play; $40 at MOMA Store.


    Oree Powersleeve and charging Pebble, Remodelista  

    Above: The Orée Powersleeve is a protective smartphone cover crafted of wood and leather. It pairs with the Orée Pebble (available in wood or marble) to create a wireless charging pad for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and Galaxy S4; €90 for the cover and €110 for the charger. To see more from the line, go to Cord-Free Living: A Good-Looking Wireless Charger and Other Breakthroughs.

    Areaware iPhone Alarm Dock, Remodelista  

    Above: A design that mimics the plastic clock radios of the 1970's, Areaware's Alarm Dock is actually a charging spot for the iPhone 5 (a version is also available for the iPhone 4). Run a flip clock app and your charging phone becomes a digital clock; $38 from Areaware.

    Koostick Docking Station, Remodelista  

    Above: The Koostik Dock 5 for the iPhone is a simple docking station available in a variety of solid woods including white oak (shown); $25.

    Areaware iPhone Radio Docking Station, Remodelista  

    Above: Areaware's Radio Dock is a radio in looks only. Your iPhone connector can be pulled through the dock, allowing your device to recharge while you run a radio app to recreate that old sound via your phone's own speakers; $40.


    Gray Felt Laptop Sleeve, Remodelista  

    Above: The Wool Felt and Leather MacBook Pro Sleeve is crafted of gray felted wool with leather snap closures. The sleeves are also available for the iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air; $82 from Byrd and Belle's Etsy Shop.

    Wood Ipad Skin, Remodelista

    Above: Woodchuck's iPad Wood Skin is available in birch (shown), walnut, and mahogany (and made for other laptop models, too). Fabricated in Minneapolis of locally sourced wood, the skins adhere to the device with a non-residue adhesive to protect from scratches, and are $39.99 each.

    Wool iPad Case, Remodelista

    Above: From Woodchuck's Traveler Series, the Wood and Wool iPad Sleeve pairs cherry wood with all-wool felt, and has two pockets for accessories and chargers; $99.99.


    Oree Wooden Keyboard, Remodelista

    Above: Carved from a single piece of wood, the Orée Wooden Wireless Keyboard is available for MAC or PC. Each keyboard is customized to order in maple (shown) or walnut, and comes with a choice of font styles and the options to add a decorative pattern or slogan; €150.

    Is technology threatening to takeover your home? See 10 Ways to De-Clutter Your Tech Experience and 10 Tips for Keeping Tech in Check, Family Edition. Meanwhile, on Gardenista they're using Gardening Books as iPad covers.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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  • 04/10/14--02:00: A Minimalist Parisian Loft
  • One of the places in the world we'd most like to live? This sophisticated and soulful Paris loft designed by Régis Larroque, giant green cupboard included. Located on Passage Charles Dallery in the 11e, the apartment was completed back in 2006, but is timeless—and alluring. Look no further for warm minimalism with a French accent.

    Photographs from RL Interior Architecture.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A streamlined cupboard divides the entry from the main living space, and serves as an alternative to a built-in front closet. Régis Larroque is a sought-after Paris designer of shops and showrooms—for Hermes and Nina Ricci, among others—and his display and space-planning skills translate well in a residential setting.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A shelf-like shallow stone sink extends off the green cupboard and is a companion to a powder room near the entry.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: The dining area is decorated with a collage of 19th century studio portraits clustered in an arresting cloud-like arrangement.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A bedroom opens off the dining area; to maintain the lofty feel of the space, the door opening are extra wide (but there are sliding wood pocket doors for privacy).

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: Cartwheels, anyone? The vast main space has rug-free pale wood floors, slim metal columns, and a wall of windows.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A black leather sofa with tapered wooden legs and a fireplace anchor the living area.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A petite daybed is invitingly situated under the tall windows.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: The master bed is invitingly layered with pale pastel sheets and linen-covered pillows.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: The bedroom doubles as a home office.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: Outside the master bedroom, an ensemble of black leather seating surrounds the fireplace.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A wall of open shelves extends for nearly the length of the long room.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: To accommodate a variety of books and objects, the shelves are built in two heights.

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A curved hall off the front entry leads to the kitchen.

    Kitchen in a Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: An antique table contrasts with the streamlined custom cabinetry, which is hardware-free and rests on a recessed base, so that it appears to be floating.

    Kitchen in a Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: The wood flooring shifts to polished stone in the kitchen. 

    Kitchen in a Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A compact refrigerator with a clear glass door is incorporated into the cabinetry. 

    Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: The breakfast table adds a sunniness to the setting. Glassic globe lights are used throughout the loft as pendants and standing lamps.

    Bedroom in a Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: A guest bedroom off the kitchen has a seamless wall of closets. The clean setting showcases a chair and globe light both made of wirework.

    Master bath in Paris loft on Passage Charles Dallery designed by Regis Larroque | Remodelista

    Above: An all-encompassing grid of white tiles with gray grout in the guest room's companion bath.

    Paris loft plan by Regis Larroque | Remodelista  

    Above: The loft's floor plan delineates the central placement of the dining table; the bedrooms occupy the two ends of the space.

    For inspirational photos of lofts the world over, get lost in our Photo Gallery. More France? Click here to see images of Paris interiors that we love. Over on Gardenista, discover Odorantes, a Parisian Florist Where Flowers Are Arranged By Scent.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Enrique had only been with us a few days when we blithely left him home alone for a few hours. The shredded curtain and broken windowpane that we returned to clued us in that our rescued 15-pound mutt wasn't yet feeling acclimated. Dogs need to feel at home, too, we realized.

    I'm happy to report that four years later, Enrique is leading a good life and hasn't done any further damage—and, though you might find it hard to believe, we feel we ended up with the world's sweetest pet. But like a toddler-proofed house, our rooms show signs that someone with four legs has the run of the place.

    Hard to believe that not so long ago, dogs lived in doghouses. Now that they've been fully welcomed indoors, it only makes sense to incorporate our pets' needs into the design plans. As Ben Bischoff of Made Architects LLC wisely points out, "You don't want to have to shoehorn a big dog bed or metal crate into a finished room. If you're constructing or remodeling, it makes sense to design and build places for your pet's things to go."

    Towards that end, here are eight key things to take into consideration when setting up a quarters for man and beast:

    1. A Convenient Way In and Out

    The practicality of a dog door depends, of course, on where you live and the size of your dog. But having a built-in dog door is a great boon for both dog and owner. Have a look at Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsens' dog door tucked into a corner of their laundry room.

      Dog doorby KUU architects | Remodelista

    Above: A charming dog door by KUU, an architectural design firm based in Singapore and Tokyo.

    2. A Place to Keep Leashes and Towels at the Ready

    A mud room is a luxury high on dog owners' wish lists, but any entry equipped with hooks and storage will work—as long as it can be tread upon by dirty paws and doused with wet fur. Think twice before adding hand-blocked wallpaper, as we did, in our entry. What you need is a resilient staging area where your dog can be cleaned and dried before being unleashed into the rest of the house.

    Open coat closet designed by Oliver Freundlich for Cobble Hill duplex | Remodelista

    Above: Oliver Freundlich designed a tiled open coat closet for a Brooklyn couple with a dog named Cash. A leash is at the ready on cast-iron hooks, and dog towels, toys, and treats can be stowed in the yellow cabinet by Cappellini. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    3. Resilient Flooring

    "In a pet residence, the floor is the first and most important consideration. Pets spend a lot of time on the floor; it's our pets' eminent domain," writes dog design authority Julia Szabo in her book Pretty Pet-Friendly: Easy Ways to Keep Spot's Digs Stylish and Spotless. Easy to clean, non-porous surfaces are ideal, she advises. Concrete and tiles work well, as do hardwood and bamboo floors (but be warned that dogs with scratchy paws are likely to leave their mark on soft woods.) Radiant heat flooring is a boon all around—energy efficient and a dog favorite. Carpeting is not recommended: it's too hard to keep clean; but if you insist, Szabo recommends Flor carpet tiles—they're removable and washable. Also consider Bolon, woven vinyl matting from Sweden that's easy to clean and indestructible; I use it in my front hall to save our hardwood floor from all the snow and rain gets tracked in.


    Dog friendly concrete floor in Kimberly Peck converted barn | Remodelista

    Above: A polished concrete floor with radiant heat works extremely well for a couple who live in a converted Upstate New York barn with two giant Rottweilers. See more of the barn here as well as on pages 198 to 203 of the Remodelista Book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    4. A Feeding Area

    Too often dog bowls are left out in the open waiting to be knocked over. When designing a kitchen (or mud room or laundry room), build in a convenient place for the food and water bowl to live. It will become one of your greatest daily satisfactions.

    Dog bowl station with built-in fauceet | Remodelista

    Above: To be filed under genius idea: a dog-feeding station on a platform with inset stainless-steel bowls and built-in water faucet, a design by Chicago architect Michael N. Shively.

    Kitchen island dog bowl alcove Oliver Freundlich design | Remodelista

    Above: Similarly, Oliver Freundlich created a dog bowl nook in a kitchen island, and painted it Christian Louboutin red. It's in the same Brooklyn duplex pictured above—tour the whole apartment at Architecture as Alchemy.

    window seat dog feeding station | Remodelista

    Above: A drawer under a window seat holds a feeding station in a design by TerraCotta Properties of Atlanta.

    5. A Place to Stow the Kibble

    Bags of dog food are unwieldy, not to mention unattractive and prone to attracting vermin. Having a built-in, air-tight bin is ideal. An old-fashioned metal garbage can also works well (see Amanda Pays' laundry room).  

      Dog food drawer | Remodelista

    Above: A beadboard pull-out conveniently holds a covered container for storing dry dog food. Photo via Decor Pad.

    6. A Place to Wash Up

    A laundry sink works well as a dog bath for small- and medium-sized animals—and means you don't have to bend over a low bathtub. Bonus: it's easier to clean up a sink than a bathtub. Alternatively, consider installing a dog shower with a handheld nozzle—these work well in tiled niches in mud rooms and laundry rooms. 

    Vintage double sink belonging to the owner of Found My Animal | Remodelista

    Above: Bethany Obrecht, co-owner of dog accessories company Found My Animal and rescue dog advocate, equipped her Brooklyn brownstone kitchen with an antique farmhouse double sink, purchased on eBay and sized right for Claude, her mutt, and Henri, her Chihuahua.  Photograph from Found My Animal.

    Outdoor shower for people and dogs via Houzz | Remodelista

    Above: Another luxury—the outdoor shower; this one is conveniently positioned alongside a dog door in a project by Phil Kean Design Group of Winter Park, Florida.

    7. Pet-Proofed Furniture

    Dogs don't need to be allowed on the furniture, of course, but who can resist lounging on the sofa with a furry companion? It's wise to protect the comfiest seats in the house by slipcovering them in washable fabrics. Alternatively, cotton painter's drop cloths are a fast, affordable strategy—see our post Canvas Drop Cloths as Instant Decor. Our London editor, Christine, tucks a washable duvet onto her couch to dog proof it, and LA interior designer Michaela Scherrer drapes her living room furniture in claw-proof, spongeable white leather. If you're thinking of reupholstering, Julia Szabo recommends Crypton, a stain-resistant (low VOC and no formaldehyde) fabric sold by the yard (some patterns are designed by William Wegman). And for an especially dog-friendly house, consider building a spot especially for your pets, such as a window seat or top-of-the-stairs lookout.

    Bone and Rag Window Seat London | Remodelista

    Above: A homemade window seat built over a radiator serves as the perfect toasty hangout and mailman watch at the London home of the owners of pet accessories company Bone & Rag. The window seat is made of painted MDF with turned legs and air holes, and has a dark blue velvet cushion that's hardwearing and, yes, washable. Photograph from Bone & Rag.

    8. A Comfy Spot to Nap

    Dogs need a place to retreat to where they can sleep soundly—"somewhere quiet and comfy, but close to the action and free from draughts," specifies Jeremy Cooper of Bone & Rag (makers of nice-looking denim dog beds). The hitch is that dog beds and crates hog a lot of space. Instead of allowing them to clutter your rooms, consider creating cozy built-in niches under shelves, islands, and stairs. 

    Under counter built-in dog bed at Old Faithful Shop | Remodelista

    Above: Jean-Pierre, the resident French bulldog at Vancouver's Old Faithful Shop, has a bed built into a custom-made wooden counter. Photograph from Old Faithful Shop.

    Cat fans, stay tuned for our tips on how to create a feline-friendly house. Looking for pet accessories and toys? Check out our gift guides for the Dog Lover and Feline Fanatic. And for the ultimate dog-friendly house, see Only in Japan: An Architect-Designed House That Doubles as a Dog Salon. Worried about pets who eat houseplants? Read Gardenista's report: Will a "Poisonous" Plant Really Kill Your Pet?

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    We recently bought a vintage daybed for our library, and children and two cats are extremely content with the new addition—it's comfortable, cosy, and currently the most popular seat in the house. 

    Here are Remodelista, we're big fans of daybeds, and particularly Donald Judd's boxy minimalist take on the form. Of course, his pieces are beyond pricey, but lately we've been noticing some appealing—and accessible—lookalikes.


    DonaldJudd Daybed I Remodelista

    Above: The original Donald Judd Daybed #32, designed during the later years of Judd's career, sells at auction for prices hovering around $70,000 (depending on quality and type of wood). The bed was made in 11 different hardwoods. LA-based Matin Gallery offers the entire Donald Judd collection, which is built by Jeff Jamieson and is dated and numbered in open edition by the Judd Foundation. Contact directly to inquire about pricing. To learn more about Matin and its owners, Robert and Christina Odegard, see International Style: At Home with LA's Stealth Stylemakers.

    Mark Tuckey Box Day Bed I Remodelista  

    Above: The Box Daybed by Melbourne, Australia, furniture designer Mark Tuckey is available in oak or a wood Tuckey calls Oregon and your choice of upholstery fabric; $6,100 AUD from Mark Tuckey.

      Mc and Co Daybed I Remodelista  

    Above: The Mc & Co Daybed, designed by Corinne Gilbert & Dan Mccarthy, is made from one-inch-thick unfinished cedar; it can also be made to order in ash, oak, walnut, and pine. It's 40 inches deep, 27 inches tall, and 76 inches wide, and accommodate a twin size futon. Pricing starts at $3,900 without a futon, and $4,200 with a premium futon.


    Mid Century Daybed in Acorn by West Elm I Remodelista

    Above: The Mid Century Daybed is made from FSC-certified solid eucalyptus wood with a stained veneer West Elm calls acorn. It's 78 inches wide, 42 inches deep, and 35 inches high; $639 from West Elm.

    How about making your own daybed? See our post: DIY Built-In Daybed. And if you like Mark Tuckey's daybed design, check out his own Beach House Living Room (daybed, included). On Gardenista, have a look at a Swinging Day Bed in Charleston. Go to High/Low to see more of our bargain sleuthing.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Nestled among the Victorians of San Francisco's Lower Pacific Heights stands an unassuming tea shop. The delicate white typography on the window is enough to draw a passerby to peek inside. But it's the warm welcome and the shop's peaceful ambiance that makes you want to spend an afternoon tea tasting. 

    Before opening Song Tea & Ceramics, Peter Luong worked in the family business, Red Blossom Tea, a business in SF's Chinatown that Luong's parents opened 30 years ago. Today, the company supplies many of the city's restaurants and cafes, and the success of Red Blossom Tea led Luong to recognize a need for refinement in the industry. Much like the best wine-tasting room in Napa, Song Tea's mission is to create an elegant environment for sampling and purchasing what Luong describes as "vibrant, high-quality teas that are hand-picked and crafted, and sourced in small batches."

    Photographs by Dalilah Arja. 

    Custom Made Credenza at Song Tea | Remodelista

    Above: A credenza designed by Luong and his team serves as the shop's checkout counter; it was built by local woodworker Blair Haffly.

    Song Tea & Ceramics | Remodelista

    Above: Luong has "always been a fan of clean-lined, simple design: midcentury modern and Japanese and minimalist design. Song Tea & Ceramics is an amalgamation of those influences." Shown here, a Fukushu kumquat sits in an untreated wood frame alongside handmade ceramics. 

    Ceramics at Song Tea in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The teapots are made from Zisha (which means purple sand in Chinese), a clay found in the city of Yixing in China's Jiangsu province. The process of making these pots is labor intensive: the clay isn't easily molded and the ceramicist must hammer it by hand. And because Zisha wares are unglazed, they retain trace amounts of tea from each use, creating a more complex flavor over time. It's important to limit the use of each tea pot to one kind of tea.

    Shelving of tea at Song Tea & Ceramics | Remodelista

    Above: Loose-leaf tea is stored in porcelain canisters lied up on custom-built shelves. Luong often takes buying trips to Taiwan and China to visit tea farms, and all of the shop's tea is sourced in limited batches from small operations. An online shop is in the works; click here to view Song's tea menu.

    A complimentary tea tasting at Song Tea in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: Although Song Tea is not a tea room or restaurant, you can expect complimentary tastings with delicious pairings. 

    Back wall at Song Tea | Remodelista

    Above: Luong's arrangements were inspired by his visits to tea rooms and restaurants in Japan.

    Vintage Record Player & Tea at Song Tea | Remodelista

    Above: A vintage Marantz amplifier from Luong's own collection sits on a shelving unit that separates the retail space from the office. 

    Song Tea & Ceramics | Remodelista

    Above: The tasting table was also custom built by local woodworker Blair Haffly. 

    Song Tea and Ceramics Signage | Remodelista

    Above: Graphic designer Kristen Penn is responsible for all of the shop's signage and packaging. 

    Song Tea & Ceramics will be launching an online shop soon; until then, you can find its teas at a variety of cafes in San Francisco, including St. Frank, Ritual, and Jane. Go Get 'Em Tiger and G&B Coffee in Los Angeles carry Song Tea, as does Bartavelle in Berkeley.  

    After all this tea talk, a recipe for Moroccan mint tea on Gardenista sounds good. And check out more of our ceramic-centric posts here

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Not so long ago, when I was desperate to replace the linoleum floor in our rental house kitchen with a wood one, my designer friends suggested calling local floorer Donald Williams of Donald Williams Floors in Calistoga, CA. While he might be more familiar with my Napa Valley neighbors' swankier homes, Williams was happy to advise me on what to use in our tiny kitchen. I recently asked him to tell me more about how to approach choosing a wood floor.

    Remodelista: What is the first thing to consider when choosing a wood floor?
    Donald Williams: Visual appeal and practical utility. If you like the look and texture of wood, and the way it wears and lasts, there are a whole host of considerations to be made.  

    RM: What sort of things?
    DW: Things to consider are color, grain, dimensions, and stability—there are many species of wood; every type of tree has it own qualities. 

    Wooden floors in the Napa home of Patricia Adrian Hanson | Remodelista

    Above: French oak floors from Exquisite Surfaces by Donald Williams Floors in the home of Napa interior designer Patricia Adrian-Hanson.

    RM: Can you tell us about color? 
    DW: When selecting a wood floor, color is available two ways: there is color that is intrinsic to the wood—walnut has a brown hue, maple has a whitish cast, oak is yellowish—or you can add a stain; some woods stain well, others don’t. 

    RM: How do you advise clients on choosing a color?
    DW: The problem with picking a color is that folks are reluctant to relinquish control with natural products in which the color is intrinsic to the wood. If you want real wood then you want the visual quality of the wood to be apparent. I'll show clients a sample of red oak. They'll pick a stain, then I’ll show them another piece of red oak in the same stain and it will look different. It’s the same type of wood but can look different. It will also look different when it’s done on a larger scale. It makes people uncomfortable, but letting go of control is important; accepting and appreciating the natural variants in wood means being an informed customer.  

    Dinesen douglas fir floors at Radio in copenhagen | Remodelista  

    Above: A Douglas fir floor at Radio Restaurant in Copenhagen. The floor is from Danish company Dinesen treated with white soap and lye. For information on Dinesen, see our post World's Most Beautiful Wood Floors. Photograph by Anders Hviid

    RM: What about staining with color?
    DW: The stain provides the color and the finish goes on top of the stain to protect it and the wood. A natural clear stain is the most common, but we can go wherever a customer takes us. It can be a white or a black or another color. Designers often love to put a thick layer of stain on a wood floor to give it uniformity, but most floors that are uniform in color and going to be compromised in longevity. 

    RM: Why is that?
    DW: The layer of pigment becomes a barrier between the finish on top and the wood below. The finish is what you walk on, and we want the finish to bond with the wood, not just to float on top. The floor may not last long because the color may get walked off.

    Stained planks of oak at Heritage Salvage | Remodelista

    Above: Samples of oak with different colored finishes at Heritage Salvage in Petaluma.

    RM: When using a polyurethane finish, how many layers do you recommend? 
    DW: This depends on usage and budget: is it a house for a couple or is the space used for daycare ? The more layers, the more protection. We do anywhere up to four coats of finish.

    RM: What colors are popular for stains?
    DW: In the last two years we've been doing a lot more grayish brown because of Restoration Hardware and its weathered woods. 

    RM: What is there to consider when it comes to grain?
    DW: That’s a matter of personal preference. Some woods have a calm, uniform grain, others have a lot of action and variety. Hickory is very unpredictable and changes a lot, oak has an active grain, maple grain is less apparent as is cherry, and walnut has a calmer grain. If folks want the floor to be a focal point, they need a more active grain. If they want the furniture or fireplace to be the focal point, they may go for a calmer grain.

    RM: What are the most popular woods? 
    DW: Over half of the wood flooring used in the US is oak, maybe even two thirds.

    Reclaimed oak floors | Remodelista

    Above: Oversized rustic oak planks from Cheville Parquet.

    RM: You mentioned width of wood.
    DW: We've laid flooring as wide as 12 inches, which is wide. The wider it is, the more expensive. Wider woods are hickory, pine, and fir. If you're going wide on a budget, pine is the least expensive, but it’s soft and will dent more than other woods. The next best priced option is oak.

    RM: Requirements for laying down a wood floor?
    DW: You should have a subfloor that is flat, clean, and dry. We measure this with a moisture meter and make sure the moisture content is the same as the new flooring. Wood expands and contracts as humidity and temperature vary. If you need a stable floor, then you may want to consider an engineered floor.

    RM: Why is that?
    DW: Manufactured products are easy to work with generally because they're more stable than wood. In terms of engineered wood, you want a thick wear layer so you can sand in the future. It can be 1/16th of an inch of wood on top of a plywood base; typically, the more layers of plywood the more stable and high quality the product. Engineered floors are a cheap alternative to wood; Reward is a good middle-of-the-road engineered floor. 

    RM: Trends?
    DW: We now use fir for flooring because it has a rustic quality. Once upon a time we would call it defective wood because it has open knots or large mineral streaks. It used to be culled; now much of it is used for flooring—people like the worn look and that it harkens back to things hand-made.

    RM: So a rustic look is popular?
    DW: Yes, we’ll hand scrape the boards if needed. There is a fiction here. Everyone knows that the wood is not that old, but distressing and gouging gives it a worn look with a sense of permanence. We use reclaimed wood, too, but it’s typically more expensive.

    Joseph Dirand Paris Chevron Floors/Remodelista

    Above: Joseph Dirand's new apartment in Paris features chevron floors; photo by Simon Watson for the NY Times.

    RM: Thoughts on the return to favor of herringbone and chevron floors?
    DW: They're like a tweed jacket—they never go out of style. 

    Looking for more wood flooring resources and inspiration? See our previous posts: Reclaimed Wood Floors Made Modern, Flooring from Heritage SalvageMetal Patches on Old Wood Floors, and a feature on the Ultimate Arborist. If you are looking for the ultimate pale wood floors, check out Izabella's post on How to Create a Scandi Whitewashed Wood Floor.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    British stylist Hilary Robertson has spent many years in New York perfecting interiors for magazines, such as Elle Decoration, Real Simple, and Town & Country. Along the way, she's become an expert at The Stuff of Life, the apt title of her forthcoming new book devoted to the art of display.

    In the first two chapters, "How to Arrange Your Stuff" and "Where to Arrange It," the stylist draws on her experience and dispenses valuable advice on corralling the things in your life. The second part of the book, "Stories Told by Real Homes," provides inspiration from real-life examples. Whether you're a passionate collector looking for ways to display your finds, or a minimalist on a mission to tame the clutter, The Stuff of Life has you covered. Here's a prepublication preview of our favorite arrangements from the book.

    And, by the way, we know where we fall on the minimalist-maximalist spectrum. What about you? Fill is in in the comments section below.

    Photography by Anna Williams

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: A sage green wall provides a calm backdrop for a display of mottled enamel kettles from the first years of the 20th century.

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: A picture can ground an arrangement. In Josephine Ekström's home in Sweden, Robertson calls our attention to the use of a Deborah Bowness wallpaper panel as an anchor for a tabletop display.

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: Rustic and modern mingle well: here, Ekström pairs Eames Eiffel chairs in earthy colors with a farm table.  

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: In the beadboard-paneled living room of her summer house in Copenhagen, Danish designer Charlotte Vadum uses daybeds—placed at right angles to each other—in lieu of sofas, and brings the room to life with textiles, favorite objects, and art.

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: A 1960's sideboard in Vadum's living room was selected because it creates a strong horizontal element against the vertical beadboarding.

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: Against the black stove, Vadum's textiles in natural brown tones blend together into a secondary visual layer. 

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: Kitchen cabinets painted a deep cobalt blue add an unexpected contrast to the dark wood mantel in retailer Liza Sherman's New York apartment, where kitchen utensils are repurposed as light fixtures and frying pans hang as wall decor.

    The Stuff of LIfe by Hilary Robertson, Photography by Anna Williams | Remodelista

    Above: The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson, photographed by Anna Williams and published by Ryland Peters and Small, will be available starting on April 30 from Amazon; pre-orders are available for $24.92. The book is available in the UK through Amazon for £25.

    Looking for more ways to arrange your things? How about Plates as Decor or Paintings in the Kitchen? And over on Gardenista, there's a handy DIY arrangement to be had in Medicine Vials as Wall Vases.

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    The Aviary Hotel is, in fact, not a hotel but a bar and restaurant located off bustling Victoria Street in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne. The three owners, Anthony Daniel, Brigitte Costelloe, and Jason McConnell, recently revamped the two-story restaurant to include a downstairs public bar, an outdoor beer garden, and two second floor event rooms, much of them cloaked in black and white warmed up with touches of wood.

    Photography via The Aviary

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista

    Above: The downstairs has an industrial feel: steel beams, concrete flooring, and industrial light fixtures. 

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: The bar is painted a dark gray and surrounded by penny-sized black and white tiles. Steel-framed windows trimmed in wood separate the bar from the outdoor terrace. 

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista

    Above: Entering the outdoor beer garden, you're greeted by a picture on the men's room door of a pigeon-headed doorman.

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: The bar-height tables are made from plumbing pipe and casters, making for easy maneuvering 

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: Wall-hung wooden box shelves are wallpapered inside, adding a decorative note to the white walls. 

     Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: As you enter the second floor, the stairwell is surrounded by a wood-framed glass wall. A trio of fabric-covered benches provides casual seating. 

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: The White Room, available for events, is an airy space with arched doorways and windows, with empty frames on the walls. The bar is clad in ornate white tiles and has a wooden countertop.

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: Guests are invited to cozy up to a wood-burning fireplace located in the White Room. 

    Aviary Hotel in Melbourne I Remodelista  

    Above: The Den, an informal lounge, offers comfortable leather seating in a dark, intimate setting. The two upstairs rooms can be rented separately or together depending on the size of your party. To learn more, go to The Aviary Hotel.

    Visiting Australia any time soon? Be sure to check out our Melbourne Area City Guide. Also don't miss Melbourne design studio Inkster Maken, which specializes in handmade Limestone Lamps. And read Gardenista's post on a Melbourne Wild Flower Shop

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    "Why did I not realize for so long that less truly is more?" writes Michelle. All week she and the Gardenista team have been leading us to pared-down wonders: the world's prettiest paper flowers, a sunken swimming pool set in a meadow, palm-sized heads of lettuce, and a ground cover known as DG (read on to crack the code).

    From the Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers | Gardenista

    Above: Who knew? Paper flowers can look like this—and you can make your own, thanks to Liva Cetti's new book, this week's Required Reading.

    Ayelet Waldman Michael Chabon Writing Studio Berkeley/Remodelista

    Above: Want to see where Berkeley's first couple of letters, Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon, collaborate? Go to The Ultimate Writers' Studio, Berkeley Edition.

    Decomposed granite colors for ground cover | Gardenista

    Above: Looking to simplify garden maintenance and cut back on water usage? Get to know DG: that's decomposed granite. Natural, permeable, inexpensive, and available in a range of shades, it's this week's Hardscaping 101.

    Square planters from Out-Standing of Belgium | Remodelista

    Above: Square wooden planters free of fuss and filigree are often the trickiest to source. Allow Janet to show you 10 Easy Pieces (the ones shown here are made in Belgian and available from Trelliage).

    . Steal This Look concrete bath by Brio Architects in India | Gardenista

    Above: An open-air yet private bathroom (yes, you read that right) is this week's Steal This Look. Meredith sourced all the key elements. Homegrown granite bed, anyone?

    Bernard Trainor desiged swimming pool in a garden | Gardenista

    Above: Some swimming pools know how to commune with nature. This one, set on a hill near Monterey, CA, is the work of landscape architect Bernard Trainor. Go to the World's Most Beautiful Swimming Pool to learn about the seamless mix of native and new plantings.

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    We think most things look—and feel—better once they're worn in, wood included. Here are 10 favorite spaces with wood that flaunts the lived-in look, some of it centuries old, some brand nnew.

    For more work by our member architects and designers, visit the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

    White Oak Flooring in a Duplex Remodel by Elizabeth Roberts Design, Remodelista

    Above: Elizabeth Roberts Design installed new white oak floors throughout this duplex renovation in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The muted color pairs well with the townhouse's historic features.

    London Terraced House Remodel by Liddicoat & Goldhill, Remodelista

    Above: Architects Liddicoat & Goldhill remodeled this 19th-century terraced house in London for an avid collector of vintage and reclaimed materials. The designers created a palette based on the client's antiques and the house's wood-paneled shutters and other original woodwork. Photo by Tom Gildon.

    Leone Design Studio NYC Townhouse Remodel, Remodelista

    Above: A sunken living and dining room in a three-story New York City townhouse remodeled by Leone Design Studio.

    Stone and Wood Home by Steven Harris Architects, Remodelista

    Above: Architect Steven Harris preserved the stone walls and ceiling timbers in his renovation of a 15th century house—his own—located off Croatia's Dalmation Coast.

    Tribeca Loft Remodel with Worn Wood Beams by Wettling Architects, Remodelista

    Above: Hundred-year-old beams and Wishbone chairs in a Tribeca loft by Wettling Architects.

    Credenza Sideboard with Warm, Worn Wood by Magness Interiors, Remodelista

    Above: A credenza set for serving in the home of Santa Barbara-based Carole Magness of Magness Interiors. The designer's home, a 1919 farmhouse, was designed by Wallace Neff.

    Deborah Berke Loft Office with Wood Floors, Remodelista

    Above: Deborah Berke & Partners retained the brick walls and worn wood floors of this NYC bachelor's loft and introduced large pieces of custom furniture for flexible living.

    Hudson Valley Farmhouse by James Dixon, Remodelista

    Above: This Hudson Valley farmhouse by architect James Dixon sports wood of various patinas alongside freshly painted yellow dining chairs.

    Worn Wood in a Brooklyn Heights Remodel by Elizabeth Roberts Design, Remodelista

    Above: A mix of old and new in a Brooklyn Heights loft remodel by Elizabeth Roberts Design: a long reclaimed wood table and new open kitchen for a couple who love to entertain. 

    Open Kitchen and Dining Remodel by Nick Noyes Architecture, Remodelista

    Above: Golden wood and gilded frames warm this open kitchen and dining remodeled by SF-based Nick Noyes Architecture.

    Get even cozier with 691 images of Rooms with Rugs and 6,000-plus images of Inventive Uses of Wood in our gallery of rooms and spaces. On Gardenista, have a look at 10 Summer Cabins by Members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 9, 2013 as part of our Japonesque issue.

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    Warm spaces, wood floors, and neutral tones set the mood for this past week on Remodelista. Bestselling authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon invited us into their Berkeley home and we took tour of a refined tea shop in San Francisco. We're focusing on pastel and pale colors next week; until then, take a look at a few things that have been on our radar lately. 

    Joseph Dirand Marble Kitchen/Remodelista

    Above: April in Paris: Admiring Joseph Dirand's new kitchen via the NY Times; photo by Simon Watson.

    It's no secret we love marble. Now we know how to properly care for it.

    Color Penciled Table | Remodelista

    Above: Tables by Japan-based Nendo Design, color washed with colored pencils on Dezeen.

    Anna at Door Sixteen shares how she refinished a cast iron radiator in her Brooklyn Victorian for just $28. 

    Ferm Living | Remodelista

    Above: Geometric shapes and muted tones have been a recent inspiration for Dalilah's bedroom. This pillow from Ferm Living fits right in. 

    Inspired by ancient methods for making quartz, a new line of tables by India Mahdavi recalls urban landscapes on Design Milk.

    Fokje Fluer Bottle Vases | Remodelista

    Above: In anticipation of next week's pale colors, Margot has been looking at Rotterdam artist Foekje Fleur's oddly compelling Bottle Vase series, water-tight bisque porcelain vessels cast from plastic trash. Her designs are available at Poketo's new gift shop in the Line Hotel in LA for $48 each, and from Foekje Fleur directly.

    We're inspired to head out to the farmer's market this weekend so we can make these 13 spring-inspired sidedishes.

    Ontwerpduo Tallow Candle/Dwell

    Above: Pastel tallow candles from Ontwerpduo, spotted on Dwell's Salone Mobile report.

    A "dated and dark 1980s" kitchen gets a marmoreal makeover

    The Dean Hotel | Remodelista

    Above: A homeless shelter turned strip club in Providence, Rhode Island, gets a new life as The Dean Hotel, designed by Providence-based Kite Architects; take a tour here.  

    With over 5,600 pins on our Remodelista Pinterest boards, one might say we're addicted to Pinterest. And it's true, we've been known to pin late at night. Oh, you too?

    Catherine Kwong | Remodelista

    Above: Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Catherine Kwong talks about her approach to designing interiors and more on Domaine.

    Alexa has been watching the films of Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales and lusting after a pair of brown lizard loafers.

    Sarah will be in conversation next Friday, April 18th, with Celia Bertoia, daughter of modern design great Henry Bertoia, discussing Growing Up Modern, 5 to 8 pm at Zinc Details in San Francisco. Event RSVP

    Refreshing your rooms for spring? Check out Remodelista's week of Warm Minimalism, and take a look at Gardenista's week of simple gardens and landscapes

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    Is it because blooming magnolias and baby lambs and Easter eggs are on the horizon? Or because the shifting gray-blue sky is presenting the perfect nuanced palette? The chill is finally behind us, and right now, the softest, most delicate, powder-tinged hues are looking extremely compelling—so much so that we're devoting this week's issue to celebrating the light side.

    Shades of Pastel Issue Image | Remodelista

    Above: Tender and pale doesn't have to mean grandmotherly. Photograph by Natalie Weiss for Remodelista from Done/Undone with Clarisse Demory in Paris.


    Edwards Moore Australia Muuto/Remodelista

    Above: Later today, we'll be presenting a multitude of ways to use Muuto Dots coat rack hooks in our Five Favorites column. Here's an advance look at Muuto Dots. (And don't miss Julie's Five Favorite Display-Worthy Coat Hangers and Izabella's Leather Baskets Too Pretty to Hide.)


    Bunny Pillow Cases Xenotees/Remodelista

    Above: Bunnies for the design-minded? Stay tuned for Justine's finds. And, in the meantime, have a look at How to Build a Dog-Friendly House, plus our favorite Accessories and Toys for Cats and Dogs and their owners, too (pillowcases like these, included.)


    Gerberit wall-hung toilet | Remodelista  

    Above: On Wednesday, Janet gets down to brass tacks with a 10 Easy Pieces column on wall-hung toilets—the pros, the cons, and 10 worth considering.  In the meantime, have a look at our recent 10 Easy Pieces roundups, including Perfect White Sofas and 10 Instant Kitchen Islands.


    Alexander Waterworth Italy/Remodelista

    Above: On Thursday, Christine will be leading us on a tour of a 17th century villa in Puglia, Italy, given new life—and a potent sprinkling of pastels—by Alexander Waterworth Interiors. Click here for more of our House Calls—did you see last week's visit to Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman's Craftsman Bungalow in Berkeley?


    One Forty Three Pendant Lamps/Remodelista

    Above: On Friday, Izabella will be presenting powder-coated metal lights for every room in the house. And until then, have a look at more of our Lighting posts—from How to Install Flattering Lighting in the Bathroom to a $15 DIY Wall Sconce.

    Ready for more Remodelista? Start exploring all our posts—just go to the Back Issues page; it's all there, from Vol. 1, Issue 1, In the Pink, to last week's Warm Minimalism. And click here for Gardenista's archive. Looking for something? In the comments section, fill us in on themes you'd like us to cover in the future.

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    Just when we thought we had seen every possible treatment of plywood, Swedish architect Tommy Carlsson shows us how staining the humble material can create a visual ode to sea and sky. Here's Carlsson's design for a waterside house in Sweden.

    Photographs by Andy Liffner and interior styling by Sofie Ganeva via Fantastic Frank

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: The new house is stained plywood on the exterior and primarily natural plywood on the interior. It's set in Skärholmen, a suburb of Stockholm.

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: A vinyl collection and crate-like furnishings remind us of a period in our not so distant past when we were less tied to technology.

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: In the living area, the perimeter walls are white plasterboard and everything else, stair enclosure included, is made of plywood. 

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, gray kitchen cabinets with leather cabinet handles, plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above L: Gray cabinets stand out in the kitchen, where the use of plywood extends from the floor to the cathedral ceiling. Above R: The material is put to structural use as exposed trusses.

    Swedish lake house, by architect Tommy Carlsson, gray kitchen cabinets with leather cabinet handles | Remodelista

    Above: The L-shaped gray cabinets delineate the kitchen area. Did you know that the L-shape is the most social kitchen layout? Learn about the setup and see more examples at Remodeling 101:The L-Shaped Kitchen

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, gray kitchen cabinets with leather cabinet handles, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: Pale leather pulls contrast with the gray cabinets while matching the warmth of the plywood. Like the look of leather hardware? Explore the options in 10 Easy Pieces: Leather Cabinet Hardware

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: The only colors Carlsson introduces throughout the house are blue and gray (plus hints of green and red). Here, a plaid tablecloth contrasts with the crisp white walls and plywood. 

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, blue stained plywood, leather handle on plywood door, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: A plywood door eschews standard hardware for leather pulls and a brass knob. It's easy to make a similar looped handle—see our DIY video.

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, blue stained plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above L: In the study, a blue stain applied over the plywood ceiling creates a cloud-like pattern. Above R: The stained plywood in the stairwell brings the sky inside.

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, blue ceiling, photographed by Andy Liffner  | Remodelista

    Above L: A blue bedspread on a low bed references the water. Above R: The bathroom joins the visual ode. 

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, Exterior with vertical gray siding, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: The house's gray exterior with its vertical siding is simple and modest against the clear blue open sky. 

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, blue stained plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: At triangular entry of blue-stained plywood offers a transition between the exterior and interior palette. The plywood's watercolor look reminds us of the subtly variegated Ombre Tiles from Clé.

    Swedish lake house by architect Tommy Carlsson, blue stained plywood, photographed by Andy Liffner | Remodelista

    Above: A view from the backyard of Stockholm by the sea.

    How do we love plywood? Join us as we count 10 Favorites: The Unexpected Appeal of Plywood, and 5 Favorites: Plywood Ceilings. Before embarking on your own building project, learn how to source the right (formaldehyde-free) plywood by reading Remodeling 101: The Ins and Outs of Plywood. And over on Gardenista, check out A Tiny Backyard Guest Studio—built from you guessed it.

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    Ever since I spotted Faye Toogood's London kitchen in the NY Times, with Muuto Dot hangers used as cabinet pulls, I've been mildly obsessed. Here are five spaces that make clever use of the knobs in ways other than their intended use.

    Faye Toogood Kitchen/Remodelista

    Above: Faye Toogood's London kitchen in the NY Times; photograph by Henry Bourne.

    K Studio Greece Muuto Lighting/Remodelista

    Above: Muuto knobs as light fixture by K Studio in Athens.

    Muuto Dots Light String

    Above: The knobs work well as a hook for string lights; via Zilverblauw.

    Muuto Knob Light Holder/Remodelista

    Above: Another use of the knobs via A Merry Mishap.

    Edwards Moore Queen House/Remodelista

    Above: Closet pulls in an Australian house by Edwards Moore.

    Read more about Muuto Dots in our Design Sleuth and High/Low posts. Browse all our favorite Knobs and Hooks in our Photo Gallery. And on Gardenista, Erin presents 10 Easy Pieces: Sturdy Mudroom Hooks.

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    As an only child, Dutch ceramicist Lenneke Wispelwey longed for a larger family. So she created one via her extended body of work.

    Drawing on her childhood experiences and her love of memorabilia, Lenneke uses slip-case porcelain to create "honest," "low-tech," tactile pieces that invite you to relate to them on many levels. The surprising juxtaposition of precise geometric forms combined with pretty sherbet shades gives her forms an appeal that is both cerebral and sensory, orderly and whimsical, immediate and nuanced. In other words, her pieces achieve the same beguiling balance of beauty, rhythm, and harmony so often found in nature. 


    Above: Lenneke's pieces are porcelain that's made to be touched, and put to use. Shown here, her Stars & Stripes cups in shades of petal pink. All of Lenneke's designs are available directly through her at her studio in Arnhem, the Netherlands, Lenneke Wispelwey. Her Stars & Stripes Cups are also sold by SMUG Studio of Hannover, Germany, for £29 each, and Red Star Studios of Kansas City, MO, for $38.

    lenneke-wispelwey-daisy-vases- Remodelsita

    Above: Much like a family in which individuals share traits, Lenneke's work plays with several subtly differentiated shades of the same hue, as shown in these small Daisy Vases, available through direct order at Lenneke Wispelwey; €39.


    Above: Perfect for a single bulb or breakfast egg, Lenneke's Petit Fours are the babies of the family; €25.


    Above: The play of biscuit and glazed surfaces is another Lenneke Wispelwey signature, as seen on these carafes. The Blue Mr. Right Carafe is available through Red Star Studios; $170. Green and blue Mr. Right Carafes are also available through SMUG Studio in London; £139, or directly via Lenneke Wispelwey.


    Above: Lenneke's collection includes a full range dinnerware, which, thanks to their complementary hues, are even better mixed than matched. Midilicious Bowls are £31 each at SMUG.


    Above: Star Vases are available through Lenneke Wispelwey for €39.


    Above: Bottom Lines Plates are available at SMUG for £42 each.


    Above: Lenneke's collections also includes vase from short to tall, diminutive to massive. These Thin Vases are on offer at Red Star Studio for $51.

    Heading to the Netherlands? You can visit Lenneke's showroom in her studio in Arnhem, the Netherlands; it's open Thursdays through Saturdays.

    Interested in seeing more ceramics? Here are some of our favorites. Want to enjoy some pastels in the garden? See Foolproof Spring Bulbs at Gardenista. You might also like a tour of Ben Pentreath's Garden in Dorset, Viewed Through the Mist.

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    A few years ago, when Abbey and Phil Hendrickson and their two young children moved from Buffalo to the couple's hometown of Owego, New York, their 1881 century farmhouse came with many charms. But the kitchen, last tackled 40 years ago, was not one of them. Loaded with a long list of undesirables—faux-stone paneling, avocado green paint, and fake marble, among them—"it was a perfect storm of 1970s renovation work," says Abbey. "But in defense of the previous owners, I'm certain some of the additions we're making now will horrify future inhabitants."

    We're not so sure about that. We've been following Abbey and Phil's progress via Abbey's blog, Aesthetic Outburst, and the kitchen is looking pretty timeless to us. And did we mention that the couple did all the work themselves? Abbey, an artist and crafts stylist and author of You Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy, is also the executive director of the Tioga Arts Council; Phil, meanwhile, is a graphic designer with a deep handyman streak.   

    Total tally for all additions, including paint, hardware, wood paneling, and new light? Less than $500. 

    Photographs by Abbey Hendrickson.


    Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst remodeled kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: The couple transformed the look of the existing lower cabinets and back door by going dark—they used Valspar Paint Forest Canopy ("my favorite paint color ever," says Abbey). They also swapped in new hardware: Martha Stewart Living Bedford brass pulls and knobs from Home Depot; $4.49 per pull. They had dreams of replacing the existing green Formica counters, but left them as is. Write Abbey in her kitchen chronicle: "They add a certain charm. And I've convinced myself that if we had nice, brand-new countertops, they'd make the rest of the room look like complete crap."

    Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst remodeled kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Phil and Abbey created a makeshift island from a workbench found in the barn. "The height is great and it's perfectly functional," says Abbey, adding that it's a stop-gap piece to be replaced at some point with "a flat work surface and nicer legs." They refinished the floor themselves. "There are four different types of wood on the first floor alone," says Abbey. "The kitchen floor is the darkest, so we sanded and clear-coated it and then stained everything else to match." The light came from Lowe's; it's the Allen + Roth Edison 12-Inch Bronze Pendant Light with Clear Shade. The sconce over the sink is vintage.

      Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst remodeled kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen's other notable addition: a DIY beadboard backsplash that rises behind a new black range. The paneling was added right over the old yellow linoleum and Contact Paper. Explains Abbey: "We picked up two sheets of cheapo beadboard paneling from our local hardware store, nailed it horizontally, caulked it, painted it, and voilà! A solution in less than two hours and for less than $60." 

    Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst kitchen counter | Remodelista

    Above: The counters are 1950s Formica with chrome edging. 

    Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst kitchen pie plate | Remodelista

    Above: Up close, the beadboard paneling looks as if it was a labor-intensive project. "The Mrs. Smith's pie plate artfully disguises a little dent in the wall," says Abbey. "I have no shame." But she clearly has plenty of ingenuity. 


    Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst kitchen Before shot | Remodelista

    Above: Here's a glimpse of the Brady Bunch-style kitchen as it was; note the faux stone on the fridge wall. The vinyl floor was an addition that the couple made as a requirement for their mortgage—"the existing hardwood floor was in such bad shape, the appraiser didn't think it was viable. So before we took ownership, we put in the cheapest floor we could find. We took it out and refinished the floor weeks later."

    Abbey Hendrickson/Aesthetic Outburst kitchen Before shot | Remodelista

    Above: Here's a glimpse of the floor in its original state. On the third day that they owned the house, Abbey and Phil started tackling the walls and cabinets. Wanting to do all the work themselves—and to spend as little as possible—they preserved as many original details as they could and used paint as their primary weapon. 

    Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst kitchen remodel in progress | Remodelista

     Above: "We removed all the drawers, sanded down them down, and sprayed every surface white," says Abbey. "I was so focused on covering the avocado green walls, I can't remember which white we used. I'm sure it was something inexpensive from Lowe's or Home Depot."  To see more of Abbey and Phil's house, go to Aesthetic Outburst.

    In the midst of some remodeling yourself? Peruse all our Rehab Diaries, including Christine's report on Finding Extra Storage Space in Unexpected Places and Justine's Dream Kitchen for Under $3,000. And don't miss our Remodeling 101 posts. On Gardenista, read Michelle's post-renovation report: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When You Remodel.

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    A while back Alexa and I discovered Le Dans La, the blog of French stylist and photographer Aurélie Lécuyer, and found ourselves admiring (make that obsessing over) her whimsically romantic interiors. After 15 years spent living in the center of Paris, Lécuyer and her family relocated to a converted schoolhouse built in 1830, in the countryside near Nantes; the interiors feature a humble mix of vintage furniture "from our grandparents," Ikea finds, and classic French pieces, all accented with dashes of color provided by vibrant linen pillow covers from Merci in Paris. To see more, go to Le Dans La.

    N.B.: Later today we'll be doing a Steal This Look post on the room of Lécuyer's toddler.

    Above: The old stone schoolhouse, converted into a house, where Lécuyer lives.

    Above: Lécuyer's vestibule features a traditional French half-painted wall.

    Above: Lécuyer uses dip-dyed traditional French market baskets for her grocery outings. If you like this look, consider our recent DIY post: Make Your Own Dip-Dyed Pouf.

    Above: Lécuyer's couch features piles of linen-covered pillows from Merci in Paris.

    Above: A detail of her carved mantel.

    Above: A trio of black Russian nesting dolls.

    Above: A rattan chair with a pink linen pillow from Merci.

    Above: Lécuyer's table is surrounded by mismatched vintage chairs and covered in a Fog Linen tablecloth.

    Above: A polka-dotted ball adds a whimsical note to the kitchen.

    Above: An Iris Hantverk brush hangs from a vintage rack in the kitchen.

    Above: A collection of Picardie tumblers.

    Above: A mint green Jielde lamp provides kitchen illumination.

    Above: Lécuyer's photos of handmade shoes by Golden Ponies of Guadalajara, Mexico. See more of Lécuyer's work at Albert et Henriette.

    Have a look at dozens of our favorite French interiors in the Remodelista Gallery, including Design Sleuth: Pastel Hued French Enamel Buckets. French Gardens and Garden Accessories await on Gardenista.

    This post is an update; the original ran on February 6, 2012.


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    “Hear the word ‘pastel’ and you may instantly imagine the sugary pink of a little girl’s bedroom or the cheerful, springtime shades found on retro floral fabrics. Today, these saccharine visions are only part of the story, because pastels are enjoying an exciting, dynamic revival," writes Selina Lake in her new book, Pretty Pastel Style. 

    A London-based interiors stylist, Lake is a veteran when it comes to publishing—Pretty Pastel Style, a 160-page ode pastels with personality, is her fourth design book. It's divided into chapters devoted to modern, retro (think fifties shades), and vintage pastels; we particularly like the last section, which presents simple pastels in white rooms with a minimal but elegant look. Here are some examples:

    Photography by Catherine Gratwicke.

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: A relaxed paneled living room with slipcovered furniture. The doorframe is lined with a fringed trim for a soft vintage touch. A Koushi Lamp by Mark Eden Schooley hangs from the ceiling. Intrigued? The design inspired Alexa to made her own DIY Koushi Lamp

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: A farm-inspired kitchen with white-painted paneling, barn-style lighting, a porcelain farm sink, and butcher block countertop. Have a look at more modern farm kitchens in our photo gallery.

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: Mismatched chairs are unified by coats of white paint in this cooly white dining room bottles brightened with glass bottles used as vases and a gold-fringed vintage-style ceiling shade.

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: A cocoon-like living room (even the wall clock is white) is furnished with a colorful ensemble, including pastel Windsor chairs and a modern sofa covered with a floral throw. See 10 Easy Pieces: The Windsor Chair Revisited for more Windsor inspiration. 

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: Another bright Windsor chair stands next to a vintage upright piano stacked with Tivoli radios. In the Remodelista book, we singled out the Tivoli radio in the Remodelista 100, our chapter devoted to favorite everyday objects.

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: An all-white living room set off by touches of pink—two Windsor chairs painted in different pale hues, hot pink pillows and artwork, and light-pink blankets. Like the wingback chair? Check out 10 Easy Pieces: The Wingback in Back

    Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake | Remodelista

    Above: Pretty Pastel Style by Selina Lake, with photography by Catherine Gratwicke and writing by Joanna Simmons, is published by Ryland Peters & Small; it's available on Amazon for $22.18. For more by Lake, have a look at her blog.

    We're celebrating pale colors all week; go to Shades of Pastels to see what we've covered so far. More books that we love? Have a look at Required Reading on Remodelista, and Required Reading on Gardenista, too—have you seen The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers?

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    Rainbows and unicorns are things of my past, but somehow I never outgrew my affection for bunnies. Floppy ears and fluffy tails, I figured, were my own particular design Achilles heel—but then I discovered I'm far from alone. For lots of sophisticates, designers included, the love of rabbit is a life-long affair.

    Kani-wooden rabbit-by-Ina-Herkert-NAMA-shop-Remodelista

    Above: By Finnish designer Ina Herkert, Kani the Wooden Rabbit is hand carved from birch. Available at NAMA for £32.


    Above: From one of our favorite shops, New Zealand (and online) boutique Father Rabbit, a bunny duvet. The bed cover is currently sold out, but the same floppy-eared fellow is available as a Bunny Framed Print; $99 AUD.


    Above: The British have never been bashful about their love of bunnies. By London designer Jo Robinson (who grew up on a farm), the Bouncing Bunny Tea Towel is £9. It's available from her company, HAM, which "seeks to add a serious edge to its playful subject matter." The tea towel and other HAM designs featuring spunky rabbits are also offered as prints, mugs, and notecards; go to HAM for details.

    Droog hare mat Remodelista

    Above: Ed Annink's Droog Hare Mat, made of coir, is quickly becoming a design icon. It's available at Allmodern for $189.75.


    Above: Artist Noëlle Burke of Philadelphia-based Etsy shop Xenotees specializes in witty screen-printed pillowcases for animal lovers. Noëlle's Best Bunnies Pillowcases are made from 100 percent Pima cotton; $32 for a set of two. Have a look at her cat and dog pillowcases in our gift guides.

    Now that you have your rabbits, you're ready to enjoy Easter in the Garden with Diane Keaton. Combating rabbits in your garden? See Gardenista's 10 Easy Pieces: Humane Ways to Outwit Varmints.

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    In her rustic home In Nantes, France, stylist Aurélie Lécuyer creates a playful, graceful, yet somehow sophisticated space for her little girl.

    Earlier today, we featured the calm interiors of Aurélie's house (see House Call:Aurélie Lécuyer in France). She styled her child's room with dots of color and carefully considered toys. Here's how to achieve the look with Liberty of London fabric, vintage-inspired toys, and colorful garlands.

    Le Dans La Pastel Children's Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: Washed out gray walls are the canvas for bright spots of color.

    Le Dans La Pastel Children's Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: Salmon pink and chartreuse are two unexpected colors introduced in a scattering of bed pillows.

    Le Dans La Pastel Children's Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: A garland of paper dots and a row of orange playthings.

    Le Dans La Pastel Children's Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: Lécuyer added a touch of color—some coral carnations—into this simple setting.

    Restoration Hardware Millbrook Children's Bed | Remodelista

    Above: The Millbrook Iron Bed from Restoration Hardware's Baby and Child store is $549 for the twin size.

    Customizable String Lights from Cable and Cotton in the UK | Remodelista

    Above: Cable & Cotton's String Lights are offered in your choice of color combinations; $39 for a string of 20 lights.

    Hot Pink Washi Tape from Etsy | Remodelista

    Above: Use Japanese Washi Tape, shown here in hot pink, to affix images to the wall; $3.30 from In the Clear on Etsy.

    Whale Pillow from Coral & Tusk | Remodelista

    Above: The Very Hungry Whale Embroidered Pillow; $88 from Coral and Tusk in Brooklyn.

    French Linen Pillowcases at Merci in Paris | Remodelista

    Above: From Merci in Paris, French Linen Pillow Cases are €35 each and range in color (Aurélie selected them in chartreuse, rose, and pale gray) and Pillow Inserts are €15 each. Available online at Merci with international shipping. For more on the cultish Parisian store see our post: Paris's Most Exciting Shop is Now Online.

    Liberty of London Betsy Print Fabric | Remodelista

    Above: Liberty of London's Betsy Liberty Fabric is £23 per meter from Lab Boutique.

    White Lacquer Wooden Floor Mirror from West Elm | Remodelista

    Above: West Elm's Floating Wood Floor Mirror is made from glass and a solid wood frame, shown here in white lacquer. It measures 72 inches tall and 30 inches wide and costs $399. For more see our post, 10 Easy Pieces: Leaning Floor Mirrors.

    Rens Sheepskin Throw from Ikea | Remodelista

    Above: The simple and affordable Rens Sheepskin is $29.99 from Ikea.

    Group of Plastic Orange Goldfish for Children's Rooms | Remodelista

    Above: 7-Inch Goldfish are $2.98 each from Amazon.

    Child's Rabbit Mask from Any Mask | Remodelista

    Above: A vintage looking plastic Children's Rabbit Mask is $4.95 from Any Mask.

    Pom Pom Garland from Little Knitty Things | Remodelista

    Above: The multi-colored Pom Pom Garland is five feet of handmade colorful pom poms on hemp string; $20 from Little Knitty Things on Etsy.

    Browse all our Steals This Looks, including A Glamorous London Kitchen from a Designer with "Shitloads of Talent." Learn how to create An Urban Edible Garden in Gardenista's Steal This Look column.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 7, 2012 as part of our issue, The French Connection.

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