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    The impending arrival of summer houseguests has us thinking about finally undertaking our long-overdue rehab projects. Here, five different spaces—from five different houses—that have our remodeling wheels turning.

    Before Entryway

    Above: Blogger Emily Wright struggled to find an affordable solution to the textured and stained ceilings in her house. She describes the patch of ceiling in this photo as "really not so terrible in comparison to other spots that I wish I had photographed."

    After Entryway

    Above: Reluctant to tear down their ceilings, Wright and her husband settled on premade beadboard paneling that they painted and installed themselves. Get the details in Rehab Diaries: DIY Beadboard Ceilings and on Wright's own blog, Lifestyle and Design Online.

    Before Kitchen

    Above: An inconvenient flow (not to mention missing cabinet doors and counter tiles) made this 1970s kitchen in an Edwardian house impractical for a family of four.

    After Kitchen

    Above: Owner Jan Hammock completely transformed the space, in part by removing a load-bearing wall and adding a bank of clerestory windows that let light pour in. Hammock's results won the 2013 Remodelista Considered Design Award for the best reader-designed kitchen. Read a profile of the project in Best Reader-Submitted Kitchen Space Winner: Jan Hammock. And consider submitting your own design to the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards—the deadline is July 7.

    Before Bath

    Above: Even before the sledgehammers arrived, this bathroom in the home of designer and blogger Shauna Haider was strictly off-limits to houseguests because of its broken plumbing and peeling paint.

    After Bath

    Above: Haider and her husband managed to keep to a $5,000 budget while adding floor-to-ceiling subway tile—thanks in part to Haider's husband, who installed the tiles himself. The navy towel and floor mat are from H&M. Read the full profile over on Nubby Twiglet.

    Before Planter

    Above: Remodelista editor Meredith inherited a decrepit window box when she moved into her urban apartment.

    After Planter

    Above: She reinforced the planter box and within a few months, had a productive herb and flower garden—minus lavender. Read about the project in How Did I Kill My Lavender? on Gardenista.

    Before Exterior

    Above: The uninspired street entrance to the home of landscape architect Alexandra Tasker Marx.

    After Exterior

    Above: Tasker Marx completely overhauled the space surrounding her home, adding a stuccoed perimeter wall to divide the home from the street. For her design, Tasker Marx won the 2013 Gardenista Considered Design Award for the best urban garden. Read the details of her project in Best Urban Garden Winner: Alexandra Tasker Marx Landscape Architects.

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    Last summer I met up with French designer Clarisse Demory in her Paris apartment during the only two days of the year that she happened to be in the city. Clarisse had been living deep in the flowery hills of Tuscany for the past year (she brought bunches of dried flora back with her), working on a complex and somewhat veiled project.

    Villa Lena is, as the owners describe it, "a new kind of retreat"—an estate featuring a hotel, rental apartments and villas, and a not-for-profit art foundation surrounded by 1,200 acres of woodland, olive groves, and vineyards. The center was masterminded by the villa's three French owners: art consultant Lena Evstafieva, musician Jérôme Hadey, and restaurateur/night club owner Lionel Bensemoun. The main house and the surrounding buildings date to the 18th century and were renovated in the mid 1990s, but the property needed another update to turn it into a creative hub. Having hired Clarisse to design his three Nanashi bento restaurants in Paris, Lionel enlisted her as art director for the project. Clarisse's easy-chic aesthetic was the right fit for the undertaking, which required creative use of recycled and vintage furniture to stay within a tight budget.

    Along the way, Clarisse ripped up old upholstery, sanded wooden floors to a matte finish, and chopped off bed legs. "When I did have to purchase furniture," she says, "I opted for reliable, vintage pieces by Danish designer Børge Mogensen along with vintage Italian designs from Superstudio, Ettore Sottsass, Vignelli, and Achille Castiglioni." The latter lot she sourced with great luck from Florence's secondhand stores. While Clarisse got creative with available materials, the owners made the decision to splurge on small luxuries: custom bed frames from Milan, high-quality mattresses, natural bedding, and a Santa Maria Novella terra cotta potpourri for each room.

    Villa Lena fully opened in the spring. Accommodations consist of two rental houses, six self-contained apartments, and a converted stable, plus hotel rooms in the villa. The Villa Lena Foundation also hosts two-month artist residencies. Have a look around.

    Photographs courtesy of Villa Lena, unless otherwise noted.

    Exterior of Villa Lena Residency | Remodelista

    Above: At the heart of the property is the old villa built by the Ferrini del Frate family in the 18th century and now the Villa Lena hotel, which is where guest artists stay. French chef Hélène Bouchardaud and her team grow produce for the restaurant on the estate, which has an Italian-French menu.

    Villa Lena in Tuscany, Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: In her design of the rental apartments, Clarisse's first order of business was to bring light indoors: "The apartments had dark wood ceilings and fake ancient-looking pictures; the whole property had a gloomy atmosphere in a clichéd Tuscan agriturismo style."

    Villa Lena in Tuscany, Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: In Fattoria, an old stable remodeled into the reception building, the apartments have tall brick furnaces. Clarisse paired them with design classics like a tan leather Børge Mogensen sofa and a vintage Italian coffee table (designer unknown). Photograph by Frederik Vercruysse.

    Villa Lena Bedroom, Designed by Clarisse Demory, Photograph by Coke Bartrina | Remodelista

    Above: Where space was tight in the apartments, Clarisse designed wall shelves as an alternative to armoires and fashioned clothing rails from black metallic plumbing pipe. Photograph by Coke Bartrina.

    Villa Lena Bedroom, Designed by Clarisse Demory, Photograph by Coke Bartrina | Remodelista

    Above: In most of the apartment kitchens, Clarisse painted the cupboards a pale, dusty green (sourced from a local hardware store) and introduced floating shelves, recycled tables with painted tops, and a mishmash of vintage chairs. Photograph by Coke Bartrina.

    Villa Lena in Tuscany, Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: Donald Judd–style sofas and chairs were fashioned from wooden boards found in a warehouse on the property. "My designs can be recycled, but they should never look recycled," Clarisse says.

    Artist-Made Pillows at Villa Lena, Photograph by Lionel Bensemoun | Remodelista

    Above: À la Maria von Trapp, Clarisse made sofa cushion covers from old hotel curtains by bleaching the fabric to create interesting patterns before stitching it. Guests quickly began asking where to purchase the pillow covers, so she put together a collection that's available at the small Villa Lena store.

    Villa Lena Hotel in Florence, Italy Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: Clarisse painted dark wood armoires in a wash of "superlight pink or bright, matte white." 

    Villa Lena Hotel in Florence, Italy Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: A candle holder found in the old villa is paired with a thrifted basket.

    Flowers at Villa Lena, Photograph by Julie Ansiau for Elle Decor | Remodelista

    Above: The living areas in many of the apartments are furnished with vintage wicker. Photograph courtesy of Julie Ansiau, originally taken for Elle Decor.

    Villa Lena in Tuscany, Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: "This is a once-super-tacky sofa that I found in one of the houses," Clarisse says. "I removed its heavy upholstery, sanded the wooden frame, and added my own sofa cushions." Photograph courtesy of Julie Ansiau, originally taken for Elle Decor.

    Flowers at Villa Lena, Photograph by Julie Ansiau for Elle Decor | Remodelista

    Above: Paintings by British artist (and Villa Lena residence alum) Kate Groobey hang in many of the apartments. Photograph courtesy of Julie Ansiau, originally taken for Elle Decor.

    Flowers at Villa Lena, Photograph by Julie Ansiau for Elle Decor | Remodelista

    Above: Dried Tuscan flora (with a few leaves painted a cool blue) are displayed in ceramic jars. Photograph courtesy of Julie Ansiau, originally taken for Elle Decor.

    Villa Lena in Tuscany | Remodelista

    Above: Artists in residence work in a group of converted farm buildings with individual studio spaces. Visitors so far have included paper artist and designer Julie Ho of Confetti System, lighting designer Ana Kraš, fashion designer Sophie Buhai of Vena Cava, and the creators of Calico Wallpaper.

    Map of Villa Lena Grounds in Tuscany | Remodelista

    Above: A map of the 1,200-plus acre estate; note that there are three swimming pools. For more information and reservations, visit Villa Lena.

    Traveling to Italy? See our Florence City Guide for other design-worthy hotels, restaurants, and shops. Also have a look at Hipster Paradise: Hôtel du Temps in Montmartre, a Paris boutique hotel partly owned by the Villa Lena's Lionel Bensemoun. And tour Clarisse Demory's own rustic getaway in A Parisian's Pied-a-Terre in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    Below: Villa Lena is in the Tuscan countryside, an hour west of Florence by car.

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    A self-taught ceramicist working in porcelain (she calls the material "noble, pure, and demanding"), Alix D. Reynis designs her wares in Paris and makes them by hand in Limoges. They're some of the prettiest pottery items we've seen in a while.

    Alix D. Reynis Porcelain | Remodelista

    Above: A display of Reynis's porcelain tableware illuminated by a pair of her pendant lamps. Select designs are available from Ku de Coeur, a Southern California–based online pop-up shop, and from Alix D. Reynis directly.

    Alix Reynis Lights | Remodelista

    Above: The Portable Star Lighting Pendant at La Maison Poétique, a Bordeaux boutique. It has a twisted cloth cord and can be hung anywhere.

    Alix D. Reynis Cup | Remodelista

    Above: A cup from Reynis's Simple line.

    Alix D. Reynis Lamp | Remodelista

    Above: A new design that Reynis will be introducing shortly.

    Alix Reynis Empire Grand Bowl | Remodelista

    Above: The Grand Légumier Empire is €80 from Reynis.

    Alix D. Reynis Light | Remodelista

    Above: The Portable Star Lighting Pendant is $150 from Ku de Coeur. It and several other pieces are also available at The Collection in Paris.

    Two more French favorites for delicate porcelain ware: L'Astier de Villatte and Le Petite Atelier de Paris.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Yesterday we featured Villa Lena, a new hotel and artist retreat on an 18th-century estate in the hills of Tuscany. French designer and creative director Clarisse Demory was in charge of furnishing the center's guest quarters. We especially like Villa Lena's apartment kitchens, which, thanks to Clarisse, have an understated easiness to them. Working with what was there (granite countertops and outdated cupboards), she made simple, inventive updates. Here are two Villa Lena kitchens followed by a breakdown of the key elements.

    Villa Lena Bedroom, Designed by Clarisse Demory, Photograph by Coke Bartrina | Remodelista

    Above: Clarisse whitewashed the kitchen walls and tall ceiling, and she transformed the old cupboards with a few coats of pale sage green paint. Photograph by Coke Bartrina.

    Villa Lena in Tuscany, Designed by Clarisse Demory | Remodelista

    Above: Another apartment at Villa Lena has similar components. Clarisse furnished each with a different table and set of chairs. 

    The Basics

    Farrow & Ball Pale Powder Light Green Paint Color | Remodelista

    Above: Farrow & Ball's Pale Powder paint with an Estate Emulsion finish—a chalky, water-based finished that enhances depth of color—is $95 per gallon. For white paint advice, go to 10 Easy Pieces: Architect's White Paint Picks.

    Aga Legacy Range Hood in White | Remodelista

    Above: The Aga Legacy Range Hood has an adjustable duct cover and a charcoal-filled, stainless steel filter. It can be vented inside or out; $999 at AJ Madison.

    ABC Stone Blue Eyes Granite Slab | Remodelista

    Above: Source unusual granite for countertops from ABC Stone in Brooklyn, such as Blue Eyes (shown), Black Marinaci, or Guanabara Blue. The patterning in some of ABC's slabs is so unique, it might be enough to convert the anti-granite set.

    Dacor Renaissance Natural Gas Cooktop | Remodelista

    Above: The Dacor 36-Inch Preference Gas Cooktop RGC365 has continuous grates, a one-piece spill basin, and powerful burners (up to 18,000 BTUs); $1,799 at ABT Electronics. Weigh the pros and cons by reading Remodeling 101: Range Ovens vs. Cooktops.

    Ikea Framtid Self-Cleaning Oven in Black | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's 29 3/4-inch Framtid Self-Cleaning Oven has a convection oven function and a 4.1 cubic foot capacity; $849.

    Grohe Dual Spray Pull-Down Faucet | Remodelista

    Above: The Grohe Spray Pull-Down Faucet is a great budget choice that Remodelista's Izabella opted for in her kitchen remodel; $351.54 at eFaucets. Have a look at her post High/Low: Dornbracht vs. Grohe Kitchen Faucets.  And for more options, see our 10 Easy Pieces: Best Budget Kitchen Faucets.

    Elkay Top Mount Double Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink | Remodelista

    Above: The Stainless-Steel Double-Bowl Kitchen Sink by Elkay is $525.78 at eFaucets.

    Furniture & Hardware

    Robert Wenger Wicker Chair | Remodelista

    Above: A classic by Danish wicker maker Robert Wengler, the Wenger Chair is available in polished natural (shown), polished antique, or matte black; $600 CAD at Mjölk, in Toronto. On the other end of the pricing spectrum, Ikea's Holmsel Chair is $69.99 and the Storsele Chair is $119.

    Ikea Norden Extendable Table | Remodelista

    Above: Clarisse built dining tables using recycled planks of wood and wooden trestles. Ikea's solid birch Norden Extendable Table has a similar look; $299.

    Home Depot 1x12x10 Inch Wooden Board | Remodelista

    Above: To build open kitchen shelves, consider Home Depot's Common Board, 12 inches wide, 10 feet long, and one inch thick. It can be cut down to make shorter shelves or left as is for a long, single shelf; $20.82 each. Photograph from our post DIY: The Sawhorse Holiday Table for Less Than $100.

    Home Depot White Shelf Bracket at 10x12 Inches | Remodelista

    Above: Everbilt's White Shelf Bracket measures 10 by 12 inches; $1.67 at Home Depot.

    Ikea Lansa Stainless Steel Handles | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's Lansa Stainless Steel Handles are $6.99 for two. For more options, go to 10 Easy Pieces: Cabinet Pulls.

    Muji Natural Beech Folding Chair | Remodelista

    Above: A solution for small spaces: Muji's Beech Folding Chairs are $79.75 each.


    Oaxifornia Red Clay Pot at March in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The Oaxifornia Red Clay Round Pot with Top and Handles is made in the Tlacolula Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, and measures 12 inches in diameter; $180 at March.

    West Elm Glass Bottle Vase, Tall Green Vase | Remodelista

    Above: The Tall Glass Bottle Vase, available in Pollen Green (shown) or Fog (a shade of gray), is on sale for $12.99, marked down from $29, at West Elm.

    Ikea Hederling Red Wine Glasses | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's Hederling Red Wine Glasses are $1.99 each.

    West Elm Pattern Palette Dinnerware Set in Solid White | Remodelista

    Above: West Elm's Pattern Palette Dinnerware Set in Solid White is $32 for a set of four dinner plates and $24 each for a set of four mugs, bowls, and salad plates.

    Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker | Remodelista

    Above: The Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe is $69.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Swedish Broom from Objects of Use in the UK | Remodelista

    Above: From Swedish company Iris Hantwerk, which employs visually impaired craftspeople, the Swedish Broom has a birch handle and palmyra fiber brush; £18.50 at Objects of Use. For more brooms, see An Artful Sweep: Display-Worthy Household Brooms.

    Unisan Black Metal Industrial Dustpan | Remodelista

    Above: The Unisan Black Metal Dustpan is a budget take on the currently popular black, handcrafted dustpan; $13.93 at Betty Mills.

    Redesigning a kitchen and looking for more sources? See our Steal This Look posts on a Well-Stocked Modern Kitchen and a Glamorous London Kitchen. And go to Gardenista to learn The Only Two Secret Ingredients You Need to Make a Refrigerator Smell Fresh.

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    Confession: For most of my twenties, I slept on a single mattress on the floor (no box spring, and not a very good mattress at that). It was only recently that I came to understand the life-enhancing benefits of a bed with all the right components: a sturdy frame, a luxurious mattress, and an array of natural linens and blankets. 

    Here at Remodelista, we're drawn to personality-filled (but serene) bedrooms that often include a few strategic DIY solutions. We like a good storage headboard, recessed shelving above the bed, and DIY headboard (everything from macramé to old doors). We also place a high premium on restful room designs: see 10 Secrets for a Better Night's Sleep. In that spirit, I'm happy to report that I'm now sleeping on a platform bed, and to give it a finished look (and a place to prop my pillows), I recently decided to make my own headboard out of nothing more than a birch board and pastel paint.

    Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.

    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista

    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista


    • A 9-by-12-foot painter's Canvas Drop Cloth ($26 from Gempler's)
    • Paint brushes of your choice and a Metal Paint Tray ($6.77 from MSC Industrial Supply)
    • 1 quart of paint; I chose Benjamin Moore's Ben Interior Paint in Eraser Pink, eggshell finish ($17.99)
    • 1 wooden board; for my queen-sized mattress, I used a panel of birch 50 inches wide and 70 inches tall, a good height to prop up on the back of the platform frame.


    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista

    Step 1: Stand your panel of wood up against a wall on top of a painter's drop cloth to catch any drips. Begin painting your board by brush or roller (your choice).

    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista

    Step 2: Let the first coat of paint dry completely; if you're painting with a brush, continue with additional coats to create an even surface without visible brushstrokes.

    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista

    Step 3: I used two coats of paint to get a deep eraser pink. I decided to paint only one side and leave the edges raw to reveal a bit of wood, but you can also coat the entire board.

    The Finished Look

    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista

    Above: The board fits perfectly behind a layering of pillows and provides a finishing touch to the platform bed.

    DIY Painted Wooden Headboard | Remodelista

    Above: I can switch up the color of my headboard any time I like; I plan to paint the wood in different shades from season to season.

    -Alexa Hotz

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    "As a child I was totally crazy about Spirograph," says French designer Julie Lansom. "If I added up all the hours I spent drawing with a Spirograph, it must have amounted to at least a year of my life." We had a hunch that was the case: Her handwoven Sputnik Lamps call to mind 3-D versions of Spirograph designs, not to mention Soviet satellites.

    The daughter of an art dealer, Julie grew up in the countryside near Montpellier, France, surrounded by antiques and objets d'art. These days she prowls the antiques shops of Paris, where she lives. The notched wooden frames of her hanging lights were inspired by one of her discoveries: "I found a 1960s woven pendant lamp, but the lamps back then were often made of poor materials with sad colors and lifeless shapes. I wanted to modernize the design by focusing on color palettes and a selection of distinct shapes." Have a look at her results.

    Photographs by Amandine Paulandré for Julie Lansom.

    Sputnik Lamps by French Designer Julie Lansom | Remodelista

    Above: Julie Lansom's Sputnik Lamps range in price from €230 to €700, depending on the dimensions, and can be ordered directly from the designer.

    Lighting Designer Julie Lansom, Photograph by Amandie Paulandré | Remodelista

    Above: It takes Julie four days to create a single Sputnik Lamp—and about eight hours alone are devoted to weaving the yarn. "Making things by hand is therapeutic for me," she says. "It's my own way of meditating."

    Sputnik Lamps by French Designer Julie Lansom | Remodelista

    Above: The lamps are cotton yarn on an MDF frame. Julie works with a carpenter in Paris to design and build the structures, and each is customizable: Clients get to choose the shape, color of wood, and yarn palette.

    Sputnik Lamps by French Designer Julie Lansom | Remodelista

    Above: Named after the first orbiting satellites, the lamps are infused with "the retro-futuristic spirit of those ships," Julie says. "I like to see each lamp as its own flying saucer or UFO." 

    Sputnik Lamps by French Designer Julie Lansom | Remodelista

    Above: Julie often asks clients to send her photos of her lights in their homes. "Each one is like a baby to me." To see more of her designs, go to

    Are your rooms right for one of Julie's designs? Read Remodeling 101: How to Choose an Overhead Light Fixture. For another updated sixties look, see Organic Modern Crocheted Lamps from London. And for hundreds of other options, browse the Pendant Lights in our photo gallery.

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    Chances are you've got all the fixings for some homemade light fixtures in your kitchen cupboard. Wire whisks, funnels, cheese graters, and even jelly molds stand ready to be transformed—and, in some cases, all you need are a few votive candles.

    Funnel as Lamp | Remodelista

    Above: Funnels—one left as is, one painted matte black—work well as pendant lights. Photograph by Christine Bauer.

    Whisk Lamp | Remodelista

    Above: A Vintage Pendant Lamp Whisk by Etsy seller Modern Artifact Decor of Eugene, Oregon. This example has sold, but similar designs are available for $185.

    Grater as Light Fixture | Remodelista

    Above: Upcycled Vintage Grater Lights by Benclif Designs of Atlanta sold on Etsy; inquire about availability.

    Colander light by Four F Lighting | Remodelista

    Above: Wild shadows, anyone? Colanders are often given second lives as lamp shades. This Industrial Lace Colander Pendant Light is by Etsy vendor 4F Lighting of Oakland, California; $135.

    Vintage Jelly Mould Light | Remodelista

    Above: Vintage Jelly Mould Pendant Lights by UK bespoke lamp makers Folly & Glee are $89.11 each from Not on the High Street.

    Ladles as Votive Holders | Remodelista

    Above: To be filed under: Why didn't we think of that? A lineup of ladles propped with candles. Photograph via Hannas Sjarmerend Jul.

    Egg Basket as Candle Holder | Remodelista

    Above: Before there were salad spinners, there were salad baskets—and they make perfect lanterns. See Design Sleuth: French Wire Basket as Hanging Candleholder

    Whisk Candle Holder | Remodelista

    Above: A trio of whisk tea lights. Note: The key is to source simple, sculptural wire whisks—and to be sure not to bump them. Photograph via Minha Casa.

    For pendant lights made out of Italian aluminum molds, see New Jelly Mould Lights from Re-Found Objects in the UK. Looking for twinkly outdoor string lights? Gardenista has you covered. More projects? Check out DIY Ideas, including A New $60 Lindsey Adelman Pendant Light.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    On my last visit to Paris, everyone told me that I needed to visit the new oyster and cocktail bar, Le Mary Celeste, in the Marais. After a day spent wandering the angular streets of the neighborhood, circling back on the same blocks by accident, I finally came across the curve of Rue Commines, and just at the point in the triangular street was Le Mary Celeste.  A pale blue exterior leading to an open bar—a calm setting for a tired-footed traveler.

    The owners, New Yorker's Josh Fontaine, Adam Tsou, and Colombian-born Carina Soto Velasquez Tsou previously worked with David Rager and Cheri Messerli of Weekends on the nearby Taqueria Candelaria (it's a small world). After the success of Candelaria, the trio and the duo teamed up once again to design the interior of Le Mary Celeste, which is located in a former video editing office. The restaurant has a nautical vibe: rope coiled around columns, white-washed brick and seafoam green paint, and a tropical mural of a toucan. Top it off with slow Elvis ballads rotating in a vintage LP player in the back of the room—you'd swear that you were in a coastal village somewhere, and not deep in the streets of Paris.

    Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: Fontaine described the origin of new restaurant's namesake to Vogue: "It was a boat in the 19th century that left New York carrying a cargo of pure alcohol and then was found adrift, all provisions on board, except for the crew."

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: Large windows are on either side of the restaurant make for an open-air feel.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: The menu are designed by Rager and have collages on the back by Rosemarie Auberson.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: The interior, formerly a video editing office, was stripped down by Rager and Messerli, who built it back up again from scratch.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: The brick was reclaimed from building sites around the area and whitewashed.

    Le Mary Celeste Table and Chairs, Remodelista

    Above: A custom-built modular hex table.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: The barstools and slatted backlit banquettes were also made for the bar. The stained0glass window designs are the work of Messerli.

    Nautical Rope Details at Le Mary Celeste, Remodelista

    Above L: Glassware is wrangled with rope tied with proper nautical knots. Above R: Rope is tightly wrapped around the restaurant's columns.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: A vintage stereo setup is matched with vintage LPs.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: A bucket of just-watered succulents behind the bar.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: Whitewashed bricks are color-blocked with seafoam green paint. The lighting is by LA artist Heather Levine.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: The toucan mural.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: Watercolor flags hang above the back stairs.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: White chevron parquet on the ceiling.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    Above: The bar top and surrounding deck flooring were made from wood palettes previously used for shaping cement forms.

    Le Mary Celeste in the Marais in Paris, Remodelista

    For more places to visit in and around Paris, see our Travels with an Editor: Paris series, and visit our Paris City Guide. Another Paris seafood hotspot? Take a look at Clamato in the 11e.

    Below: Location of Le Mary Celeste in the Marais.


    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on June 6, 2013 as part of our Travels with an Editor: Paris issue.

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    We barely need say that Duralex tumblers are made in France, so closely are they associated with café au lait, beret-wearing school children, baguettes, and vin de table

    Duralex emerged during World War II and developed molded tempered glass in its factory near Orléans. Fired using extreme heat followed by a rapid cooling system, this glass is virtually unbreakable, which has made it indispensable to this day in cafes, school lunchrooms, and kitchens in France and around the world.

    Five to Buy

    Above: The Picardie tumbler is named after the city of Picardie (also known as Picardy), famous for its Gothic cathedrals. The arch-shaped edges also take inspiration from 18th-century French crystal, and provide a good grip for finger and thumb. A set of six Petite Picardie Glasses, 5.4 oz each, is $20 at Quitokeeto.

    Above: Ideal for baking, mixing, and storing, Lys Nesting Bowls have a lipped ridge at the top for easy unstacking. A nine-piece set of the bowls, varying in diameter from 2.5 inches to 9 inches, is $38 at Provisions.

    Above: Duralex tempered glassware is strong enough to hold hot coffee and also works well for wine. A set of six Small Gigogne Tumblers, 3.25 oz each, is $21.50 at Elsie Green. Other sizes also available.

    Duralex tumblers from Father Rabbit | Remodelista

    Above: The minimalist Chopes Unie Glass holds 220 milliliters and is $7 NZ each at Father Rabbit in Auckland, New Zealand.

    Above: The complete range of Duralex glassware is available at Duralex USA.

    For more of our affordable favorites, see our 10 Easy Pieces posts Basic Drinking Glasses and Everyday Wine Glasses. And on Gardenista, have a look at The Ultimate Indoor/Outdoor Tableware.

    Object Lessons columnist Megan Wilson is the owner of Ancient Industries and curator of the Remodelista 100 presented in the Remodelista book. Watch for her column every Tuesday, and have a look at her past lessons on the Eames LoungeButterfly Chair, and Nautical Hammock. We recently featured her new shop in our post Purveyor of the Practical and the Timeless.

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    In our last apartment, we had a coffee grinder that was given to us as a gift, and it was perfectly fine—offered a selection of grind intensity and a removable tray for easy cleaning—but it was also clunky and unattractive. When we moved across the country last month, it was the first thing that sold in our garage sale, and now we're starting fresh. So I've surveyed the coffee grinders that are out there—it turns out there are a lot—and narrowed down the choices to 10 standouts.

    My list is divided into two categories: manual and electric. The difference between them is much like comparing the masticating juicer (a cold press preserves nutrients) to the centrifugal juicer (high speeds get the job done quickly). Apparently a manual coffee grinder is not just for the clinically insane; there's some solid science to vouch for it. An electric grinder mills coffee beans at such high speeds that it creates heat, cooking the beans just slightly before the brewing process. The manual option, meanwhile, grinds the beans without raising the temperature, thus preserving the coffee's essential oils and flavor.

    The takeaway: If you're sold on high-quality beans, you might as well opt for the manual grinder—just make sure you wake up extra early if you do.


    Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: Hario's hand-cranked Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder has ceramic conical burrs that can be adjusted to produce grinds fine enough for espresso and coarse enough for a French press. The mill is $49.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Porlex JP 30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder is made in Osaka, Japan, of stainless steel. It, too, has ceramic conical burrs for grinding; $44.99 at Amazon.

    Hario Small Coffee Hand Grind Coffee Mill | Remodelista

    Above: Designed for small spaces, the Hario Slim Coffee Grinder measures only about 7 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter; $26.20 via Amazon. 

    Zassenhaus Lima Coffee Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The German-made Zassenhaus Lima Coffee Mill is stainless steel with an acrylic bottom for catching grinds; $69.95 at Sur La Table. 


    Krups Electric Spice Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The Krups Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder has stainless steel blades and a fast, 200-watt motor for grinding; $24.90 through Amazon.

    Cuisinart Coffee-Spice Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The Cuisinart Coffee-Spice Grinder has a heavy-duty motor that should be pulsed when grinding coffee beans. The grinding bowl is removable and the grinder comes with a storage lid; $39.99 at Crate & Barrel.

    Cuisinart Grind Central Coffee Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The brushed stainless-steel Cuisinart Grind Central Coffee Grinder has a removable grinding bowl for storing up to 3 ounces of ground coffee; $29.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The only electric grinder that the folks at Blue Bottle Coffee endorse, the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder features steel burrs and 40 different adjustable steps for grinding coffee. It has a high-torque motor that turns slower than most grinders; $129 at Crate & Barrel.

    Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder from Seattle | Remodelista

    Above: The Rocky Coffee Grinder by Rancilio is intended for the coffee enthusiast who wants maximum ground control. The 50-millimeter burr grinding plates are made of tempered steel and the machine delivers 55 different types of grounds without adding additional heat to the beans; $365 at Seattle Coffee Gear.

    Compak K3 Touch Doserless Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The Compak K3 Touch Doserless Grinder has a stainless steel body, a large coffee bean hopper, a ground chute, and settings for single, double, or constant grind; $543.75 at Seattle Coffee Gear.

    Mini Mazzer Coffee Grinder | Remodelista

    Above: The Mini P Mazzer Coffee Grinder has polished aluminum housing and tempered ball-bearing steel burrs for precision grinding; $699 at Whole Latte Love.

    Need a step-by-step tutorial? See Gardenista's 7 Secrets: Tips to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee and Ask the Expert: Coffee Tips from Alice Gao. And then have look at 10 Artful Coffee Drippers and A Coffee Maker Designed by a Portland Brewer.

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    During the summertime, setting the table with enamelware just feels right, whether indoors or out. Enamel plates and bowls are lighter than ceramic, and they seem to clean up easier (or is that just me?). At Clamato, a new seafood spot in Paris, stacks of black-rimmed white enamelware give the restaurant a carefree charm. Recently, I spotted similar bowls at A Détacher in New York, and haven't been able to stop thinking about them. I've seen a good lot of enamelware in the last couple of years—it's a weakness around here—and these are from an unknown source (one that owner Mona Kowalska keeps under wraps), adding a little mystery to the equation. See if you, too, succumb to their charms.

    Clamato Restaurant in Paris, France | Remodelista

    Above: Enamel plates set at the tables of Clamato in Faubourg Saint-Antoine in the 11th arrondisement of Paris.

    Clamato Restaurant in Paris, France | Remodelista

    Above: The look we plan to replicate: stacks of deep enamel bowls. Photographs from our post Clamato: Paris's New Seafood Hotspot.

    A Détacher Enamel Bowls in White and Black | Remodelista

    Above: A set of four small Enamel Bowls, each measuring 6 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches deep, is $60 at A Détacher.

    A Détacher Enamel Serving Bowl | Remodelista

    Above: The Large Enamel Bowl (left) measures 7.5 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep; $28 at A Détacher.

    A Détacher Enamelware Bowl | Remodelista

    Above: The large bowl can be put to use as an impromptu ikebana vase.

    Dining strictly outdoors for the next few months? See 10 Easy Pieces: Outdoor Dining Plates. For alternate enamel bowls—from Falcon to Reiss—sift through the Enamelware in our Shop section.

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    La Cornue, a brand known as the Rolls Royce of cooking ranges, has introduced a collection of freestanding kitchen units that push the design envelope. La Cornue W's line is an all-electric cooking trio (oven, cooktop, and hood) that look more like living room furniture than kitchen appliances. 

    Designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, these all-black appliances are light on their feet but heavyweights in terms of cooking performance. And La Cornue devotees can rest assured: The brand's signature design components are incorporated into these new pieces, from the knobs to the vaulted oven (developed by La Cornue's founder more than a century ago).

    Like the company's other high-end ranges, W line pieces are individually made to order by craftsmen in La Cornue's factory outside of Paris. The party line: "Even if you happen to be the Queen of England, you will have to wait at least two months." Unfortunately, those of us stateside will have to wait even longer: The W line isn't yet available in the US; our sources tell us that it's arriving in late fall. Prices aren't yet available either, but let's just say you'll need a queen-sized budget. 

    La Cornue W Line Kitchen Appliances, Remodelista

    Above: La Cornue's W Line includes an oven tower (disguised as a cabinet), an induction table (yes, it's a cooktop) and a range hood. 

    La Cornue W Oven Tower, Remodelista

    Above: Cupboard or oven? The W Oven Tower has an electric vaulted oven set in a painted wood cabinet with a storage cupboard above and a drawer below.  

    La Cornue W Oven, Remodelista

    Above: The electric vaulted oven packs power, but already meets future European energy standards. It offers fast pre-heating technology and very precise temperature control. 

    Le Cornue W Range, Remodelista

    Above: Kitchen worktop or cooking surface? The La Cornue W Induction Table is both. This table with gently tapered legs is topped with four high-performance induction burners (14 kilowatts of power, the equivalent of professional kitchens). The burners are laid out in an arc pattern, with a work space in the center that can be used for preparing food and placing kitchen tools.

    Le Cornue W Range, Remodelista

    Above: Traditional La Cornue details are incorporated into the W Induction Table, including a towel rail, polished stainless-steel control knobs (positioned in the front for ease of use), and generous-sized cooktop (150 centimeters). 


    La Cornue W Induction Table and Hood, Remodelista


    Above: The La Cornue W Hood can be operated by remote control; its suction area is around the edge of the hood for maximum odor extraction.  

    For more information and availability, contact La Cornue USA (Purcell Murray)

    Searching for ranges? See 5 Favorites: Freestanding Electric Ranges and 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding 36-inch Kitchen Ranges. And have a look at Julianne Moore's La Cornue–equipped kitchen in the Remodelista book and our post 5 Design Lessons from Julianne Moore.

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    Paris designer Gesa Hanson tipped us off: the new, must-see shop in Paris right now is La Trésorerie, a housewares emporium specializing in timeless, well-made goods with a European accent. Located steps from Place de la République, the shop is housed in a former treasury building—look for the exterior metal grills—and even has its own Swedish cafe.

    "Our politic when it comes to selecting merchandise is quite simple," says Lino Landau, who opened La Trésorerie with two design-minded friends, Denis Greffault, founder of Paris's organic food shop Lemo, and Elsa Coustals, who hails from the fashion industry. "We like good-quality products that are made in Europe; we like long-lasting materials, such as cast iron, glass, stainless steel, and stoneware; and we like sourcing from companies that own their own factories or workshops. We sell things that have stories to tell."

    Photographs courtesy of La Trésorerie, unless otherwise noted.

    La Trésorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: La Trésorerie is located in an 1870s former treasury building that retains its well-protected exterior and, over the door, the initials RF for République Française.

    La Trésorerie Paris via AT | Remodelista

    Above: The tableware selection includes La Trésorerie's in-house line of matte-glazed stoneware in muted colors. At least 90 percent of the shop's goods are fabricated in Europe and sourced directly from the makers. Be on the lookout: La Trésorerie's online store is scheduled to open in the fall. Photo via Mamie Boude.

    La Trésorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: The 3,200-square-foot interior, with original skylights, was remodeled by Paris firm I'm In Architecture. Elizabeth Leriche of Bureau de Style Elizabeth Leriche designed the shop and its inventive displays, including a wooden house filled with bathroom products. The Bean Tables are by Karsten Lauritsen of Designer Zoo in Copenhagen.

    La Tresorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: La Trésorerie sells eco paints by UK company Earthborn. 

    La Trésorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Minimalist tables and shelving are lined with pots and pans, including white enamelware by Riess of Austria. Read about the nine-generation family company in Object Lessons: The Pastel Enamel Pot.

    La Trésorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Denis Greffault, one of the shop's three owners, hangs out in the wooden hardware section. Photograph from Milk Magazine.

    La Tresorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Household brushes and an old-fashioned rattan carpet beater by Redecker of Germany.

      La Tresorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: La Trésorerie stocks bathroom accessories made for the Scandinavian sauna.

    La Tresorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Striped cotton mattress toppers are displayed with cotton throws and plaid "picnic rugs" by Tweedmill of Northern Wales.

    La Tresorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: A selection of breakfast wares and linens. 

    La Trésorerie Cafe Smorgas Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Smörgas, the shop's in-house cafe, offers the ideal shopping snack: Swedish open-faced sandwiches and coffee from Paris roasters Belleville Brûlerie. 

    La Trésorerie Cafe Smorgas Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Run by Paris-based Swedish chef Svante Forstorp, the cafe has a creative, healthy menu (including a Nordic take on tabbouleh) and a choice of seating. Photographs from Willy à Paris.

    La Tresorerie Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Go to La Trésorerie for more. Photograph via L'Insolente.

    To see La Trésorerie's UK role model, have a look at Labour and Wait in London. And if you can't get to Paris, you can Shop at Merci Online

    Consult our Paris Guide for more finds, including boutique hotels, favorite restaurants, and Alexa's Guided Day in the Marais.

    Below: La Trésorerie is located near Place de la République in Paris's 10th Arrondissment.

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    Let the voting begin: For our second annual Remodelista + Gardenista Considered Design Awards, more than 1,000 of you entered projects (twice as many as last year), ranging from characterful Brooklyn brownstones to Venice Beach bungalows to London flats. Alongside our panel of Guest Judges, our editors have reviewed more than 5,000 photos and narrowed the entries in each category to five finalists (no mean feat, considering the quality of this year's projects).

    Now it's up to you, our discerning and opinionated readers, to choose the winners. Vote once per day in each of 10 categories, now through August 8. Winners will be announced on August 9.  Bookmark the following pages as the voting hub for each site: 

    Vote for the Remodelista Awards

    Vote for the Gardenista Awards

    Winners will be chosen by public vote, so please spread the word by sharing images on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest using the social media icons below each image.

    Congratulations to our finalists, and happy voting!

    Arne Jacobsen's City Hall Clock | Remodelista

    Above: Start voting now—and vote daily until August 8. Winners will be announced on August 9. For more details, go to our FAQ and Official Rules page. Photograph of Arne Jacobsen's City Hall Clock via Skandium.

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    Is it time to say good-bye to the obstructionist solid door and introduce some more light into your life? Consider French doors. These combination windows and doors create a sense of space as they flood rooms with sunlight. And new glass technologies mean that security and insulation concerns of the past are in many cases outdated. Are French doors more than just a pretty face? Read on to find out whether they're right for you.

    Exactly what are French doors?

    French doors, also known as French windows, are doors of varying lengths that are composed of panels of glass. Traditionally (but not always) French doors come in pairs and are hinged, with either an in-swing or out-swing. They're used as both interior and exterior doors: They often link two rooms, such as an adjacent living and dining room; they also commonly provide access to balconies, patios, and gardens.

    Iron French Doors, Remodelista  

    Above: In the center of a metal-framed window wall, French doors blur the boundary between indoors and out, effectively doubling the living space. A project by Design of Wonder of Melbourne, it was featured in Gardenista's Steal This Look: Black and White Indoor/Outdoor Terrace. Photograph via Design of Wonder.

    Who invented French doors?

    No individual can take credit, but French doors have a history rooted in their eponymous country. They're said to have been influenced by Italian Renaissance architecture and its emphasis on light and symmetry—a style which migrated to France after the Great Italian Wars of the 16th century. Aesthetics combined with a pre-electricity dependence on natural light and the increased availability of glass led to more windows—and an expansion of those windows into doors. Because glass was fragile and expensive, it was installed in small panes with mullions in between. The mullions and door frames were typically made of wood or wrought iron for structural stability as well as for looks. 

    French door detail by Portella Iron Doors | Remodelista  

    Above: Steel French doors by Portella Iron Doors in a dark bronze finish. Image via Portella Iron Doors of Austin, Texas.

    Rustic Paned French Doors, Remodelista

    Above: Symmetry at work: French doors are surrounded by divided glass windows In a 1927 apartment building. The kitchen belongs to Swedish blogger Catarina Skoglund, who lives outside Göteborg. Want to Steal This Look?

    What are the benefits of French doors?

    In addition to adding a certain je ne sais quoi, advantages of French doors may include:

    • Providing a visual bridge between indoors and out, or between adjoining rooms.
    • Expanding your warm-weather living space by opening out to a patio, balcony, or garden.
    • Letting the sunlight in without letting warmth escape (and in the summer months, the reverse).
    • Expanding the sense of space in a room.
    • Bringing natural light to an interior room or hall that doesn't have windows.
    • Filling wide openings—and creating a flow—between rooms. And conversely, enabling adjoining rooms to be closed off from each other as needed, such as for noise or heating reasons.

    Butler Armsden Architects Interior French Doors, Remodelista

    Above: A sense of space is created in Butler Armsden Architects' remodel of a San Francisco William Wurster house with interior metal French doors that demarcate work and living space without cutting off light. Image by Eric Rorer via Butler Armsden.

    Are there different types and styles of French doors?

    Originally differentiated only by their number of panes, or lights, French doors are available in myriad styles and materials, ranging from single pane (called one light) to 10-light styles (with 2-by-5-inch panes) set in frames made of wood, steel, aluminum, and even fiberglass. Clear glass is most common, but in settings where some privacy is desired, opaque glass may be used. 

    French doors are traditionally hinged. You can also find sliding, louvered (folding), and pivot French doors—there is some debate about whether these are really French doors, but regardless of semantics, they're options worth considering.

    Wall Morris Design Exterior French Doors, Remodelista

    Above: Single-pane French doors are an integral ingredient in this cottage extension in Dublin by Wall Morris Design—winner of the 2013 Gardenista Considered Design Awards for best outdoor room. Photograph by Derek Robinson.

    French Doors in White Space, Remodelista

    Above: Rustic 15-light French doors (with 3-by-5-inch panes) warm a cool palette in Juli and John Baker's Canadian country house—see Canada's Most Beautiful Guest Cottage. Photograph via Kitka.

    Where can I use French doors?

    Exterior: Introduced to provide access to outdoor living spaces, exterior French doors are most commonly used as openings onto gardens, patios, and balconies. Because of security concerns—visibility and easy break-ins—they have not historically been common for front doors. The advent in recent years of tougher and better insulated glass has changed that.

    Interior: French doors can be used effectively as dividers between linked rooms, especially in cases where privacy is not a concern. We've also seen French doors in nontraditional locations, such as bathrooms as shower surrounds.

    Malcom Davis Shower French Door, Remodelista  

    Above: An indoor/outdoor marble-clad shower by Malcolm Davis Architecture has a French door fitted with obscure frosted glass for privacy. See Davis's Expert Advice: 10 Essential Tips for Designing a Bathroom.

    Stiff Trevillion French Shower Doors, Remodelista  

    Above: A luxe bath designed by Stiff + Trevillion of London features Arabascato marble and industrial, steel-framed French doors. See more at Glamorous Baths with Steel Factory Windows. Photograph by Kilian O'Sullivan.

    Any tips for designing and installing French doors?

    • Don't forget the door swing: French doors are available with either in-swing or out-swing fittings. Measure your space and plan accordingly.  
    • Consider the glass. If your doors get direct sunlight, think about tinted or coated options that will keep floors, furniture, and art from fading. Opaque glass is a good option in settings where you want light with privacy. And for exterior doors double-paned or low-E (low emissivity) glass, which is coated with a heat-reflective material, is recommended for insulation.
    • While old French doors are enticing for their looks (and, in the case of reclaimed doors, use of recycled materials), keep in mind that for exterior applications new doors have better security, insulation, and durability.
    • Exterior French doors should be fitted with weather stripping to keep the elements out.
    • Doors with standard opening sizes can accommodate pre-hung French doors with ease. Openings in older houses, however, are anything but standard and customization may be required. We recommend consulting a professional.
    • Consider the locks. Exterior French doors generally require a three-point system that locks the door to the head jamb and the sill for good security.

    Iron French Entry Door, Remodelista

    Above: A steel French entry door. Image via Portella Iron Doors

    What about the cost and sources?

    French doors are more expensive than standard exterior sliding doors and basic solid interior doors. That said, prices are as variable as each setting. It depends on the specific doors you're considering—French doors may be more affordable than high-end architectural pivot doors, for example.

    In terms of sources, most architectural window manufacturers such as Pella, Marvin, and Andersen, offer a range of French doors. Reclaimed doors are available at architectural salvage suppliers. For metal French door sourcing, see our list of Steel Window and Door Fabricators

    Francesca Connolly's Metal French Door, Remodelista

    Above: Remodeilsta editor Francesca Connolly's Galley Kitchen has a custom metal French door that lets in light, frames the space, and leads to an outdoor dining deck. For custom metalwork, Francesca recommends Product and Design Metalwork in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in New York. 

    French Door Recap


    • Brings natural light into rooms
    • Increases sense of space
    • Creates a visual connection between indoors and out, and between rooms
    • Lightweight


    • Requires floor space for opening
    • Provides minimal privacy
    • More expensive than sliding doors or basic, solid interior doors
    • More windows to clean

    Considering door options? Browse another Remodelista favorite: Sliding Barn Doors Used Indoors. And over at Gardenista, see 5 Favorites: Daring Red Doors.

    For more remodeling advice, have a look at our previous Remodeling 101 posts. 

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  • 07/17/14--04:00: 10 Parisian-Style Net Bags
  • The market tote's more compact sibling? The Parisian-style netted cotton grocery bag. De rigueur decades ago, the bags are now making a comeback—some with modern updates such as bright colors and leather handles. They're perfect for summer produce.

    Doug Johnston Net Bag | Remodelista

    Above: Doug Johnston's Net Bag is made to order from cotton cord in a few color variations; $215

    Black Market Bag Remodelista

    Above: The 100-percent cotton French Cotton Net Bag in black is $10.95 at Kaufmann Mercantile.

    Various Projects Large Net Bag | Remodelista

    Above L: From Various Projects, the Large Net Bag is an exaggerated version of the classic net bag measuring 24 inches wide and 23 inches long; $69. Above R: The Medium Net Bag is of more standard proportions; $28, both at La Garçonne.

    And So It Goes Net Bag in Blue | Remodelista

    Above: The So It Goes Net Bag is hand knotted, using traditional net-making techniques. It's made of cotton cord and has soft leather handles; $120 at Need Supply.

    Natural Cotton French String Tote, Remodelista

    Above: A classic made in France, the Natural Cotton String Shopping Bag is $10.95 on Amazon.

    Sunroom Woven Maguey Bag | Remodelista

    Above: The Woven Maguey Bag is made in Israel of woven maguey plant fiber and has an adjustable leather strap; $75 at Sunroom in Austin, Texas.

    Better Housewares Oversized Green Market Tote, Remodelista

    Above: Better Houseware's kelly green Cotton Net Shopping Bag is $7.15 on Amazon (also available in blue).

    A Détacher Woven Macrame Bag | Remodelista

    Above: A Détacher's Macramé Bag with leather handles is $230.

    Blue and White Striped French Grocery Bag | Remodelista

    Above: A striped French Grocery Bag in navy and white is $16 at Brook Farm General Store.

    Net Dip-Dyed Shopping Bag | Remodelista

    Above: Made in LA, the Small Net Shopping Bag is dip-dyed in yellow and has leather handles; $80 at Spartan.

    For sturdier options, see 10 Easy Pieces: French Market Totes and Object Lessons: The Classic Canvas Tote. On Gardenista, have a look at Etsy's Best Waxed Canvas Carryalls.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on August 1, 2013, as part of our Entertaining: Summer Edition issue.

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    Is there anything more elusive than sleep? Needed hours of rest can weigh on us like impending deadlines and appointments. Which is why, even after doing our part to create tranquil bedrooms, we rely on our mattresses to take on the hard work of helping us drift off.

    The Beautyrest Black mattress offers a modern answer to the quest for rest: temperature management and conforming back support delivered in a luxurious, high-performance material. 

    simmons beautyrest black on Remodelista

    Above: To ensure that sleep is restorative, Simmons incorporated its Advanced Pocketed Coil Technology into the Beautyrest Black to relieve pressure on the back and joints. Some models include Micro Pocketed Coil springs for additional support.

    simmons beautyrest black on Remodelista

    Above: Not too warm, not too cold—the perfect temperature is essential in the Land of Nod. Beautyrest Black's Sleep Climate Surface Technology is woven into the quilted top layer to keep bodies warm in cool surroundings and cool in warm surroundings.

    Simmons Beautyrest Black on Remodelista

    Above: Beautyrest Black's high-tech AirCool Memory Foam aids in restful sleep. Utilizing high thermal conductivity, the Micro Diamond Infused AirCool draws heat away from the body.

    Simmons Beautyrest Black on Remodelista

    Above: Each mattress is finished with modal yarn.

    Simmons Beautyrest Black on Remodelista

    Above: Soft yet substantial, the Beautyrest Black mattress supports the contours of the body—technology and luxury make good bedmates.


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    Paris has E. Dehillerin, France's oldest kitchenware store, established in 1820. Its longstanding competition in Marseille? Maison Empereur, a family-run institution established in 1827 by François Empereur that lays claim to being the oldest hardware and cookware shop in France. The store is overseen by the decidedly discerning Laurence Guez, who took the helm in 2000, the sixth generation to carry on her family business. 

    All the staples once offered by France's traditional (and now shuttered) neighborhood kitchen emporiums can still be found at Maison Empereur—along with hardware items, bathroom goods, toys, and a slew of classic French staples for the home, from wicker chairs and enamel sinks to espadrilles. Think of Maison Empereur as the local hardware store meets Merci. Well worth a detour should you be in the South of France. 

    Photographs courtesy of Maison Empereur, unless otherwise noted.

    Maison Empereur Marseille | Remodelista

    Above: The shop is located in the heart of Marseille in a trio of buildings that are close to each other. Photograph via Citadineries

    Maison Empereur Marseille kitchen soaps | Remodelista

    Above: Locally made Savon de Marseille (another area institution) and a display of woven striped towels. 

    Maison Empereur Marseille | Remodelista

    Above: Maison Empereur sells classic French toys, including music boxes, playing cards, and string fishing nets.

    Maison Empereur Marseille kitchen tools | Remodelista

    Above: A display of pots and pans by French favorites such as Le Creuset and de Buyer. 

    Maison Empereur Marseille | Remodelista

    Above: More pans for every occasion (blinis, crêpes, chestnuts, and an oval Poele à Poisson for fish).

    Maison Empereur Marseille | Remodelista

    Above: A small sampling of the baking tools on offer in the kitchen section. (For those suffering from Opinel ennui, check out Maison Empereur's extensive selection of knives.)

    Maison Empereur Marseille | Remodelista

    Above: Part of Maison Empereur's appeal is the traditional Old World setup, with leather bags hanging from the ceiling, straw hats piled on tables, and linen sold by the meter.

    Maison Empereur Marseille | Remodelista

    Above: Traditional enamel sinks and porcelain fixtures on display in the bathroom section. Note the hammocks strung from the ceiling in the distance. 

    Below: Maison Empereur is located in three buildings that are close to each other in the center of Marseille. The Quincaillerie Generale is at 3 Rue d’Aubagne, shown below. The Arts Culinaires is at 4 Rue des Récolettes, and the Coutellerie is at 6 Rue des Récolette.

    Check out our posts on E. Dehilleren, the go-to source for kitchenware in Paris, and La Trésorerie, Paris's new housewares shop. If you're looking for somewhere to stay near Saint-Tropez (about a 30-minute drive from Marseille), consider La Suite Cassis, and for a worthwhile outing, see our post on a Provençal Winery

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    Our judges have chosen the finalists, now you choose the winners. Vote for the finalists in each of 17 Considered Design Awards categories, on both Remodelista and Gardenista. You can vote once a day in each category, now through August 8.

    In the Best Bedroom Space/Professional category, our five finalists are Larson & Paul Architects, DeForest Architects, Imperfect Interiors, Hyde Evans Design, and Brian Paquette Interiors. 

    Project 1

    Larson & Paul Architects | Stanfordville, NY, US | Hudson Valley Cottage

    Design Statement: "An eyebrow Colonial converted and updated with modern and Scandinavian touches."

    Chosen By: Guest judge Elana Frankel, style director at One Kings Lane, who says: "The simplicity of the whitewashed foundation punctuated with a Scandinavian fabric headboard breathes life into this attic bedroom (scale!!!). And I am always a sucker for exposed rafters."

    Bedroom by Larson & Paul, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Project 2

    DeForest Architects | Lakewood, WA, US | Lakewood Midcentury Modern

    Design Statement: "New doors and windows and a simplified palette lend the master bedroom a calm, unfussy elegance."

    Chosen By: Remodelista editor-in-chief Julie Carlson: "I love how light and airy this bedroom is and the way it opens to the outdoors. The wood ceiling keeps the space from feeling too cold and adds a note of rusticity."

    Bedroom by DeForest Architects, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Project 3

    Hyde Evans Design | Rockaway Beach, WA, US | Oregon Coast

    Design Statement: "This beachfront house was built in 1935. Metal platform twin beds for guests hold a casual assembly of linen and cotton stripes. Boards with hooks line the room and utilitarian metal wall sconces hang next to each bed. An antique painted-wood chest and stool from nearby antiques shops offer bedside tables."

    Chosen By: Julie Carlson. "This aerie corner retreat overlooking the sea manages to channel a nautical vibe without veering into twee territory; I like the mix of humble grain sack pillows, rag rug, and stool bedside table."

    Bedroom by Hyde Evans Design, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Bedroom by Hyde Evans Design, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Project 4

    Imperfect Interiors | London, England, UK | Imperfect Interiors Bedroom

    Design Statement: "This formerly dark bedroom had been stripped of all of its original Victorian features, so I sourced an old fireplace, reinstated the cornicing, and redecorated it in modern but muted shades."

    Chosen By: Elana Frankel, who says, "The worn velvet headboard is glorious and is a great starting/focal point for the room. The palette is serene with hits of pink (unexpected) and modern accessories (night tables and lamp, also unexpected). That telephone table is so chic as a reading space."

    Bedroom by Imperfect Interiors, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Bedroom by Imperfect Interiors, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Bedroom by Imperfect Interiors, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Bedroom by Imperfect Interiors, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Project 5

    Brian Paquette Interiors | Seattle, WA, US | Tree House

    Design Statement: "My own home…filled with treasures from travel and the makers and designers I truly love." 

    Chosen By: Elana Frankel: "I love the way his own bedroom is a quiet sanctuary, simple and uncluttered, painted in a fresh white. It's filled with personality—adore the plate on the wall and the reading lamp—but not so much that it becomes overwhelming. It feels warm and rich with objects personally chosen by the designer to evoke beauty."

    Bedroom by Brian Paquette, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Bedroom by Brian Paquette Interiors, Finalist in 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Start voting now—and vote daily through August 8 on both Remodelista and Gardenista. Winners will be announced on August 9. For more details, go to our FAQ and Official Rules page. 

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    Presenting our third great houseboat discovery of late: architect Valérie Mazerat's stripped-down, industrial-chic barge in Paris that she shares with her young daughter, Margot. We found it in New Paris Style by Danielle Miller, a book that chronicles how the city's creative class lives. The book offers a satisfyingly voyeuristic look into 27 pied-à-terres, houses, lofts, and ateliers. But we keep turning back to Mazerat's quarters, an old Dutch barge converted into a houseboat. A wreck when Mazerat took ownership, it's now a study in domestic simplicity, done up in a palette of earthy, straight-from-the-Seine colors. Of the Parisian life afloat, Mazerat told Miller: "It's another world, which takes you far away from any semblance of the everyday. There is a sense of freedom that you don't get living ashore, and time definitely slows down." Join us for a leisurely look.

    Photographs © Richard Powers, courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

      Valerie-Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard-Powers | Remodelista

    Above: The boat's main cabin was added by a previous owner who grafted a 1920s train carriage onto what had been a working Dutch barge built in the early 1900s. Mazerat, whose credentials include designing interiors for Merci (see Paris's Most Exciting Shop), shored up the vessel and re-created it in her own image: simple furniture, a moody palette, and a rigorously edited collection of essentials—"you just can't be frivolous."

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: The boat is moored at Bassin de l'Arsenal, a marina on a canal with views of the Place de la Bastille. And to add another romantic wrinkle, Valérie Mazerat's architecture practice is in a boat moored a short stroll away.

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: The living room/dining room—almost entirely rebuilt by Mazerat—retains its train car feel. The family's dining table overlooks twin daybeds that flank a wood-burning stove. In a space where every inch is precious, book shelves are inserted over the windows. The Butterfly Chair is from a trip to Morocco. (Learn about the history of the Butterfly Chair in our recent Object Lesson.)

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: A Christmas decoration from Merci tops no-nonsense steel shelving. 

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: Mazerat inserted a compact galley at the front of the barge. Its fittings and the dining table are custom built of steel, a practical choice and a nod to the craft's industrial past. The chairs are vintage Arne Jacobsen.

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: Mazerat unified the interior of the boat by painting it a rich charcoal gray. She masterfully uses the warm walls to set off eye-opening dashes of color—citrine curtains here, a purple dishcloth there.

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: On warm nights, mother and daughter sleep on the deck on folding daybeds under a canopy. The linen on the beds is from Caravane. For similar mattress toppers, see Summer Slumbers: Hedge House Bedrolls.

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: Yes, we all want this room. It belongs to Margot, and it's kitted out with a winning trio: pale pink bed linens, a sheepskin rug, and a porthole window. Note Margot's riding helmet on a hook. 

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

    Above: The ships' head is decorated with vintage travel mirrors and souvenirs from Morocco.

    Valerie Mazerat Paris houseboat shot by Richard Powers | Remodelista

     Above: A portrait by photographer Serge Anton hangs above a 1950s Danish desk with an Arne Jacobsen chair.

    New Paris Style by Danielle Miller Thames & Hudson | Remodelista

    Above: New Paris Style by Danielle Miller, photographed by Richard Powers, is available from Thames & Hudson for $40. Photograph courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

    Have you seen our other houseboat posts? This Modern Houseboat in Berlin is available for overnight getaways. And if you like the look of The Ultimate Houseboat in NYC, go to our Steal This Look: The Summer Clubhouse.

    To see our posts on other worthy design books, go to Required Reading. And if you don't yet have a copy of Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home, buy it here

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