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    How to live cost-consciously—and exceptionally well—in NYC? Creative consultants and product developers Jesse James and Kostas (Gus) Anagnopoulos solved the riddle for themselves and their daughter, Olympia, by leaving Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for Jackson Heights, Queens, a melting-pot neighborhood best known for its Indian restaurants and markets. Mysteriously less celebrated are the area's grand, historic apartment buildings: the one that the family settled in is a landmarked, 1924 Tuscan-style garden complex that has griffins standing guard over its gates. Inside the family's "classic seven"—a living room, dining room, kitchen, and four bedrooms—things are equally magical (and of an age). Jesse and Gus have a shared, longstanding weakness for overlooked and unfashionable antiques. And when what they like becomes desirable, as it invariably does, they move on to the next. Have a look at their fresh approach to living with vintage.

    Photography by Philip Ficks; styling by Pam Morris.

    Jesse James Kostas Anagnopoulos of Aesthetic Movement and their daughter photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Jesse James, Gus Anagnopoulos, and their daughter, Olympia, 7, outside their apartment building in the Jackson Heights historic district. Designed by Andrew J. Thomas as a co-op, the complex is comprised of eight brick buildings surrounding a block-long central garden—and there's even community composting.

    Jesse and Gus are the founders of Aesthetic Movement, a multifaceted New York City design office that provides wholesale representation to small makers, develops its own product lines, and creates retail spaces—among other things. By day the couple note that they're surrounded by newly minted objects, which explains why at home, they gravitate to antiques, drawn not by provenance, but by patina and soulfulness—and anonymity: "We prefer not knowing every detail of how, when, and where something was produced—because that's what we do at work," explains Jesse. "With old things, there's a mystery, a life that preceded us." Photograph by Philip Ficks via Kinfolk.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: The apartment was last remodeled in the early 1990s by the son of the original owners, who stripped the entry of its woodwork and painted the walls in brown and gold stripes. To bring back the apartment's original bones, Jesse and Gus introduced transoms, chair rails, and moldings. 

    Many designers who spend their days surrounded by color and pattern take a palette-cleansing approach at home and opt for all white. Not Jesse and Gus. Their foyer is painted Farrow & Ball Off Black, and, like the rest of the apartment, given over to display. The central botanical, shown here, is a John Derian mailer on newsprint for a Hugo Guinness show; the couple mounted it on linen and added a frame. Photograph by Philip Ficks via Kinfolk.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: The living room has a cove ceiling and large wood-burning fireplace. The sofa came from the now defunct Classic Sofa, and the green armchair is a yard sale piece reupholstered in a jacquard from the Silk Trading Company. The Husbands poster of Peter Falk, from a 1970 John Cassavetes film, was a wedding gift. Travel souvenirs are another of the couple's specialities: They purchased the room's antique area rugs on a trip to Marrakech shortly after their daughter's first birthday.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: A mantel still life includes a tag sale stoneware bottle that, Jesse notes, "looks like it stepped out of a Giorgio Morandi painting." 

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: In a corner of the living room, a small table from a Catskills antiques shop is where Gus spends his mornings writing—in addition to his work at Aesthetic Movement, he's a poet. His published work includes the collection Moving Blanket. Gus is also a master at displaying collections. "Like things with like things" is his longstanding motto—and explains the pairings and clusters of objects and colors found throughout the apartment. Shown here, a framed sketch by Jesse's cousin Ashley James, a weathered mirror, and a watercolor by Ginna Triplett, a friend of Gus's since high school.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: A Thomas O'Brien Aero Studio Goodman Light with a bronzed interior hangs over the dining table, which came from Jesse's grandmother, an aesthete and great collector herself. Jesse tells us: "Our approach is to layer and edit a room starting with a few well-chosen anchors. Then we add and subtract elements until we strike a balance of symmetry and asymmetry, of positive and negative space. When you get it right, it feels sort of magical—carefully considered but not decorated, beautiful but not precious."

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Cylindrical art pottery vases from the 1950s—each picked up individually and inexpensively—form a striking ensemble on the dining room armoire. "They don't look like anything on their own," says Jesse. "That's how most of our collections come together: This is stuff that's at any antiques mall, but no one ever looks at it because it's kind of ugly on its own. For whatever reason, we slowly start buying more and more." The lamp and small bud vase are Danish Art Deco by Schollert. The armoire—retrofitted to hold a printer and office materials because the dining table often gets used for work—is painted Pigeon, a gray-green from Farrow & Ball.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: A lineup of pink milk glass goblets top a French wall-mounted cabinet that holds etched glassware by Japanese artist Shizuyo Saegusa. Transferware platters—part of a large collection of 19th-century Aesthetic Movement designs that are the source of the couple's company name—are displayed in a wood church hymnal, a piece that Jesse and Gus replicated for Sir/Madam, their tableware and kitchen goods line; see it in our post The Wooden Spoon and Other Staples.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Green batter bowls are gathered on a dining room sideboard."They're 1920s Deco but we're not ever sure who made them," says Jesse. "We love bowls; we put them everywhere and use them to store things—some have rocks from a trip or piles of photos." The pleated lampshade could have come from a thrift store, but it's actually a several-years old find from Anthropologie paired with a bronze-finished light.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos kitchen in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen required a bit of triage (and investment) to return it to its 1924s guise. In addition to having cabinet faces rebuilt, Jesse and Gus added an AGA Legacy range and a cast-iron farm sink, which took four people to install. The runner is Swedish and the industrial stepladder was purchased on a trip to Chicago, the couple's shared hometown. Photograph by Philip Ficks via Kinfolk.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Restored pantry cupboards in the hall outside the kitchen have drawer pulls and cabinet latches from House of Antique Hardware. The brass pepper mill is an Atlas from a hardware store in Nafpaktos, Greece, where Gus's paternal grandmother lived. Read about the design and where to source it in Object Lessons. Photograph by Philip Ficks via Kinfolk.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: The master bed is covered with a vintage kantha quilt from India, and a collection of Czech and Polish film posters sit waiting to be hung. The framed photograph is of Jesse's father.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: A French secretary in the bedroom holds important papers and displays favorite small paintings and a sturdy dried leaf.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos garden apt building  in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Griffons perch at one of the apartment complex's six gates. The structure was one of many that went up in the speculative frenzy following the construction of the Queensboro Bridge, which linked Queens to Manhattan, in 1909.

    Jesse James and Kosta Anagnopoulos apt building Italianate tower in Queens, NY, photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Four Italianate towers adorn the buildings. Not surprisingly, the area has become a magnet for creative young families—Jesse estimates that at least 25 friends and relatives have moved to the neighborhood. 

    Jess James and Kostas Anagnopoulos apt door photographed by Philip Ficks | Remodelista

    Above: Metalwork quatrefoils pattern the entrance door. Architect Robert A.M. Stern has singled out Jackson Heights' garden buildings as "a model urban suburbia that demonstrates as none have since what high-density housing in the city could be."

    To see more work by Aesthetic Movement, have a look at our posts Now Serving: Perfected Tableware from the Past and Vintage Revival: Kitchen Essentials Made in India, go to Izola, and take a tour of Jesse and Gus's former country house here

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Here at Remodelista we've participated in our share of eBay auctions. We've also have been known to obsessively check the local Craigslist listings for that Eames lounge or set of bentwood chairs at an amazing price. But eBay and Craigslist are just the start. 

    To celebrate our week of Style on a Budget, we're sharing our favorite sources for affordable vintage and used furniture. True, bargain shopping requires stamina—all treasure hunts do— but it's not only more affordable but better for the planet to buy secondhand goods than brand-new. Word of advice: Most sites allow you the option to focus on local sellers; we recommend doing that for large objects so that you can pick up your purchase and avoid shelling out for shipping. 

    Have your own secret source? Let us know in the Comments section below. 

    Vintage Thonet Chairs on Etsy, Budget Furniture | Remodelista

    1. An obvious place to start for any vintage hunter is Etsy. Michelle used the online shop to find A 1970s Style Wooden Hanging Planterand, recently, Julie has had her eye on this pair of Thonet Plywood Chairs, $249, through seller CoMod Classics. Justine is our resident Etsy prowler. And because it's a vast marketplace, she suggests singling out favorite vendors and following them. Hers include Solstice HomeEthanollie, Object + Light, Owl Song, Lackluster Co.Haven Co., and Gallivanting Girls.

    2. "Rubylane is a site that's been around awhile," says Margot. "For those of us in need of a regular vintage fix, it offers the equivalent of digging around in a group antiques shop." 

    White Tolix Stools Ebay Budget Furniture | Remodelista

    3. For years, Julie kept this one to herself: Design Within Reach sells slightly dented and flawed merchandise in its own Design Within Reach Outlet shop on eBay. This set of Three White Tolix Stools is going for $227.50—they're normally $295 each. 

    Eames for Herman Miller Molded Plywood Coffee Table, Budget Shopping | Remodelista

    4: Lately I've been turning to Craigslist to find vintage furniture for my apartment. As with most of these sources, it's important to make sure that what you're buying is the real deal. In this listing for an Eames for Herman Miller Molded Plywood Coffee Table in Walnut, $600, the SF seller provides photos of the Certificate of Authenticity and Herman Miller logo. A brand-new version of this table sells for $949. 

    George Smith Norris Bench on Previously Owned by a Gay Man | Remodelista

    5. We learned about the Oakland, California–based online used furniture shop Previously Owned by a Gay Man when Michelle found the perfect cocktail table on the site. Currently, a custom-made George Smith Norris Bench, normally $7,900, is selling for $2,500. 

    Tomado Shelving Unit on Amsterdam Modern, Vintage, Budget | Remodelista

    6. Amsterdam Modern, an LA importer of midcentury furniture from the Netherlands, is a favorite pro source that's also open the public. Its selection of goods ranges from Eero Saarinen armchairs to old elementary school desks and chairs. A metal Tomado Industrial Shelving Unit is $155 and stands ready for pickup in the company Glendale Avenue warehouse. 

    7. Midcentury LA imports vintage goods from Denmark and Sweden. The online shop is updated regularly, and its roster of designers include Hans Wegner, Arne Norell, Peter Hvidt, and many more. 

    Chairish Vintage Tripod Light, Budget Shopping | Remodelista

    8. Chairish is a platform for "design lovers to buy and sell pre-loved decor to one another." Its sellers are based in most major cities across the US and the goods are pre-screened by co-founder and "chief curator," Anna Brockway. A Vintage Wooden Tripod Floor Lamp with brass trimmings is $250 with a flat-rate shipping cost of $29, or free pickup for those in the Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, area. 

    Vintage Eames at Chairloom | Remodelista

    9. Janet is a fan of Philadelphia's Chairloom and its "beautiful repurposing of upholstered furniture." An Eames-Style Lounge Chair can be purchased for $975 as is, or you can opt to have it reupholstered for an extra $725. Chairloom founders Molly Andrews and Tracy Jenkins specialize in reviving old sofas, sections, and armchairs. Take a look at their Before and After projects here and the story behind their outsized floor stencils here. To learn about the original version of this chair, see Object Lessons: The Iconic Eames Lounge.

    10. Francesca likes Sit and Read in Brooklyn, a creative agency run by Kyle Garner that offers a small selection of well-priced vintage furniture as well as a few pieces of his own design.

    For vintage inspiration, see The Bauhaus as Your House and, on Gardenista, Steal This Look: A Midcentury Mod Townhouse Garden in Brooklyn

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Eileen Fisher Logo, Remodelista  

    Eileen Fisher, the company synonymous with simple clothes and beautiful fabrics, is turning 30. To mark this milestone, the brand is launching the Icons Collection, a re-creation of six classic pieces from the Eileen Fisher archives, remastered with a modern twist. View the collection below and join the celebration by entering for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Eileen Fisher.

    Which Icon Are You? Find the answer by taking the Eileen Fisher Style Quiz between now and September 30, and you'll be automatically entered to win a $1,000 Eileen Fisher gift card. 

    The winner will be announced on the Eileen Fisher Facebook Page the first week of October; see Terms & Conditions for full details. (Note that the contest is open to US residents only.)

    Eileen Fisher Icons Collection Coat, Remodelista

    Eileen Fisher Icons Collection Cardigan, Remodelista

    Eileen Fisher Icons Collection Dress, Remodelista

    Eileen Fisher Icons Collection Maxi and Tank, Remodelista

    Eileen Fisher Icons Collection Box Top, Remodelista

    Eileen Fisher Icons Collection, Remodelista

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Brooklyn-based British fashion photographer Glen Luchford first visited Venice Beach in 1993 to photograph Dennis Hopper and fell in love with the grittiness of the neighborhood (it reminded him of Brighton, England, his hometown, he says). With his newly opened Rose Hotel, located on Rose Avenue near Abbot Kinney, Luchford has created a place to stay when he's in town with his crew: a low-key spot near the beach, nothing fancy. Working with his partner, Doug Bruce, he bought a down-at-the-heels property last spring and embarked on a whirlwind rehab, enlisting his friend Katerina Tana to help with the interiors. The team spent a total of $80,000 on the project (it was all they had to work with) and created a calming oasis with rooms starting at $155 a night. 

    The Lobby

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach Lobby  | Remodelista

    Above: The low-key gathering spot, with Noguchi lantern and salvaged furniture.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A dining table with Falcon enamelware.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: Built-in seating in an alcove.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: Simple wood venetian blinds cover the windows.

    The Queen Room with Shared Bath

    Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: The Queen Room with Shared Bath features crisp linens (for something similar, see 10 Easy Pieces: Striped Sheets) and is $155 a night.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A vintage writing table painted a soft blue.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A ticking stripe shower curtain.

    The Pacific Penthouse

    Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A seating group is unified with white slipcovers.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A suite has its own dining area.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A white canvas director's chair.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: The bedroom in the Pacific penthouse.

    The Simpson Suite

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: Double doors divide bedroom and living room.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A vintage dresser with a framed photo by Luchford.

      The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: A view into the bedroom of the Simpson suite.

    Abbot Kinney Suite

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: The 700-square-foot suite includes a queen bed, a kitchenette, and a large deck with ocean views.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: The queen bedroom in the Abbot Kinney Suite.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: The dining area.

    The Rose Hotel Venice Beach | Remodelista

    Above: The Abbot Kinney Suite deck.

    The Rose is a stone's throw from the beach. Go to The Rose Hotel for booking information.

    For all our LA haunts, go to our City Guide, and have a look at A Whitewashed Restaurant in Venice Beach and a Pedal-Powered Ice Cream Parlor. On Gardenista, visit The Greenest House in Venice, CA.

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Artist and blogger Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst has two young kids, a full-time job (as executive director of the Tioga Arts Council in Upstate New York), and countless home improvement projects in motion. "My husband and I are firm believers that renovations don't have to come with a giant price tag," she says—and she means it: her dining room pendant light might look like a Tom Dixon, but it's actually a $20 "giant and copper-ish" thrift-store score (and the price included some Breyer horses for her daughter).

    Not long ago, we presented the 1970s kitchen that Abbey and her husband, Phil, tackled themselves in their Owego, New York, farmhouse: see The DIY Kitchen Overhaul for Under $500. Their remodeled dining room, which is open to the kitchen, cost even less than that—and the results are equally impressive (scroll down to take a look at the Before shots). Here's the project followed by sourcing suggestions for recreating its casual-yet-pulled-together vintage look. For rock-bottom prices, however, you'll have to join Abbey on the thrift shop/Craig's List/Salvation Army circuit. "One of the best sources I've found is surplus school or government auctions," she says. "You can search online and find one near you. We've come away with so many good things from these auctions."

    Room photographs by Abbey Hendrickson.

    Abbey Hendrickson Aesthetic Outburst Dining Room | Remodelista

    Above: The dining room is the Hendrickson family's daily gathering spot for meals and for art projects (instead of tableware, the sideboard shelves are packed with art books and its cupboards hold paper, paints, and craft supplies.) During the remodel, Abbey and Phil first sanded and stained the floor to match the kitchen's floorboards (newly revealed under a layer of vinyl). They then painted the room with Behr Ultra Pure White, "the cheapest paint we could find," but report that it's yellowed a bit in the sun. The furnishings came together over time and the art on the wall is by Abbey.

    Abbey Hendrickson Aesthetic Outburst Dining Room | Remodelista

    Above: The window seat is topped with a cushion that Abbey stitched herself—and then stuffed with three pillow inserts. She also sewed the gingham and striped pillows using yardage from Joann Fabric; the other throw pillows are from discount chain HomeGoods.

    Abbey Hendrickson Aesthetic Outburst Dining Room | Remodelista

    Above: The occasional table was dragged out of the family's barn and resuscitated with Rustoleum spray paint in Charleston Green. Similar designs, many with marble tops, are easy to find on eBay by searching Eastlake Tables; they start at about $150.

    Abbey Hendrickson Aesthetic Outburst Dining Room | Remodelista

    Above: A circle of pressed pennies from arcade machines decorate the wall. Not coincidentally, Abbey is the author of You Are Awesome: 21 Craft Projects to Make You Happy.

    Abbey Hendrickson Aesthetic Outburst Dining Room | Remodelista

    Above L and R: The pennies are applied with a glue gun (and can be easily removed). The chair came out of Abby's grandparents' garage; she painted it red before applying a coat of gold spray paint.

    Lighting and Furniture

    Tom Dixon Bronze Copper Shade pendant light Lumens | Remodelista

    Above: The Tom Dixon Bronze Copper Shade Pendant light is $735 from Lumens.

    Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair | Remodelista

    Above: The adjustable-height child's chair at the head of the table is a Geuther Family Highchair—"it's withstood seven years of abuse and is still in excellent shape," reports Abbey. The same model is hard to come by these days in the US—it's available on Amazon UK for £123.78. A similar design to consider: the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair, shown above. In addition to natural wood comes in eight colors; $249.

    Heywoodite chairs from Etsy vendor Feigning Danish | Remodelista

    Above: Two-toned Heywoodite school chairs made by Heywood Wakefield in the 1960 are used as indestructible (and stackable) dining chairs. Etsy seller Feigning Danish offers Heywoodite School Chairs in three color combinations for $65 each.

    Sawkille Penn Table | Remodelista

    Above: The Hendrickson's dining table was made by Rachael Hetzel, "a super-handy friend." Abbey reports that she often spots great farm tables on Craig's List, eBay, and at rural auctions, and we recommend looking at online site Chairish. Alternatively, an heirloom piece to consider: the Penn Table, shown here, from Sawkille Co. of Rhinebeck, NY. Made of black walnut, it has a brass seam running between the two boards that form the top, and is also available in bleached maple; inquire about pricing.

     

    Lowe's mixed maple wooden table leg | Remodelista

    Above: For DIYers, 29-inch-long Mixed Maple Classic Wood Table Legs are $14.48 each at Lowe's. To get inspired, see page 52 of the Remodelista book for a desk table built in an afternoon from readymade legs and other inexpensive materials at Lowe's. 

    Accessories

    Serena & Lily dhurrie | Remodelista

    Above: Serena & Lily's Zig Cotton Dhurrie from India is $895 for the 8-by-10-foot size.

    Canvas linen pillow with piping | Remodelista

    Above: A Linen Pillow with Piping, in River Blue (shown), Collard Green, and Vermillon Red, is on sale for $19.50, marked down from $38, at Canvas Home.

    Joanne Fabric gingham | Remodelista

    Above: For making your own pillows: Gingham Cotton Print yardage is $4.99 per yard at Joann Fabric.

    Hedgehouse throwbeds | Remodelista

    Above: For bench padding, LA's Hedge House offers Sur La Mer Mini Throwbeds in linen with down and fiber inserts; $175 each. For more examples, see our post on Hedge House.

    The Lucky Clover Trading Company storage crate | Remodelista

    Above: Abbey corrals kids' books in an old wood crate found at a local antiques store. Lucky Clover Trading Company sells Antique Gray Wooden Storage Crate for $15.50, and they're also available in Antique Brown and Natural.

    Cloud 7 dog bed in stone gray | Remodelista

    Above: For the pampered canine: German company Cloud 7's Sleepy Bed Stone Grey of organic cotton with leather handles is $220 from Petswag.

    Pressed pennies from eVenture on  eBay | Remodelista

    Above: Pressed pennies, also known as elongates, are sold by the lot on eBay and Etsy. The Tarnished Crown sells 30 Smashed Pennies for $10 on Etsy. Or make your own: You can find a penny smashing machine near you on Penny Collector.

    BEFORE

    Abbey Hendrickson dining room Before | Remodelista

    Above: Painting and staining in progress—Abbey and Phil do all of their own remodeling.

    Abbey Hendrickson dining room Before | Remodelista

     Above: The dining room as it was.

    Steal This Look is a weekly Tuesday column on Remodelista and Gardenista. Be sure to look at Abby and Phil's DIY Kitchen Remodel. And, vintage hunters, don't miss our recent Editor's Picks: 10 Favorite Sources for Bargain Furniture.

    Are dining rooms obsolete? Read Michelle Domestic Dispatch: The Death of the Dining

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Drawing on a wealth of solutions gathered on the job, London interiors stylist and writer, Sara Emslie produced Beautifully Small: Clever Ideas for Compact Spaces, a new book out at the end of the month. In the opening chapters, Emslie covers the common issues of living in tight quarters. Then she takes us on a tour of 13 projects spread across Denmark, Sweden, France, and the UK, each tiny and replete with takeaway. “To create a successful small space requires hardworking design and styling ideas, not to mention strict spatial discipline,” she says. “It all comes down to squeezing space out of even the most compact interior through the combination of creative problem solving, clever remodeling, and design interventions.” Join us for a first look at the book: a tour of Emslie’s own 640-square-foot Victorian in London's Richmond neighborhood.

    Photography by Rachel Whiting

    Beautifully Small by Sara Emslie, Photos by Rachel Whiting | Remodeslista

    Above: Emslie's house is a classic 19th-century British "two-up, two-down" (two rooms on two floors). It was originally designed as workers' housing and each of its four rooms is no larger than 11.5 feet by 11.5 feet. In the dining room, Emslie uses Metal Bistro Chairs to work with the tight scale (and fold up when not in use). Staples that are overspill from her small kitchen are cleverly used as display items on the mantel. 

    Beautifully Small by Sara Emslie, Photos by Rachel Whiting | Remodeslista

    Above: Each of the rooms still has its original cast-iron fireplace. Emslie uses the chimney alcoves for open shelving.

    Beautifully Small by Sara Emslie, Photos by Rachel Whiting | Remodeslista

    Above: A small extension with an efficient U-Shaped Kitchen was added to the back of the house. 

    Sara Emslie's House in Beautifully Small, Photos by Rachel Whiting | Remodelista

    Above: The dining and living rooms are separated by the staircase. Visually, Emslie keeps the space flowing by painting it all the same white. Tongue-and-groove paneling conceals under-the-stair storage cabinets.

    Sara Emslie's House in Beautifully Small, Photos by Rachel Whiting, Under bed basket storage in guest room | Remodelista

    Above: Emslie fitted out all of the windows in the house with wooden shutters in "a classic, understated Shaker style that marries form and function," she says. The guest room has a dual purpose as a home office. Woven rush baskets tucked under the bed provide attractive storage. 

    Beautifully Small by Sara Emslie, Photos by Rachel Whiting | Remodeslista

    Above: Beautifully Small by Sara Emslie, photographed by Rachel Whiting, will be out from UK publisher Ryland Peters & Small at the end of the month; $29.95. The book is available in the UK through Amazon

    Furnishing your small space and want to incorporate some of Emslie's ideas? See 10 Easy Pieces: Desks for Small Spaces and Sleep and Stow: Bed Frames with Built-In Storage

    And on Gardenista, Small-Space DIY: Black Wire Hanging Vase brings greenery into even the tightest interior.

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    We're avid followers of LA design company Scout Regalia and have had our eyes on their SR Bookcase for some time. And so we couldn't help but notice that the product developers at Ikea seem to be fans as well. Take a look at the similarities between the SR and Ikea's Ivar shelving system. 

    High

    SR Bookcase by Scout Regalia I Remodelista  

    Above: The SR Bookcase by Scout Regalia is made of domestic hardwood and is handcrafted in LA. Made to order, the design is available as a two- or three-bay system, each with five large shelves, cabinets containing two adjustable shelves, and adjustable stainless-steel levelers on the legs. The bookcase is 92 inches tall, 61 or 90 inches wide, and 15 inches deep. 

    Scout Regalia SR Bookcase 2 Bay I Remodelista

    Above: Each SR Bookcase is hand-finished with low-gloss, nontoxic wood sealers and paints, and is available in 210 paint colors. Pricing starts at $3,500 from Scout Regalia. Photograph via 1st Dibs

    Low

    Ivar Sections Shelves Cabinet I Remodelista  

    Above: Made of solid pine, the Ivar Storage Furniture System by Ikea offers a wide range of shelving, drawer, and cabinet options, and can easily be painted or stained. The Ivar 2 Sections Shelves and Cabinet, shown here, is 70.5 inches tall, 68.5 inches wide, and 11.75 inches deep; $237 from Ikea. 

    See more of Scout Regalia's designs in our Shop and have a look at a Ranger-Station-Inspired Slope-Side Bar in Aspen that they designed.

    Bargain hunting? Here are more High/Low Design posts to browse. And if you're in need of storage inspiration, be sure to check out the Remodelista Photo Gallery. Gardenista has you covered when it comes to Garage Storage Units

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Renovating your home can be a time-consuming and expensive process (I should know; I've been slowly working on my 1880s house outside Boston for almost two years now).

    But you'd be surprised by how easy it is to refresh a room with just a few simple tweaks. I was reminded of this fact a few weeks ago when I volunteered to help a friend get her house ready for a party. Ostensibly, I was on hand to make the flower arrangements, but I couldn't resist the urge to move a few things here and there. Before I knew it, we had completely transformed the look of the place, all within a couple of hours and without buying anything new. 

    None of the things I did would qualify as ground-breaking design, but what a difference it made. Sometimes even the simplest design tenets bear repeating.

    1. Rehang your art.

    Harbor Cottage Maine by Justine Hand

    Above: At Harbor Cottage in Maine, a silkscreen print by British artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham hovers above the objects on the cabinet so that it feels like part of a larger composition. Photo by Justine Hand.

    One of the most common design mistakes I see is art that is hung too high. Rule number one with art, it should "relate" to the object(s) around it. I subscribe to the idea that, generally, pictures should be at eye level; you should never have to look up to view art (unless it's hung over a tall object). My aunt Sheila, an architect, uses her windows as a guide, hanging art so the middle of the pictures hangs in line with or only slightly above the center of the windows.

    Since eye levels and window heights vary, another good principle is that art should be viewed as part of a larger composition. For example: If you are hanging a single piece over a desk, it should be hover over the desk, creating a dialogue between the two pieces. If you are positioning a piece over the couch and next to a tall floor lamp, it should rest in relation to both so that it balances out the composition of the three objects.

    Passage-Charles-Dallery-Paris-loft-by-Regis-Larroque-design-6-Remodelista

    Above: A massed collection of 19th-century studio wedding portraits in this Paris loft makes for a witty and dramatic accent. (And no frames or nails required.)

    Another picture principle: Have you ever noticed that the catchiest tunes have recognizable patterns along with periods of rest and syncopation? The same maxim applies to good design. So instead of hanging a single work of art on each wall, compose a dramatic crescendo by grouping several pieces on one wall, while at the same time creating periods of rest by leaving other walls blank.

    2. Give your furniture room to breathe.

    700_lost-found-loft-space

    Above: Even in a huge space like this hotel loft by Lost and Found, you can create an intimate grouping by positioning seating and side tables close together.

    As with pictures, with furniture the goal is to craft harmonious relationships within a space. Create more of a conscious grouping by pulling furniture away from walls and out of corners. You will notice a greater sense of intimacy within the space, as well as an airier quality.

    3. Apply circular thinking.

    John Derian living room

    Above: An intimate grouping in this living room by designer John Derian has a dynamic circular flow.

    As a former dancer, I believe that all movement, or at least the energy created by motion, occurs within a series of circles, not as straight lines (kind of like the image of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man). The same can be said with design. When arranging your furniture, you can create a similar circular dynamic, not by literally placing pieces in a real orb, but by imagining that each is held in place by a kind a centrifugal force. (Note that this concept also works on the horizontal plane. Can you see how the objects in the picture below create a cyclical effect?)

    4. Create visual transitions.

    michael-verheyden-sling-chair-remodelista

    Above: In Michael Verheyden's apartment in Belgium, "transitional" pieces create a virtual cascade of objects, easing the eye from ceiling to floor.

    Anyone with small children knows how hard transitions can be. That's why teachers today always give five-minute warnings. 

    Harmonious design also involves what I call "transitional" pieces, items that ease the eye's transition from one level to the next. A spindle-back chair adjacent to a tall armoire or even a pile of books placed beside the bed can serve as transitional objects. At my friend's house, for example, I created a transitional object by adding a smaller basket next to a chair to create a sense of flow.

    5. Revisit your attic.

    father-rabbit-limited-steel-bed-frame-remodelista

    Above: That little set of drawers next to a bed by Father Rabbit Limited looks like something from my Great Aunt Dot's attic. Normally, I might have dismissed such a piece, but here it is a witty accent that breaks up the otherwise spare, contemporary feel of the room.

    You never want your home to look too new or too generic. Unearth old items—battered pieces, an old chair, your grandmother's vase, even an empty frame with a rich patina—and use them to add character to your surroundings. You can even pick up something off the street, as long as it adds a contrarian element to your home. (On the flip side, if your home is all antiques, consider introducing something modern.)

    6. Add greens.

    green privet berries

    Above: Before they turn aubergine in the late fall, green privet berries make for a jolly bedside table arrangement. 

    Every room benefits from a fresh garden arrangement, but it doesn't have to be flowers. I am just as likely to liven up a place with a sweeping branch or aromatic bunch of bay leaves. In the winter, evergreens and rhododendrons provide an unexpected bit of greenery. I don't even dismiss the weeds. Grasses add texture and a breezy aspect.

    7. Add white accents.

    ohn-cullen-photo-black-tray-remodelista

    Above: A rustic still life by Nikole Herriott of Herriott Grace employs white objects to evoke a dramatic chiaroscuro effect. Photograph by John Cullen.

    If you're a regular Remodelista reader, chances are good that you already embrace white. But I'm amazed at how many other people I meet are phobic (maybe they think white is too cold or impersonal). I find it clean and soothing. Even just a touch goes a long way.

    For my friends who seem shy about white, I've often gone through linen drawers in search of a crisp napkin that could enliven a dull dresser. I've used sun-bleached shells and white beach stones and even a roll of paper across the dining table as a means of introducing some bright, refreshing white.

    8. Texturize.

    living-1

    Above: Though his Milwaukee flat is long on neutrals, British designer Richard Ostell knows how to create an inviting space, employing luxurious textures like linen, velvet, and cashmere to engage not only the eyes but also the sense of touch.

    Back in 1997, Ilse Crawford's book The Sensual Home was a real eye-opener for me. Her mantra? Texture, even more than color, is key to creating a space that is warm and engaging. And it's pretty easy to find texture already lurking in your home. You just need to dig it out. Liberate the cutting board from under the cabinet and rest it in plain sight on the counter. In your entryway, place a neat pile of your favorite fuzzy scarves on a chair next to a walking stick you found in the woods. Leave your leather riding boots out. Or your Wellies. Gather stones. In my friend's house, I dug out an old basket (remember that "transitional object"?) and filled it with her knitting.

    9. Don't ignore the elephant in the room; tame it.

    Hitoshi Uchida via The Selby Canvas Covered Couth | Remodelista

    Above: A painter's drop cloth covers the couch in Hitoshi Uchida's Tokyo home; photograph via The Selby. For more ideas, see 5 Quick Fixes: Canvas Drop Cloths as Decor.

    Most of us are living with pieces we don't love because we simply don't have the money or inclination to replace them. My friend was grinning and bearing a worn brown sectional behemoth because she didn't want to spend the money to get a new couch "that was just going to get ruined by the kids and the dog." Fair enough. Luckily, a chunky white throw tossed over the back and some white pillows did a lot to break up the monotony of the piece. An ugly dresser can usually be resurrected with paint. You can toss a sheet or a painter's drop cloth over virtually any sofa, chair, or table (I even swathed a bad brass pendant in my dining room in a gossamer bed skirt). Also consider Swedish company Bemz, which has made a business of Ikea hacking. Their line of linen slipcovers in sophisticated hues take many of this megastore's favorites from generic to genius. 

    10. Regroup.

    700_jennifer-hannotte-kitchen-single-image

    Above: Organization does not mean putting things behind closed doors. By grouping objects of like color, Toronto-based stylist Jennifer Hannotte keeps this utilitarian kitchen shelf looking both clean and functional.

    Introduce balance and harmony into your home by taking a moment to organize yourself and your things. Straighten the books on the shelf. Tuck odds and ends away in an artful box. Like you did with your art, you can group like things for visual impact. And consider those useful items that are pretty enough to be displayed in the open.

    11. Don't forget to break the rules and use your imagination.

    700_poetryworld-house-antique-sofa

    Above: In this photograph by Hotze Eisma, a surprising display of lamp shades creates an instant art installation.

    Remember how I mentioned syncopation? Just as in music, the best design is never too predictable, so feel free to break the rules above and surprise people. Hang one piece of art way out in left field. Go monochromatic. Get crazy. But when you do, make sure that you are "intentional" about how and when you do it. Then you'll look like a genius.

    N.B. Want more easy, low-cost home improvements? Try a burlap wall in A Mundane Material as Sophistocated Wall Covering, or DIY Rope as Curtain Rod, or Emma Cassi's DIY Wallpaper Headboard.

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    The porcelain light socket, once the hallmark of the New York City tenement apartment, has come to represent the essence of timeless and affordable utility design. Its shape is taken directly from two sources: the neck of an oil lamp (the kind that uses a key to control the flame) and the base of a candleholder. This "keyless lampholder" was created in 1910 to accommodate the Edison lightbulb, which was gaining popularity in the home. Manufactured by Russian immigrant Isidor Leviton in his factory on the Bowery, on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the porcelain socket soon marched uptown and into public buildings, offices, and skyscrapers. Today, this industrial classic is still made by the same company in New York. In recent years, as architects and designers have used the light prominently on ceilings and walls in every sort of room, other notable versions have cropped up, but they all stay true to the original.

    Five to Buy

    Above: The undisputed king of classic porcelain light sockets is the Leviton Keyless Porcelain Lampholder; $2.99, at Ace Hardware.

    Above: The traditionally white ceramic socket has been reinterpreted by LA design group Commune; shown above in gray.

    Above: The Commune Light Socket is $45 and is available in green and gray (shown above), as well as silver, rust, blackened bronze, light green, and black. 

    Defiance Sconce Schoolhouse Electric | Remodelista

    Above: The Defiance Surface-Mount Fixture from Schoolhouse Electric is available with a white or black porcelain canopy cover and a black or nickel socket finish; $99.

    Above: Designed and developed by Zangra in Belgium, the Pure Porcelain Lampholder is available in black or white; €40.

    Above: The Swiss answer to the economical bare bulb ceiling light dates to the 1930s and is still in production today. Manufactum of Germany offers the Duroplast Ceiling Fitting in white or black for €22.50.

    Object Lessons columnist Megan Wilson is the owner of Ancient Industries and curator of the Remodelista 100, a collection of essential everyday objects presented in the Remodelista book. Watch for her column every Tuesday, and have a look at her past lessons on iconic designs, including Noguchi's Iconic Rice Paper Lights and the Hurricane Lantern. We featured her Connecticut shop in our post Purveyor of the Practical and the Timeless.

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    Dining chairs can add up quickly, and investing in a full set can be a considerable expense (as much as a sofa, at least). For those with a tight budget but high standards, here are 10 of our favorite reasonably priced dining chairs—all made of wood and ringing in at under $200.

    Thonet Era Bentwood Chair | Remodelista

    Above: Michael Thonet's bentwood Era Chair, designed in 1859, is priced at $165 to $189, depending on color. The chair is currently on sale for $140.25 to $160.65 at Design Within Reach.

    Design Within Reach Salt Chair in Gray | Remodelista

    Above: Design Within Reach's own Salt Chair continues to win a spot on our list (budget or not). The Shaker-style chair is available in black, gray (shown), red, and white for $109 to $129 (on sale for $92.65 to $109.65)

    Ikea Stockholm Chair in Walnut Veneer | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's Stockholm Chair, like the rest of their Stockholm collection, was designed by Ola Wihlborg from beech and walnut veneer with a dark stain; $139 each.

    Serena & Lily Tucker Chair in White | Remodelista

    Above: Like the Salt Chair above, Serena & Lily's Tucker Chair is modeled after Shaker furniture but finished in a high gloss paint. Shown here in white (other colors are available), the chair is $188.

    CB2 Slide Grey Wood Chair | Remodelista

    Above: CB2's Gray Slide Wood Chair was designed by carpenter Jason Lewis from solid beech and bentwood birch veneer with a matte gray stain; $129 each.

    Ikea Idolf Chair in White | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's café-style wood veneer Idolf Chair is affordably priced at $59.

    Crate & Barrel Village Grigio Side Chair and Natural Cushion | Remodelista

    Above: The Village Grigio Side Chair is hand-stained and distressed in gray for rustic appeal; $199 at Crate & Barrel.

    Kyoto Chair from Design Within Reach | Remodelista

    Above: Another in-house Design Within Reach design is the Kyoto Chair with an all-wood construction and coffee colored stain; $150 each (currently on sale for $127.50).

     

    Willa Mint Side Chair from Crate & Barrel | Remodelista

    Above: Designer Mark Daniel created the Willa Side Chair for Crate & Barrel in a variety of colors, including mint, shown here; $149 each. 

    Ikea Ivar Wood Chair | Remodelista

    Above: It doesn't get more affordable than Ikea's Ivar Chair, made from unfinished solid pine wood that can be treated with a stain, lacquer, or paint; $25 each. 

    A handful of the chairs featured here are modeled after the Windsor; for more see our post 10 Easy Pieces: The Windsor Chair Revisited. Sleuthing for more budget design finds? Have a look at the following:

    10 Easy Pieces: Adjustable Task Lamps (Under $200)

    5 Favorites: Bright Metal Lights for Under $125

    10 Easy Pieces: Simple Glass Vases Under $30

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    On any given summer day, it's not usual to find Marnie Campbell stationed at Rock Harbor, in Orleans, Massachusetts, knitting away in her signature orange beach chair. Her latest handmade inspiration? A series of nautical knits made from foraged marine twine.

    A consummate hunter-gatherer and creative thinker, Marnie walks the shore of Cape Cod daily in search of new and unusual finds to incorporate into her work. (My prized Marnie-made possession is a tomato-red hot pad interwoven with thin strips of golden grass.) For the past few years, Marnie has been collecting ocean-tossed twine washed ashore by the tides. Weathered and worn by the sea, these bits of detritus from lobster traps and fishing boats develop a salty patina that renders them more pliable and pale. Marnie then transforms them into pot holders, table mats, and scrub cloths that echo the textures and hues of her coastal home.

    Photography by Justine Hand for Remodelista.

    Marnie's marine twin knits, beching combing

    Above: Last weekend, my daughter, Solvi, and I tagged along on one of Marnie's foraging expeditions in search of any flexible fibers—natural or man-made—that might find new life in her creations. This is Marnie heading out.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, a find

    Above: A find! The best place to search for twine is at the high-tide mark, where it becomes entangled in seaweed.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, unraveling the twine

    Above: Twine is also used to mark off nesting bird sites. Over the winter, when the birds have migrated, strong winds and high tides often sweep these lines away. Here, keeping a respectable distance from the protected area, Solvi and Marnie harvest twine from previous years.

    Salty Knits, chartreuse twine

    Above: A rare chartreuse find. Can't wait to see what Marnie does with it.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, loose twine

    Above: After Marnie has harvested her twine, she untangles and sorts it according to color. She likes the idea of the twine being salty, so she washes only the white string or very dirty lines by soaking them in a mild solution of soap and water.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand. wrapping twine

    Above: Solvi helps wind the untangled twine into a neat coil.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, coiled twine

    Above: Cleaned and sorted shipwrecked twine.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, twine hot pad

    Above: Marnie's discoveries differ greatly in terms of thickness and pliability—the more time in the water, the softer the twine. So Marnie has to experiment to find the right knitting needles for each batch. She says she usually ends up using something between size 7 and 11 needles.

    each twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, tea

    Above: Evoking the high-tide line, this hot pad was fashioned from natural cotton rope (also found on the beach) interwoven with a fine stripe of man-made green twine, as well as brown seaweed that Marnie soaked in water to make it flexible enough to knit. 

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, basket and finished hot pads

    Above: Marnie's worktable displays various pot holders and scrubs in, from top to bottom, a deep seaweed shade, natural cotton, mariner's green, sea foam green, and natural jute.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, green samples

    Above: Marnie's salty knits can be used as trivets, potholders, table mats, or scrubs. See below for ordering information. 

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, green and white

    Above: Fittingly, Marnie uses what's called a lobster pot knot to connect two different twines. Since her pieces embrace the rustic nature of Cape Cod, she doesn't mind extra bumps or even a few stray lines. 

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, green mats

    Above: Mats in mariner's green hang by the beach.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand, blue and green

    Above: Each of Marnie's marine-twine knits is one of a kind. This example includes rare blue rope.

    beach twine knits by Marnie Campbell, photo by Justine Hand some knits at beach

    Above: Marnie works on a tangle near some of her creations. If you would like her to make one for you, email her at marnietaylorcampbell@gmail.com. Prices vary depending on the size of the piece and weight of the twine; generally $20 to $50 for smaller pieces, and $100 and up for larger ones.

    Want more nautical DIYs? Turn tumbled rocks into a Beach Stone Gate Clasp and sun-bleached shells into a Razor Clam Pendant Lamp. And go to Nautical Style for year-round ideas, including Oars as DecorOutdoor Nautical Bulkhead Lighting, and Marine Canvas Water Buckets as Bathroom Storage

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    My kitchen in Brooklyn, New York, is actually an entryway. When the apartment was remodeled, the kitchen was obviously an afterthought; it's smashed between the bathroom and the front door. Forget counter space! We don't have any. What we do have with is 15 or so inches of backsplash height to work and a tight budget. That's where Ikea's Grundtal Series comes in handy.

    Back in 2008, we wrote about Open Rail Storage Systems on Remodelista, and the budget system that continues to endure six years later is the Grundtal Series, which comes in a classic brushed stainless steel finish and includes everything from the rail-and-S-hook system to a hanging dish drainer and magnetic knife rack. Given its price (the most expensive component is $26.99), it is remarkably appealing. Here we've rounded up 10 kitchens that use the Grundtal series in creative ways; it looks so good, you wouldn't guess it came from a big-box store.

    Ikea Grundtal System in a Paris Kitchen via Room of Creativity | Remodelista

    Above: Containers and S hooks hang from a single rail in a Paris kitchen via Room of Creativity.

    Stainless Steel Kitchen from Modette.se | Remodelista

    Above: An all-stainless-steel kitchen is equipped with multiple rails, shelves, a magnetic knife rack, and hanging containers—all from Ikea. Photograph from Swedish blog Modette.

    Myles Henry Liquor Bar | Remodelista

    Above: DJ and design blogger Myles Henry Tipley of Brooklyn set up his home bar using a Grundtal wall shelf and S hooks; see more at Steal This Look: Myles Henry Liquor Bar.

    Ikea Grundtal Rack at Table on Ten, Photograph by Matthew Williams | Remodelista

    Above: A full Grundtal setup at Table on Ten cafe consists of wall shelves, dish drainers, and hanging containers. Photograph by Matthew Williams from Old Is New: Table on Ten in Upstate New York.

    Scandinavian Kitchen from Stadshem | Remodelista

    Above: A single 31.5-inch rail is mounted onto the backsplash in a Swedish kitchen from Stadshem. (Also shown: the Ankarsrum Swedish food processor.)

    Ikea Grundtal System from A Beach Cottage blog | Remodelista

    Above: Australian blogger Sarah of A Beach Cottage rehabilitated her entire kitchen with the Ikea Grundtal system. Says Sarah: "If you like the whole Scandinavian gig—wood, modern touches—and your budget is teeny-tiny, Ikea is the answer."

    Rustic Australian Kitchen Photographed by Sharyn Cairns via Home Life | Remodelista

    Above: Two Grundtal rails are mounted under-shelf and a single wall shelf sits above the oven range at a rustic cottage in Australia. Photograph by Sharyn Cairns via Home Life.

    A Modern Cottage from SF Girl by Bay | Remodelista

    Above: In the kitchen of SF Girl by Bay's Victoria Smith, Victoria used Grundtal wall shelves and S hooks as a makeshift hanging pot rack. She also used two rails above the kitchen sink for additional storage.

    Anzu New York Bamboo Sieve Basket | Remodelista

    Above: Rails and S hooks are stocked with Japanese brushes, sieves, and linens. Styled by Remodelista Market alum Anzu New York.

    Grundtal in a Swedish Kitchen from Hus & Hem | Remodelista

    Above: The Grundtal rail hanging in a Swedish kitchen via Hus & Hem.

    Annaleenas Hem Stainless Steel and Concrete Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Swedish design blogger Annaleena Karlsson of Annaleenas Hem uses a trio of rails across her concrete and stainless steel kitchen. To view the rest of her kitchen, see House Call: Annaleena's Swedish Kitchen.

    For more Ikea-related stories, explore our past posts:

    Domestic Dispatches: What I Love (and Hate) About Ikea

    Ikea Upgrade: The Semi-Handmade Kitchen Remodel

    Superfront: An Instant Upgrade for Ikea Cabinets

    Steal This Look: Guest Cottage Kitchenette by Ikea

    Bemz: Instant Ikea Upgrade

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    New York City public relations consultant Danielle Arceneaux lived for several years with a soulless, postage-stamp-size kitchen that didn't jibe with the rest of her Park Slope apartment's 1920s detailing. She owned the place, but she had little to invest in a remodel. And so, with no experience whatsoever, she courageously took on the kitchen overhaul herself. It was something like deciding to cut your own hair: "I figured if I really messed it up, I could hire someone to do it properly," she says. Join us for her tale of YouTube how-to videos, borrowed tools, weekend industry, and the power of cosmetic changes. As Danielle reports: "I didn't replace any appliances or countertops, or move electrical wires or plumbing. It was just an aesthetic facelift." 

    Photography by Manuel Rodriguez via One Kings Lane.

    After

    Danielle Arceneaux DIY kitchen remodel for under $500 | Remodelista

    Above: Having worked on home design campaigns for One Kings Lane and Target, Danielle knew what she liked—and what she lacked: "I adore classic British design, especially the cabinetry by UK company Plain English." And so, when she noticed some pre-made beadboard paneling being used as a photo backdrop, she found a key detail: a new cover for her bland brown kitchen island: "I realized it would give my kitchen the charm it was lacking." Danielle cut the paneling to size (using a friend's handheld jigsaw) and applied a Loctite adhesive and small wood nails to hold it in place.

    One change led to many more: Danielle sanded, primed, and painted her wood cabinets; added new hardware; and affixed a new tiled backsplash to her existing one. What do you think?

    Danielle Arceneaux DIY kitchen remodel for under $500 | Remodelista

    Above: To install her subway tiles, Danielle borrowed a Dremel diamond tile cutter, among other tools, from a handy friend: "I tiled over the existing stone backsplash using pre-mixed mastic and pre-mixed gray grout—and tile spacers, of course. I watched a lot of online instructional videos and just went for it."

     Danielle Arceneaux DIY kitchen remodel for less than $500 | Remodelista

    Above: With her kitchen nearly done, the one thing missing was storage: "I didn't want the hassle and expense of replacing the upper cabinets, but I'm an avid baker and I needed more places to put things." Impressed by the work Danielle had done, One Kings Lane special projects editor, Megan Pflug, a colleague at the time, helped her come up with a simple solution: over-the-cupboard shelves built from plywood, and wine storage racks, all painted the same Benjamin Moore Dove White as the walls. By displaying only white and neutral shades on her new shelves, Danielle keeps the open setup looking cohesive.

    Danielle Arceneaux DIY kitchen remodel for less than $500 | Remodelista

    Above: Cutting boards that Danielle uses as serving trays hang as wall decoration. Final tally for the makeover materials (and the Uber rides to transport the goods and borrowed tools) came to just under $500.

    Here's Danielle's materials list.

    1 Ultra White Beadboard Wall Panel, four by eight feet, from Lowe's; $31.97

    1 gallon Benjamin Moore Advance Alkyd Paint (cleanable with soap and water) in White Dove; $72

    13 Satin Nickel Round Cabinet Knobs from Lowe's; $2.97 each

    2 Plywood panels cut to fit at Lowe's; $25

    3 Modular wine storage racks; $39.99 (source has been forgotten, but similar racks can be found at WineRackTowers)

    Before 

    Danielle Arceneaux kitchen Before photo | Remodelista

    Above: A glimpse of Danielle's kitchen pre-makeover. The appliances (all from LG), granite counters, and wood floor were left as is—"but they look so much better thanks to all the changes," says Danielle. As a finishing touch, Pflug came up with a new look for the hanging track lights shown here: She replaced the glass pendants with paper shades that she appliquéd with turkey feathers (see top photo). Pflug posted on One Kings Lane about the kitchen's ceiling storage and detailed her feather DIY on Design Sponge.

    "It really was so simple," Danielle says. "There were a few tears along the way, and at one point I realized I looked like a character in a Laverne & Shirley episode, but mainly it just took a lot of elbow grease."

    For more DIY inspiration—and use of ready-made beadboard—read about Abbey Hendrickson's DIY Kitchen Overhaul for Under $500 and Emily Wright's DIY Beadboard Ceilings. And see Sarah Sherman Samuels' Ikea Upgrade: The Semi-Handmade Kitchen Remodel. 

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    Linoleum has an undeserved bad rep. Mistakenly lumped in with vinyl, it's seen as cheap and environmentally disastrous. But, in fact, linoleum is an altogether different material—one that's durable, green (it's biodegradable), and affordable. Is it time to give linoleum a chance? We think so and here's why: 

    Green Linoleum Floor, Remodelista

    Above: A kitchen in Denmark with a hard-wearing Marmoleum floor. Photograph by Pernille Kaalund for Bolig Magasinet. (Like the color? See more Kitchen Floors Gone Green.)

    What is Linoleum?

    The name "linoleum" is derived from the Latin Linum (flax) and Oleum (oil), and gives a clue to its makeup: Linoleum is a made of natural, renewable ingredients, including linseed oil, wood flour, cork dust, tree resins, jute, ground limestone, and natural pigments. 

    Forbo Marmoleum Gray Floor, Remodelista

    Above: A gray linoleum floor offers the look of concrete with a softer feel underfoot. Photograph via vtwonen.

    What's the difference between linoleum, Marmoleum, and vinyl flooring?

    The only thing that linoleum and vinyl flooring have in common is affordability and, to some extent, appearance. Vinyl is a synthetic material made from non-renewable, petroleum-based materials that release VOCs, melt under high heat, and have color and patterns that are applied to the surface only. Linoleum, on the other hand, releases no VOCs (only a linseed oil scent when first installed), is long lasting (estimated lifespan, 30-40 years), and its color runs throughout. To give vinyl some credit, it is highly waterproof, whereas linoleum is porous and requires a sealant to match vinyl's water repellence. 

    Marmoleum is to linoleum as Levi's is to blue jeans; Marmoleum is a brand of linoleum made by Forbo. It's the longstanding market leader in linoleum flooring. Armstrong is another leading brand of linoleum. 

    Min Day Farmhouse Orange Linoleum Floor, Remodelista

    Above: Architect E.B. Min of San Francisco firm Min|Day, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, installed an orange linoleum floor in the mudroom and office of a Sonoma ranch house. "Linoleum is a utilitarian, cost-effective material, and we knew it would be durable," Min says. "Linoleum gave us an opportunity to think about the floor differently— a solid color gives the floor a monolithic feel." For more, see The Architect Is In: A Ranch-Turned-Farmhouse in Sonoma County. Photograph by Bruce Damante.

    What colors does linoleum come in? 

    This is not the linoleum of the past. The color palette now extends far beyond school-cafeteria drab. In addition to a rainbow of solid and multi-colored options, offerings include marbled, stone-look, flecked, and wood-grain patterns.

    Linoleum's natural finish is a grainy matte. It can, however, be buffed to a smooth honed surface, or polished to a shine. 

    Forbo Marmoleum Flooring, Remodelista

    Above: Two of the 100-plus colors of Forbo Marmoleum include the wood-grain-like Welsh moor (L) and yellow moss (R). 

    Sinclair Till Zig Zag Linoleum, Remodelista

    Above: Brown-and-white marbled zig-zag linoleum from Sinclair Till.

    Piet Boon Marmoleum Color, Remodelista

    Above: Forbo offers a subdued palette of 12 colors chosen by Dutch architect Piet Boon. The Piet Boon Marmoleum Selections include the blue-hued Piet Boon 12

    Piet Boon Marmoleum Color, Remodelista  

    Above: Another Piet Boon Marmoleum color (Piet Boon 04) has a stone-like look.

    Does linoleum flooring need to be sealed?

    Because linoleum is a porous material, it needs to be sealed before installation. The product is evolving, however, and most linoleum now comes with a non-toxic sealer that is applied during the manufacturing process. When sealed, it is in impenetrable and resistant to water damage, making it a good choice for kitchens, bathrooms, entries, and laundry rooms. Some linoleum floors should be resealed annually, while those with factory sealants often have long warranties (Forbo's Marmoleum Click Classic, for instance, comes with a 25-year warranty).

    What about cleaning and maintenance?

    Naturally antistatic and antibacterial, linoleum is easy to clean. A duster or vacuum is recommended for debris, while a damp mop with a very mild cleanser is suggested for periodic cleaning. Harsh chemical compounds are to be avoided.

    Russell Groves' Hamptons kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: In their Hamptons house, New York architects Russell Groves and Neal Beckstedt, members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, selected seamless linoleum for the kitchen floor. As The New York Times put it, "the neighbors may be appalled, but Mr. Beckstedt is a big fan of the affordable, much-maligned flooring. Linoleum is 'very, very chic,' he said. 'It’s like wall-to-wall carpeting, except it’s a hard surface and you can scrub it.'" Photograph by Eric Striffler for The New York Times. 

    How is linoleum flooring installed?

    Linoleum is available as tiles and sheets, each with its own requirements.

    Modular Tiles and planks: Easy to lay out and install, tiles and planks (akin to strips of wood flooring) can be fixed with an adhesive to the subfloor. Some versions are available in a click-together, tongue-and-groove format that can be quickly installed on top of any flat floor without adhesives. 

    Sheets: Sheet linoleum is more complex in terms of installation: it requires cutting, fitting, and an adhesive "glue-down" to apply it to a flat sub-floor— work that's typically done by a professional. 

    How much does linoleum flooring cost?

    While slightly more costly than vinyl, linoleum is a bargain compared to wood, ceramic tile, and natural stone. A good ballpark estimate is $3-$5 per square foot installed. By comparison, hardwood flooring costs an average of $8-$15 per square foot.

    Simon Brown Marmoleum Zig Zag Kitchen Floor, Remodelista

    Above: UK designer Mark Smith used gray-and-white zigzag marbled linoleum flooring from London company Sinclair Till in his own kitchen. Photograph by Simon Brown for UK House and Garden.

    Linoleum Flooring Recap

    Pros:

    • Produced from renewable and recycled natural ingredients
    • Does not emit toxins or use toxins in the manufacturing or disposal process
    • Recyclable and biodegradable
    • Affordable
    • Flexible, won't crack
    • Soft underfoot: has some spring and give
    • Easy to clean

    Cons:

    • Still has a bad reputation as drab 
    • Conjures up unnatural feeling of vinyl
    • Porous: often requires sealing

    SF Kitchen Marmoleum Floor, Remodelista

    Above: Marmoleum floors installed in an San Francisco kitchen remodel offer the look of dark stone at a fraction of the cost. Photograph via the kitchn.

    Considering flooring? See the following Remodeling 101 Posts:

    And Christine explores warmth underfoot in Remodeling 101: Five Things to Know About Radiant Floor Heating.  

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    Our friend Timothy Dahl of online design magazine Charles & Hudson is a DIY demon. One of his greatest triumphs was the transformation of a dingy utility room into a dazzling white laundry space, finished just in time for the arrival of he and his wife's first child. Read on to hear how Dahl pulled it together and learn how to create a similar look with the following elements (and a little elbow grease).

    Valspar + Asthma/Allergy Friendly Paint

    Remodelista: How did you tackle the painting?

    Timothy Dahl: We decided to do the whole room in white. For the walls and the ceiling, we went Valspar +, a low-VOC, asthma and allergy friendly paint that sadly seems to have been since discontinued. For the floors, we used Valspar's Floor and Porch Enamel Paint, which is also low VOC and low odor.

    If you're curious about paint content, read our Remodeling 101: All You Need to Know About VOCs in Paint.

    Expedit Bookcase

    Above: The couple kept the utility room's original deep sink, which they scrubbed clean and used to bathe their son.

    RM: Storage solution?

    TD: We made a quick trip to Ikea, grabbed their Expedit Shelving Unit ($99) in white, and laid it down on its side. We already have this bookcase in brown and use it in our son's nursery; for an Ikea product, its very solid.

    Above: The son's towel hangs from an antler hook on the wall.

    Whirlpool Duet Washer

    Above: Dahl replaced the original washer/dryer with a more energy-efficient one, opting for the Whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer.

    RM: Appliance advice?

    TD: I needed to switch the door on the dryer unit to swing in the same direction as the washer door. I found some basic directions online, and it took me about 20 minutes and a few simple tools to switch the door.

    Valspar Chalkboard Paint

    RM: Stag's head in the laundry?

    TD: We have no other art or decoration in the laundry room, so a little taxidermy adds a bit of quirkiness to the space. We also made our own chalkboard using Valspar Chalkboard Paint and a picture frame from Target. We needed a simple message board that we could attach to the side of the dryer, and this worked perfectly."

    To see images of the project before the overhaul, visit Charles & Hudson.

    For more ideas, see our 10 Easy Pieces posts: Clever Laundry Rooms, Space-Saving Edition and Laundry Hampers. And read another Rehab Diary: Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen Air Their Dirty Laundry.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 9, 2012.

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    Until recently, you couldn't find an American-made wooden clothespin (the last manufacturer in the country ceased production in 2002). But several small producers are now making sturdy, handsome hardwood clothespins designed to last a lifetime. Patented in 1853 by David M. Smith, an inventor from Springfield, Vermont, the spring-hinged wooden clothespin was a staple of American clotheslines until December 2002, when the Penley Corporation in Maine stopped making them. In response, Greg and Julie Baka, the owners of Best Drying Rack, launched a Clothespin Challenge, inviting craftspeople to make a sturdy clothespin they could sell on their site. Here are five to buy.

    Vermont Clothespins | Remodelista

    Above: Vermont Clothespins makes its springs and wooden arms on original spring winding and woodcutting machines that were designed and built in Vermont over 100 years ago. The wood is Vermont maple and American beech and the springs are brass-plated. A set of 16 Clothespins is $25 (for another $25, they'll throw in a Linen Clothespin Sack, available with either black or dark green trim).

    Kevin's Quality Clothespins | Remodelista

    Above: Based in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin's Quality Clothespins offers a Set of 10 Clothespins for $17.25 (the pins are made of maple with American-made springs; each pin is 3.5 inches long). Kevin's clothespins are also available at Best Drying Rack and on Etsy via The Lady and the Carpenter.

    Classic American Clothespins | Remodelista

    Above: Vermont native Herrick Kimball (author of The Deliberate Agrarian blog) recently got into the clothespin game; he sells his Classic American Clothespins, which are treated with tung oil, for $2 each. When he decided to start his business, Kimball found an American spring manufacturer to supply him with heavy-guage, tight-coil, custom stainless steel springs ("the heart of a great clothespin is a quality spring," he says). He chose ash "for its strength and excellent weathering qualities, and also because it darkens to a lovely patina." Kimball has sold 12,000 of his clothespins and is working on a new batch that will be ready for the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.

    Lee Build Hand Carved Clothespins | Remodelista

    Above: Made by LA woodworker Lee Build, a set of four Hand-Carved Clothespins is $30 from Otherwild.

    Burlap Clothespin Bag | Remodelista

    Above: Finally, there's always the vintage route: A set of 36 Vintage Clothespins is $18 from Etsy seller Anything Goes Here. Photograph by Colleen Doyle of the No Trash Project.

    Want more laundry-related finds? Our own Christine discovered the Best Drying Rack from Columbia, Missouri. I have my eye on a Canadian-Made Laundry Pulley, and Megan pointed us to the Sheila Maid Clothes AirerOur own Christine discovered the Best Drying Rack from Columbia, Missouri. I have my eye on a Canadian-Made Laundry Pulley, and Megan pointed us to the Sheila Maid Clothes Airer

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    As you might have noticed, we're obsessed with the Dot Coat Hooks from Scandinavian design house Muuto. A few days ago, while walking the aisles of my hardware store, I came across a similar-looking raw wood knob, but in a miniature version, and made a command decision to try them out in my kitchen. It's almost identical in shape, although smaller and made from white birch instead of oak. Here are the results (what do you think?).

    Photography by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista, except where noted.

    The Inspiration

    Faye Toogood London Kitchen via NY TImes | Remodelista

    Above: My inspiration? Designer Faye Toogood's London kitchen, photographed by Henry Bourne for T Magazine.

    The Project

    Mini Lookalike Muuto Dot for Izabella's Kitchen I Remodelista  

    Above: Here are the wooden knobs installed on my kitchen cabinets.

    Mini Lookalike Muuto Dot for Izabella's Kitchen I Remodelista

    Above: The Two-Inch Liberty Round Cabinet Knob of white birch is available at Home Depot for $1.68. On the right, you can see the larger Muuto Dot Coat Hook (measuring 6.75 inches in diameter); $37 at Huset, which offers the hook in several colors and sizes.

    Mini Lookalike Muuto Dot for Izabella's Kitchen I Remodelista

    Above: The wooden knobs add a raw, natural look to my otherwise neutral kitchen.

    Here's the Muuto Dot Hooks Hung in Five Unexpected Ways. Browse through our Image Gallery for more hardware inspiration. And Gardenista presents 10 Easy Pieces: Sturdy Mudroom Hooks.

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    Quality counts when it comes to choosing the most in-demand fitting in the kitchen. For durability, look for faucets that are made of brass, and don't ignore what's under the hood. It's important that the innards have ceramic parts for long-lasting, dripless functioning. 

    Some tips to keep cost in check: Select a chrome finish (it's the most affordable), skip the sprayer option (you can live without it), and consider two-handled faucets—they're often less expensive than single-handled designs. Also pay attention to warranties both for your own protection and as an indicator of manufacturer quality.

    Here, our pick of 10 faucets that combine affordability with quality.

    Alyson Fox Chicago Faucet in Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Artist Alyson Fox used a Chicago Wall-Mounted Sink Faucet in her new kitchen. Photo by Michael A. Muller for Freunde Von Freunden. See more at Steal This Look: Alyson Fox's New Kitchen.

    Chicago Faucets Wall Mounted Kitchen Faucet, Remodelista

    Above: Julie is also a fan of the Chicago Wall-Mount Kitchen Faucet; with a double-jointed spout, it's well priced, well engineered, and offers a classic lab aesthetic; $256 at Consumer's Plumbing.


    Kohler Purist Faucet, Remodelista

    Above: At the high end of our selections, the Kohler Purist Single-Hole Kitchen Faucet (K-7507-CP) is the simplest version of Kohler's top-rated Purist line. It has an eight-inch spout that rotates 360 degrees with a 9.7-inch clearance; $299.95 in a polished chrome finish via Amazon.

    Ikea Ringskar Kitchen Faucet, Remodelista

    Above: Another affordable, single-lever faucet is the Ringskar Kitchen Faucet shown in chrome-plated brass. Also available in stainless steel and white finishes, it comes with a 10-year warranty; $129 at Ikea. And the Ringskar Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Down Spout in a stainless finish is $159.

    Elements of Design Concord Cross Handle Faucet, Remodelista  

    Above: The Elements of Design Concord Two-Handle Faucet is made of solid brass with a ceramic cartridge. It has a 360-degree swivel spout and fits 8-to-16-inch-wide mounting holes; $215 at Wayfair.

    Ikea Tarnan Single Handled Kitchen Faucet, Remodelista

    Above: The Tarnan Single-Lever Kitchen Faucet has a pullout spout. It's made of chrome-plated brass with ceramic disks and comes with a 10-year warranty; $79.99 at Ikea.

    Danze Parma Commercial Style Faucet, Remodelista

    Above: An affordable and practical commercial-style faucet, the Danze Parma Single-Handle Pre-Rinse Faucet has a 22.75-inch-tall, 10-inch-long spout with a spring-action wand that returns it to its place. Made of brass with a stainless steel finish, it operates on spray and regular stream mode; $271 via Amazon. Actress turned designer Amanda Pays and the owners of the Ultimate Ikea Kitchen both selected this faucet: See pages 202 and 230 of the Remodelista book.

     

    American Standard Wall Mount Kitchen Faucet, Remodelista

    Above: The American Standard Two-Handled Wall-Mount Faucet has all-brass construction, porcelain handles, and a gooseneck swivel spout; $209 at eFaucets.

    Elements of Design Wall Mount Faucet, Remodelista  

    Above: The budget wall-mounted choice: Elements of Design Two-Handled Wall Mount Faucet with brass construction, ceramic cartridges, metal lever handles, and a seven-inch spout reach; $69 at eFaucets. 

    Ikea Edsvik Two Handled Faucet, Remodelista  

    Above: Of our picks, the lightest on the wallet is Ikea's Edsvik dual-handle faucet. Made of chrome-plated brass, it has ceramic disks and individual temperature control handles, and it comes with a 10-year warranty; $49.99.

    Above: In her newly remodeled kitchen, Izabella went for the Grohe Concetto Faucet, which has a dual-spray, pull-down faucet, solid brass body with ceramic cartridges, a single-lever handle, and a swivel spout; $270 (polished chrome) and $352 (super steel, shown here) from eFaucets.

    More ideas? Check out Remodelista Editors' Favorite Kitchen Faucets. Consider adding a bit of glam with a Brass Faucet in the Kitchen. And browse all of our Faucet Features. On Gardenista, see Julie's 5 Favorites: Gardening Sinks.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 30, 2013, as part of our Urban Kitchen issue.

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    Brooklyn urban entrepreneur and real estate developer Jonathan Butler got his start writing the real estate blog Brownstoner before cofounding the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg. His latest venture with partner Eric Demby is Berg’n, a cavernous beer hall in Brooklyn that opened its doors in August. Along with its adjacent commercial building, 1000 Dean, Butler has turned the two existing buildings, a former garage and a Studebaker service station, into a hub for the creative communities in the nearby neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Clinton Hill. “The 9,000-square-foot beer hall was conceived of as a central gathering place for the building's workers and for the community,” Butler says. “While we’re pleased that there has been plenty of beer being purchased, the beer hall was designed to serve multiple purposes across different parts of the day.”

    Working with the NYC-based German architect Annabelle Selldorf and her team at Selldorf Architects, Butler and Demby aimed to create a “modern yet timeless take on the beer hall concept. We were conscious of not creating a German theme park, just as we were very careful to avoid some of the design motifs that were in the process of becoming Brooklyn clichés,” he says. Selldorf’s design approach of prioritizing “clarity, function, and restraint” worked well with the constraints of the budget. “The focus on what is ‘essential’ strengthens all projects but especially those with a limited budget,” Selldorf says. “The existing building was a great remnant of the neighborhood’s industrial legacy. We worked to restore what was there while introducing a mix of vintage and modern finishes, fixtures, and furnishings to create a contemporary design that evokes the building’s industrial past.”

    Photography by Douglas Lyle Thompson for Remodelista. 

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The structurally damaged facade was completely rebuilt with wood-molded bricks. Selldorf Architects were responsible for the overall design of the project, including floor plans and all specifications, and Brooklyn-based Bostudio was the architect of record.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The expansive space of the main beer hall retains echos of its former life as a garage. The existing garage doors were replaced with operable storefront doors made from black-painted aluminum and glass. When the doors are open in the warmer months, the space feels like a classic outdoor beer garden.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The architects retained what they could of the original interiors by clarifying and painting the wood-beam ceiling and repairing and repainting the concrete floors. In the interiors, they used a controlled palette of wood, steel, and copper. Food vendor stalls (including Asia Dog, Mighty Quinn's BBQ, Pizza Moto, and Ramen Burger) are clad in quilted stainless steel.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The 15 sculptural, utilitarian beer hall tables, designed by Selldorf and produced by Greenpoint-based workshop TriLox, are made from heart pine reclaimed from a New Jersey wallpaper factory and were inspired by the work of Donald Judd.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: Butler found the 40-foot-long, 1920s vintage bar at Olde Good Things, a longtime vendor at the Brooklyn Flea. The Bermerhaven Zylinder Copper Pendants above the bar are from German company Bolichwerke and the Bodega I Bar Seating is by Niels Vodder, distributed by Matz Form. "I bought the bar based on the photos alone," Butler says. "It took a fair amount of work to retrofit it for modern-size fixtures, but its original elements, particularly the back bar, remain intact.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: Looking toward the cafe and restrooms, a long run of counter seating takes advantage of the length of wall. Bremerhaven Zylinder Wand Wall-Mounted Copper Lighting Fixtures by German company Bolichwerke add warmth to the painted brick walls.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: A Superfustinox Dispenser from Italy serves water.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: A mirror is used to reflect light and to add the illusion of depth for those sitting at the counter. Simple wood and metal Industrial Stools by Pollard Steel Factory Equipment complement the architecture.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The name for the beer hall came from old Bergen Street subway station signs that Butler found on eBay. In order to fit on the narrow station columns, the name on the signs was shortened to "Berg'n." 

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The cafe is off to the side of the main beer hall. 

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The use of quilted stainless steel seen in the design of the vendor booths is repeated at the cafe.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: Parlor Coffee is an emerging coffee roasting company in Brooklyn. "The owner just finished building a beautiful roastery down by the Brookyn Navy Yard," Butler says. "He imported an old roaster from Europe. It looks amazing and the coffee is amazing."

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: Wine drinkers are welcome as well.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: Vintage Thonet chairs that Butler sourced on eBay are gathered around small tables to create more intimate seating.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The copper pendants from the Ebolicht Collection by German company Bolichwerke hang from the industrial ceiling.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: A portion of the existing roof from the garage building was removed to create an enclosed outdoor courtyard with teal French cafe seating.

    Berg'n Bathroom Brooklyn | Remodelista

    Above: Selldorf extends the teal palette into the bathrooms as well.

    Berg'n Beer Hall, Brooklyn, High/Low Design by Annabelle Selldorf, Photo by Douglas Lyle Thompson | Remodelista

    Above: The all-day hours accommodate the creative community of the neighborhood and 1000 Dean, the adjacent commercial office and artists' studio building. 

    See more of Selldorf's imprint on Brooklyn in Rehab Diary: A Hardworking Kitchen by Annabelle Selldorf. And if you're planning a visit to Brooklyn, be sure to visit our favorite Design Haunts in the area in our City Guides.

    And on Gardenista, we visit Before and After: A Brooklyn Townhouse with a Double-Wide Garden.

    Berg'n is located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. 

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    We've admired Seattle designers Iacoli & McAllister's Spica Pendant for some time now, and were pleasantly surprised to come across a similar looking light via Swedish blog Mormors Glamour. But unlike the Spica (which is handmade from brass-plated steel, and starts at $795), this shade is a DIY project made from drinking straws that are formed into diamond-shaped pendants and spray painted gold. 

    Photographs via Sköna Hem for blog Mormors Glamour.

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: Hanging pendants made from drinking straws. Since straws are easily trimmed and bent, a multitude of shapes are possible.

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: The Swedish project makes use of old-fashioned coated paper straws that are spray painted. We'd like to try using stainless steel straws to make a sturdier shade. Stainless Steel Straws are available from Williams Sonoma; $12.95 for a set of four.

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: For a finished design, pair the straw shade with the Nud Classic Pendant by Swedish Company Nud Collection, shown here. It's available in eight cord color combinations; $45 from LBC Lighting. Also consider a budget alternative, the Hemma Cord Set in white; $5 from Ikea. You can always spray paint the cord and fitting black. 

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: To make the shade, you'll need drinking straws (such as Just Artifacts' Solid Color Party Paper Straws, 25 for $2.15), Pipe Cleaners ($12.95 for a pack of 100 via Amazon), and a pair of scissors (if you like the look of these, Brook Farm General Store sells Chinese Scissors for $12). 

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: To make a diamond-like shade, cut the drinking straws to the right lengths for your setting, and use pipe cleaners to connect the straws.

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: You can use several pipe cleaners in each straw hole to make the shade sturdier. Once you've completed the shade, the blogger recommends glueing the joints, but don't add glue until you're done. 

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: Spray paint the shades in brass or gold. Consider using Krylon Metallic Spray Paint; $5.88 from Amazon and available in several colors.

    DIY Diamond Straw Lampshade I Remodelista

    Above: A sampling of the shapes and sizes that are possible.

    DIY Straw Lamp from Restless Oasis | Remodelista

    Above: Here's a similar light made by blogger Heather of Restless Oasis; see her "Brass" Lighting Tutorial for the details.

    Into brass? Have a look at The New Bestlite Collection—and feel free to join the Bestlite vs. Ikea Renarp discussion at the bottom of the post. Also don't miss Gardenista's new find: Brass Flower Pots from Sweden.

    Ready for another project? Go to DIY to see dozens of our favorite, easy ideas.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 19, 2013 as part of our DIY Holiday Decor issue.

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