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    Before the advent of the stapler, documents were held together with thread, string, ribbons, and, in the case of legal documents, red tape. In 1879, American inventor George McGill came up with the McGill Single-Stroke Staple Press, which closely resembled a Singer sewing machine and loaded one staple at a time. But it did manage to drive that single quarter-inch length of wire through several sheets of paper before folding the wire at both ends with a thump-like push of the machine. By the 1920s, the stapler had been reduced greatly in size and with a spring-load action was able to hold many staples. As the 20th century progressed, the stapler took on more streamlined curves, which have given it an even greater air of efficiency as it continues to corral the papers on our desks. 

    Five to Buy

    Ace pilot stapler School House Electric | Remodelista

    Above: The Ace Pilot Stapler was introduced in 1938 by Chicago company Ace Fastener. This retro model, made of aluminum, is 6.6 inches long and 3.5 inches tall; $38 at Schoolhouse Electric. 

    Above: The Folle 26 Stapler was designed in 1977 by noted Danish designer Henning Andreasen and is in the collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. Made of lacquered steel and iron, the stapler is 6 inches long and a mere 1.75 inches tall; $78 at Craft & Caro.

    Above: The Zenith Stapler was designed in Italy in 1943 and took its inspiration from cars of the time. It's made of steel and enamel and is 10.5 centimeters long and 8.5 centimeters tall; £38 ($63), including a box of 1,000 staples, at Labour and Wait in the UK.

    Above: Spanish company El Casco made its name in the manufacture of revolvers, but during the Depression it decided to add desktop accessories to its arsenal. Precision-made of chrome-plated steel, the El Casco Small Desk Stapler is featured in the Remodelista 100 in the Remodelista book. It's 4 inches long and 4 inches tall, and available in red or white at Kaufmann Mercantile for $109 (though it's temporarily out of stock). The El Casco Stapler in black and chrome is $116 via Trade Concepts on Amazon.

    Above: Made in Sweden, this Stapler is Kiosk's choice for good-looking office efficiency. It's provenance is a bit of a mystery, but the duo behind Kiosk say that "based on our research, we would guess 1940s." Made of steel with rubber feet, the stapler is 7 inches long and 3.75 inches tall; $52.

    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 two office favorites: the IBM Wall Clock and the Trusty Stainless Steel Tiffin Box. We featured her Connecticut shop in our post Purveyor of the Practical and the Timeless.

    N.B.: This post is an update. The original appeared on September 2, 2014, as part of The Organized Life issue.

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    A retired couple bids farewell to life in the city and moves to Mount Yatsugatake on the island of Honshū with a desire to spend the remainder of their lives farming their own vegetables surrounded by mountains. They buy a plot of land to build their new house at an elevation with a harsh and tricky climate, too hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Carrying forth the Japanese tradition of coexisting harmoniously with nature, Tokyo architectural firm MDS designed a structure oriented to capitalize on the prevailing winds, optimal sun angles, and best mountain views—with not an air conditioner in sight. Let’s have a look.

    Photography by Toshiyuki Yano via ArchDaily.

    Charred wood Shou sugi ban wall, Exposed wood beams and ceiling, wood stove, Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: A detail of the living room looking toward the combination kitchen/dining room. The charred wall is a Japanese tradition known as shou sugi ban. In Dark Wood: Shou Sugi Ban Torched Lumber we explore where to source charred wood.

    Open Shoji screen looking to view of fields, Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: In the living room, sliding glass doors detailed with shoji screens slide open to allow in breezes, while the overhang is designed to keep out the high angle of the summer sun. The low angle of the sun during the winter, however, means the house can be warmed when it's cold outside. The exposed beams hide the tracks for the shoji screens and the sliding glass doors.

    Wood stove and exposed wood beams and ceilings in Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: A woodstove keeps the rooms warm during the winter.

    Dining area and kitchen of Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen and dining area opens to a washitsu, a Japanese room furnished with tatami mats.

    Wood cabinets and counter top in wood lined kitchen of Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: In the kitchen, housecleaning tools and utensils hang in the space under the stairs.

    Traditional Japanese Room with Tatami mats in Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: A view back toward the dining area from the washitsu. The continuous shoji screens give the house a traditional feel.

    Exposed wood beams and ceiling on stair landing of Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: The second floor is an open loftlike space with a sleeping and office area. The door leads into the walk-in closet.

    Long wood desk against wall of shoji screens in bedroom of Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: The work area with shoji screens runs the entire length of the room.

    Exposed wood beams and ceiling, wood headboards, shoji screens in bedroom, Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: When the shoji screens are closed, the bedroom becomes a sanctuary.

    Exposed wood beams and ceiling, wood headboards, shoji screens in bedroom of Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: During the summer months, the north- and south-facing windows are opened for optimum breeze ventilation and mountain gazing.

    Long wood desk against wall of shoji screens in bedroom of Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: The wood details are an updated version of traditional Japanese wood architecture.

    Detail of wood screen and shoji screen in Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: A detail of a wooden screen.

    Wood bathroom with black tiled bath in Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: One is never far from nature, even in the bath.

    Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Photo by Toshiyuki Yano | Remodelista

    Above: The house is oriented south in a fan shape to maximize the amount of winter sun that reaches the rooms.

    Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Plan Drawing | Remodelista

    Above: A plan and diagram of the first floor illustrates all of the considerations that went into the siting of the house.

    Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Plan Drawing | Remodelista

    Above: A plan and diagram of the second floor.

    Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Section Drawing | Remodelista

    Above: A fully noted section of the house illustrating sun angles and breezes.

    Yatsugatake Villa in Hokuto-Cotu, Japan by MDS Architects, Section Drawing | Remodelista

    Above: The living room and veranda.

    Two French architects find design inspiration on a trip to Japan in Before and After: A Charred Wood Cottage on a $45K Budget.

    This post is an update; the original ran on October 27, 2014, as part of our Lessons from Japan issue.

    See more interpretations of the Japanese shoji screen from around the world:

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Japanese designer Kenichi Kandatsu would like to cast his country in a softer, kinder light. At Flame, his lighting company in rural Ashiya, Japan, he's helping to make that happen by presenting his poetic lamps in settings that are moody to the max.

    N.B.: Flame's lights are sold at a number of design stores in Japan, but they're hard to come by outside the country. We consider them inspiration for projects we hope to undertake on our own.

    Photography by Shinsaku Kato.

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Many of Flame's lights are inspired by European classics, such as this clear glass pendant design. The company is located in a house that Kandatsu built in 2010 as a combination showroom/store, headquarters, and living space. Considering a pilgrimage? Ashiya, in Hyogo, is midway between Osaka and Kobe.

    Trained as a lighting designer, Kandatsu worked for a lighting parts company before founding Flame. He initially set up shop in Osaka, and, after a year and a half search for the right rustic setting, bought land in Ashiya overlooking the Ashiya River.

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu and Mina Perhonen, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Kandatsu collaborated with Tokyo fashion line Minä Perhonen on a series of Scandi-inflected Flame lamps.

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu and Mina Perhonen, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Several of the Flame + Minä Perhonen designs have embroidered linen shades. 

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: For years Kandatsu has been collecting antique bottles one by one from all over; he puts them to great use as lamp bases with paper shades.

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu,  Kobe, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Flame showcases its lighting in rooms furnished with Japanese antiques (that are also for sale). The spaces look as if they were lit by Edward Hopper. Shown here, Ladder, available with a fixed or moveable arm; ¥24,000 ($219.50) and ¥34,000 ($311), respectively. Flame's lights work with a range of bulbs.

    Flame Ceramic Pendant Light from Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Most of Flame's lighting is made in Japan. Baba, the enamel design shown here, L and R, is ¥15,800 ($145). It's also available in clear glass (see top photo) for ¥14,800 ($136).

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu and ceramic artist Birbira, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Kandatsu created a sold-out series of glazed white lamps with Japanese ceramic artist Birbira. 

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu, Kobe, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Savoir, an enameled steel pendant, comes in two "dark, deep colors of dark gray" as well as pale gray: ¥24,000 ($219.75).

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu and Mina Perhonen, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: A Minä Perhonen ceramic lamp with a crochet-trimmed shade.

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu and Mina Perhonen, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: An embroidered Minä Perhonen shade for Flame.

    Flame lighting by Kenichi Kandatsu, Kobe, Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Relever, a new, "no frills, simple" clamp light from Flame, has a matte black shade and a shiny black satin cord; ¥36,000 ($330)

    To see the full collection, go to Flame.

    Looking for lighting advice? See:

    Start shopping by browsing our hundreds of Lighting posts.

    This post is an update; the original ran on October 31, 2014, as part of our Lessons from Japan issue.

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    All of us at Remodelista are mildly (make that majorly) obsessed with the Japanese luxe utilitarian clothing and home line Arts & Science, so we took note when we read about the company's "staff canteen," a cafe and kitchen shop located on the lower level of the Tokyo shop.

    The company’s owner, Sonya Park, envisioned a space where her staff and customers could mingle over afternoon tea served on salt-fired pottery by UK designer Steve Harrison, lunch plates by Astier de Villatte of Paris, and glassware by the Japanese artist Kazumi Tsuji. For more information, go to Arts & Science.

    Above: Everything in its place: the counter where lunch is prepared for staffers and customers,

    Above: The simple space features a polished concrete floor and refectory-like furniture.

    Above: Delicate glassware by Kazumi Tsuji (her work is available at Anzu in New York).

    Above: Tea is served in salt-fired pottery by UK ceramicist Steve Harrison.

    Above: A selection of coffees, jams (are those June Taylor preserves we see?), and sundries for the home.

    Above: The cafe looks out over a small verdant garden.

    See more of Sonya Park's impeccably curated shops at To Wear, to Dwell, to Eat. To see all our favorite shops in Japan, go to our City Guides.

    This post is an update; the original ran on April 2, 2013, as part of our Cult of the Kitchen issue.

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    One of the perils of living in a loft, as I do, is that there's nowhere to hide. A shopping binge. Sautéed onions. In-laws. Everything and everyone is out in the open. But the hardest part of all is football season. When a game is on, our guest bedroom, which has the rare asset of a door, keeps me and the rabid football fan I married blissfully apart. I've claimed the room as my lair and recently upgraded it with new comforts: a reading nook, stacks of pillows, even an electric fireplace. Don't expect me to come out until they crown a Super Bowl champion.

    Photography by Tom Kubik for Remodelista.

    Cozy Winter Sitting Room Rehab from Home Decorators Collection and Remodelista

    Above: To recast the room as a reading space, I added a Wall-Mount Electric Fireplace ($229 from The Home Depot) and situated an Eames rocker in front of it, cushioned with an Avondale Kilim Pillow ($40 at Home Decorators Collection). A five-by-eight-foot Troy Area Rug ($359 from Home Decorators Collection) connects the bed to my hangout area. To me, the new setup recalls a hip, rustic cabin I once stayed in at Big Sur.

    Cozy Winter Sitting Room Rehab from Home Decorators Collection and Remodelista

    Above: Putting textures to task, the wool rug takes the chill away from the concrete floor. We often host guests with infants, and the plush carpet is ideal for playtime. A short stack of pillows (the Romi Pillow, $24, and La Paz Kilim Pillow, $40, both from Home Decorators Collection) tucked under a reclaimed bench soften the metal hairpin legs and make the rug inviting to sprawl on.

    Cozy Winter Sitting Room Rehab from Home Decorators Collection and Remodelista

    Above: The pros of concrete floors (cool and industrial) surely outweigh the cons (things dropped on it may shatter). But a sheepskin rug and an upholstered Small Denton Vanity Stool ($89 at Home Decorators Collection) soften the look and feel of the space. The stool is also the perfect perch for my little niece when I sit on the bed and braid her hair.

    Cozy Winter Sitting Room Rehab from Home Decorators Collection and Remodelista

    Above: I'm a recovering magazine junkie, and the Jacob Ladder with Baskets ($249, including three suspended wire baskets, not shown, from Home Decorators Collection) lets me store a few current issues without hoarding them. The rungs are also a good place to store blankets; the Signature Cashmere Blend Throw with extra-long fringe ($299 from Home Decorators Collection) is shown here.

    Cozy Winter Sitting Room Rehab from Home Decorators Collection and Remodelista

    Above: A view of the room's all-white guest bed. I like the feeling of sleeping on a cloud.

    Before

    Above: A shot of the spartanly furnished room—before I added the proportion-changing ladder, soft rug, and fireside reading spot.

    -Cheryl Locke

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    I've been transfixed with designer Sonya Park's line, Arts & Science, for a while now, but since it is based in Tokyo and has only a few global stockists, I can only admire the pieces from afar. So when I learned about Arts & Science's shop in Galerie Vivienne in Paris (their only location outside of Japan), I went on a pilgrimage.

    The shop is located in the Second Arrondissement, where you'll find the former stock exchange, banking headquarters, and textile district. Partially designed by François Jean Delannoy in 1823, the neoclassical passages are covered with a glass dome that infuses the interiors with a warm glow—that alone is worth the visit. Galerie Vivienne is the perfect setting for Arts & Science, which, since its inception in 2003, has inspired a whole world around luxe utilitarian design, working with minimalist shapes in natural Japanese fabric.

    In the small shop I was greeted by Taro, on the Paris shop staff, who really sort of breathes the A&S aesthetic—something I realized as he, wearing a perfectly shapeless black linen suit, described the spring collection. With its palette of light wood, black-painted furniture, and brass display pieces sourced from the Paris flea market, the shop's interiors serve as a seamless backdrop for the spring collection.

    In Paris, visit Arts & Science at 39 Galerie Vivienne; for more, see To Wear, To Dwell, To Eat and Down the Stairs: A Staff Canteen and Cafe in Tokyo.

    Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.

    Arts & Science Shop in Galerie Vivienne, Paris, Remodelista

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: A half column in the window displays the 2 Way Bag in yellow calfskin with a linen lining.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: A couple of Jabra Wallets in brown leather with an accordion-style card holder.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: Arts & Science's spring collection is a mix of linen and chambray, accented with mustard yellow.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: Park has a close relationship with Astier de Villatte, who stocked A&S pieces in their Rue Saint-Honoré shop long before the Galerie Vivienne location opened.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: The Chesterfield Work Coat is a new-old tailored jacket inspired by vintage work jackets and made in linen or cotton.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: An antique pendant lamp sourced from the flea market with updated wiring.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: The brass frame on a glass cabinet is in accord with the detailing of A&S accessories: buckles, latches, and zippers.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: Wallets in a stiff, black cow leather.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: The medium-size Simple Bowling Bag is made of brown or black cow leather.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: Select Astier de Villatte ceramics. In the past the two brands collaborated on a series of china featuring the A&S logo of a key and a gold rim.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: An antique porcelain finial at the bottom of the stairs banister. Upstairs, Arts & Science hosts clients in a showroom full of billowy dresses in draped silhouettes.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: Large vessels from Astier de Villatte.

    Arts & Science in Paris, France, Remodelista

    Above: A brass-footed music stand holds a sign with the shop's opening hours.

    Arts & Science Shop in Galerie Vivienne, 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.

    This post is an update; the original ran on June 3, 2013.

    Location of Arts & Science in Paris:

    View Larger Map

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    Last fall, when I dropped in on Mjölk, my favorite Toronto housewares emporium, owner John Baker invited me upstairs to see the newly renovated flat where he lives with his wife, Juli, and their two daughters. The first thing I noticed were the pale Scandi floors. When I commented on their perfection, John said, "It's much easier than you think to get the look." (He was referring to our post How to Create a Scandi Whitewashed Floor, which describes a more complicated route.) Of course I immediately asked John to share his secrets; here's what he told us.

    Mjolk Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: John and Juli's Toronto kitchen.

    Mjolk Scandi Floor Technique | Remodelista

    Above: "First, we applied a coat of Woca Wood Lye to bleach the boards."

    Mjolk Scandi Floor Technique | Remodelista

    Above: "Next, we added several coats of white wood soap. You could also coat the floors with a white pigmented oil or clear matte urethane for an even tougher finish. However, the soap treatment is the traditional Scandinavian way, and it will develop a beautiful patina with age. We have used this finish on both our cottage and home, and we are really happy with it."

    Mjolk Scandi Floor Technique | Remodelista

    Above: "We used 10-inch-wide solid Douglas fir boards from Peerless Forest Products in British Columbia. They're tongue and grooved and also screwed and plugged with matching Doug fir dowels (the boards have to be screwed, otherwise they would begin to bow with age)," John says. "It's not fancy stuff, but it's reasonably priced and we actually like all of the knots. Compared with the prices from Dinesen, the standard bearer, Canadian Douglas fir is cheap. It didn't make sense shipping wood from Denmark anyway, when we have so much of it here in Canada."

    For another (slightly more involved) technique, see Izabella's post Scandi Whitewashed Floors: Before and After. Also have a look at:

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    Here's a novel concept: an übermodern Scandi hotel whose proprietors are so fixated on reconnecting guests with nature that they lament having to charge a fee. (But, yes, you still have to pay for it.)

    Located in a forest outside of Alesund, Norway, the Juvet Landscape Hotel is sited on a gorge of the river Valldøla. (Juvet means "gorge" in Norwegian.) Owner Knut Slinning is a local, and his earnest desire to help people experience the natural beauty of his region is admirable: “I would love our guests to have a feeling that this is a fantastic place, that they had been visiting friends, and that they had a very, very nice time. And that I am sorry that they had to pay for it.”

    Slinning commissioned Oslo architects Jensen & Skodvin to design seven small cabins, each with at least one entire wall made of glass. The results are minimal cubes of wood and concrete whose interiors are dark and truly spare; the structures are designed to focus guests solely on the outdoors while inside. Each cabin's massive glass wall frames a view of the forest and river gorge, unobstructed by so much as a curtain.

    One interesting note: The hotel's design was aided in part by a Norwegian public works project investing in rural infrastructure. The project had a rule that developments were barred from copying ancestral Norwegian architecture, with the aim of demonstrating ingenuity in engineering and design as a hallmark of modern Norway.

    For booking information, visit Juvet Landscape Hotel.

    Minimalist wood and glass architecture hotel in Norway in forest in winter

    Above: With the ethic of being a guest in nature, the hotel's cabins are built on stilts; when they've finished living their useful lives, they can easily be removed.

    Modern minimalist wood architecture in hotel in Norway in winter forest

    Above: A porthole window in one of the cabin bathrooms offers its own unique view. The hotel spa sits so close to the gorge that guests are meant to "feel" the spray from the river during treatments.

    Modern minimalist red and concrete glass box with view of snow in Norway

    Above: All view rooms, such as the hotel sauna, are intended to give the impression of being inside a camera.

    Modern minimalist concrete bathroom with blue color accent in Norway

    Above: Occasional walls of bold color break concrete monotony in the spa. There are no curtains in the stark bedrooms and the natural light is bright in summer months. The hotel owners considered adding drapes, but guests urged them not to, saying that waking in the cabins is like waking outdoors.

    Yellow concrete and wood modern minimalist bathroom in hotel in Norway

    Above: Bathrooms are among the few rooms with color. The cabins were first planned without bathrooms or showers to emphasize simplicity in nature, but in the end a few modern comforts were added.

    Modern minimalist glass architecture floor to ceiling glass in hotel in Norway with winter views

    Above: Walking into a cabin is meant to be a dramatic experience, as if nature is rushing in through the massive panoramic windows to greet you.

    Juvet Landscape Hotel in Winter in Snow Cabins in Norway Modern Minimalist

    Above: The hotel owners didn't want the architecture to stand in the way of guests' experience of nature; they in fact want guests to realize that life in Norway has been a struggle for survival.

    Keep planning your Norwegian stay: 

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    Designed in 1939 by Swedish inventor Alvar Lenning, the Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Mixer is a Rube Goldberg type of machine, capable of doing seemingly anything (with the right attachments). It's especially celebrated for its bread-kneading abilities and its longevity; happy owners call it a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. During World War II, it even came with a collection of "crisis recipes" for Swedish households feeling the pinch of rationing. About a year ago, it came on the US market; it's available in a range of subtle pastels, with a glossy black and a glossy white finish to come.

    Ankarsrum Electrolux Mixer/Remodelista

    Above: The electrical motor and the diecast aluminum components are cast and assembled at the Electrolux factory in Ankarsrum, Sweden. The Ankarsrum Kitchen Assistant features a 600-watt motor; $799.95 from Metro Kitchen.

    Ankarsrum Gray and Navy Mixers/Remodelista

    Ankarsrum Black Orange MIxers/Remodelista

    Above: The Ankarsrum Kitchen Assistant is available in 10 colors, ranging from Mineral White to Pearl Orange.

    To see more kitchen gadgets we have our eye on, have a look at our Small Appliance posts, including the Last Blender You'll Ever Buy and Dyson's Hot Cool Heater. And over on Gardenista, read about Michelle's battles with her smoke detector: Why Is My Smoke Alarm So Obnoxious?

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    Pale pink is our new favorite wall color: Take a look at Danish accessories designer Yvonne Koné's just-opened Copenhagen boutique, where the shade assumes a sophisticated—and decidedly ungirly—guise that serves as the perfect backdrop for Koné's dark leather shoes and bags. 

    A fashion graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Koné launched her business in 2011, and has since become known for her pared-down, architectural approach to Italian-made leather goods, including a signature "bum bag" that has us reconsidering the fanny pack. She applies the same tantalizingly simple, well-orchestrated look to the Copenhagen apartment that she shares with her husband, an illustrator, and their three kids (the Legos, scooters, and skateboards were swept out of sight on the day of the shoot, she admits). Of her work, she says, "I'm very good at leaving out that last unnecessary detail." 

    Boutique photography by Line Klein via Yvonne Koné. Apartment photography by Line Klein for Elle Decoration Denmark via Est Magazine; styling by Stine Langvad.

    The Boutique

    Yvonne Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Located in what had been an antiques shop in a landmarked building, the boutique was designed by Oliver Gustav, whose own interior design shop and studio is just a few doors away. He's the one who suggested the color: "Oliver and I are both big fans of gray," says Koné, "but this time I wanted something softer. Oliver presented me with an environmentally friendly, water-based, chalk paint made from natural pigments. He showed me this exact dusty, powdery pink, and I fell in love. It's called Skin Powder."

    Yvonne Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Koné's satchels, wallets, and bum bags hang from hooks on an iron bar. The rusty lamp came from a Paris flea market.

    Yvonne Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: The shelves are painted with the same dusty pink as the walls, and both are finished with two layers of environmentally friendly sealer—the paint is custom blended and is available, like many of the shop accessories, via Studio Oliver Gustav. The floor lamp, detailed with brushed brass and matte mirror glass, is from an edition of 18 made by Danish designer Kevin Josias.

    Yvonne Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: For trying on Koné's plum pumps: an Oak Stool by German carpenter and film director Fritz Baumann

    Yvonne Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Display blocks made of terracotta stand in front of one of the original arched windows.

    Yvonne-Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Evidently we like a lot of the same things that Koné does—such as fiddle leaf fig trees and Industrial Chandeliers by Brooklyn firm Workstead (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory).

    The floors are pine and were installed by the previous tenant. "They didn't wash or treat the floors for many years," Koné says. "When I moved in, I decided to emphasize the patina, but I wanted a less yellow tone, and I like the smell of newly washed pine. So we scrubbed with soap and water, and then treated the floor with two coats of gray stain and alcohol, followed by another soap wash. Now, they're easy to maintain, and we clean them every evening with soap flakes." Intrigued? There are a lot of ways to create a pale wood effect. See Izabella's solution in our Remodeling 101 post: Easy Whitewashed Scandi Floors and go to page 221 of the Remodelista book for a soap-washed approach similar to Koné's. Note the inset doormat, another Remodelista favorite.

      Yvonne-Koné boutique Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: The boutique is located at 3 Store Strandstraede, next to Nyhavn, Copenhagen's 17th-century waterfront.

    The Apartment

    Yvonne Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Several years ago, Koné and her family lucked into their apartment in the middle of Vesterbro, in a 1910 art-nouveau-style building designed by architect Anton Rosen. Like the shop, it has tall ceilings and period details that are paired with clean-lined furnishings, such as the Mags Module Sofa, shown here, by Danish company Hay. The low tables are from eBay—"I think they were used in factories to stack," Koné says. "I bought them for a very low cost." For a long time, Koné kept the windows uncovered; they now have "very discrete white blinds."

    Yvonne Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: "We had the bookcases built and treated the pine floor with white oil; that's it," Koné says. She singles out the shelving as one of her favorite things in the apartment: "It was custom-made by Danish firm Kobenhavns Mobelsnedkeri. The design is so simple and timeless, and brings some personality." The next room is Koné's home office.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above L: Dried poppy pods and a photo mural. Above R: An outsized industrial light found by a collector friend hangs from the living room's original plasterwork.

    Yvonne Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Brass vases that were props from a theater are paired with an African hairdresser sign, a perfect addition to the apartment's black-and-white palette.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

     Above L: There's even a balcony. Above R: The scrap-wood table was once used in a photo studio.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: A hallway leads to the kitchen and a shared kids' room. The runner is Tine K Home's Jute Kit. The hanging light—"very cheap and old"—was purchased on eBay Germany.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: In the kitchen a white Ikea cabinet supplies essential storage and replaces existing white wood cabinets that were new but made to look old: "I don't like fake vintage," Koné says. The table by Kobenhavns Mobelsnedkeri is smoked oak and was designed to fit the room. The odd lot of chairs are all inexpensive vintage finds.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above L: A kitchen tableau on a lacquered wood counter: "I didn't like the reddish color, so I stained it black and after that lacquered it many, many times to make it durable and easy to keep." Above R: A vintage cupboard holds some of the kids' artwork.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: The master bedroom's platform bed frame came long ago from a futon shop. An old wall cupboard, newly painted black and white, is mounted over an old set of wooden file drawers from a doctor's office.

    Yvonne-Koné apartment Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above L and R: The black-and-white theme extends to the bathroom. For more, go to Yvonne Koné.

    Have a look at Black & White Interiors in our archive. Ready to go pink? See 5 Favorites: The Power of Pink by color expert Eve Ashcraft, and Expert Advice: The 10 Best Pink Paints. And for more of our favorite Scandi Designs, peruse our Photo Gallery. On Gardenista, take a look at the Most Beautiful Flower Shop in Denmark.

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    In 10 Secrets for a Better Night's Sleep, the "bedroom as sanctuary" plays a key role. Architects have long known that creating calm and killing clutter in your sleep space is simple and efficient with built-in storage. Here are 12 favorite examples.

    Vincent Van Duysen Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: In his own bedroom, Vincent Van Duysen incorporates a headboard into a wall of bookshelves. At bedside level, the shelves turn into drawers with a pullout night table. Hear what the Belgian architect has to say about everything from essential objects to daily exercise in 20 Questions: Julianne Moore and Vincent Van Duysen Talk Design. Photograph by Martyn Thompson.

    Architectural Built-in Storage, Seating nook by window | Remodelista

    Above: In London interiors firm Sigmar's design for a bedroom, extra storage is created by building a wall out from the window, creating a window seat and cabinets at the same time.

    Storage Niche in Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: A bed with pullout drawers and a headboard with a recessed niche becomes a room within a room. Photograph via Vtwonen.

    Remodelista Editor Julie Carlson Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: Architect Jerome Buttrick carved out vertical shelving, complete with accessible light switches and outlets on either side of Remodelista editor Julie Carlson's bed. Photograph by Maria del Rio for Refinery 29.

    Architectural Built-in Storage, Villa V by Paul de Ruiter, Photo by Tim Van de Velde, Plywood | Remodelista

    Above: Paul de Ruiter Architects of Amsterdam integrate a bed into a built-in headboard and use the thickness of the wall to create storage on the sides. Photograph by Tim Van de Velde via ArchDaily. Take a tour of the rest of the house in Rooms With a View and Maximum Storage Too

    Architectural Built-in Storage, Plywood bed and cabinets in Melbourne by Clare Cousins, Photo by Lisbeth Grosman | Remodelista

    Above: Architect Claire Cousins fashions a bedroom out of plywood in a loft in Melbourne replete with built-in storage. See more in The Plywood Makeover: An Artful Apartment in Melbourne. Photograph by Lisbeth Grosman via Desire to Inspire.  

    Mork Ulnes Bedroom with Storage | Remodelista

    Above: In a remodel of a Victorian house in San Francisco, architects Mork Ulnes commissioned furniture designer Yvonne Mouser to design an ingenious wood headboard that incorporates built-in storage while also providing structural reinforcement. See the complete remodel in The Architect Is In: Saving the Hippie Soul of a Victorian House

    Norm Architects Bedroom Niche | Remodelista

    Above: Norm Architects of Copenhagen created a display niche that takes the place of a headboard.

    Turnbull Architects Dresser as Headboard | Remodelista

    Above: San Francisco architects Turnbull Griffin Haesloop incorporate bedside tables and a dresser into the headboard of a bed, which also acts as a room partition. 

    Japanese Closet Space | Remodelista

    Above: In Japan, mA-style Architects designed a double-layered house where the exterior layer is used as a zone for closets and storage. Photograph by Kai Nakamura via mA-style Architects

    Architectural Built-in Storage, Cabinets built into wall | Remodelista

    Above: Floor-to-ceiling cabinets are built flush into the wall of this bedroom. Photograph by Jonas Berg via Style Files.

    Architectural Built-in Storage, Headboard in bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: In my own bedroom, my husband and I maximized space by building our bed into an awkward niche and creating built-in storage above and pullout drawers below. More of our space-saving solutions can be seen in Living Small in London

    For more space-efficient bedroom ideas, have a look at Sleep and Stow: Bed Frames with Built-in Storage and Steal This Look: A Well-Organized Closet on a Budget.

    On Gardenista, Michelle presents a 186-Square-Foot Garage Converted into the Ideal Guest Room.

    N.B.: This post is an update. The original ran in October 2014 as part of our Genius Storage Solutions issue.

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    The Belgian design aesthetic: Forever pleasing and always moreish. In this roundup, we catch up with our favorite Belgian architects and designers and circle in on their low-key luxe vibe.

    Axel Vervoordt Monaco Apartment | Remodelista

    Above: Belgian design impresario Axel Vervoordt, godfather to the rough-yet-refined Belgian look that has captivated the design world in the past decade, began with the classical before moving into the minimalist world of the wabi-sabi. See his latest project at the Greenwich Hotel in On Top of the World: A Belgian Antiquarian Designs a Penthouse in NYC.

    Vincent Van Duysen Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Belgian design master Vincent Van Duysen likens the Belgian aesthetic to the "art of living"; read more about his design philosophy at 20 Questions: Julianne Moore and Vincent Van Duysen Talk Design. His protégé Nicolas Schuybroek (see below) says, "Working out a door handle for him is as important as designing a tower. The strength of an architect lies in the fact that he can deliver everything, from construction to interior."

    Nicolas Schuybroeck Living Room | Remodelista

    Above: Nicolas Schuybroek's own living room, near Ixelles Ponds, in Belgium, via Coffeeklatch. Schuybroek worked as a project director in Vincent Van Duysen's office for five years before striking out on his own a couple of years ago; he's already making waves (see Belgian Luxury on the Côte d'Azur and Stealth Statement Kitchens from a Belgian Architect). "Your personality gets shaped when you work for someone else. I owe Vincent for getting me where I am today."

    Favorite Belgian Architects and Designers, Daskal Laperre, London Townhouse | Remodellista

    Above: Stephanie Laperre worked as an interior architect for Vincent Van Duysen for almost a decade before forming Daskal Laperre with Daphne Daskal.

    Favorite Belgian Architects and Designers, Walda Pairon, Crucifix on Mantel | Remodelista

    Above: The living room of Walda Pairon, the Doyenne of Belgian Design, features limewashed walls with a simple vintage wooden trestle table and an antique upholstered armchair.

    Karin Draaijer Interiors in Belgium | Remodelista

    Above: Karin Draaijer in Belgium is one of our favorite under-the-radar interior designers; see more at Karin Draaijer in Belgium.

    Favorite Belgian Architects and Designers, Sofie Lachaert Gallery | Remodelista

    Above: In A Belgian B&B, Surrealism Included, designer and gallery owner Sofie Lachaert displays a minimalist dining table by Maarten van Severen and wooden stools by Casimir. Photograph by Danica Kus.

    Moka Vanille Kitchen in Belgium | Remodelista

    Above: Interior designer Dorien Cooreman's restored farmhouse in Belgium features an understated luxe vibe; see more at Hotels & Lodging: Moka & Vanille in Belgium.

    Buyse Seghers Architects in Belgium | Remodelista

    Above: Architects Buyse Seghers have us all rethinking our homes with A Fairy-Tale Castle in Belgium: The Architects' Version. Photograph by Frederik Vercruysse.

    Matiz Architecture and Design NY | Remodelista

    Above: Brussels-based designer Nathalie Goris collaborated with Matiz Architecture & Design on a West Village townhouse renovation in A New York Remodel by Way of Belgium. Photograph by Hidenao Abe.

    Inspired and wanting to re-create the Belgian aesthetic in your home? Start small with 10 Easy Pieces: Linen-Slipcovered Sofas, or try your hand at this DIY: Bathroom Storage as Art Installation.

    For more favorite Belgian archtitects, we visit Verdickt and Verdickt's Minimalist Greenhouse in the Woods on Gardenista.

    N.B.: This post is an update. The original ran in October 2014 as part of our Belgian Masters issue.

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    Linen is perhaps the most virtuous of all fabrics. It's produced from the flax plant, every part of which has a use: The seeds are ground to make oil for paint and linoleum flooring, the pulp goes into banknotes, and the fibers inside the wood stalks are woven into linen fabric. Flax is grown in many parts of the world, but it's best known and said to be finest in the Flanders region of Belgium, where, thanks to an abundance of small rivers and a rainy climate, it thrives without irrigation. 

    Before the spinning and weaving take place, flax is transformed into linen using a medieval vocabulary of retting (washing and drying), scotching (removing the woody stems), and hackling (splitting and straightening the fibers). Linen has been prized for 10,000 years for its absorbency, thermal insulation, comfort, and durability. Belgian linen is also appreciated for its softness, which increases with each wash, and its elegance when draped from a rail. It's hypoallergenic too, and in the home it has practical uses in every room; here are some examples.

    Five to Buy

    Libeco Tea Towel March in SF | Remodelista

    Above: The Libeco Flea Market Tea Towel, 23.6 by 31.5 inches, is available in three colors (from left: Grigio, Sughero, and Crimson) from Libeco, Belgium's best-known purveyor of linen; $28.

    Restoration Hardware Belgian linen shower curtain | Remodelista

    Above: Restoration Hardware's Vintage-Washed Belgian Linen Shower Curtain, 72 square inches, is $49.99 marked down from $89; extra-long size also available.

    Linen bedding from Rough LInen | Remodelista

    Above: The bedding selected for Philip Johnson's Glass House, Rough Linen's Pure Belgian Linen Sheeting and Orkney Linen Duvet Covers and Bedskirts come in natural or white. Prices range from $140 to $220 for sheets, and they start at $250 for duvet covers and $200 for bedskirts. (Read Editors' Picks: 10 Favorite Luxury Bed Linens for testimonials about Rough Linen.) 

      Libeco Linen Rugs | Remodelista

    Above: Libeco recently added a line of Linen Cambridge Rugs to their collection. They're available in five sizes; prices start at $173 (23.5 by 33.5 inches) and go up to $1,034 (94.5 by 118 inches) at Gracious Style.

    Above: Belgian Textured Linen Drapery from Barn & Willow starts at $184 for a 50-by-84-inch curtain panel (three other lengths available).

    Object Lessons columnist Megan Wilson is the owner of Ancient Industries and the curator of the Remodelista 100, a collection of essential everyday objects presented in the Remodelista book. Watch for her column every Thursday, and have a look at her past lessons, including posts about Classic Mattress Ticking and the Classic Canvas Tote. Her most popular lesson to date is on The Pastel Enamel Pot.

    N.B.: This post is an update. The original ran in October 2014 as part of our Belgian Masters issue.

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    Imagine cycling in the Flemish countryside and discovering an abandoned ruin of a once-grand house, 17th-century tower included. Most would probably muse about the possibilities, become frightened by the challenges, and then cycle away. Bram Seghers and Inge Buyse, however, are not most people. Founding partners of Buyse Seghers Architects, the couple bought the house to renovate and to live in with their two sons.

    Known for their thoughtful design and sensitivity to light and proportion, the architects were careful to respect the architecture of the house, whose three-century span from the 17th to the 20th is visible in the layered marks of the exterior brickwork. “Even though the house had been continuously rebuilt, expanded, and altered, it was always thought of as one coherent structure, and we took the same approach," Seghers says. ”Our interventions do not have to be noticed; nor do we think that a strong contrast between the new and the old is always necessary.” 

    The architects created a modern, open feeling by bringing in more light through the house with new windows and additional interior openings. A multifunctional plan means that the house can function as one large home or two houses with separate entrances, providing ultimate flexibility for family living. “My parents currently occupy the second living unit, and my brother uses the upstairs studio when he joins us at Christmas and Easter. We open up the interconnecting, oversize doors, and it feels like one large, loftlike space, full of family and children.” A perfect fairy-tale ending.

    Photography by Frederik Vercruysse via This Is Paper.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: The architects discovered the picturesque property while cycling in the Flemish countryside in Lovendegem, a town on the outskirts of Ghent. The property consists of the main house (pictured above), a few outer buildings, and an English garden.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: In the entry hall, the bluestone floor tiles are arranged in a classic Belgian pattern.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: From the dining room, there's an uninterrupted view of the kitchen back to the entry wall, showing three different floor finishes, soaped solid oak, Rouge Belge marble, and bluestone tiles. 

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: In the kitchen the pale green of the cabinets complements the Rouge Belge marble countertops and floor. "We chose the wall colors to harmonize with the natural materials used in each room," Seghers says. "Rooms that have marble floors have a soft gray on the walls."

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: "The red marble is Rouge Belge, chosen by the slab and selected for the combination of white veining that adds freshness," Seghers says.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: The spare decor in the dining room with pale green walls is offset by the crystal chandelier, which was a family hand-me-down. "It came from Inge’s aunt," Seghers says. "We know nothing about it, but thought it was a perfect match. The crystal pieces give off beautiful light."

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: The architects chose the white cotton fabric for the curtains for its ability to drape into soft but distinct folds.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: Large interior openings throughout the house provide glimpses of other rooms; the living room, seen here from the dining room, allows large amounts of natural light to flow through.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: A dark green classic French bistro teacup with saucer and milk jug set from Limoges sits on a stone fireplace mantel with a powdered white finish that has been handcut to the architects' design.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: A view from the kitchen into the living room and dining room beyond. The large doors in the dining room open up to an adjacent office. 

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: In the office, the architects installed a small oval window, called an œil-de-bœuf, on the side of the house to allow more light in.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: Pale blue walls in the master bedroom complement the dark wood floorboards. "We always choose color on site, with painted wall samples in different tints," Seghers says. "We test the colors against the exterior light conditions throughout the day."

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: A childhood desk lamp is repurposed into a bedside lamp.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: "Old floorboards that span the room were removed, restored, and reinstalled along with the original staircase," Seghers says. "We stained them a dark color and scrubbed them with a beeswax finish."

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: Double doors lead to an expansive bathroom.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: The palette of the bathroom is off-white and neutral. The offset stacking pattern of the glazed porcelain tiles adds a simple but effective graphic note.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: Porcelain tiles line the walls of the shower. 

    Portrait of Buyse Seghers Architects, photo by Frederik Vercruysse | Remodelista

    Above: A portrait of the architects Bram Seghers and Inge Buyse as captured by photographer Frederik Vercruysse. The photos for this series were a result of a collaboration between the architects and Vercruysse titled "Portrait of House." "Seeing Frederik’s personal work, 'Table Composition,' we were quite taken by the care and attention to detail and proportion he seems to share with ours," Seghers says.

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: In the back, the architects opened up the house to the garden and mirror pond by adding windows and carefully widening existing openings. The side elevations were opened up by adding porte-fenetres and an œil-de-bœuf placed into a rocaille stucco finish. 

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Photography by Frederik Vercruysse, Belgium | Remodelsita

    Above: A view through the back with the mirror pond frozen over. "The property itself is still in continuous evolution," Seghers says. "We are working on a design for a new outer building that will house our offices, still renovating the garden, and continually buying and designing pieces that will add to the interior over time."

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Belgium, Floorplan | Remodelsita

    Above: The entry level floor plan to Roode Port, the property's official name, illustrates how the house can be used as one large unit or separated into two smaller ones. 

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Belgium, Floorplan | Remodelsita

    Above: The master bedroom is located on the second floor.

     

    House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Belgium, Floorplan | Remodelsita

    Above: The third floor houses studios and additional family members.

      House Portraiture, Buyse Seghers Architects, Belgium, Section Drawing | Remodelsita  

    Above: A cross section of the house.

    Planning a cycling trip in Flanders and need somewhere to stay? See Glamorous Farm for Rent, Belgian Edition and A Bohemian B&B in Belgium. On Gardenista, we share 10 Garden Ideas to Steal from Belgium

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    As we head into 2015, we're taking a look at design trends on the horizon. Join us as we investigate ways to refresh rooms, make good on our resolutions, and get a little more organized in the process.

    Remodelista cover, A New Start issue, Jan. 2015

    Above: Sarah's living-room shelf still life: "I could easily be a hoarder, but living in small rooms means less stuff and a more rigorous approach to what comes in the house," she says. Go to Sarah's Refined Rental in St. Helena, California, to tour the cottage. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Monday

    Vincent Van Duysen's wood-topped bowls and canisters for When Objects Work | Remodelista

    Above: The most coveted storage containers are now available in glass. Vincent Van Duysen fans, preview the new designs in today's Kitchen Accessories post.

    Tuesday

    Skye Gyngell kitchen by British Standard, Carrara marble countertop and back splash, Farrow & Ball Hague Blue Cabinets, Double Copper Sink,  Photography by Alexis Hamilton | Remodelista

    Above: London's star chef Skye Gyngell wanted a soulful and hardworking home kitchen. On Tuesday, we detail how to Steal This Look, from stove to cabinets to task lighting.

    Wednesday

    Maru Round Hand Mirror by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio of Seattle | Remodelista

    Above: Perfect for start-of-the-year self-reflection: modernist hand mirrors, many of which stand right up to the task. Watch for Wednesday's 10 Favorites post.

    Thursday

    Stephanie Ross's Paris salon | Remodelista  

    Above: Stephanie Ross leads an enviable life: The owner of kids' fashion label Les Petits Carreaux divides her time between Paris, where the clothes are designed, and California, where the clothes are made. In Thursday's House Call, Izabella pays a visit to Ross's glam French quarters.

    Friday

    Ludlow Hotel NYC | Remodelista

    Above: New York hotelier Sean MacPherson knows how to put antique designs to fresh use. In Friday's Lodging spotlight, Heather shows us around his latest downtown NYC offering. To see another MacPherson creation, go to Honey, I Shrunk the Ritz

    Find labware plant stands, an office space in a greenhouse, and a New Year's cleanse recipe on Gardenista this week.

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    For those of us who worship the home, the new year inspires us to reassess our living spaces (and in our case, to revisit the Remodelista Manifesto that we outline in Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home). This year we're taking inspiration from Lea Korzeczek and Matthias Hiller of Studio Oink, whose work is like a breath of fresh air (their motto is "Throw away everything you don't need in your daily life"). 

    Photography via Studio Oink, unless otherwise noted.

    10 Rules We Live By

    1. Classic and livable trumps trendy and transient.

    Studio Oink Living Room | Remodelista

    Above: In a low-key living room designed by Studio Oink, a pleasing mix of midcentury pieces and vintage oil paintings makes for a calming (and timeless) environment. 

    2. Ikea mingles well with antiques: A mix of high and low animates a space—and allows room for all budgets.

    Kitchen with plywood cabinets, glass fronted cabinets, painted whtie floors and white Pantone chair in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: In the couple's own Wiesbaden kitchen, a midcentury Panton Molded Plastic Chair mingles with a vintage wood dining table, rough-and-ready plywood kitchen cabinets, and a free-standing vintage glass-fronted cabinet.

    3. Clutter is the enemy. For a sense of well-being, edit out the extraneous.

    Built-in storage in entry hall of White bedroom with pine floors  in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: In the couple's entry hall, potted greens (oxygenating powers included) beneath the wooden bench and a sheepskin throw set a tone of mixed textures that carries through rest of the apartment. Clutter is kept at bay with a three-part storage system in the entry hall that maximizes the available height.

    Girl sitting on built-in cabinets window seat  looking out of window

    Above L: Form and function: A window seat is created by cabinets that have been built to the same height as the window sill. Above R: The cabinets provide built-in storage as well as a surface for display.

    White cabinets with pine floors in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: Built-in cabinets—valuable for their storage capacity—continue around the room at a lower height to provide more open wall space for artwork and shelving.

    4. Thoughtfully designed and produced goods made with sustainable materials are a far better investment than big-box bargains.  Studio Oink Pot Holders | Remodelista

    Above: Studio Oink sells a selection of one-of-a-kind new and vintage household accessories, including The Most Beautiful Oven Cloth in the World, made of 100 percent cotton with a leather strap; €12 ($14.32). "We love and respect old things, and we are trying to work in a sustainable and ecological way," they say.

    5. Ordinary utilitarian items, such as wastebaskets and scrub brushes, can—and should—be as pleasingly elegant as center-of-attention pieces.

    Iris Hantverk Brooms | Remodelista

    Above: Iris Hantverk brooms and brushes via Tea and Kate.

    Tile kitchen backsplash and light bulb with wire cage clipped onto pipe in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A utilitarian light with a wire cage guard is clipped onto a pipe and provides task lighting with sculptural appeal.

    6. A room full of neutrals needs a disciplined dose of color. Think throw pillows, textiles, ceramics, and artwork in vibrant shades.

    Plywood kitchen cabinets and countertop in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A tray with a Moroccan tile motif, dotted tea towel, and vase of tulips bring color and life to a corner of the couple's kitchen.

    Colored glass vases on wood bookshelf in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A collection of glass vases contained on a small shelf offers a dash of color in an otherwise neutral space.

    Glass fronted cabinet  in kitchen of Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: Well-loved and much-used crockery is on display as well as easily accessible.

    7. Yin wants yang: Masculine and feminine elements mix well and benefit from each other. Add too much of one or the other and your space will feel unbalanced.

    Eames Aluminum Group Management chair in office with pine floors of Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A masculine black leather Eames Aluminum Group Desk Chair is paired with a curvaceous vintage weathered rocking chair in the couple's home office.

    White cabinets and pine floors in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A sheepskin throw adds softness and warmth to the Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck, which contrasts with the minimal built-in cabinets.

    8. Beauty needn't come at the cost of comfort or utility. Steer clear of unwelcoming furniture and fixtures that don't do their job.

    White bedroom with plywood platform bed and cabinets along wall and pine floors in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A platform plywood bed, built to the height of the window sill, turns into cabinets as it wraps around the room, maximizing space and avoiding the need for other furniture.

    Built-in headboard with integrated light and power in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: Lighting and power are integrated into the headboard in the loft bed leaving the small area free of fixtures. (See 12 Architectural Built-Ins in the Bedroom for more tips.)

    Bookshelves behind desk in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: Built-in bookshelves and cabinets keep the work area organized. The loft above the desk area includes a bed for guests.

    9. A mix of textures makes a room interesting. Mohair throws, potted ferns, velvet upholstery, yes; stray dog hairs, no.

    Studio Oink Dining Room | Remodelista

    Above: Sheepskin throws, sheer, light-filtering curtains, and wooden case goods warm up this otherwise austere dining room designed by Studio Oink.

    10. Stay true. Live with what you love.

    Group of silver candlesticks with tall white tapered candles displayed on plywood cabinets  in Wiesbaden Apartment by Studio Oink | Remodelista

    Above: A grouping of silver candlesticks becomes a centerpiece in a well-edited, clutter-free space.

    For more clutter-free inspiration, see:

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    When Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen introduced his now-iconic oak lidded ceramic bowls a while back for When Objects Work of Brugge, Belgium, we were in instant covet mode. So we took note when Van Duysen recently introduced the stackable collection in clear or smoky glass: world's most beautiful display vessels? We think so.

    Photography by Alberto Piovano for When Objects Work, except where noted.

    Vincent Van Duysen's wood-topped bowls and canisters for When Objects Work | Remodelista

    Above: Van Duysen's containers—he refers to them simply as "pots"—range from bowls to platters to canisters. The just-introduced glass versions integrate seamlessly with the ceramic designs; all come with lids in varying thicknesses of sandblasted oak (shown here) or oiled walnut and are made in Belgium. Garde in LA, one of the first retailers to offer the glass, has three sizes in clear glass and oak starting at $235. Garde also offers the full range of Vincent Van Duysen Ceramic Bowls and Canisters.

    Vincent Van Duysen's wood-topped bowls and canisters for When Objects Work | Remodelista

    Above: In addition to clear glass, the new collection comes in smoky shades of brown and black. The glass designs are available from interior designer Jan George in Sag Harbor, New York, in three shades of glass and three sizes starting at $185. 

    Vincent Van Duysen glass bowl with oak lid from Garde in LA | Remodelista

    Above: The Vincent Van Duysen 3-by-6-Inch Glass Canister with Oak Lid, shown here, is $235, and the Vincent Van Duysen 6-by-6-Inch Glass Canister with Oak Lid is $250, both from Garde. The glass is microwavable and dishwasher safe, but not recommended for the oven. Photograph via Garde.

    Vincent Van Duysen's wood-topped glass bowls from Garde in LA | Remodelista

    Above: The Vincent Van Duysen 12-by-3-Inch Glass Bowl with Oak Lid is $395 by special order from Garde. Photograph via Garde.

    Vincent Van Duysen's wood-topped ceramic and glass bowls and canisters for When Objects Work | Remodelista

    Above: The Vincent Van Duysen Glass Canister in black (far left) is $185, and the taller size (far right) is $358 from Jan George. Note: The lids shown here are in oiled walnut; Jan George currently offers sandblasted oak lids.

    Vincent Van Duysen's wood-topped bowls and canisters for When Objects Work | Remodelista

    Above: The designs will soon also be available at March in SF and Suite NY, as well as sold directly by When Objects Work.

    We're longstanding Vincent Van Duysen fans. See:

    Browse our shop to see more designs by When Objects Work.

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    Like most Swedes, my parents take their coffee drinking seriously: They prefer it black, hot, strong, and served twice daily. 

    My husband, a java aficionado (who learned about coffee while living in Costa Rica), likes to use the manual Chemex, while my parents expect the ease of a coffee machine (with an on/off button and a heating element).

    We currently live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and my parents visit from Sweden frequently. And as we gather around the breakfast table, it never fails: An irritating comment from my mother or father typically follows the first morning sip—the coffee isn't hot enough, they say as they repeatedly ask why we can't invest in a simple coffeemaker. Soon they line up in front of the microwave to heat their cups. They always come with their own Swedish coffee; for this year's holiday visit, they took things a step further and brought their own Swedish lidded coffee mugs, claiming that ours don't hold the heat long enough. 

    Prior to their arrival, I told Brandon it was time to avoid the heated debate and invest in a coffeemaker. 

    But could we find the holy grail? To please all parties, our purchase had to blend into our newly remodeled kitchen (much as we'd like one, we don't have a built-in coffee station), barely take up any counter space, and, most importantly, make great tasting hot coffee all day long.

    After endless hours of research—we take our domestic purchases seriously; see Why I Love My Miele Vacuumwe finally decided to buy a Wilfa Presisjon Coffeemaker.

     Wilfa Precision Coffee Maker designed by Tim Wendelboe  

    Above: The Wilfa Presisjon Coffeemaker is the creation of award-winning Norwegian barista Tim Wendelboe, who runs his own micro-roastery and espresso bar, Tim Wendelboe, in Oslo. 

    The Wilfa Presisjon (Precision) takes its name from its performance: It reaches an optimal boiling temperature quickly and remains there. (A chart diagram of its temperature line resembles a hockey stick in comparison to the a bell shape of most coffeemakers.)

    The coffee filter basket can stand on its own, thanks to a wide mouth that allows for ease of inserting filters and pouring coffee. The filter basket is pleated to allow air between the basket and the filter, which eliminates bubbling. See Brian W. Jones's site, Dear Coffee, I Love You, to read a detailed review of the Wilfa. 

    Wilfa Precision Coffee Maker in Aluminum with Chemex in Izabella's Kitchen I Remodelista  

    Above: The best of both worlds: The Wilfa coffeemaker accommodates the Chemex (now my husband and parents can enjoy great-tasting coffee). Photograph by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista.

    Höganäs Coffee Mugs I Remodelista

    Above: Brought all the way from Sweden in my parents' luggage: Höganäs Coffee Cups. The stoneware design comes with wooden lids that retain the heat of the coffee (and double as saucers). They cups come in five colors; $12 each from Scandinavian Design Center. 

    Izabella's Wilfa Coffee-Maker I Remodelista  

    Above: Pouring myself a freshly made cup brewed by our Wilfa (as you can see, I stick with my own mugs; this one is from Royal Copenhagen). In the US, the Wilfa Precision Coffeemaker comes in two models, aluminum and black, and starts at $249.95 from Williams-Sonoma. Photograph by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista.

    To learn more, see a Vimeo video of Tim Wendelboe demonstrating his Wilfa Presisjon

    And for more coffee intel, go to:

    And if you're heading to world coffee capital Melbourne, see Petit Passport's Top Five Coffeehouses.

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    From interesting mirrors to ugly marble to cut crystal to moody minimalism: our predictions of the design trends that will define 2015. 

    Dimore Studio Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: Moody, luxe minimalism; our favorite practitioners include Dimore Studio (shown), Faye ToogoodJoseph Dirand, and Nicolas Schuybroeck.

    Cut Crystal Trend | Remodelista

    Cut crystal makes a comeback. Above L: Decorated Hobstar Glasses; $24 each from West Elm. Above R: Lee Broom's Cut Crystal Light Bulb is $175 from A + R Store in LA. 

    Linen Works Bed Linens | Remodelista

    Above: Mix-and-match linen bedding; photograph via Linen Works. Crate & Barrel and West Elm have jumped on the bandwagon with their own lines.

    Joey Roth Blue Bottle Coffee Pot | Remodelista

    Above: Artisanal coffee-making equipment. Joey Roth's Moka Pot for Blue Bottle is a current favorite; also see our post on handmade coffee drippers.

    WRF Ceramics | Remodelista

    Above: A while back we featured the home of New York potter Paula Greif, who set a goal to make everything in her kitchen by hand. Clearly, she was ahead of the curve; handmade dinnerware is everywhere (see Currently Coveting: Japanese-Style Tableware Made in LA).

    Yvonne Kone Copenhagen Pink Walls | Remodelista

    Above: Pantone's pick for color of the year may be Marsala; but our wall color pick is pale, dusty pink (specifically, Pink Ground from Farrow & Ball, a favorite with Ben Pentreath).

    Amica Zen Oven with Wood Handle | Remodelista

    Above: An organic look for appliances; see Calm in the Kitchen: The Amica Zen Oven by Amica.

    MIchael Verheyden Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: In 2014, we wrote about our attraction to ugly marble (see 10 Favorites: Exotic Marble in Modern Spaces); a current favorite use is the backsplash in Michael Verheyden's kitchen.

    Nanao Candles | Remodelista

    Above: Sculptural candles; a set of five handmade Nanao Candles is $26 from Uguisu.

    Interesting Mirrors | Remodelista

    Above: Interesting mirrors, as featured in this bath via Made a Mano (L) and these Obei Obei Wall Mirrors (R).

    Faye Toogood Blue Tiled Bathroom | Remodelista

    Above: Jewel-toned tiles in the bath, as seen in Faye Toogood's London home. Photograph by Henry Bourne for T Magazine. Astier Villatte Soap Dishes | Remodelista

    Above: Not a trend yet (but we hope it catches on): innovative and beautiful storage solutions in the bath, such as Astier de Villatte's Glamorous Soap Dishes from France.

    Glasserie Restaurant Pastels | Remodelista

    Above: In restaurant interiors, a move away from the industrial, reclaimed-wood look toward lighter materials and mixes of pastels. Shown here, Glassiere in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, via Nana Hagel's blog Far and Close. Also see Pretty in Pink: Spring at Somerset House.

    Herringbone House by Zoe Chang | Remodelista

    Above: Herringbone patterns continue to look fresh, as in the Herringbone House by Atelier Chan Chan.

    Pencil Cactus in the Glass House | Remodelista

    Above: Finally, the new "It" plant is the pencil cactus, according to Gardenista. Photograph of Philip Johnson's Glass House by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    For more of our design forecasts, go to Trend Alert and Current Obsessions.

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    Several shades of gray come into play in Faye Toogood's subtly glamorous London bedroom. Get the look with the following elements.

    Faye Toogood Bedroom in London | Remodelista

    Above: Faye Toogood's London bedroom, photographed by Henry Bourne for T Magazine.

    West Elm Mod Upholstered Bed | Remodelista

    Above: The Mod Upholstered Bed from West Elm is $799 for the queen size.

    Parachute Linens | Remodelista

    Above: The Venice Set from online luxury linens company Parachute is $249 (includes a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and two pillowcases) and is available in a percale or sateen finish and in four colors (white, powder blue, ash, and slate gray).

    Restoration Hardware Linen Bed Skirt | Remodelista

    Above: The queen-size Vintage-Washed Belgian Linen Bed Skirt is $149 from Restoration Hardware.  

    Opaline Pendant Light | Remodelista

    Above: Toogood's opaline light fixture is vintage; for something similar, try Trainspotters or Drew Pritchard on 1st Dibs.

    Kristen Hecktermann Coraline Pillows | Remodelista

    Above: Kirsten Hecktermann's hand-dyed velvet cushions are available in a range of colors and sizes; the Coraline Cushions start at £64 ($99.67). See our recent Spotlight on her designs.

    West Elm Workshop Bar Cart | Remodelista

    Above: The Workshop Bar Cart is $899.99 (down from $1,399) at West Elm.

    Vintage Midcentury Lamp | Remodelista

    Above: Search Etsy and eBay for similar yellow table and desk lamps.

    Ben Nicholson Framed Print | Remodelista

    Above: A framed etching by the British modernist Ben Nicholson hangs over Toogood's fireplace; for poster reproductions that are similar, go to All Posters.

      Farrow and Ball Shades of Gray | Remodelista

    Above L: Farrow & Ball's Skylight is a pale blue-gray. Above R: Farrow & Ball's Cabbage White "takes its name from the distinctive wings of the cabbage white butterfly."

    For more bedroom inspiration, see:

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