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    The most interesting houses tend to be in an eternal state of evolving. Such is the case with the Beverly Hills bungalow that film producer Carla moved into 16 years ago. Previously, she had a small place in Laurel Canyon but longed for a midcentury house. She found her solution when she spotted an early 1970s design that had been heavily decorated in "bad Santa Fe style" but was full of promise.

    Enlisting the help of her architect friend Hagy Belzberg, a protégé of Frank Gehry's, Carla brought the place back to its original, pared-down, Schindler-inspired form. For the interiors, she worked with the late designer Milo Baglioni, who delivered exactly what she was after: orange shag, a B&B Italia glass-and-steel dining table, and Marimekko drapes in the bedroom. 

    Over the years, Carla continued to tweak the rooms, but when water damaged her terrazzo flooring, it was time for a second major reconstruction, which she undertook with the help of another architect friend Julie Hart. For the interiors, Carla (now with two young children in tow) realized she needed help, and, after spotting LA design firm Nickey Kehoe on Remodelista, she hired partner Todd Nickey to help her pull the rooms together for the next phase of her and her kids' lives. It's been a good match: "Todd and l are completely simpatico; he made the house look cohesive for the first time. The blend of the old, the new, the vintage, the sentimental, it just all feels organic now and it feels like me."  

    Beverly Hills home entrance Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: A sheltered garden leads to the entry, furnished with a Jean Prouvé bench. See it and more in 10 Easy Pieces: Modern Wooden Benches with Backs.

    Hollywood Hills home Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: This is LA: The open living room/dining room overlooks the pool. Adam Silverman ceramic pendant lights were previously hung throughout the space; to create a focal point, Todd clustered them over the Saarinen dining table. 

    Hollywood Hills home Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: The table stands next to the U-shaped kitchen, which architect Julie Hart opened up to the dining room. After taking down the wall, she added built-in bookshelves that conceal the refrigerator on the other side. The photograph is by artist Laurie Simmons, a friend of Carla's (and mother of Lena Dunham).

    Beverly-Hills-Kitchen-Nickey-Kehoe-Remodelista

    Above: On the other side of the bookshelves, the fridge is wrapped in wood, connecting it to the teak cabinets and exposed beams. The countertop is made of CaesarStone—read about this miracle material in Remodeling 101: Engineered Quartz.

    Hollywood-Hills-home-Nickey-Kehoe-Remodelista

    Above: The now-white breakfast room has seen several color incarnations over the years, including Hermès orange and indigo blue. As Todd explains, "It's one of our favorite spots in the house—the light is perfect in there. We were going to paint, but we all loved the serenity of the white too much." The Formica-topped table came from Carla's childhood home; it's paired with classic Breuer chairs and pendants by Adam Silverman.

    Hollywood Hills home Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: In the family room, white-framed family photos hang over vintage leather Togos sofas designed by Michel Ducaroy for Ligne Roset. The slatted coffee table is a 1950s design; the vintage Moroccan rug is from Woven Accents of West Hollywood.

    Hollywood Hills home Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: The living area is set off by a gray-painted wall and sofa custom designed by Nickey Kehoe. To connect the fireplace with the room, Todd inserted a two-tiered ledge/bookshelf made of Douglas fir. 

    Hollywood Hills home Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: The hall is lit by a long, narrow skylight original to the house.

    Beverly Hills powder room by Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: The powder room has white-veined black marble counters. (Like the look? See 10 Favorites: Exotic Marble in Modern Spaces.) The towels came from Lost + Found in LA; the vases and bowl are from Heath Ceramics.  

    Hollywood Hills home Nickey Kehoe | Remodelista

    Above: A BDDW Captain's Mirror sits above a vintage Paul McCobb dresser. Carla had a hat rack made with spacing far enough apart for wide brims. The papier-mâché hare is a recent addition picked up at the Nickey Kehoe Shop

    See more of Nickey Kehoe's work in:

    Looking for an architect or designer? Consult the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

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    Music industry veteran Nora Natali got her retail start with an at-home pop-up shop last year inspired by the "coolest stores in Paris, namely Merci, Caravane, Colette, and Bon Marche." It was such a success that she's opened a permanent location in Studio City, LA, called Motti Casa. Her wares include indie furniture, vinyl records, books, and a bit of vintage. Thanks to our always-on-top-of-it friend Alexandra Loew for tipping us off.

    Motti Casa in Studio City | Remodelista

    Above: The light-filled shop on Ventura Boulevard. Photograph via the Los Angeles Times.

    Motti Casa in Studio City | Remodelista

    Above: A Kent iron chair, black-and-blue-striped rug, and resin Tina Frey pedestal bowls.

    Motti Casa in Studio City | Remodelista

     

    Above: The wood Nairobian stool.

    La Motti Casa Cutting Boards | Remodelista

    Above: Tina Frey trays and wood salt cellars

    Motti Casa Striped Chair | Remodelista

    Above: A roll-arm armchair upholstered in vintage grain sack linen.

    Motti Casa Studio City Bowls | Remodelista

    Above: A stack of marbelized bowls.

    For more, go to Motti Casa.

    LA bound? For recommended shops, hotels, and restaurants, see our LA City Guide. And tour the verdant side of the city on Gardenista.

    More Stories from Remodelista


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    After the birth of her second child, Boise, Idaho-based Jennifer Hagler of A Merry Mishap moved her office into her bedroom work area: "I wanted a small area to keep things or to work and get away from the rest of the family for a few quiet moments," she says. In a cleverly executed move (thanks to her husband), her formerly full-size Ikea desk now functions as a corner bedside table/workspace in the master bedroom. Here's how to replicate the look:

    A Merry Mishap Desk/Bedside Table DIY | Remodelista

    Above: "My husband cut our old Ikea desktop down and attached it to the wall with a supporting bracket," Jennifer says. 

    A Merry Mishap Desk/Bedside Table DIY | Remodelista

    Above: The corner functions as a spot for Jennifer to create a small moodboard and keep papers and other sundries organized. 

    My Spot Gold Notice Board from Menu | Remodelista

    Above: Designed by Jan Piechac and Henry Wielgus for Menu, the My Spot Notice Board consists of three anchors, a weight, and a hanging cord. It's available in gold or black for $150 from Huset Shop.

    Swedese Spin Stools | Remodelista

    Above: The Swedese Spin Stool in white is $320 from Huset.

    Hay Bits and Bobs Desktop Storage | Remodelista

    Above: Bits and Bobs glass desktop containers from Hay are designed to hold paperclips and pushpins in the office; prices start at $15 for the Mini Orange Bits and Bobs Container from A+R Store in Los Angeles.

    Ikea Lerberg Trestles | Remodelista

    Above: The Ikea Lerberg Trestles are $10 each.

    Take a look at more of our simple DIY Projects:

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    Brice and Helen Marden, one of the longstanding royal couples of the New York art world, divide their time between their city studios and an estate in rural Tivoli, in upstate New York. They also dabble in real estate—they have a house in Hydra, Greece, and own the lush Golden Rock Inn in Nevis. And so, when Tivoli's beloved old hotel and restaurant, the Madalin, went dark, they stepped up and bought it, transforming its Victorian B&B interior into a light, bright, art-filled clubhouse for locals and creatives. The Wall Street Journal likened the project to Martin Scorsese deciding to run a diner. 

    The Madalin's transformation into the Hotel Tivoli was a family affair—the Mardens' photographer daughter, Mirabelle, joined brainstorming meetings (she's the one who suggested tinting the Douglas fir floors purple). And she paired her parents with her high school friend Laura Flam, an interior designer, who, with her colleagues at Reunion Goods & Services, orchestrated the overhaul. "The place is an extension of the Mardens' lives," says Flam, "They're into color and surprisingly open to risk." 

    Photography by Ingalls Photography, except where noted.

    Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: The Corner, the hotel's restaurant and bar, occupies the ground floor and the guests rooms are on the second floor. Midcentury Italian armchairs from eBay furnish the bar lounge. 

    The interior of the hotel was largely preserved. Instead of major construction, the plan was to combat the gloom with a white and gray backdrop. But not just any gray: Brice mixed his own blend by doctoring an undisclosed Benjamin Moore gray with a bit of cadmium orange oil paint. The floors were treated with purple paint that was applied and then dragged to create a subtle finish. 

    The Corner restaurant/bar at Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: Three of the five principals at Reunions Goods & Services, including Flam, got their start working for Roman & Williams. They were able to flex their muscles the most in the bar, which is clad in Fior de Pesco, a dramatically veined marble (known affectionately around here as ugly marble). Discovered at ABC Worldwide Stone in Brooklyn, it was cut locally. Brice found the vintage pink Murano glass pendant light at Skalar in nearby Hudson, New York. 

    The Corner bar/restaurant at Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: "The marble has two stripes running across it, one fuchsia, the other purple," Flam told us. "We wanted each color to be showcased but not in an overly bookmatched way. On the bottom of the bar, you can see the fuchsia modeling, and the top is patterned in dark purple—it runs across it like a lighting streak. The rest of the restaurant is very calm. The marble is the big moment." The stools are Moroso's Around the Roses design. (To see more patterned marble, go to Beyond Carrara: 12 Splashy Marble Bathrooms.) 

    Arists Brice and Helen Mardens' Hotel Tivoli, Tivoli, NY designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: In the main dining room, a midcentury Sputnik light (which Brice also sourced at Skalar) hangs over a Jean Prouvé table and chairs. Note the Brice Gray on the window frames. The walls are a blush-colored plaster—"like Venetian plaster but not polished," says Flam.

    Moroccan tea glasses at the Corner bar/restaurant at Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista
    Above: Moroccan tea glasses in the coffee station. Helen sourced the glasses and rugs in the hotel during her travels and also at Imports from Marrakech at New York's Chelsea Food Market.

    The Corner bar/restaurant at Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant opens off the entry hall, with stairs painted the same purple—Bistro Blue from Benjamin Moore—used to treat the floors in the bar and guest rooms.

    The Corner bar/restaurant at Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: One end of the room has a red leather banquette lit with Alvar Aalto Bell pendants. After looking at "all the chairs in the world," says Flam, the team selected the stackable Cain Chair from Rochester, NY, design collective Staach: "It has very simple angles, it's comfortable, and the fact that it's made in New York won us over."

    Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: Doors to the guest rooms have their original hardware, and each—now painted Brice Gray—has a hand-painted number on it. Photograph by Reunion Goods & Services.

    Hotel Tivoli via WSJ | Remodelista

    Above: Each of the 10 rooms has a metal-framed Parsons Bed from Room & Board in a different color, plus its own bathroom. This room is called the Madeleine because Madeleine Albright stayed in it (in its previous incarnation) when she attended Chelsea Clinton's wedding in Rhinebeck. Photograph via WSJ.com.

    Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: Paintings by the Mardens and their friends hang throughout the Tivoli. This one is by the late Rene Ricard. The table was one of several antiques found in the hotel and given a fresh look with Hollandlac Brilliant Paints from Fine Paints of Europe. The guest room walls are Benjamin Moore's White Dove (the top choice for an all-purpose white in our 10 Easy Pieces: Architects' White Paint Picks).

    Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: The throw pillows and blankets are from ABC Carpet & Home. The windows have sheer roman shades plus a blackout roller shade that can be pulled down at night. (See why we're sold on shades in Remodeling 101: Simple Roller Blinds.)

    Artists Brice and Helen Marden at Hotel Tivoli, their hotel in Tivoli, NY | Remodelista

    Above: Brice and Helen Marden in a second floor lounge (she's sitting on a chaise that they reupholstered in pink teddy bear fur). A portrait of Helen by Francesco Clemente hangs above her, and opposite one of her own paintings. Photograph via WSJ.com.

    Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: The hotel is fronted by a porch and dining patio furnished with all-weather Lisboa Chairs from DWR. The designers made use of old iron fencing that the Mardens had in their garage and introduced a new metal hotel sign.

    Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, NY, owned by artists Brice and Helen Marden, designed by Reunion Goods & Services | Remodelista

    Above: Reunion Goods & Services also designed the hotel's coasters, postcard, and stationery, shown here, which incorporate drawings by Brice. Photograph by Reunion Goods & Services. 

    Tivoli is about a two-hour drive (or train ride) north of NYC. Rooms start at $210 on weekends. For more details, go to Hotel Tivoli.

    See more of Reunion Goods & Services's work in An Aspen Ski Bar Inspired by the National Park Service. Reunion recently merged with interior design practice Own Entity, whose work we featured in an Office Visit and Bathroom Roundup.

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  • 02/17/15--06:00: Malfatti Glass in Beacon, NY
  • Jill Reynolds and Daniel Spitzer, a married glass-making couple, launched Malfatti Glass in Beacon, NY, after friends admired a wonky handblown glass that Jill made on a lark. In homage to the oddly formed drinking vessels they produce, the couple named their company Malfatti, which means "badly formed" in Italian. 

    Malfatti Glass | Remodelista

    Above: An assortment of shapes and sizes is available. Malfatti's wares are made of lightweight but durable borosilicate glass, the same material used for labware.

    Malfatti Glass Espresso Cups | Remodelista

    Above: A Pair of Espresso Glasses with handles is $64.

    Malfatti Sake Glasses | Remodelista

    Above: The Sake Set consists of a sake pitcher and four cups; $85.

    Malfatti Glass Bowls | Remodelista

    Above: A Pair of Gelato Bowls is $60.

    Malfatti Glass Packaging | Remodelista

    Above: The glassware is shipped in sturdy cylindrical paper tubes. See the full line at Malfatti Glass.

    Browse more of our favorite Glassware:

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    Arresting, yes, and there's also something life-affirming about burst of bright color where you least expect it.

    Have any of you tried some bold shades at home? If so, we'd love to hear. 

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: One half of a loft hallway in Williamsburg is demurely white; the other is ombre blue. Design by Glickman Schlesinger Architects. Photograph by Lauren Coleman.

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: This remodeled house by Copenhagen's LASC Studio is tied together by bleached wooden surfaces bleached, plus surprise bright accents. Here, unexpected turquoise tiles crop up in the shower. See the rest in Shocking Color in a Swedish Summer House. Photograph by Laura Stamer.

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: The palette of a new Manhattan Beach house by Walker Workshop of LA is white, wood, and steel—but the bathroom is a cocoon of bright blue. For more from Walker Workshop, see Feeling Blue: Baths from the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: A neon green kitchen in a Georgian town house in London by Harriet Anstruther Studio

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: Neon yellow sliding glass doors add an unexpected energy to an eco-friendly house on the east coast of Ireland. For more by Dublin's Peter Legge Associates, see A Victorian Transformation, Dublin Style

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: Another room (and another color) in the same Swedish summer house by LASC Studio (see above). Here, orange accents in an attic hallway. See the rest of the house in Shocking Color in a Swedish Summer House. Photograph by Laura Stamer

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: Nothing outside the bath in this Bay Area house suggests the pink shock to come when the door is opened. Design by Christopher C. Deam

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: A glowing pink shower in an all-white bath in London by Harriet Anstruther Studio

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: One side of this Berlin bathroom is all about gray tile and copper piping. This side is electric with a Tom Dixon Fluoro Stool and recessed niche painted to match. See the rest of the design in A Berlin Bathroom as Art Installation.

    Shocking Bright Color in Neutral Homes | Remodelista

    Above: In A Minimalist Ski Resort in Sweden by Daniel Fagerberg Arkitekter, the shed-inspired architecture is understated, but the entrances are a shocking orange-red. (We approximated the color in Palette & Paints: 8 Colorful Exterior Stains.) Photograph by Peter Sundstrom. 

    Keep exploring color in our paint posts

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    According to psychologist Barry Schwartz, the secret to happiness is having less to choose from. In his book, The Paradox of Choice (Harper Perennial), Schwartz describes how choice ultimately leads to paralysis. If you've ever spent hours sleuthing for something as seemingly simple as the perfect teakettle, you know this is certainly the case.

    So we've taken notes from each other, sifted through all the options, and narrowed down our selection nto 13 classic teakettles. Have one to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

    Another Country Tea Kettle | Remodelista

    Above: The hand-spun anodized aluminum Traditional Kettle with British oak handle, from the Netherton Foundry in the Shropshire countryside, is £140 ($214.94) from Another Country.

    Japanese Enamel Tea Kettle | Remodelista

    Above: The Japanese Enamel Kettle is £62 ($95.19) from Labour and Wait.

    Aga Tea Kettle from March SF | Remodelista

    Above: The Aga Hard Anodized Tea Kettle, made in the UK, is $625 from March in SF.

    Copper Tea Kettle from Kaufmann Mercantile | Remodelista

    Above: Kaufmann Mercantile's Handmade Copper Tea Kettle from a metalworking company in Vermont is $399.99.

     

    Demeyere Stainless Steel Tea Kettle, Remodelsita

    Above: Venerable Belgium company Demeyere makes a high-gloss finish Stainless Steel Teakettle; $65 for the small size (4.19 quarts) and $84.95 for the large (6.28 quarts) at All Modern.

    Staub Theiere Teapot, Remodelista

    Above: Alexa and Francesca both swear by the Staub Theiere Teapot, available in black cast iron as well as a range of enameled jewel-like colors (cherry, basil, grenadine, aubergine); $164.99 at Amazon. Photograph from Distinctive Decor.

    Water Kettle by Sori Yanagi, Remodelista

    Above: Sarah's favorite is the Water Kettle by Sori Yanagi, which we singled out in the Remodelista book. A bestseller in Japan, it's $64 for the 2.5-quart size from Amazon. See Muji's lookalike design in our High/Low post. Photograph from Antik Modern.

    BonJour Porcelain Tea Kettle in Black, Remodelista

    Above: The BonJour Porcelain Teakettle in black enamel holds two quarts; $39.95 at All Modern.

    Opa Nuotiokahvipannu Tea Kettle, Remodelista

    Above: The Opa Nuotiokahvipannu teakettle is made by Opa Oly, the oldest manufacturer of stainless steel household items in Scandinavia; available for €59 ($67.23) from Retkiaitta.

    Cambridge Stainless Steel Tea Kettle by Copco, Remodelista

    Above: Illinois-based Copco has been making teakettles since 1962; the Cambridge Stainless Steel Tea Kettle is $34.99 at Amazon.

     

    Kaico Kettle in Enamelware, Remodelista

    Above: Julie's next purchase will be the Kaico Kettle, designed by Makoto Koizumi and made of enamel-coated steel with a beechwood handle and maple knob; $150 at Emmo Home. Photograph from Rakuten.

    Le Cruset Stainless Steel Tea Kettle, Remodelista

    Above: The classic Le Creuset Stainless Steel Tea Kettle is $120 at Williams-Sonoma.

    High Gloss Finish Solid Copper Tea Kettle, Remodelista

    Above: The High Gloss Finish Solid Copper Teakettle from traditional old English whistling kettle maker Simplex is $179.95.

    Also consider:

    For more kitchen accessories, sift through the hundreds of Tabletop posts in our archive. and for an alternative teapot see The Teapot Transformed.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran on September 28, 2011, as part of our London Teatime issue.

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    Whenever we're looking for tabletop and entertaining ideas, we turn to the family of artists behind Le Marché St. George of Vancouver. Sisters Janaki and Klee Larsen, and Janaki's husband, Pascal Roy, jointly own the combination corner cafe and market, where, amid the refrigerator cases, they know how to throw a rustic-chic party. Over the years they've also started offering hard-to-source housewares that are a celebration of natural colors and materials. We were happy to discover that their shop has just launched online—and one of the attractions is their own work.

    Icelandic sheepskin from Le Marche St George's new online shop | Remodelista

    Above: A Large White Icelandic Sheepskin, $185 CAD ( $149 USD), on a sofa covered with a Diamond-Patterned Turkish Cotton Blanket, $125 CAD ( $100.80 USD). The ceramic light and Shallow Bowls are by Janaki; she and Pascal are in charge of the new online shop. N.B.: Much of her work is currently sold out, but more will be available soon.

    Ceramics by Janaki Larsen from Le Marché St George's new online shop | Remodelista

    Above: A Marché St. George signature table setting with White Ceramic Plates, $55 CAD ( $44.35 USD), Soup Bowls, and Tumblers, $25 CAD ($20.16 USD) each, all by Janaki.

     Ceramics by Janaki Larsen at Le Marché St George's new online shop | Remodelista

    Above: A Large Pitted White Serving Bowl, $225 CAD ($181.43 USD), and an Olive Wood Cheese Board, $165 CAD ($133 USD).

    Pallares Solosona knife from Le Marche St. George Vancouver | Remodelista

    Above: One of the shop's bestsellers, the boxwood-handled, carbon-steel Pallares Solona Kitchen Knife, is made by the Pallares family of Solsona, Spain; $35 CAD ($28.22 USD).

    Ceramics and wool pillows from Le Marché St George's new online shop | Remodelista

    Above: Blankets, throws, and hand-loomed wool pillows from the Textiles department.

    Le Marché St George's new online housewares and art shop | Remodelista

    Above: The shop also offers an Art section, which includes photographs by Klee Larsen (shown here) and paintings by Patricia Larsen, the sisters' mother. 

    Janaki Larsen ceramic light from Le Marche St. George Vancouver BC | Remodeilsta

    Above: A Ceramic Light by Janaki with a "black lava surface inspired by barnacles and coastal rock formations"; $350 CAD ($282.23 USD).

    Double-sided throw from Le Marché St. George in Vancouver | Remodelista

    Above: The Double-Sided Linen Throw, $115 CAD ($92.73 USD), is black on one side and natural on the other. The shop ships worldwide; see the full collection at Le Marché St. George.

    Visit the Marché St. George cafe/market in Shopper's Diary, and see more of Janaki's work in Soulful Ceramics.

    We've been avidly following Le Marché St. George's Thanksgiving celebrations for the past few years:

     

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    Noticed lately: macramé making a comeback, shaggy pillows, knitted upholstery, felted wool. Not to mention sheepskin everywhere. Here are nine ways to add a bit of warming texture to your environs.

      Momish Pillow | Remodelista

    Above: Caitlin Emeritz of Metrode added a Felted Black Ball Pillow from Momoish Made to an otherwise neutral corner. 

    Knit Lampshade | Remodelista

    Above: A knitted lampshade via Agnetha Home.

    Erica Tanov Alpaca Pillow | Remodelista

    Above: Erica Tanov's Baby Alpaca Shag Pillow is $210 (down from $300) from Nonchalant Mom.

    Marche St. Georges Throw | Remodelista

    Above: The Handloomed 100 Percent Virgin Wool Throw with fringe is $95 CAD ($76.62 USD) from Le Marché St. George in Vancouver. (See today's Shopper's Diary.) 

    Textile Weavings from Metrode | Remodelista

    Above: We're all coveting a woven wall hanging from Caitlin Emeritz of Metrode.

    Folding Chair by Naomi Paul | Remodelista

    Above: London artist Naomi Paul salvaged a steamer chair, refinished the frame, and added a purled, knitted mohair cushion. Paul also makes Organic Modern Crocheted Lamps.

    Sally English Macrame Weaving | Remodelista

    Above: A custom macramé piece by Sally England.

    Marche Saint Georges Stool | Remodelista

    Above: The Greybelle Tuumia White Stool from Le Marché St. George (a salvaged fir beam stool with a felted wool cover and leather strap) is $350 CAD ($282.26 USD). Take a look at some of our other Trend Alerts:

    And see Gardenista's Trend Alerts on Black Fences and Floral Confetti.

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    When it comes to selecting kitchen backsplash materials, the abundance of options is daunting. Like putting together the perfect outfit, the backsplash depends on other pieces in the ensemble, notably the countertops. Here are our five key questions to help you narrow the field and build a backsplash best suited to your setup.

    Marble Hex Tile Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: Hexagonal Carrara marble tiles form a backsplash with an unfinished border; styling by Jackie Brown for Real Living Magazine.

    1. Which comes first, the countertop or the backsplash?

    There's no right answer to this question; even the experts disagree on the best approach. The key is to decide which of the two is most important to you. It may boil down to whether you have a dream material. Or whether you favor functionality (countertop) or a focal point (backsplash) in your kitchen's design.

    Whether you choose your countertop or your backsplash material first, there's no arguing that the first selection will drive the second. The two materials meet one another at the wall line, so the general rule is they ought to coordinate and complement each other in both color and texture.  

    Countertop First: "In my opinion, backsplashes are not the most important elements and should be selected only after other decisions are made," says architect Elizabeth Roberts of Elizabeth Roberts Design/Ensemble Architecture. "Countertops and cabinets come first." Not as easily switched out as backsplashes, countertops need to be hard-wearing (for use as a work surface) and are typically also the bigger investment in terms of budget, kitchen real-estate coverage, and longevity.

    Backsplash First: Interior designer Alison Davin of Jute Design believes that the backsplash decision should always come first: "The backsplash is more of a focal point because of to its placement," she says. "The countertop should complement the backsplash."

    Alison Davin Jute Kitchen Terra Cotta Tile Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: Alison Davin's favorite combination is marble countertops in earthy/putty tones paired with terra cotta backsplash tiles.  

    Elizabeth Roberts Warren Mews Townhouse Marble Countertop and Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: A third option is to use the same material for both the countertop and backsplash to create a unified look. Elizabeth Roberts chose veined marble for the countertop and backsplash—carried all the way up the wall—in this Brooklyn townhouse.

    2. What look are you after: a statement or subtlety?

    As its name suggests, a backsplash is there to protect the wall from splashes (not to mention cooking grease). But unlike the counter, it doesn't need to accommodate hot pans, sharp knives, and food prep. So the choice is largely an aesthetic one—with many, many possibilities. Whittle down the choices by zeroing in on the effect you're after. And keep in mind that countertops and backsplashes shouldn't both compete for attention, only one should be statement-making. 

    Consider Color

    Angela A'Court Kitchen Yellow Tile Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: Artist Angela A'Court’s introduced a bright backsplash when she renovated her kitchen. "The house is pretty much white and gray all over; I wanted a burst of color, hence the yellow Sicis Glass Mosaic Tiles," she says. They sit between concrete countertops and stainless steel shelving. Photography by Ty Cole. See Rehab Diaries: An Artist's NYC Kitchen Renovation for more on the project.

    Play With Pattern

    Blue and White Cement Tiles Biscuit Film Works, Remodelista

    Above: Contrasting patterns and textures of handmade blue-and-white Fez encaustic cement tiles (from Granada Tile in Los Angeles) bring the backsplash to life in the Biscuit Filmworks kitchen in Los Angeles by Shubin + Donaldson (featured in the Remodelista book). The countertops are gray-veined Carrara marble. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. 

    Toy With Texture

    Textured White Backsplash Tile, Remodelista

    Above: Neutral backsplashes can be dialed up with an interesting surface, as shown in this San Francisco kitchen by Medium Plenty that features white tiles with origami-like folds. Photograph by Mariko Reed.

    Explore Shapes

    Blakes London Gray Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: A gray glass backsplash gains personality with cut-out corners in a kitchen by Blakes London, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory. It's paired with a white solid-surface countertop and integrated sink. Photograph courtesy of Blakes London

    3. How much cleaning and maintenance can you handle?

    An often overlooked issue when considering backsplashes is the day-to-day cleaning requirements of different materials. This may only be pertinent in the areas behind the stove and sink, but it's important. Gather information about how to clean the materials you're considering. Tiled backsplashes have grout that can collect dust and grime. Solid slabs lack dirt-gathering seams, but some natural stone materials can react poorly to grease and other cooking byproducts. And will that glimmering glass or stainless backsplash require nonstop polishing? 

    On Gardenista, Michelle comes clean about her backsplash maintenance issues in My Dirty Secret, or How I Learned to Live with a Marble Backsplash.

    Made-a-mano-Lavastone Tile Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: Dark cabinets pair well with a backsplash of lava stone tiles from Danish company Made a Mano. Lava stone's best attributes include its lack of maintenance: It doesn't require a sealant or treatment. Read more in our Lava Stone Countertop Primer.

    Research whether materials need sealing. In general glazed ceramic tiles don't require a sealant, while natural (porous) tiles do. Sealing grout is strongly recommended. 

    Anstruther Kitchen Marble Countertop and Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: Worth the upkeep? London designer Harriet Anstruther's classically beautiful marble-and-brass London kitchen. Photograph by Henry Bourne. For more of this kitchen, see Steal This Look: A Glamorous London Kitchen from a Designer with "Shit Loads of Talent".

    4. Where is the backsplash going to go?

    A backsplash generally covers the space between the kitchen counter and the upper cabinetry. It might wrap the entire kitchen or just be a small rectangle along one wall. Consider the size of your space when making a backsplash choice. Do you have no upper cabinets and need a backsplash that will reach the ceiling? Or, do you want to limit the backsplash to high-use areas, such as behind the stove, sink, and kitchen desk? 

    Elizabeth Roberts Beadboard Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: If there's already a lot going on in the kitchen, the best answer may be no backsplash at all. "We decided to use painted beadboard for the backsplash since there was already so much stone, concrete, and tile in the room", says architect Elizabeth Roberts of this Brooklyn townhouse design. See more in A Greenhouse for Living and Steal This Look: The Ultimate Chef's Kitchen in Brooklyn. Photograph by Dustin Aksland.

    Amanda Pays Kitchen Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: In designer Amanda Pays and actor Corbin Bernsen's LA kitchen, backsplash tiles are limited to the area behind the stove. The patterned concrete tiles create a focal point that complements the gray concrete countertops and white cabinetry. Photograph by Matthew Williams. Tour the Pays/Bernsen kitchen in the Remodelista book, and take a look at the adjoining laundry room.

    5. What's your budget?

    Knowing what you want to spend helps whittle down the possibilities. Here are some tips to control costs:

    • Choose classic materials that won't go out of style. White ceramic tiles, for instance, offer a great bang for your buck in terms of cost and longevity. 
    • Consider using an affordable neutral field tile or stainless sheeting for the majority of the backsplash paired with a statement tile in a smaller focal point.
    • Natural materials, such as marble, are often much more affordable as tiles rather than slabs. 
    • Be flexible and look for a bargain: At tile stores and even on Craig's List, it's often possible to find tile seconds and overstock, as well as discontinued patterns and colors at a significant savings.

    Chevron White Tile Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: Affordable white ceramic field tile can be anything but boring. The tiles in this backsplash are twice as long as standard subway tiles and are installed in a herringbone pattern. For more ideas, see White Tile Pattern Glossary. Photograph by Nicole Franzen.

    Medium Plenty Kitchen Backsplash Heath Tiles, Remodelista

    Above: A decision to use Calacatta marble (not to be confused with less-pricey Cararra) for the countertops in a San Francisco kitchen by Medium Plenty required that cost savings be found elsewhere. The client found the backsplash's Dimensional Crease tiles marked down by 75 percent at a seconds sale at Heath Ceramics. Photograph by Mariko Reed.

    Ian Read Medium Plenty Heath Seconds Backsplash, Remodelista

    Above: As he remodeled his own house, Ian Read, a founding partner of Medium Plenty, practiced what he preached: flexibility. "Our kitchen tiles were seconds because the color variation was more than what Heath Ceramics typically allows for in variance and the shapes of the tile themselves were more irregular than the norm. There were also some surface pockmarks that we are more than happy to live with," says Read. "There are different approaches to sorting the variations and you can either group like tones or randomize them. In our kitchen we went for the randomized approach." For more tips, see Tile Intel A Budget Remodel with Heath Seconds. Photograph by Melissa Kaseman.

    Remodelista subscribe | Remodelista

    For more kitchen remodeling guidance, see:

    Five Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Kitchen Countertops
    Five Questions to Ask When Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

    And delve into our library of countertop features:

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    Combat winter blues with an indoor kitchen herb garden: a few snips of flat Italian parsley, a sliver of sage, or a few cilantro leaves will add a bit of brightness to the table during the dark days.

    Kitchen with Herb Boxes | Remodelista

    Above: Herbs on call via Peppa Hart.

    Kitchen with Herb Wall | Remodelista

    Above: The wall-mounted Mini Garden is an herb-growing system for your kitchen; go to Mini Garden for information. 

    Herb Garden in Kitchen Island | Remodelista

    Above: Designer Jamie Blake of Blakes London inserted an herb planter in a kitchen island; for more, go to Steal This Look: The Endless Summer Kitchen

    Modern Stainless Steel Kitchen with Herb Garden | Remodelista

    Above: The Red Dot–winning Concrete Kitchen by Martin Steininger.

    Italian Herb Garden in the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: The Meccanica Kitchen by Demode has an herb garden shelf. 

    Ikea Kitchen Plant Shelf 2015 Shelf | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's just-launched Rimforsa system lets you keep a pot of herbs amid your kitchen accessories. See more at Gardenista.

    Check out all of Gardenista's Kitchen Garden and Herb posts, and learn how to make your own DIY: Countertop Herb Garden.

    Remodelista subscribe | Remodelista

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    Creative director Jakob Daschek is Swedish, fashion stylist Barbara Abbatemaggio is Italian, and their overhauled NYC kitchen, designed by architect Lauren Wegel, an Annabelle Selldorf protégé, caters to both of their sensibilities. "Jakob's aesthetic is modern, while Barbara often prefers rustic, romantic spaces with lots of warmth and comfort," says Wegel, "so we took a rustic-modern approach."

    East Village kitchen remodel by architect Lauren Wegel | Remodelista

    Above: After nixing the idea of opening up the kitchen to the dining room—"it just didn't work with the prewar apartment layout," says Wegel—she transformed the 7-by-11-foot space into a bright, spic-and-span galley. Sink, dishwasher, range, and work surfaces are all conveniently within arm's reach of each other.

    The fridge (a Blomberg) and tall cabinets are tucked on the opposite wall. The custom cabinets have an ash veneer—chosen for its open grain and Scandi vibe—with cutout integral pulls (rather than hardware) to streamline the narrow space. The counters are 1 1/4-inch honed Carrara marble—"a bit of home for Barbara," says Wegel—and the floor is tiled with honed statuary and black marble in a basket-weave pattern from Complete Tile. The range and hood are by Italian company Bertazzoni—"they make great ovens that have a Wolf look but are slightly less expensive," says Wegel. See 5 Favorites: High-Style Italian Cooking Ranges for sources. The hood came with the integral pot rack, which Jakob and Barbara love. 

    East Village kitchen remodel by architect Lauren Wegel | Remodelista

    Above: A view from the dining room. To give the kitchen a clean look, Wegel tiled the walls in inexpensive 4.25-by-4.25-inch white Metro squares (about $3.50 per square foot) from Nemo Tile. They have dark grout to play up the grid and because, Wegel says, "white grout reminds me of McDonald's and doctor's exam rooms." The white farmhouse sink, a Porcher design sourced online, has a classic Chicago Wall-Mounted Faucet, a Remodelista favorite—see 10 Easy Pieces: Best Budget Kitchen Faucets. And if you like the look of the chandelier glimpsed over the table, go to High/Low: Arctic Pear Chandelier.

    East Village kitchen remodel by architect Lauren Wegel | Remodelista

    Above: Wegel turned a dumbwaiter into inset shelving: "Because of New York codes, we had to fireproof the hell out of that cavity." 

    East Village kitchen remodel by architect Lauren Wegel | Remodelista

    Above: Barbara (who owns Sorelle Firenze with her sister) requested the open shelves; they're supported by Chrome Rods from Hafele. The globe lights are the Luna design from Schoolhouse Electric.

    Before

    Before shot of East Village kitchen remodeled by architect Lauren Wegel | Remodelista

    Above: Untouched for decades, the kitchen had broken-down appliances and faux brick walls. Its galley footprint lives on.

    Wegel's website is under construction. Based in NYC, she specializes in residential work and can be contacted at Lauren@LaurenWegel.com.

    Wegel worked on another of our favorite New York remodels: A Hardworking Brooklyn Kitchen by Annabelle Selldorf. See more standout galleys in 10 Favorites: The Urban Galley Kitchen.

    Remodelista subscribe | Remodelista

    Go to Rehab Diaries to explore more kitchen remodels, including:

    Also don't miss our recent Rehab Diary, Parts 1 through 4, in which a young couple in London chronicle their small-house overhaul—it starts here.

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    At their ranch in stark Sonora, Mexico, designers Jorge Almada and Marie-Anne Midy have perfected their own brand of rough-hewn but impeccably detailed luxury. The couple are the brains behind Casamidy, a furniture company in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that helped launch saddle leather and heavy canvas seating into the vanguard. Almada and Midy themselves and their two young sons are based in Brussels, but Mexico is their home away from home—they have a place in San Miguel, and Almada spent memorable stretches of his childhood at a ranch his father once owned in Sonora. On a visit back to the area, an aunt of Almada's invited the family to reestablish roots in Sonora by building a casita on her ranch. 

    Designed by Almada and Midy and constructed in 10 months, the Casamidy compound is as polyglot as they are, a combination hacienda and Belgian country house. It's located about an hour due south of Bisbee, Arizona, in the Sierra Madre mountain range, one of the few places in Mexico where it snows on occasion. Come cross the border and take a look.

    Photography by Jorge Almada.

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: The front porch serves as an outdoor living room with furniture upholstered in Casamidy's signature waxed canvas.

    The ranch setting is remote, and it's a study in contrasts: "Both blistering hot and very cold; bone dry and monsoonal," says Almada. So the trick was come up with a practical design that works year-round. "We used the materials on hand, brick and concrete, as well as the local talent—masons who are also cowboys." 

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: A fine place to hang your hats, the double-height main room, with its painted brick and exposed beams, was inspired by the "clean, angular, pointy-roofed look" of classic Flemish architecture. Its palette of white and green with accents of brown leather and black stripes carries through in every room. Casamidy designs, including the Sayulita Table, folding Grenadier Side Chairs, and Sonora Mirror, are mingled with San Miguel antiques and family pieces. The floor is poured cement with cracking and the occasional footprint. The windows are sculpted iron, and, like much of the fine work, were executed by Casamidy's highly skilled San Miguel crew.

    The house is off the grid and heated by wood-burning stoves, including a giant one in the living room. "We have a generator that runs from sunset to bedtime, and our water comes from a perforated well and is very, very clean," says Almada.

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: The "Sonora green" of the rafters is applied to the rustic door frames. The woven leather chair is a Casamidy classic.

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: The house has a camp kitchen with bodega chairs and table and Metro-style shelving (from Costco) for enamelware. In lieu of a fridge, food is stored in a cooler.

    Casamidy Ranch Master Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: The painted headboard in the master bedroom is festooned with Mexican carved wood flowers. The beds in the casita all have plaid sheets modeled after the "grime-hiding" bedding Almada remembers admiring as a boy on a visit to a historic submarine.

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: The master bath doubles as a lounge. The Portofino Chaise (in a Toiles du Soleil black and white stripe) stands on a custom rug bearing the family cattle brand. The Sonora green armoire has Casamidy's round Altamura Pulls of iron and stitched leather.

    Casamidy Ranch Master Bath | Remodelista

    Above: The highlight of the room is a hammered Copper Tub from Counter Cultures, "a wink to the nearby copper mines of Cananea and Bisbee," says Almada. The leather-hung mirror is Casamidy's Pila Seca design.

    Casamidy Sonora Retreat | Remodelista

    Above L: A Casamidy filigreed sofa faces the living room fireplace that the family dubbed the Locomotive. Above R: The Hiver mirror of sculpted wrought iron.

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: Accessed by ladder from the main room, the boys' bunk is in a loft. ("It feels like a treehouse, but it's hell for us to go up with laundry," says Almada, "so we plan to install a pulley system.") The camp beds are Casamidy's Altamura design of wrought iron cloaked in waxed canvas. (See more of the line in our post Indoor/Outdoor Furniture Made from Salvaged Canvas.) The list of words on the wall are Almada and Midy's behavior reminders for their sons.

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: Enamelware designs crop up throughout the casita. Almada says the chests of drawers "have been in my family forever."

    Casamidy in Sonora, Mexico | Remodelista

    Above: Days at the ranch are spent riding, picnicking, and kicking back on the veranda.

    Remodelista subscribe | Remodelista

    We're longtime Casamidy fans. See our posts:

    And take a look at The Artisanal Home, Casamidy's recently published first book. 

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    After working in the fashion industry in New York for 15 years, Christina Hattler (a graduate of the Pratt Institute) moved to Mexico, where she met her future husband, Tomás Macedo, a lawyer. Together, the couple founded Mexchic in 2006, which they run out of their home base in the town of Malinalco, southwest of Mexico City, specializing in modern, everyday designs in collaboration with area artisans. 

    "We stringently follow the guidelines set by the World Fair Trade Organization and are part of the Slow Movement," says Hattler. "We pride ourselves on creating low-impact, socially and ecologically responsible, handmade, high-end products with original designs." 

    Here's a glimpse of Mexchic's home goods collection, which ranges from rugs to pillows and blankets.

    Mexchic Home Collection I Remodelista

    Above: An array of Mexchic designs, including a Wool Shag Rug, wool pillows, and blankets in gray and cream color schemes. The company sells its products directly and ships worldwide (shipping is free to the US and Canada).

    Mexchic flat weave wool rug in rayas I Remodelista

    Above: The handwoven Rayas Flat-Weave Wool Rug; $170.

    Mexchic Floor Pillows | Remodelista

    Above: Wool X Grand Floor Pillows are made of wool that's hand spun and loomed. They come in five colors and are priced from $300 to $350.

      Mexchic Palomita Rug |  Remodeista

    Above: The wool Palomita Boucle Rug in Oreo, 2.5-by-6.5 feet, is $450.

    Mexchic Stella Lines Embroidered Blanket in Triangle I Remodelista

    Above: The Stella Lines Embroidered Blanket in Triangle, $300, is hand loomed and embroidered by women in Malinalco, Mexico. The limited-edition design is inspired by the work of painter Frank Stella and ancient Aztec and Mayan grecas. The blankets come in a choice of cream or gray, with embroidery in olive (shown), cream, gray, or black. 

    Mexchic wool rug | Remodelista

    Above: The Wool Cotorin Rug in Bone is $190 for the medium size (shown) and $385 for the large.

    Mexchic Collection I Remodelista

    Above: A Palomita Rug in pink; $250, part of a collection of shag weavings inspired by 1960s plush rugs.

    Mexchic Rugs I Remodelista

    Above: Palomita Wool Shag Rugs come in three sizes and start at $250. "The artisan who weaves these rugs also cleans, spins, and dyes his own wool and therefore is able to attain this interesting and beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade texture," says Hattler.

    Mexchic Wool Blanket Hand Loomed Charcoal I Remodelista  

    Above: The Hand-Loomed Wool Blanket in Charcoal is thick enough to be used as a blanket or rug. It's available in twin, queen, and king sizes and starts at $280.  Palomita Blanket from Mexchic | Remodelista

    Above: The Palomita Hand-Loomed Blanket comes in cream and gray wool. The blanket measures 77 inches by 149 inches (queen size) and has an 8.5-inch-long fringe on three sides; $350. To see more of the collection, visit Mexchic

    Here's more in Mexico:

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    Before the advent of synthetic cleaning cloths and paper towels, the cotton cleaning cloth was the scullery maid’s weapon of choice when attending to a spill. The cloth was dampened slightly then pushed around the floor, using foot or bended knee, to clean up the area in question. These days, there's still no need to get out a bucket and mop (or armful of paper towels) when a cleaning cloth can perform the same duty with less fuss and waste. The cotton cleaning cloth is entirely presentable in its appearance. Tightly woven with a subtly attractive stripe, this cloth is most prized for its durability: it likes to be washed and actually improves with age. Which is more than you can say about its modern descendants. The classic is starting to make a comeback; here are five examples.

    N.B.: This column is the first in a weekly series by designer Megan Wilson, owner of Ancient Industries and curator of the Remodelista 100, a collection of essential everyday objects presented in the Remodelista book. She is our favorite authority on enduring household designs and will be shedding light every week on a corner of the home, favorite discovery, or current obsession.

      Objects of Use floor cloth | Remodelista

    Above: The 100-percent cotton Cleaning Cloth, 20 inches by 24 inches, is made in Sweden by Iris Hantverk and is available at Objects of Use in Oxford, England for £4.50 ($6.93).

    Juniperseed Cloth/Remodelista

    Above: A dozen Organic Unbleached Cotton Birdseye Cloths are $27.50 from Juniperseed Mercantile on Etsy.

      Labour and Wait floor cloth | Remodelista

     Above: The Cotton Floor Cloth, a 21-inch square, is available from Labour and Wait in London for £4.50 ($6.93).

    Everyday Needs Cleaning Cloth/Remodelista

    Above: From German company Burstenhaus Redecker, the 60-centimeter-by-80-centimeter cotton Cleaning Cloth is $12 NZD ($9 USD) from Everyday Needs.

    Woods Fine Linens Cleaning Cloth/Remodelista

    Above: Traditional Woven Cotton Floor Cloths, measuring 53 centimeters by 53 centimeters, are £3 ($4.62) each from Woods Fine Linens.

    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.

     Looking for more cleaning tips? Browse our Domestic Science posts, including Move Over, Mrs Meyer, and learn how to make your own Diamond-Bright Window Cleaner on Gardenista. 

    This post is an update. It originally ran on March 25, 2014 as part of our Spring Forward issue.

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    Succulent fences. Lavender fields. And Marfa miniimialism. This week Gardenista is all about drought gardening with style.

    Succulent garden LA | Gardenista

    Above: Now trending: The drive-by garden, LA-style. Take a look at Cactus with Curb Appeal. And read Bea Johnson's 10 Tips for a Zero-Waste Garden (including a surprise use for urine).

    low-maintenance succulents | Gardenista

    Above: "Are you sick of hearing that succulents are 'easy' when the only thing yours do reliably is die?" asks Michelle. Her solution: Get the right ones for the job. In this week's 10 Easy Pieces, she presents the best succulents for indoors and out, and how to keep them happy,

    Bodie Fou Butterfly Chair | Gardenista

    Above: The classic Butterfly Chair is one of the key ingredients in a Marfa, Texas, indoor/outdoor house with Donald Judd–style privacy screens. Investigate the former dance hall and learn where to source its designs in Steal This Look.

    Cristiana Ruspa Rocca Civalieri hotel garden | Gardenista

    Above: Did you know that lavender is a drought-tolerant plant? See examples of it thriving from Albuquerque to Athens in Purple Haze, today's Outdoor Gardens post.

    Newly reissued Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden | Gardenista

    Above: Required Reading: a 1970s bible for gardeners with postage-stamp plots, now updated.

      Cactus fence | Gardenista

    Above: Tall cacti make glamorous fences. Grow your own.

    For more ideas to steal from drought-tolerant gardens, go to Gardenista.

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    I like to see how other people store their kitchen knives. It's a detail I often zero in on when visiting a new kitchen or looking at photos of kitchens. Are the knives tucked away in a stealth in-drawer block? Or are they out in the open in a traditional countertop block, or suspended from a magnetic strip?

    Recently, I spotted a knife storage solution that, after hours of online searching, I realized is entirely bespoke: a leather knife rack mounted to the side of a kitchen island. I had to have one, so I made my own. With a pliable piece of leather, it's a pretty simple thing to create, and you can tailor each loop in the rack to fit your own needs—no advanced knife skills necessary.

    Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Materials

    • Wood cut to the desired length. I used a 12-by-2-by-1-inch piece of poplar. Choose a soft wood if you plan to use pushpins.
    • Leather hide, at least 14 by 7 inches (enough to generously wrap the entire piece of wood)
    • A handful of pushpins or nails
    • Sandpaper
    • Scissors
    • A hammer
    • An awl; such as the General Tool 818 Scratch Awl; $3.97 from Amazon

    Instructions

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Step 1: Flip the leather over so that the inside of the hide faces up. Sand your pieces of wood, place atop the leather, and eyeball how you'll wrap it. Measure, mark a pattern, and then cut to your liking.

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Step 2: On each end of the wooden block, trim the leather so that it can be wrapped tightly against the wood. If your leather is on the thinner side, you can wrap the ends of the wood as you would a gift box, folding it over itself. If your leather is a thicker cut, as mine was, you'll want to make L-shaped cutouts so that you don't have unnecessary excess. If you're using soft wood and leather, you can secure each section with a simple pushpin. If the wood is hard and the leather is thick, you'll want to puncture your leather with an awl and use a nail to create a hole before applying a pushpin.

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Step 3: Once you've pinned down each end of the wood, fully wrap the block overlapping the leather on the side that won't show (and trimming as necessary). Secure the leather in place with a series of evenly spaced pushpins (I used three).

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Step 4: Flip over the block to the display side. To create the knife holder, cut a strip of leather that is about one-inch thick (or adjust as desired; leave extra length so that there's room for error). Pin down one end of the strip in the center of the block about an inch from the end.

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Step 5: Push the leather against itself until it makes a loop. Secure the loop in place with a pushpin, and then continue making loops and pinning them down, adjusting each to your liking, until you're an inch from the end. Consider customizing your knife rack to your own set of knives and kitchen tools: I created one large loop to hold my kitchen scissors, and smaller, tighter loops for my knives.

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Step 6: To mount the finished rack on the wall, there are a variety of options: You can hang it like a picture frame using a length of wire and pushpins on the back, you can nail the entire piece to the wall, or you can nail two sawtooth hangers on the back and hook them onto the wall (the approach I took).

    The Finished Look

    DIY Leather Knife Rack for the Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: The knife rack hangs next to my stove for easy access to kitchen shears and paring knives. An alternative option is to nix the wooden block altogether and create an all-leather knife holster that hangs directly on the wall—something that I hope to try in my next apartment.

    What to do with leftover scraps of leather? Consider 10 DIY Projects Using Leather and Erin's DIY: Braided Leather Drawer Pulls. Looking for a place to store garden tools? See the Powder-Coated Steel Tool Rack on Gardenista. 

    N.B.: This post is an update. It originally ran on May 28, 2014, as part of our Modest Modern issue.

    Remodelista subscribe | Remodelista

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    Here's a look at what's been catching our attention this week. 

    Art Installation by Charles Petillon | Remodelista

    • Above: What to do with abandoned spaces? One artist fills desolate structures with balloons. Photograph courtesy of Dezeen. 
    • 2-in-1 craft station
    • Admiring the redesign of Rue Magazine's new website. 
    • To critique Ikea's use of computer-generated images, one artist creates his own catalog with cardboard furniture. 

    Tom Dixon Mortar and Pestle | Remodelista

    Elevations Series by Studio Esinam, Tokyo Poster, City Posters | Remodelista

    Instagram and Pinterest Picks of the Week

    Remodelista Instagram Pick of the Week: @HouseTweaking

    • Above: If your Instagram feed could use more cat cameos and pretty interiors, consider following Dana Miller (@housetweaking). 

    Remodelista Pinterest Pick of the Week: Cupscakes and Cashmere Emily Schuman

    • Above: Cupcakes and Cashmere's Gallery Wall pin board is filled with ideas for how to display artwork. 

    Want more Remodelista? Have a look at our latest issue, The New Eclecticism. And don't miss Gardenista's week of Drought-Friendly Gardens

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    This week, as we gaze at our own winter clutter and vow to simplify, we're delving into the virtues of clean living.  

    Remodelista Clean Living issue week of Feb. 23 2015

    Above: LA interior designer Michaela Scherrer's own house is unified by shades of white: "If you have different colors and things are in disarray, it's obvious," she points out. "If you have one color and things are in disarray, it just looks artistic." Tour her Pasadena bungalow in the Remodelista book and see more of her Guest Suite (shown here), including the world's tiniest spa bath. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Monday

    A Berlin house remodel by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: In today's Designer Visit, take a look at the apartment we think 50 Shades of Grey should have been set in.

    Elastic frame | Remodelista

    Above: Simple and room-changing: fuss-free, readymade picture frames. Watch for Julie's 5 Favorites post.

    Tuesday

    Scandi white laundry room|  Remodelista

    Above: A laundry room as appealing as a pile of perfectly folded towels and sheets. On Tuesday, learn how to Steal This Look with some Ikea elements.

    Wednesday

    Chopes Unie Glass from Father Rabbit NZ | Remodelista

    Above: A toast to the humble tumbler. In this week's 10 Easy Pieces, we present our favorite everyday drinking glasses.

    Thursday

    Evam Eva Organic Japanese Towels | Remodelista  

    Above: Discovered: the stealth luxury of plant-dyed, organic cotton towels from Japan.

    Friday

    Upstate NY home office of Workstead architects Stephanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith | Remodelista

    Above: Ready to achieve the clutter-free life? In Expert Advice, Carmella Rayone of Assortment explains how to rid yourself of all the stuff you don't need. And Carmella would know: She and her family of five downsized several years ago to a 665-square-foot cabin. Take a look at their 13-Foot Kitchen with a Place for Everything. Photograph of Workstead architects Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith's upstate NY home office by Matthew Williams from the Remodelista book.

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    What's that intoxicating fragrance? Over at Gardenista, this week's topic is The Power of Scent.

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    This sexy, minimalist overhaul is the work of interior and furniture designer Jacek Kolasiński of Loft Szczecin, a firm based in Szczecin, Poland (an hour and a half north of Berlin). The grand structure was used as a hospital during the Berlin Wall era and then fell to ruin. It's since been converted into four residences; this one belongs to a family of four, who gave Kolasiński total freedom to do it up—with restraint.

    Photography by Karolina Bak via Loft Szczecin

    Loft Szczecin in Berlin Entryway | Remodelista

    "My concept was to use classic Bauhaus elements from the twenties and combine them with Scandinavian designs and some Polish accents," says Kolasiński. Above L: A Vitra chaise found nearby in an old warehouse under a pile of windows and newly reupholstered. Above R: Gubi's Semi Pendants, a 1968 design by Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup, hang in the entry, which is furnished with a bench and wall-hung key cabinet by Kolasiński, who told us, "The chest is used to store shoes; it was inspired by old Polish dowry chests."

    Loft Szczecub Living Room in Berlin | Remodelista

    Above: In the living room, leather sofas supplied by the owners stand under a Bent Chandelier by New York architecture firm Workstead. The framed posters are by Polish artists from the fifties and seventies—bringing to light work from his country is one of Kolasiński's missions. 

    Loft Szczecub Berlin Apartment | Remodelista

    Above L: A midcentury Polish vase. Above R: A Bernard Schottlander Mantis floor lamp and a leather chair bought at auction.

    Loft Szczecin in Berlin | Remodelista

    Above: The black midcentury sideboard is another of the many pieces Kolasiński bought at auction and had restored in Poland—Loft Szczecin also sells refurbished Danish, Czech, and Polish furniture from the twenties, fifties, and sixties and is a source worth discovering. 

    Berlin remodel by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: A view into the kitchen.

    Loft Szczecin Kitchen Table | Remodelista

    Above: Gubi's Ronde Pendants by German designer Oliver Schick hang over the family table in the streamlined eat-in kitchen.

    Berlin kitchen/dining room by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: The wide floorboards are oak with an oil finish.

    Berlin kitchen/dining room remodel by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: The apartment overlooks parkland. Kolasiński had the curtain rods fabricated by a locksmith—"thanks to a very special construction, installation elements are not visible." All the apartment curtains are sheer linen sewn in Poland.

    Berlin kitchen by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen has a Corian counter with integrated sink and Bestlite Wall Sconces. Like the look? See Corian Countertops (and the New Corian Lookalikes) and 11 Best Industrial-Style Sconces for the Kitchen.

    Berlin House remodel by Jacek Kolasinski of Loft | Remodelista

    Above: Kolasiński made the table in the formal dining room with Vitra legs purchased at auction. The chairs came out of Kodak's old Berlin headquarters. The hanging lights are by UK designer Samuel Wilkinson for Decode.  

    Loft Szczeci in Berlin | Remodelista

    Above: The plates on the wall are vintage Polish designs: "They're the work of some of the best Polish sculptors and graphic artists," says Kolasiński.

    Loft Szczecub Dining Room in Berlin | Remodelista

    Above L and R: The chairs are backed in velvet of varying shades.

    Berlin house remodel by Jacek Koasinski of Loft | Remodelista

    Above: Gray linen upholstery and bedding in the master bedroom. The angled oak bed and bedside table are Kolasiński designs. The bed linens are by Polish company Yelen.

    Berlin remodel designed by Jacek Kolasinski of Loft in Poland | Remodelista

    Above: Kolasiński's designs for the house were fabricated by Marcin Wyszecki at Loft Szczecin's workshop in Poland using joinery and other traditional techniques. "Carpenter-made wooden furniture creates a cozy atmosphere in the apartment," says Kolasiński. 

    A Berlin house remodel by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: Kolasiński cloaked the bathroom in shades of fog and designed the oak chaise and sink cabinet. The wash basin is a Philippe Starck design for Duravit. The walls here and throughout the apartment are treated with limewash paint—go to Remodeling 101 to learn about the age-old material and how to use it.

    A Berlin house remodel by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: The room is anchored by an extra-tall painted baseboard highlighted with a stripe. The steel and wood chair is Swedish design firm Afteroom's "homage to the functionalism."

    A Berlin house remodel by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: The hanging wood-framed mirror is Kolasiński's Lustro design. For bathtub ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Modern Bathtubs.

    Berlin bathroom by Jacek Kolaskinski of Polish design firm Loft | Remodelista

    Above: The tall, dark baseboards are also practical—they protect against moisture. See more of Kolasiński's work at Loft Szczecin.

    Browse our Architecture gallery, and go to our Designer Visit and House Call posts to tour more remodels, including:

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