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    Product designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón is the genius behind the PET Lamp, a global project devoted to turning castoff soda bottles into artisan-made woven pendant lights: See Fantastic Plastic. Fittingly, Alvaro himself lives with his young daughter, Sofia, in a defunct lamp factory in Madrid that he repurposed as a colorful live-work space. Inspired by Freunde von Freunden's recent feature on Alvaro, we decided to pay him a visit.

    Photography by Erea Azurmendi and Adrian Cano Franco via Freunde von Freunden.

    Designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocon and daughter in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: Alvaro and Sofia in front of Matadero Madrid, a contemporary art center near their factory.

    Designer and upcycling specialist Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: Triple Chimbarongo PET Lamps made by wicker craftsmen in central Chile hang over a table used for work meetings by day and dinners by night. The Eames Aluminum Chairs transformed with embroidery are part of Alvaro's Home/Office project.

    The interior of the factory was in a state of ruin when the designer took it over and required an enormous amount of clearing out and shoring up. The timber ceiling struts were hidden under a flat plaster ceiling. "It's rare to find a lamp factory in Madrid," Alvaro, a Madrid native, told Freunde von Freunden. "In terms of redesign, I wanted it to be very flexible, to be able to adapt to many different projects and situations. And I wanted to keep the history of the space intact. I tried to keep it as open as possible and didn't build any proper walls."

    Designer and upcycling specialist Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: Canvas curtains (and a sliding wooden door with a Droog doorbell) divide the public and private parts of the factory. The living room features a painting by Alvaro's uncle Manuel Salina on loan from Alvaro's brother's gallery, Pintura Pintura. The sofas are Paola Navone's Ghost design from Gervasoni (available from Home Stories in Brooklyn Heights) and the leather chair is the classic PK22 by Poul Kjaerholm.

    Designer and upcycling specialist Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: Alvaro's modular Rayuela stools are clustered to form a coffee table that looks tiled. The wooden chair is by his friend Francesco Faccin and the Flos lamp is the 265 by Paolo Rizzatto—"like most of my furnishings, they were trades." The pillows are the work of Su Turno and Blanca Drake of Cucs.

    Designer and upcycling specialist Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: Bookshelves separate the living room from Alvaro's bedroom. The room's sliding door is shown on the left. Of the windows, Alvaro tells us: "I was very keen to preserve their wooden structure even though they don't have glass anymore. There are new windows behind that are nearly invisible."

    Designer and upcycling specialist Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: The cupboard was passed down from Alvaro's grandfather and is used as a bar. Its doors are made from carved wood cheese molds. The table is another piece by Francesco Faccin and a Rayuela stool holds a projector—"We don't have a TV because I prefer to watch films; my daughter and I project them directly onto the wall."

    Alvaro made the collages when he was in college majoring in business management—and dreaming of becoming a designer. He later went on to study at Milan's Instituto Europeo di Design and graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 2004.

    Designer and upcycling specialist Cabin bedroom within Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above L: Sofia's cabin-like room has a sleeping area and play loft. "It's a treehouse of sorts with an actual tree trunk that functions as column." Above R: A Manuel Salinas painting hangs over a display of wooden animals by David Medina and houses by Antonio Serrano, Madrid designer friends of Alvaro's.

    Plywood cabinets in Alvara Catalan de Ocon's kitchen in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: "I wanted a very open and light kitchen linked to the dining area. And I wanted the cooking utensils, plates, and cutlery to be visible and easy to grab," says Alvaro. He used birch plywood for the cabinets and counters; the metal shelves and hanging racks are from Ikea. Alvaro assembled the table using an old wooden top and Singer Sewing Machine legs, both Barcelona street finds, as were the collection of bentwood chairs—"two of them are original signed Thonets."

    The dishwasher is located next to the sink and camouflaged by a plywood front. A fridge, range, and washing machine are tucked into a column at the end of the counter just beyond the photo frame.

    Spattered and striped bowls  in Alvara Catalan de Ocon's kitchen in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: The stack of spattered and striped bowls are from an Easter visit to Nijar in the south of Spain, "an amazing region of folk crafts; it's where all the Spaghetti Westerns were shot."

    Glass cooktop in Alvara Catalan de Ocon's kitchen in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: The cooktop is a Siemens induction plate. The counters have only an oil finish, "so over time, there will be stains and traces of use."

    PET lights from soda bottles in designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's live/work quarters in Madrid | Remodelista

    Above: The "clean office space" is hung with 21 examples from Alvaro's first PET Lamp collection, made in Colombia. He collaborates with weavers using their regional techniques, and these are the work of the Eperara-Siapidara people of Bogotá. The divided table is a Vitra design by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Note the embroidered chairs: "The Aluminum Chair is a global product, sold worldwide with minimum variations. The Home/Office project offers the possibility of transforming the Aluminum Chair into a local product by local artisans," writes Alvaro.

    Designer  Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's PET lamp made from a soda bottle and wickerwork | Remodelista

    Above: A look at PET Lamp construction, colorful cloth cords included. Eperara-Siapidara designs start at €150 ($166.27).

     Designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's Madrid workspace | Remodelista

    Above: The lights are assembled in a workroom with a table built from a wooden shipping crate found in Alvaro's previous studio. Watch the making of it here, and see PET Lamps being created here.

     Designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocon's PET lamp project, lights made from recycled soda bottles and wickerwork from Colombia | Remodelista

    Above: Lamp stock is stacked on existing shelves in the work room, and visiting clients can make their own selections. "Every lamp is different, so there's always a decision process." Learn more in our post Fantastic Plastic: Lamps Made from Recycled Soda Bottles, and see the lamps in situ in Restaurant as Social Experiment: 28 Posti in Milan. Explore the full range of the studio's work at Alvaro Catalán de Ocón.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Two options for adding color to your space via color-blocked storage units.

    Rack + Table by Muller van Severen | Remodelista

    Above: The Rack + Table in brass with polyethylene shelves by Belgian artists turned furniture designers Fien Muller and Hannes van Severen of Muller van Severen is $4,700 from L'Arco Baleno. "Their work straddles the line between sculpture and functional homeware," according to Coolhunting. "Their decision to start making 'furniture sculptures' in 2011 arose very spontaneously. It was the outcome of a combination of circumstances, including the fact that the couple was in the midst of a home renovation."

    CB2 Colorblock Shelves | Remodelista

    Above: The Mondrian-inspired Color Block Bookcase from CB2 is $599 and has a black powder-coated iron frame with hand-enameled shelves in gray, powder blue, yellow, and orange-red.

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    How to instantly add life to a staid space? Consider laying some new groundwork. Of late, rug designers have been on a color-block bender; here are our favorite results at a range of price points.

    Modern geometric YEAH rug from Magasinmae | Remodelista

    Above: The Yeah Rug from Magasin Mae, designer Mae Engelgeer's online shop, is made in Nepal of hand-knotted wool. Inspired by Berger and Boucherouite carpets, it's intended for use as a rug or wall hanging; €2,100 ($2,327). See more in Artful Textiles from a Dutch Colorist.

    Wool rug with orange stripe: Tapete Grande Gris Naranja from Lagos del Mundo | Remodelista

    Above: Wool Tapete Grande Gris Naranja from Lagos del Mundo are woven on pedal looms in the Mexican state of Queretaro; the 5.5-by-7.8-foot size is $423.31. 

    Block-patterned geometric rug, the Charlie Rug from Blu Dot | Remodelista

    Above: Blu Dot's 6-by-9-foot Charlie Modern Rug, a cotton- and wool-blend dhurrie, is $499.

    Assembly Home Complex Colorblock Printed Rug from Urban Outfitters | Remodelista

    Above: The Assembly Home Complex Colorblock Printed Rug from Urban Outfitters is made of cotton and measures 5-by-7-feet; $99. Color Carpets by Hay Denmark from The Modern Shop in Canada | Remodelista

    Above: Scholten & Baijing's Colour Carpets by Hay Denmark are made of New Zealand wool and come in six colorways; $1,399 CAD ($1,074.29 USD) from the Modern Store of Canada.

    Ocean Denim carpet by Madeline Weinrib | Remodelista

    Above: Madeline Weinrib's cotton Ocean Denim Carpet is part of a collection inspired by Japanese textiles (see The Japanese Art of Sashiko Stitching). It comes in three sizes, starting at 6-by-9 for $1,250.  

    Woven paper cording carpet from Woodnotes | Remodelista

    Above: Finnish company Woodnotes' Squareplay Carpet is made of woven paper yarn. Go to Woodnotes for details.

    Geometric Code rug from CB2 | Remodelista

    Above: The 9-by-12-foot cotton Code Rug is $599 from CB2.

    Felted geometric rug from Peace Industries SF | Remodelista

    Above: The 8-by-10 Littlebox Rug is made in Turkey of wool felt $3,280 from Peace Industry of SF. Other color combinations and pattern variations available. Read about the company's felting process here.

    Color-blocked rug from Ferm Living, the Kelim Rug Squares | Remodelista

    Above: Ferm Living's Kelim Rug Squares, woven in India of 80 percent wool, 20 percent cotton yarn, is €168 ($186). The large, shown here, measures approximately 4.5 by 6.5 feet.

    Still looking? Go to 7 Handwoven Rugs in Pretty Pastels and see hundreds of rugs in situ in our Photo Gallery. On Gardenista, have a look at Carpets in Outdoor Spaces.

    Cast your daily vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015!

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    What is better than a basic beeswax candle? Nothing—except maybe the delicately colored beeswax creations of Brooklyn-based Japanese artisans Shiho Hashimoto and Megumi Togo of Sono.ei. In an undertaking dedicated to the creative spirits of their grandmothers (the eponymous Sono and Ei), the duo evoke shades of sunrise and twilight in their tapers and feather-shaped candles.

    Sono.ei beeswax tapers | Remodelista

    Above: Drawn to the texture of beeswax, Shiho and Megumi added soft colors that, in burnt pink and fading blue, evoke the first moments of day—or dwindling twilight; take your pick. Their designs are available from a number of shops across the country. Alder & Co. in Portland, Oregon, offers the 8-Inch Handmade Beeswax Tapers for $21 apiece.

    Sono.ei's pillar beeswax candle | Remodelista

    Above: Megumi aims for "a softness and depth" in her color gradations. ABC Carpet & Home sells Sono.ei Pillar Candles and Votives for $25 to $30; shown here, the four-inch-tall Aqua Votive.

    Handmade beeswax feather candles by Sono.ei on Remodelista

    Above: The idea for the feather candles came while Megumi was volunteering at a hospital during the Cambodian New Year: "There was an altar made out of paper feathers that the attendants used for making personal wishes. It was beautiful, not only as a decoration but also ceremoniously beautiful."

    Sono.ei's feather candles made of beeswax on Remodelista

    Above: You say Cambodian New Year's altar, we say birthday pie. The Sono.ei Etsy site is currently on hiatus, but Cake-Size Feather Candles and more will reappear during the holiday season.

    Beeswax feather candles handmade by Sono.ei on Remodelista

    Above: Sono.ei will also be releasing home-decor-size feather candles later this year. For more details and a list of retailers, go to Sono.ei.

    Go to Candles to see more of our finds, including Magiera Beeswax Candles from Japan and, for outdoor dining, DIY: Scented Candles to Repel Insects, Not Humans. Also take a look at The Day After: How to Remove Candle Wax

    Vote daily for your favorite finalists in the Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

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    Our judges have selected the finalists, now you choose the winners. Vote for the finalists in each of 12 Considered Design Awards categories, on both Remodelista and Gardenista. You can vote once a day in each category, now through August 15.

    In the Best Amateur Kitchen category, our five finalists are Elizabeth Norris, Tracie Delaney, Nicole Cole, Adam Darter and Nora Calderwood, and Jo Flavell. 

    Project 1

    Elizabeth Norris | Nantucket, MA | Modern Nantucket Kitchen

    Design Statement: "Keeping it clean and simple!"

    Chosen by: Guest judge and designer John Derian, who said: "It's everything I like about a kitchen: simple, bright, and well laid out. I like the symmetry and proportions of the space. I hope that once it's stocked it will be even more beautiful."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The kitchen island is painted a dark shade of blue."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Open shelving."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The light and bright dining area."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The sliding barn door offers privacy."

    Project 2 

    Nicole Cole | Norfolk, NE | Rustic Modern DIY Kitchen

    Design Statement: "Over this past year, we transformed our kitchen into a rustic modern space that is functional for cooking and provides a place to display our kitchenware. Our budget dictated working within the existing framework of the previous kitchen and lots of late nights and weekends completing the work ourselves."

    Chosen by: John Derian, who commented, "The white tiled walls are a great look. I love the black countertops and black-and-white accents. The kitchen seems functional, which is important to me. I like the contrast of the rustic wood shelves flush with the tile."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "A clean vent hood and lighting lets the subway tile running up to the ceiling shine."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "We chose a smaller scale refrigerator to maximize counter space and encourage fresh food shopping."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Open shelving allows us to enjoy our best pieces every day and discourages clutter. The island has been with us through three houses. The door is painted Benjamin Moore's Onyx."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Collected ceramic bowls and a watercolor from our trip to Rome displayed on floating shelves made from salvaged wood from Nebraska barns—we used butterfly joints in the cracks."

    Project 3

    Tracie Delaney | Los Angeles, CA | Hollywood Hills Kitchen

    Design Statement: "Our design goal for this kitchen was simple. It needed to be warm and modern and easy to tidy up since we have two kids. You can see the 'Hollywood' sign from the kitchen window while you wash the dishes!"

    Chosen by: John Derian, who said "I love the organic modern style of this simple and efficient space."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The custom cabinets are painted Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White. The stools are Muuto."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The island is solid European oak. The light is by Grethe Meyer and the fridge is from Viking."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "We were inspired to build U-shaped shelves after seeing them at Nili Lotan's space in New York ."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Heath dishes and Victoria Morris pottery on display."

    Project 4

    Adam Darter and Nora Calderwood | Brooklyn
, NY | Park Slope Kitchen Renovation

    Design Statement: "Our kitchen needed to be versatile in a small space. We, an architect/designer couple, custom-designed the large island to pull out, creating a dining table for 10. Storage underneath the island is then used as a serving surface. Concealed appliances allow the kitchen to be less overt in an open-plan design."

    Chosen by: Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson, who commented: "This kitchen is full of clever solutions for small-space living; the island that converts into a dining table is genius. I also like the crisp dark blue accents, which contrast nicely with the white subway tiles and the brass chandelier."

Photographs by Michel Arnaud for Design Brooklyn, unless otherwise noted.

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Kitchen with table as island for everyday use." 

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The kitchen island converts into a dining table

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Kitchen island converted into dining table—living room view

    Project 5

    Jo Flavell | Market Harborough, UK | Garage to Kitchen

    Design Statement: "An unused double garage redesigned into an open-plan space with height and light. A variety of handmade furniture gives an unfitted look, with a mixture of simple colors and old wood. A central prep area to cook and socialize and a dining table with views of the garden."

    Chosen by: Julie Carlson, who said: "The owners have done a nice job of creating an open-to-the-outdoors kitchen in a former garage—you'd never guess its past life. I like the way the salvaged wood floor adds a note of rusticity to the space and plays against the dark-blue-and-white color scheme."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Rustic wooden cupboard above the granite sink work surface and painted storage units."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Handmade armoire-style cupboard with refrigerator and crockery storage inside."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "Vintage glass cabinet and storage with new window area where garage doors used to be."

    Best Kitchen Finalist in the 2015 Remodelista Considered Design Awards

    Above: "The central prep table and cooking viewed through open doors from the garden."

    Found your favorite? Vote once per day in each of 12 categories across both sites, now through August 15.

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    What's the best color for an accent wall, and which wall should I paint? Answer: Any color, any wall. The goal here is to have fun with color, and the permutations of the accent wall are endless.

    One thing to keep in mind: Whichever wall you choose, a bold color will end up defining the room, so think first about how you want that space to feel.

    Read on for 10 very different interpretations of the accent wall.

    Red accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: A red wall marks the boundary of this open living/dining space featured in House & Garden.

    Red orange accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: A coral-orange wall anchors a living room by Karhard Architecture and Design, featured in Laws of Attraction: A Paint-by-Color-Wheel Apartment in Berlin.  

    Yellow accent walls | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: Bold yellow indicates spatial transitions in a Barcelona apartment by Sergi Pons Architecte, featured in 5 Favorites: Yellow Accents.

    Yellow-Green Accent Wall in French Home | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: French designer Caroline Gomez uses bright colors to great effect throughout her Bordeaux home, including a perky yellow-green in the dining room. For the rest of her color choices, see The Power of Pastels: A Color-Blocked Family Loft in France.

    Mint green accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: A minty wall in a bedroom via Swedish/German real estate agency Fantastic Frank

    Green blue accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: A sky blue half-wall defines the kitchen in the same Berlin apartment by Karhard Architecture and Design.

    Gray blue accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: Architect Jen Turner used Farrow & Ball's Blue Ground as an accent wall behind her bed in her renovated Brooklyn carriage house. See the rest of the transformation in The Architect Is In: Tips from Jen Turner's Grand DIY.

    Gray accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: Interior architect Remy Meijers used pale gray paint to define a room within a room in a remodeled mansion in The Hague. See more in History and Modern Glam in The Hague.

    Navy blue accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: A dramatic double-height dark blue wall in the Metrolofts project by Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Incorporated Architecture & Design

    Black bedroom accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: Defined by a single black wall, a child's bedroom fits neatly under the stairs in A Whimsical Family Loft in Brooklyn: Whale Wallpaper Included.

    Black accent wall | 10 Favorite Accent Walls | Remodelista

    Above: A white kitchen island stands out against a black back wall in this Paris loft by Septembre Architecture. For more, see A Place for Everything: A 900-Square-Foot Loft for a Family of Four.

    For more color stories, see:

    Cast your vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015

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    Melbourne, Australia's former Pentridge Prison is now Pentridge Village, a housing and shopping complex with a cafe that's a celebration of economy—and design freedom.

    Photography by Martina Gemmola via Biasol Design Studio.

    Jury, a restaurant in a converted prison in Melbourne, by BIasol Design Studio | Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant is the work of Biasol Design Studio of Melbourne, who told us: "We wanted to bring life to the site and allow it to move on from its dark past." Working with a budget of $50,000 AUD (approximately $36,545 USD), they channeled that life by using plywood paneling and structural timbers inset here and there with playful triangles of color.

    Jury, a restaurant in a converted prison in Melbourne, by BIasol Design Studio | Remodelista

    Above: The triangular fretwork continues on the ceiling, which is hung with Nud Collection pendant lights with Plumen bulbs: see World's Most Stylish Light Bulb.

    Jury, a restaurant in a converted prison in Melbourne, by BIasol Design Studio | Remodelista

    Above: The custom tables and stools are also made of plywood. Greenery added throughout softens the angularity.

    Detail of a wall-hung light at Jury, a restaurant in a converted prison in Melbourne, by BIasol Design Studio | Remodelista

    Above: DIY idea: a wall pendant created with wooden pegs and extra-long cloth cording ending in a simple socket. (For more pendants sources, see our Design Sleuth posts on the Color Cord Company and Wrk-Shp.)

    Three of the walls are concrete—the designers used an Australian product called Rockcote

    Jury Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia | Remodelista

    Above: The pastel palette is peppered with touches of black.

    Jury, a restaurant in a converted prison in Melbourne, by BIasol Design Studio | Remodelista

    Above: The restaurant sign is made of CNC-milled plywood backlit with LED lights. 

    Jury is in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg.

    Go to Social Experiment: 28 Posti in Milan to see an architect-designed restaurant fitted out by inmates. And, on Gardenista, go to Orange is the New Green to see a prison garden on Rikers Island.


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    Now surfacing: shou sugi ban—Japanese-style charred wood—in eye-opening shades. Torched first, the planks are then stained to create a combination that accentuates the pattern of the grain while introducing a dose of color. The new palette is being offered by two shou sugi ban specialists, Delta Millworks of Austin, Texas, and reSawn Timber Co. of Telford, Pennsylvania, and has interior and exterior applications. Take a look at some samples, and start picturing the possibilities.

    Delta Millworks

    Colored shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched redwood from Delta Millworks

    Above: Shou sugi ban was initially devised as a way to make timber resistant to fire, rot, and insects: Read about it in our post Dark Wood. Of late, applying flame to wood has become popular as a decorative finish—and a technique to tackle among DIYers (see a DIY Shou Sugi Ban Tabletop). Partially burned and then sanded wood—a pattern Delta Millworks calls Tiger—takes well to color stains. Most of Delta's shou sugi ban is made using Southern cypress, but not all—this example is redwood. 

    Colored shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from Delta Millworks | Remodelista

    Above: Shou sugi ban specialists since 2008, Delta Millworks has been offering custom colorways for the last three years. Aspen Green is shown here

    Turquoise tinted shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from Delta Millworks | Remodelista

    Above: Turquoise cypress.

    Red tinted shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from Delta Millworks | Remodelista

    Above: Red Wash cypress.

    Delta Millworks makes all of its products to order and can match any color; prices available on request. Go to Delta Millworks to see the company's full shou sugi ban palette.

    reSawn Timber Co.

    Colored shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from reSawn Timber | Remodelista

    Above: Specialists in traditional shou sugi ban, reSawn Timber has just debuted a collection of 18 new cypress oil finishes in a spectrum of colors. Shown here, Yasai.

    White tinted shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from reSawn Timber | Remodelista

    Above: Mitsuto.

    The company explained its multi-step process to us: "The wood is first milled to spec (with either square edges, tongue and groove, standard shiplap, or custom shiplap with reveal). The next step is to carefully char the cypress, douse it with water, allow it to cool, and then brush it to remove dust and loose debris. The color comes from the oil finish that is then hand applied—it both colors the wood and acts as a sealer. For interior applications, we typically apply the oil finish to the face only; for exterior, we recommend applying the finish to all four sides of the wood to further seal and protect it."

    Colored shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from reSawn Timber

    Above: Jinzu is for interiors only, but most of the company's charred colors have an exterior grade oil that further protects against the elements.

    Pink tinted shou sugi ban Japanese-style torched lumber from reSawn Timber | Remodelista

    Above: PinkureSawn Timber Co.'s prices start at $8/square foot. 

    Read our Shou Sugi Ban Primer, and on Gardenista, take a look at Before and After: A Charred Wood Cottage on a $45K Budget and A Teahouse, Burned and Blackened (On Purpose).

    Like the look of bright wood? Go to Trend Alert: 10 Rooms with Color-Washed Wood and Color-Stained Furniture, the Next Big Thing?

    Cast your vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015

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    Admired recently: a color-blocked kitchen in Mechelen, Belgium, by Antwerp-based interiors architect Dries Otten. Using a materials palette of birch plywood, Formica laminate, and pegboard, Otten created a clean-lined but colorful loft oasis in a converted schoolhouse.

    Dries Otten Kitchen in Belgium | Remodelista

    Above: A mismatched group of wooden seating is punctuated by a lone blue side chair.

    Dries Otten Color Block Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Otten specializes in color-blocked cabinetry. 

    Dries Otten Color Block Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A green laminate slab defines the sink area.

    Dries Otten Color-Blocked Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: The range hood is clad in a color-block pattern of blues with a single accent strip of orange.

    Dries Otten Color Block Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: An adjoining work area with a wall-mounted shelf.

    For more kitchens with a bit of color, take a look at Trend Alert: 13 Kitchens with Colored Refrigerators and The English Kitchen with Jewel-Toned Accents 

    Cast your daily vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015!

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    Dosa designer Christina Kim has an affinity for fuzzy pink sponges that she picks up at bodegas in Mexico. She's the one who taught us this lesson: Humble kitchen accessories in bright colors can make your heart sing. 

    Happiness from a scrub brush? More than you can imagine. The Scandinavians have clearly been onto this for some time: Nearly all of our favorite tools for use in and around the sink come from Sweden and Denmark.

    Normann Copenhagen Washing Up Bowl | Remodelista

    Above: A longtime Remodelista favorite, the Normann Copenhagen Washing Up Bowl & Brush is newly available in mint; $87.50.

    Iris Hantverk Washing Up Whisks | Remodelista

    Above: From Flotsam + Fork, Iris Hantverk's Mexican-style Washing Up Whisks are made in Sweden by visually impaired craftspeople; $11.99 each.  

    Vaxbo Sweden kitchen cloth | Gardenista

    Above: Absorbent, quick-drying Växbo Linen Dishcloths from Sweden come in 22 colors and are pretty enough to leave lying around; 103 KR ($11.91). This one is in Michelle's kitchen—read about her remodel in The Death of the Dining Room

    Hay Denmark Porter Paper Towel Holders | Remodelista

    Above: Hay of Denmark's Porter Paper Towel Holders are made of ash and come in four finishes; $48 each from Huset.

    Mr and Mrs Clynk table brush and dustpan from Andre Jardin | Remodelista

    Above: Clear the crumbs with the Mr and Mrs Clynk Epousette + Ramasse, a brush and pan from Andrée Jardin of France, €28 ($30.66). Also see the company's New Must-Have Chopping Block and Vegetable Brush Set.

    Xala bucket from Everyday Needs | Remodelista

    Above: For mop day: Xala's Drop Bucket comes in pale green, navy, yellow, and red with contrasting metal handles; $25 each from Neo-Utility and $59 NZD ($38.57) from Everyday Needs in Auckland, New Zealand. See more of the Antwerp design company's everyday goods in our post Belgian Basics with a Fairytale Twist. Photograph via Everyday Needs.

    Pink scrub brush from DotComGiftShop | Remodelista

    Above: Pine meets pink: Pantry Design's Scrubbing Brush is £3.95 ($6.17) from the DotComGiftShop.

    Green scrub sponge by Casabella at Crate & Barrel | Remodelista

    Above: Christina Kim alert: The Casabella Green Scrub Sponge is $1.95 at Crate & Barrel. To see the sponge at Dosa headquarters that started our obsession, go to page 69 of the Remodelista book.

    Dish Scrubbers: Rice of Denmark Washing Up Brushes from Trosta Home | Remodelista

    Above: Wooden Washing up Brushes by Rice of Denmark come in three color combos; £1.99 ($3.11) each at Trosta Home.

    Tea Towels by Hay | Remodelista

    Above: Scholten & Baijing's Tea Towels from Danish design firm Hay come in a range of patterns and bright colors. Made of a cotton mix, they're $32 for a set of two at A+R.

    Find more kitchen essentials in our Domestic Science archive, including Precision Trash Bins, Display-Worthy Brooms, and 10 Favorites from the French Scullery.

    Cast your daily vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015!

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    This DIY is a mixture of things I spotted on Remodelista: The Three Block Shop scarves hanging in the dining room at Ostrich Farm in Silverlake, Izabella's post highlighting a printing technique that utilizes adhesive foam board and a block of wood, and Julie's post on hanging wall art with metal binder clips.

    I'd logged these ideas as attainable decor improvements to consider for my own apartment. And when I couldn't stand looking at my bedroom's bare walls another minute, I dug out some art supplies I already had and set out to create something to hang above the bed. 

    DIY Wall Art, DIY Block Prints, Budget Decor | Remodelista

    Above: Here's a look at my barely dry prints. The project took a total of two hours, hanging time included. 

    DIY Block Print on Paper, Budget Wall Art | Remodelista

    Above: The foam board was the only thing I had to buy. The paint, paper, and brushes were left over from my days at art school. I had a woodblock lying around from the time I made a shoe rack on wheels. Because I wanted to spend next to nothing, I let the supplies that I had dictate what the design would be and found inspiration in a giclee print I discovered on Etsy. If you have some craft supplies lying around, feel free to improvise where you need to, but if you'd like replicate exactly what I did, see the materials list below. 


    • Paper. I used two pieces of 22-by-30-inch Stonehenge Cotton Print-Making Paper, $2.66 apiece at Dick Blick. 
    • Paint. For the black print, I used Black Ivory acrylic paint from Windsor & Newton, $4.69 for two ounces. The colored swatches are a mix of a few different Windsor & Newton acrylic colors. 
    • Brushes
    • Self-adhesive foam board; $19.99 on Amazon 
    • X-Acto knife
    • Ruler
    • Cutting mat
    • Metal binder clips, available from any office supply store
    • Hammer and nails

    Make Your Own Block Print, DIY Wall Art | Remodelista

    Above: Before beginning, I measured my piece of paper and scrap wood. I found that I could neatly fit five narrow rectangles measuring one by five inches on my piece of wood. I carefully cut each piece of the form core using an X-Acto knife, cutting mat, and ruler.  

    DIY Block Print using scrap wood and adhesive form board | Remodelista

    Above: Next, I peeled back the adhesive cover and attached the rectangles to the wooden block. 

    DIY Block Print using adhesive form core on a scrap piece of wood, testing the print | Remodelista

    Above: With a foam brush, I applied black acrylic paint to my block. I tested the print on a spare piece of kraft paper before applying it to my canvas.

    DIY Wall Art in Progress, Black Acrylic Paint, Geometric Block Prints | Remodelista

    Above: I reapplied paint after every two stamps and printed until the page was full. 

    DIY Block Print Wall Art, drying before hanging | Remodelista

    Above: After adding a spearmint rectangle, I hung the print near a window to dry. 

    DIY Wall Art, Block Printing, Color Blocking | Remodelista

    Above: I repeated the process and made a second print with a pale yellow swatch as a complement to the spearmint. 

    DIY Block Print Wall Art hanging with binder clips and nails | Remodelista

    Above: I used a single nail and binder clip to hang each print. 

    The Finished Project

    Finished Block Print Hanging Above Bed, DIY Wall Art | Remodelista

    Above: The finished art hangs above my bed. The project proved to be a cost-conscious way for me to incorporate a hint of flair and color to my space. 

    On the hunt for more DIY wall art ideas? See DIY: An Economical Wallpaper Alternative and Zero-Cost Wall Art: Pinboard, Edition.

    Cast your daily vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015!

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    Take a look at what's grabbing our attention right now.

    Cecil Figuette in at Home in Paris vis Elle France, Miss Moss | Remodelista

    • Above: We're admiring the bohemian chic details in designer Cécile Figuette's Paris flat
    • A quick tour of Helen Levi's 250-square-foot Brooklyn ceramics studio
    • Former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, recently paid $25 million for a historic mansion in London. 

    Eames Hang It All in walnut from Herman Miller | Remodelista

    Heman Miller Walnut Nelson Bench | Remodelista

    Above: Walnut is the "it" wood. Making its debut this Monday from Herman Miller: the Eames Hang It All, $299 (top), and George Nelson Platform Bench (bottom), starting at $1,499—in walnut, by popular demand.

    Booklamp | Remodelista

    Meike Harde Wooden Aquarelle | Remodelista

    • Above: After our Global Color week, we're drawn to Meike Harde's tie-dyed wood panels. 
    • One young couple transforms a 17-year-old school bus into a tiny house on wheels. 
    • A few things to consider when outfitting a new college dorm

    Lampfabrik Oil Lamp from Kaufmann Mercantile | Remodelista

    • Above: On our wish list: A Swedish-made oil lamp.
    • A mirrored barn is nearly camouflaged in Tahoe National Forest. 

    Instagram & Pinterest Picks of the Week

    Remodelista Instagram Pick of the Week: @nicolehollissf

    Above: We're keeping up with Nicole Hollis (@nicolehollissf), interior designer and member of the Remodelista Architect and Design Directory, via Instagram. 

    Remodelista Pinterest Pick of the Week: Estee Stanley

    Above: Relaxing outside? Have a look at designer Estee Stanley's Outdoor Spaces board on Pinterest. 

    For the latest Remodelista posts, see our Global Color issue. And don't miss Gardenista's week dedicated to The New Outdoor Room

    Cast your vote for the Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2015

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    We're almost out of the dog days of summer; here are some ideas to make it through the hottest week of the year.

    Bosworth Hoedemaker Boat House | Remodelista

    Above: A breezy boat house in the Pacific Northwest by Bosworth Hoedemaker sets the tone for the week.


    Farmhouse in Italy | Remodelista

    Above: Julie visits a whitewashed Italian farmhouse with just a dash of color in our Monday Architect Visit


    Tsao McKown Architects Screened Porch | Remodelista

    Above: Alexa shows us how to re-create a stylish screened porch in our weekly Steal This Look column.


    10 Easy Pieces Ceiling Fans | Remodelista

    Above: Izabella rounds up the best ceiling fans in our weekly 10 Easy Pieces edition.


    Ice Cream Makers | Remodelista

    Above: Janet picks her top five ice cream makers in our Appliances category.


    Casa Lola Mosquito Net | Remodelista

    Above: Julie highlights the best mosquito nets out there in our Bedroom series.


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    A2BC Architects merged ancient and modern in their overhaul of a crumbling farmhouse on the terraced hillside of Cinque Terre, in Liguria, Italy. They shored up the existing structure, plastered the interiors, replaced the flooring with polished concrete throughout, and added black steel windows to frame the views.

    Photography by Giovanna Silva, courtesy of A2BC Architects.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Exterior Entry

    Above: Steel windows add a note of modernity to the old stone building.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Kitchen

    Above: Polished concrete floors are a cohesive thread throughout the interior.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Dining Room

    Above: A minimalist fireplace and bentwood chairs add warmth to the dining area.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Living Room

    Above: The only dash of color in the living areas comes via a pair of persimmon-upholstered armchairs.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista White Bedroom

    Above: A sanctuary in the summer months: a pale bedroom with white linens.

    A2BC Architects White Bedroom Green Closet Remodelista

    Above: Light green closet doors add a note of color.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Bedroom

    Above: In another bedroom, more persimmon, via bed linens.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Bedroom 2

    Above: An original stone wall contrasts with the new structural elements.

    A2BC Farmhouse Remodelista Exterior

    Above: A view of the sloping hillside.

    For another skillfully updated Italian farmhouse, see House Tour: Pastels Go Rustic in a 17th-Century Masseria. And Gardenista presents One More Reason to Visit Italy: The World's Biggest Vertical Garden.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 6, 2013, as part of our Low-Key Fashion issue.

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    Simple white lampshades made interesting with a swirl of black paint in the loft of Johannesburg artist Kudzanai Chiurai, easily replicated with a can of black paint and a brush.

    Photography by David Ross via Elle Decoration South Africa.

    Above: A simple pendant light in an otherwise austere kitchen.

    David Ross Standing Lamp Living Room Remodelista

    Above: In Chiurai's living room, a standing lamp gets a dash of visual interest via a gridlike black-and-white pattern. 

    David Ross Painted Lampshade Bedroom Remodelista

    Above: In the bedroom, a standing lamp is painted with a simple black squiggle. 

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on August 5, 2013, as part of our In the Art Studio issue.

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    This year in Milan, celebrated Italian furniture manufacturer Battistella debuted Nidi, a line of modern bedroom furniture engineered to engage a child's imagination. Designed by Edoardo Gherardi, the series consists of three collections: natural Woody, creative Graphic, and whimsical Soft, each with its own sensibility. A flexible system featuring clever and streamlined storage pieces, the three sets are designed to make the most of bedrooms large and small. And, in keeping with Battistella's commitment to environmental sustainability, all Nidi pieces are manufactured in Italy from ecofriendly materials.

    nidi woody collection, Remodelista

    Above: Designed for the budding naturalist, the Woody collection is made from cedar and ash with colorful accents. We're hoping a US retailer will soon carry Nidi—we'll run an update when that happens. In the meantime, for purchasing information, contact Battistella.

    nidi woody collection 2, Remodelista

    Above L: The Woody bed has a padded headboard in removable fabric. Above R: The modern toy chest and bench with padded lid. 

    nidi woody collection desk and shelves, Remodelista

    Above: Woody's shelving unit and desk combination provides plenty of work and storage space contained within a sleek design.

    colorful accents nidi woody collection, Remodelista

    Above L and R: In the Woody collection, bright playful accents, including a tomato-colored swing-out desk drawer and bedside table, punctuate a natural palette.

    nidi graphics series, remodelista

    Above L: For the artist, the Graphic collection features lacquered wall units with doors that open into walk-in closets and double as drawing boards. Above R: The Graphic desk and cube shelving.

    nidi soft collection, Remodelista

    Above: The more whimsical Soft collection is designed to engage a child's sense of fantasy. 

    nidi woody collection wardrobe, Remodelista

    Above: Nidi recognizes that small though they are, children require a lot of storage; combination wardrobe and wall units are a feature of all three collections.

    nidi  soft collection bed, Remodelista

    Above The Soft desk and bed make the most of limited space while keeping things streamlined. The bed has a padded surround of removable fabric with a pocket in front.

    N.B. This post is an update; the original story ran on November 12, 2013, as part of our Under the Covers issue.

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    A screened porch sets the stage for the perfect summer evening: lazy, breezy, and ideally accompanied by a glass of wine and a group of fellow lollers. The best part? No insects allowed.

    Architects Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown's screened porch at their weekend place in Rhinebeck, New York, stands out as a model of the form. When the two renovated their house, a farmer's cottage, they introduced a pleasing blend of green walls (so dark they border on Gothic) and midcentury Danish antiques. We studied the ingredients that make Tsao & McKown's porch so appealing and sourced the key elements. Whether or not you happen to have a porch, here's how to create a similar indoor/outdoor look.

    N.B.: For our Steal This Look on the interior of the house, see Danish Modern in Upstate New York.

    Tsao & McKown Architects Screen Porch in Upstate | Remodelista

    Above: From a distance, the exterior wash of forest green paint reads as almost black. Photograph by Richard Powers for Tsao & McKown Architects.

    Tsao & McKown Architects Screen Porch in Upstate | Remodelista

    Above: A welcoming collection of mismatched antiques. Photograph by Richard Powers for Tsao & McKown Architects.

    Tsao & McKown Architects Screen Porch in Upstate | Remodelista

    Above: Sculptural wood bowls and other pieces work well with the wooden furniture. Photograph by Richard Powers for Tsao & McKown Architects.

    The Essentials

    Architects' Exterior Green Paint Picks on Gardenista

    Above: The screened porched is a mix of dark green paint colors. Re-create the palette with Benjamin Moore's Cedar Path 454 on the walls and ceiling, and Farrow & Ball's Studio Green, an almost-black green, as an accent color. For more options, have a look at our Gardenista post Seeing Green: Architects Pick the Best Exterior Green Paints.

    Rais Gabo Wood Burning Stove | Remodelista

    Above: A favorite freestanding stove, the Rais Gabo Wood Stove, has a curved front and a well-sealed firebox that ensures optimal combustion control. It incorporates a convection grate above the combustion chamber and wood storage space underneath. Available in black or gray steel; $3,890. Contact Rais to locate a dealer near you. For other options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Wood Stoves.

    Schoolhouse Electric Alabax Surface Mount Fixture | Remodelista

    Above: A series of six porcelain ceiling mount fixtures illuminate the screened porch at night. We like Schoolhouse Electric's Alabax Small Surface Mount Fixture, handmade in Portland, Oregon; $85 each.

    The Furniture

    Mc & Co Wooden Daybed | Remodelista

    Above: The Mc & Co Daybed, designed by Corinne Gilbert & Dan McCarthy, is made of one-inch-thick unfinished cedar; it can also be custom ordered in ash, oak, walnut, and pine. It's 40 inches deep, 27 inches tall, and 76 inches wide, and fits a twin-size futon. Pricing starts at $3,900 without a futon, and $4,200 with a premium futon. For more options, see High/Low: The Modern Wooden Daybed.

    Snowshoe Rocking Chair | Remodelista

    Above: A handmade rawhide snowshoe rocking chair we sourced from a variety of sites; this vintage Vermont Tubbs Snowshoe Chair is available on 1st Dibs. Another source is Iverson Seek Wilderness, which also offers upright snowshoe chairs.

    Solid Walnut Skagen Nesting Tables at Design Within Reach | Remodelista

    Above: DWR's Skagen Nesting Tables, inspired by midcentury designs by Arne Hovmand-Olsen, are made of solid walnut; $578 for the set.

    The Accessories

    West Elm Hand-Loomed Solid Silk Pillows | Remodelista

    Above: West Elm's Silk Hand-Loomed Pillow Covers in an array of muted neutrals are $44 each.

    Handmade Colorful Pillows from Commune | Remodelista

    Above: From LA design firm Commune, Kilim Pillows are made from reclaimed kilim rugs; contact Commune for pricing and availability.

    Linen Bolster Pillow from Lovely Home Idea | Remodelista

    Above: This natural Linen Bolster Pillow comes in 16 colors; $75 from Lovely Home Idea on Etsy.

    Signature Hardware Brilliant Stainless Steel Watering Can | Remodelista

    Above: From Signature Hardware, the Brilliant Stainless Steel Watering Can with Brass Accents is $53.95.

    Victoria Morris Pottery Brown Bowl with Lavendar Glaze at March | Remodelista

    Above: Victoria Morris' Brown Bowl with Lavender Glaze is $425 for the extra large bowl measuring 5 inches high by 13.5 inches diameter at March in San Francisco.

    BDDW Firewood Holder | Remodelista

    Above: The BDDW Firewood Holder is made of steel and canvas, and comes with a bundle of scrap wood from the furniture company's studio; contact BDDW for more information and pricing.

    Tetu Iron River Stone Door Stopper | Remodelista

    Above: Tsao and McKown sourced a vintage iron doorstop. An alternate is the Tetu Iron River Stone Door Stopper in cast iron, designed by Japanese architect Makoto Koisumi; $75 CAD from Mjölk in Toronto. The doorstop is also at Anaïse in California for $70.

    For more screened porches, see Gardenista's Summer Screened Porch Roundup. And how about a porch for the night? See 5 Screened Sleeping Porches. Tsao and McKown head up the firm Tsao & McKown ArchitectsHave a look at the multigenerational gathering place they designed for Tsao's family in our post Common Ground: A Chinese-Style Family Compound in California.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 1, 2014, as part of our Block Party issue.

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    What is it about Japanese camping gear that always seems to look so good? Chalk it up to a flair for good design and the ability to create practical furniture for small spaces. Case in point: Peregrine, a small Japanese outfitter that makes outdoor goods by hand. We've long been fans of the brand Snow Peak and are now adding this latest Japanese find to our camp purveyors list. And while Peregrine puts their furniture to the test in the great outdoors, its pieces look equally at home in the garden. Added bonus: All easily store flat when not in use. 

    Peregrine Folding Low Table | Remodelista

    Above: The folding Wing Table sits low to the ground and is made of walnut; ¥22,800 ($222). It's covered in a combination Tablecloth/Apron, ¥3,800 ($37), that is hand-stitched in Iwate by women survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

    Peregrine Donkey Table | Remodelista

    Above: The Donkey Table is walnut and comes with a selection of leg sizes. The slatted top rolls up when not in use; ¥24,400 ($238). For information on the stools, see below.

    Peregrine Camp Furniture Settee | Remodelista

    Above: The lightweight Ecdysis Bench has cedar armrests that hold cups; ¥28,000 ($273).

    Peregrine Camp Stools | Remodelista

    Above: The oak-framed Tick Tuck Stool is adjustable to various heights and folds flat; ¥13,000 ($126.75).

    Peregrine Tote Bag | Remodelista

    Above: The Yes We Camp! Big Tote Bag has handles on all sides; ¥6,500 ($63).

    Peregrine Star Trivet | Remodelista

    Above: The Star Pot Stand is made of cedar, brass, and leather; ¥3,000 ($29.25).

    Peregrine Skillet | Remodelista

    Above: The Camel Potholder is leather; ¥3,800 ($37).

    Peregrine Printed Folding Settee | Remodelista

    Above: The Ecdysis Bench, patterned with a camouflage of trees and snow, is ¥28,000 ($273).

    To see the full line, go to Peregrine Furniture.

    Like the looks of camp furniture? Browse all our Camping posts, including 7 Classic Camp Cots for Summer Slumber and Hedge House Bedrolls.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on August 18, 2014, as part of our Summer Cottage issue.

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    Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference, as in the case of these nautical/industrial pendant lights in today's Before & After: A Summer Cottage Reborn on the Connecticut Coast

    Photography by Elizabeth Watsky

    Green industrial pendants light hung with nautical rope | Remodelista

    Above: A mix of materials—reclaimed wood shelves, concrete countertops, stainless steel appliances, and white tile—create a modern rustic kitchen in this seaside cottage in Connecticut

    Green industrial pendants light hung with nautical rope | Remodelista

    Above: Charlotte Tracy, the owner of the house, spotted something similar on Pinterest and became obsessed. "I didn't want a lot of color in the house and wanted to use green and blue as accents," she says. "I found these at Cisco Home in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, and they're even better than the ones I had in mind, because of the rope detail."

    DIY Rope Lamp Remodelista

    Above: For something similar, consider stylist Raina Kattelson's DIY Knotted Lamp Cord project on Design Sponge featuring an Ikea Foto lamp and a length of sisal rope.

    See our catalog of handpicked lighting for your home.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on August 23, 2013, as part of our issue called The Summer Kitchen.

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