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    Could the small town of Bruton in Somerset be England's answer to Marfa? Acclaimed hotel and restaurant At the Chapel opened its doors in 2008, followed last year by Hauser & Wirth's ambitious international arts complex and inn. And now there's Caro, a design store and cafe founded by London creative Natalie Jones.

    Jones discovered Bruton eight years ago, when she fell in love with a local fellow. She's been weekend commuting to Somerset ever since, but her work life remained in London—she did fashion and architecture branding for Winkreative and, before that, trend forecasting at the Future Laboratory and interior styling for magazines. When Hauser & Wirth arrived, she decided to make the move herself and open Caro. "Photographers, artists, chefs, they’re all here. And, thanks to the Hauser & Wirth gallery, it’s also a town that is visited by people from all over the world, so it seemed right for me to set my retail roots down in this spot," says Jones. We plan to make the pilgrimage.

    Photography by Emma Lewis for Caro

    Caro in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: A peek into the shop from a tile-clad window showing a enamelware by Welsh brand ​Blodwen. Caro occupies three ground-floor roos in an 18th-century stone building, and the Victorian green tiles, Jones tells us, were revealed underneath a layer of cream paint. "All it took was a bit of scrubbing." 

    Caro in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: An array of household goods, from wire bins to local ceramics and cushions, are displayed on steel-framed plywood shelves made by Paul Vincent. Reading materials are displayed on a Vincent table with a Forbo Marmoleum top and hairpin legs.

    Looking for your own woven pendant lights? See our Design Sleuth post.

    Caro in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: Desk organizers by Danish design studios Hay and Nomess.

    Caro in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: The pendant lights in the window are by ​Fritz Fryer. The doors are painted in Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball—because of the historic building's Grade II listing, Jones was required to use distemper.

    Caro in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: The walls at Caro, including the cafe, shown here, are painted in Farrow & Ball's Pink Ground. Like the magazine display table, the counter/bar area​ has a Forbo Marmoleum top. The oak Copenhague Bar Stools are by Hay. 

    Caro shop in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: A Copenhague Table CPH30 (plywood with green linoleum top) is pared with J110 Chairs, and  J77 Chairs (black lacquered beech), all by Hay. The lamps are from Rockett St George.

    Caro in Somerset I Remodelista

    Above: The old fireplace niche is decoratively stacked with wood. 

    Caro Founder and Owner in Somerset I Remodelista  

    Above: Caro owner, Natalie Jones, behind her counter offering salted-caramel brownies from Somerset artisanal baker The Bakemonger. The counter is clad in​ Geometric Cube Tiles by ​Mandarin Stone​, and the white Porcelain Ceiling Mounted Fittings are by Thomas Hoof from SCP. Stay tuned: Jones will offer guests a room to rent above the shop later this fall and has a suite in the works for spring. Like the look of her shop? She's also available for interior design commissions.

    Here are three more reasons to visit Somerset: 

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    Back in 1947, Sydney Schreiber set out to find new uses for machinery his business had been using to fabricate parts for radios and radar equipment during WWII. Since then, his London company, Kaymet, has specialized in handmaking anodized aluminum trays, trolleys, and hot plates. "The items that emerge from our Bermondsey factory can be found in some really special households, restaurants, and hotels, as well as in plenty of yachts and airplanes," they say.

    Recently, Kaymet, under the leadership of Sydney's son, Ken, has been "gently expanding the range, carefully tweaking our products." We're glad the trolleys roll on.

    Two-Tier Modern Trolly by Kaymet | Remodelista

    Above:  The anodized aluminum Two-Tier Modern Trolley with removable metal trays is £355 ($548) in gold from Clippings.

    Kaymet Two-Tier Modern Trolley from Clippings | Remodelista

    Above: The Two-Tier Modern Trolley is available in several other finishes, including silver; £355 ($548) from Clippings. Kaymet's frame and trays are al "brushed, formed, and hand-finished before anodizing."

    Kaymet folding trolley from Clippings | Remodelista

    Above: Kaymet makes a Folding Trolley in five colors, including Mellow Green; £362.50 ($559.50) from Clippings.

    The Kaymet Original Tray of anodized aluminum | Remodelista

    Above: Kaymet offers a range of trays. The Original Tray comes in five sizes and several colors; it's available to the trade from Haute Living in Chicago. Clippings offers the Original Tray in cobalt blue and silver, starting at £172.50 ($266.29).

    For more, including a list of retailers around the world, go to Kaymet.

    Another inspired option? Take a look at Design Sleuth: The Airline Bar Cart as Drinks Trolley.

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    Let the indoor gardening season begin. This week Michelle and crew present the most coveted houseplant of the moment, hanging lights that double as mini greenhouses, a macramé artist's indoor jungle, and more.

    Potted pilea | Gardenista

    Above: Meet Internet phenom—and easy-to-grow indoor plant—Pilea peperomioides (right), also known as the Chinese money plant. Meredith tracks its success, and where to find it.

    Solabee Flowers and Botanicals in Oregon | Gardenista

    Above: Essential Tips for Starting a Houseplant Collection. Alea Joy Bessey of Solabee Flowers & Botanicals in Oregon offers Expert Advice.

    Macrame artist Emily Katz of Portland, OR | Gardenista

    Above: At home in Portland, Oregon, modern macramé star Emily Katz takes A Maximalist Approach to Living with Houseplants. Shown here, one of her cots in progress.

    Bulbo Quadra grow light | Gardenista

    Above: No, it's not an electric ant farm. In this week's 10 Easy Pieces, Michelle rounds up the Best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants.

    Ferm Living potted plant trellises | Gatrdenista

    Above: From Danish design studio Ferm Living, High Achievers: Trellises and Pots for Indoor Vines and Climbers

    Lightovo's Milo plant light pendant | Gardenista

    Above: It's an LED light and also a planter—The Lightovo Pendant Light, Made in Poland with Love.

    Subscribe to Gardenista

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    Take a look at a few things that piqued our interest this week:

    Wall Street Journal visit's Phillip Lim's NYC Apartment, Vogue Living | Remodelista

    Woman Like Me | Remodelista
    • Our friend Liz Giamatti has a Kickstarter campaign going for her lovely movie A Woman Like Me. It's about the creative process of Alex Sichel, a practicing Buddhist, in an unimaginably dire situation (stage IV breast cancer). Did we mention that it made a splash at Sundance, the Berlin Film Festival, and SXSW? Visit Kickstarter if you'd like to get involved.
    Sanya Polescuk Architecture Office | Remodelista
    • Mark your calendars: next weekend (September 19 and 20) is Open House London, a free architectural festival celebrating more than 700 of the city's best private and public spaces, which will be open to the public for the weekend. Photo of Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Sanya Polescuk's office.
    • Thinking about getting a head start on Halloween? Here are five ways to throw a Hallow's Eve celebration
    • Tips on small-spacing living from an organization devotee. 

    Object and Totem Door Knob Pitcher | Remodelista

    • Above: With its unique shape and textured glaze, we're drawn to Object and Totem's Doorknob Pitcher
    • Everything you need to know about choosing a backsplash.
    • For $15 million you can live in a 15,000-square-foot San Francisco mansion, eight-car garage and elevator included. 

    Adam Davidson's Brooklyn Loft via Lonny Mag | Remodelista

    Brass Sink Caddy from Food52, Provisions | Remodelista

    Instagram and Pinterest Picks of the Week

    Remodelista Instagram Pick of the Week: @homepolish

    • Above: For a daily dose of interior inspiration, follow Homepolish (@homepolish) on Instagram.

    Remodelista Pinterest Pick of the Week: Stephanie Duvall, Architecture Board

    • Above: Our latest Pinterest discovery is Geneva-based blogger Stephanie Duvall's Architecture board

    Read more recent Remodelista posts in our British House issue. Looking for inspiration for an indoor garden? See Living with Plants on Gardenista.

    remodelista email subscribe

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    We're back in the city after a summer traveling to far-flung places; here's a week of urban living ideas to ease us back into realty.

    Remodelista Urban Life Cover Image via The Portmanteau Press | Remodelista

    Above: Photograph of The Apartment by The Line in NYC via The Portmanteau Press.


    Drew Lang Carroll Gardens Townhouse | Remodelista

    Above: Margot visits a Carroll Gardens brownstone in our Architecture & Interiors column.


    Heidi Swanson Portrait | Remodelista

    Above: In this week's Expert Advice installment, Sarah drops in on 101 Cookbooks doyenne Heidi Swanson's San Francisco kitchen.


    Muji Electric Kettle | Remodelista

    Above: Alexa rounds up the best countertop appliances for small-space living in our 10 Easy Pieces column.


    Crane Cookware | Remodelista

    Above: We're liking a new line of cast iron pots designed in the UK and manufactured in France; see more in Kitchenware.


    Hotel Margot in Barcelona | Remodelista

    Above: Ideas to steal from a new hotel in Spain in our Design Travel section.

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    The 1899 Italianate house came with a familiar set of Brooklyn brownstone challenges: a mere 14 feet wide, inside it was cave-like, wall-to-wall carpeted, and much worse for wear. It had also been divided into three apartments, and Drew Lang of Lang Architecture was charged with the enviable task of returning the four floors to a one-family residence for a couple and their kids crossing the river from Manhattan.

    "Our client came to us with a very clear vision," Lang told us. "They wanted to restore the historic elements of the house, but they also wanted it to feel fresh and modern—to bring light in and make the room as open and spacious as possible." Transformative move? Lang cut out giant holes in the masonry back of the house and inserted a two-story wall of steel-framed windows. Money well spent? Take a look.

    Photography by Ty Cole for Lang Architecture.

    A Brooklyn townhouse remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The new heart of the house is the kitchen and its window wall on the parlor floor. Lang says he went with divided lights at the clients' request and that he and his team "engaged in a rigorous design study" to come up with the perfect dimensions for the panes—they're 12 1/2 inch squares. "Proportion is subtle, but it's everything," says Lang. "When spaces and primary elements within spaces, such as our window wall, are well proportioned, you feel comfortable, calm, and grounded, and can move your eyes with ease within the space."

    The furnishings throughout moved with the family from their previous home. Wondering where to find your own Swiss mountain chairs? Consult our Trend Alert.

    Steel-framed doors and steel balcony in a Brooklyn townhouse remodel by Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The steel-framed French doors and balcony are the work of A&S Windows of Brooklyn. Get the low-down on Steel Factory-Style Windows and Doors in our Remodeling 101 report.

    New steel balcony and steel-framed windows in a Brooklyn townhouse remodel by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The balcony has a stair (shown below) that connects the parlor level to the garden. "We took a lightweight and modern approach to allow as much light as possible to pass through the balcony to the lower level windows, and to visually connect with the slender steel-framed window walls," says Lang.

    Kitchen with custom cabinets and Pietra Cordosa counters in a Brooklyn townhouse remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen has two banks of bespoke cabinets, each with an integrated sink and counters and a backsplash of pietra cardosa, a deep-blue-gray sandstone sourced from Stone Source. The 30-inch Built-In Wall Cabinet Hood is by Miele and the cooktop is a Wolf.

    Lang says the goal was to create a space that works within the historic context but also "has something of an edge." He tips his hat to his general contractor, Creo Projects, and cabinetmaker, Brendan Mckeever, for the results.

    Kitchen with Pietra Cordosa counters and integrated sink in a Brooklyn townhouse remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: There are two sinks, the smaller shown here alongside a Wolf cooktop, has a Watermark faucet and is intended for vegetable washing and food prep.

    The Brass Classic Knobs and pulls (since discontinued, Lang thinks) are Baldwin designs from Gracious Home. See 6 Stylish Wood Knife Racks to find designs similar to the one here.

    Kitchen with custom cabinets and Pietra Cordosa counters in a Brooklyn townhouse remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The second counter has the larger sink with an Adjustable-Arm Faucet, a Remodelista favorite from Chicago Faucets, and a concealed dishwasher. The cabinets are brush-painted in a custom paint by Fine Paints of Europe in a warm gray that matches Farrow & Ball's Mizzle. "The painter on this project preferred working with Fine Paints of Europe," says Drew. "We used oil-based enamel with a satin finish."

    Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The entry parlor is situated on the other end of the floor. Lang removed the wall that had sectioned off the stairs and introduced the ceiling moldings and built-in bookcases.

    Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The original marble fireplace surrounds are all in place and newly restored. The wood floor is newly installed rift- and quarter-sawn reclaimed white oak supplied by the Hudson Company.

    Original wooden stairs in a Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The stairs are original and restored, layers of paint removed from the handrail and treads.

    Restored four-story Italianate stair in a Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: A view from the top, where the stairs are lit by a skylight updated with a flush panel known as a laylight.

    Master bedroom in a Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The master bedroom has restored pine floors and walls painted Farrow & Ball's Borrowed Light.

    Claw-footed bathtub painted blue in a Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: At the clients' request, a vintage claw-foot tub was purchased, restored, and painted blue for the master bath. Go to The Indoor-Outdoor Rug Evolves for a roundup of similar striped rugs. Looking for a three-legged wooden stool? Consider the Another Country Stool One.

    Marble-tiled shower in a Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The bathroom has a custom glass-doored shower tiled with one-by-four-inch variegated Herringbone Calacatta Marble sourced from Urban Archaeology. The rainfall shower head is by Watermark of Brooklyn.

    Double bathroom sink in a Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The kids' bathroom has a wall-mounted double sink, the three-foot-long Brockway from Kohler, and Kohler Cannock faucets in a chrome finish.

    Brooklyn brownstone remodel (from 3 apartments to single family house) by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: The facade of the house (center) was fully restored.

    Two-story steel window wall and balconies, a new addition to a Brooklyn brownstone remodeled by architect Drew Lang | Remodelista

    Above: In dramatic contrast to the classic brownstone front, the masonry back of the house now features two stories of windows. A family room on the garden level opens to a flagstone-paved terrace.


    BEFORE shots of a Brooklyn brownstone remodeled by Lang Architecture | Remodelista

    Above: Revealing glimpses of the building in its apartment house days.

    Lang Architecture is a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory. Go to Rehab Diary: Preserving History in Park Slope to see another Brooklyn townhouse remodel by the firm.  Its Hudson Woods project was a finalist in this year's Remodelista Considered Design Awards, Best Living/Dining Space

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Located in the 1930s-era Tea Building in Shoreditch, East London, Lyle's is the first solo venture of James Lowe, a founding member of the Young Turks band of roving chefs that won the Observer Food Award in 2012. Lowe cooked at La Trompette and the Fat Duck before becoming head chef at St. John Bread & Wine. According to B3 Designers, "Our goal was to create a restaurant interior that reflected the era of the Tea Building, which was once owned by the Lipton brand, with a strong reference to British manufacturing and industrial design from the mid 20th century." For more information, go to Lyle's.

    Lyles Restaurant in London | Remodelista

    Above: Light floods the space, courtesy of three giant factory-paned windows.

    Lyles Restaurant in London | Remodelista

    Above: The floor is poured natural concrete; an internal factory window lets in more light.

    Lyles Restaurant in London | Remodelista

    Above: The designers painted the brick walls white and chose reclaimed Ercol stick-back chairs, "a reference to long-lasting, high-quality British design."

    Lyles in London | Remodelista

    Above: Details are simple; repurposed wine bottles as water carafes, for instance. Photographs via Rue Rodier.

    Lyles Restaurant in London | Remodelista

    Above: The concierge desk is fashioned from Iroko wood, in contrast to the waxed oak used elsewhere in the interiors.

    Lyle's Restaurant in London | Remodelista

    Above L: The factory lights were reclaimed from an aerospace factory in Coventry. Above R: The bathroom has a pleasingly retro look.

    Browse our favorite dining establishments in our Restaurant Visit section, and check out Silo in Brighton: A Zero-Waste Restaurant for the Future.  

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Tired of your kitchen faucet? Good news: Grohe is giving away two new Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucets—valued at up to $1,229 each—to a pair of lucky Remodelista readers. To enter, sign up for emails from Grohe and Remodelista by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this post by Monday, September 28. The winners will be chosen at random and notified by email by September 30. The contest is open to US residents only; see Official Rules for details. 

    Grohe faucets are known for their superior quality and innovation, and have long been picked as favorites by Remodelista architects and designers. (See recent accolades for the Grohe Concetto and Minta Touch kitchen faucets.) Grohe has just added a new faucet to its lineup: the Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet, launched in August. The idea behind the faucet is simple: to combine professional utility with a minimalist cubic aesthetic.

    Eurocube is the only kitchen faucet with an all-cube design, down to the face of the spray. The faucet offers a sturdy yet flexible pullout metal spray and a rocker-diverter to deliver full water flow and cleaning spray. The spray face features Grohe's SpeedClean technology, so all that's required to remove lime stains is a quick wipe of a towel. The faucet arm swivels 360 degrees, meaning Eurocube can be operated with one hand or used to fill pots on the countertop. Grohe's patented SilkMove ceramic cartridge guarantees the smoothest handling and effortless precision. The StarLight finish secures a scratch-free surface—for a lifetime. 

    Grohe Eurocube Faucet | Remodelista

    Above: The Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet comes in two finishes: Supersteel Infinity and Starlight Chrome. 

    Grohe Eurocube Faucet | Remodelista

    Above: Eurocube is the only kitchen faucet with a modern, all-cube design on the faucet base, lever, and spray. The edges of the spray handle are slightly rounded for comfort.

    Above: Grohe is especially proud of its SilkMove ceramic cartridge system, which assures a lifetime of smooth movement on levers to control temperature and water flow. Especially important for arthritic hands and hands that tire from hours of cooking prep, SilkMove prevents stuck levers or jerky movements in the Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet.

    Don't delay: Enter your email address below by September 28 for a chance to win a Eurocube Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet from Grohe. 

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    Lyon Porter, owner of Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, designed a communal kitchen for his overnight guests featuring open shelving, all-white appliances, and some of our favorite accessories. Here's how to get the look.

    Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast Kitchen I Remodelista

    Above: The clean white kitchen is airy and open.

    Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast Kitchen I Remodelista

    Above: A well-stocked kitchen with all the essentials; an enamel tea kettle, Italian espresso makers, a water dispenser, and plenty of vin glasses. 

    Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast Kitchen I Remodelista

    Above: The B&B has four bedrooms in the main house as well as a parlor floor that's open to all guests. The open parlor floor has an operable garage door that opens onto the courtyard, a dining and lounge area, and the all-white kitchen.

     Key Elements 

    Viking Gas Range Burner 36-inch I Remodelista  

    Above: The white Viking 36-Inch Pro-Style Gas Range with six VSH Pro Sealed Burners is $7,369 from AJ Madison. 

    Aga Vent Hood in White, Remodelista  

    Above: The Aga Wall-Mount Canopy Chimney Range Hood in white is $999 from AJ Madison. 

    Viking Refrigerator White I Remodelista  

    Above: The white Viking 36-Inch, Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator holds 20.4 cubic feet and costs $9,739 from AJ Madison. 

    Rohl Shaws Contemporary Classic Single Bowl Fireclay Apron Kit Open Sink I Remodelista  

    Above: The Rohl Shaws Contemporary Classic Single-Bowl Fireclay Apron Kit Open Sink measures 30 by 18 by 11 inches; $1,035.99 from Home Perfect. 

    Danze Opulence Single Handle Deck Mount Kitchen Faucet with Spray I Remodelista  

    Above: The Danze Opulence Single-Handle Deck-Mount Kitchen Faucet with Spray comes in eight finishes (shown in polished chrome) and starts at $316.99 from Wayfair.

    White Enamel Pendant Light Fixture via Etsy I Remodelista  

    Above: This Pendant Light Fixture with a White Porcelain Enamel Dome Shade is available in five socket colors and you can choose from eight different cord colors; $109 from Olde Brick Lighting via Etsy. 

    John Boos Walnut Countertop I Remodelista  

    Above: American Black Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Counter Tops from John Boos come pre-oiled, measure 1.5 inches thick, and are available in several lengths. A top measuring 109 by 25 by 1.5 inches costs $109 from John Boos. 

    Hemnes Ekby White Shelf Ikea I Remodelista  

    Above: Ikea offers several basic white shelving options. The Ekby Hemnes shelf, 31 1/8 inches wide and 7 1/2 inches deep, is $14.99. Companion brackets also available in several styles. 

     Tolix Marais Counter Stool in White I Remodelista  

    Above: The Tolix Marais Counter Stool in white costs $305 from DWR. The stool is also available on gunmetal gray and black. 


    Vintage White Steel Enamel Tea Kettle from Crate and Barrel I Remodelista  

    Above: The Vintage White Steel Enamel Tea Kettle from Crate & Barrel is currently on sale for $49.99 (down from $60). For more, see our roundup of 10 Classic Tea Kettles

    Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker I Remodelista  

    Above: The industry workhorse: the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker was invented in 1933 in Italy and is made from cast aluminum; $34.95 from Peet's Coffee (for a six-cup coffee maker). For more, check out 10 Easy Pieces: Stovetop Espresso Makers.

    Kilner Clip-Top Jar Beverage Dispenser I Remodelista  

    Above: The Kilner Clip-Top Jar Beverage Dispenser (smart water supply for a large party) costs $59.99 from Williams-Sonoma. For more, see 10 Easy Pieces: Drinks Dispensers.

    Jacob Bromwell Colander in stainless steel I Remodelista  

    Above: The classic Jacob Bromwell Colander in stainless steel starts at $149 from Jacob Bromwell. 

    Large Knife Block by David Mellor in birch I Remodelista  

    Above: This Large Knife Block by David Mellor in birch costs $110 from Heath Ceramics. Here's another 7 Ways to Corral Your Knives.

    Svalka Wine Glasses by Ikea I Remodelista  

    Above: Ikea's Svalka Red Wine Glass cost 79 cents each (no need to worry if guests break one now and then).

    Check out these three Urban Kitchen posts for more inspiration.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    For the high-style campfire or kitchen: classic, no-nonsense enamelware, now in coal black from Falcon in the UK. 

    Falcon enamelware nesting bowls in black and white | Remodelista

    Above: The Falcon Enamelware six-piece Prep Set comes with five nesting mixing bowls and a colander. It's £64.99 ($100.24), and, like all designs in the line, is also available in gray, red, and white with blue trim. Unison sells the Prep Set for $120 in black and $99 in white with blue trim.

    Falcon's online store showcases the full collection and offers free international shipping for orders over £125 ($192.85). A number of US retailers also carry select pieces of Falconware in black, among them: Huckberry in SF, Unison in Chicago, and Pigment in San Diego. Go to Falcon for a list of sellers around the world.

    Falcon enamelware mug and tumbler in black and white | Remodelista

    Above L: Nine-centimeter-tall (three-and-a-half inch) stacking Tumblers are £5.99 ($9.24) from Falcon, and $32.98 for a Set of Four (marked down from $40) from Huckberry. Above R: Mugs are £7.99 ($12.33) from Falcon and $12.50 from Pigment.

    Falcon Enamelware in black and white | Remodelista

    Above: A four-piece Plate Set in white with black, blue, red, or gray  trim is £24.99 ($38.55). 

    Falcon enamelware teapot in black | Remodelista

    Above: A 1,000-milliliter Teapot is £19.99 ($30.84).

    Falcon enamelware baking pans in black and white | Remodelista

    Above: All of Falcon's enamelware is oven and dishwasher safe. It's made of enamel-coated steel and if dropped, the outer layer will chip. The five-piece Bake Set—two pie dishes and three baking pans—is £64.99 ($100.27).

    We have a weakness for enamelware. Browse our Archive for our favorites, including the Enamel Drinks Dispenser and Barn Light Electric's Colorful Enamelware Made in the USA. Go to New Kitchen Basics from Falcon to see the company's aprons, oven mitts, and other enamelware companions.

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    One of the best things about having friends who cook (apart from the obvious benefit of the great meals they whip up) is that you can learn so much from them. I have managed to add to my culinary skills over the years just from watching, or better still, cooking alongside such friends. When I received a copy of Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, I was taken with the way she had divided the book into recipes from different areas of the world. Each chapter begins with a pantry list of relevant ingredients, and it got me wanting to know more about her batterie de cuisine and what little tidbits I could learn from her kitchen. Although she has shared plenty of her ideas over the years on her website 101 Cookbooks, I was angling more for a behind-the-scenes look. With that in mind, I swung by the San Francisco home she shares with her partner, Wayne Bremser. Not so surprisingly, there were some good takeaways.

    N.B.: Win a copy of Near & Far by entering our Gardenista Giveaway contest.

    Photography by Heidi Swanson.

    Remodelista: Your kitchen is pretty simple and spacious. You don’t have a lot of things in it, do you?
    Heidi Swanson: Yeah, I like the kitchen as a blank slate; a place that evolves over time. I keep it as a neutral space that changes personality according to what's in season.

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks Kitchen San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: A simple white space decorated with bunches of oregano, fennel in a vase, and a sprig of drying peppercorns over the window.

    RM: Do you always have herbs on hand?
    HS: I’ll keep whatever herbs I pick up at the market out on the counter, and they change a lot throughout the year. A friend just brought me some fennel, which I’ll use for cooking, and those are peppercorns hanging from the window. Sometimes there are four or five different bouquets around.

    RM: Let’s talk about your marble countertops. I think you launched the whole white-marble-as backdrop look that's so prevalent on cooking sites. 
    HS: The thing I get the most questions about is the marble. People are obsessed with the marble, and they seem really preoccupied with it being perfect. I don’t do any sealing, as I like to have it as clean and chemical-free as possible. I do pastry here, and if I do get some lemon juice on the counters they'll get some etching but I don’t beat myself up about it. There are two things I’m careful with, and that’s saffron and turmeric. Even with micro-drops, you’ll end up with yellow freckles. That’s really the only thing that I’m careful with—and maybe red wine, but we don’t really drink that much red. It’s not the end of the world if there are some etching marks. I cook in here a couple of times a day and I like a kitchen that is being used—it’s not meant to be a show kitchen. 

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Heidi's preferred pots include copper saucepans (L) and a clay bean pot (R).

    RM: Go-to pots and pans? 
    HS: Generally speaking, I am more of a fan of individual pots versus sets, and I try and buy individual pieces. I have a clay pot for beans that I picked up at Rancho Gordo (for something similar, see our post on Bram Clay Pots in Sonoma), and I love that it goes from the stovetop to the table. I mostly cook with de Buyer copper pans—they're super responsive and beautiful and I love cooking in them, but I’m not obsessive about polishing them; I like the patinas they develop over time. 

    RM: Do you like your Viking oven?
    HS: I’m not an appliance geek; the Viking came with the house and it’s been great. I expect appliances to do their job; I just want them to perform and work. I need it to be accurate and on point, which is really important when I am making recipes and testing. I do use a thermometer in the oven to double check the temperature to make sure it’s consistent.

      Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen Remodelista

    Above: Heidi's go-to culinary add-ins at the ready.

    RM: You refer to this corner in the kitchen as “the neighborhood of tasty bits and treats.”
    HS: I have a few things around that allow me to throw together a quick-ish meal on a day-to-day basis. We are here in our kitchen a lot, but I also spend a lot of time in the Quitokeeto studio, so it’s nice to pack a lunch and then have something left over for that night or the weekend. These are things that I can just add to a bowl of grains or a salad. I like these crispy shallots that I just made that I can throw on a salad or say, if it were spring and I brought some nice asparagus home from the market, I can quickly saute them, then flare them out with some toasted almonds and add a spice blend. I try to keep things around so I am not completely cooking from zero. 

    Heidi Swanson San Francisco Kitchen Spice Drawer | Remodelista

    Above: Heidi stores her spices in glass jars with pink washi tape labels.

    RM: Any spice wrangling tips? 

    HS: I like to store my spices in glass containers. It's better than a thousand spice baggies crammed in a drawer, but I do lose my battle with the spice situation. I pick up spices one at a time, so I've always got a bit of spice creep going on; bags of poppy seeds and sesame seeds, just whatever I’ve come across.

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Heidi keeps her knives out in the open, stored on magnetic knife racks that Wayne made. She likes the rack so much that she commissioned the Jacob May Bleached Maple Knife Strip, available on Quitokeeto. 

    RM: Knife obsession?
    HS: This Nakiri Knife is a beauty, and I use it a lot. It’s a Japanese hand-forged knife and I use it for vegetables. It’s quite thin so I can’t do a winter squash, and I steer clear of anything that may crack it, but it's great for so much. I’ll wipe it clean as soon as it’s done and put it aside. If I go somewhere, say to someone’s cabin, I’ll use the box it came in. 

    RM: You have quite a pile of chopping boards.
    HS: Yeah, I use them for cutting boards and as serving boards, and I’ve accumulated a few over the years. There are some Jacob May boards and one from Nikole Herriott and some others I’ve picked up. I love all of them and use them in different ways depending on what I am doing. 

    RM: Do you have a specific board for garlic and onions?
    HS: Ha, no way—that would never work here. I cook a lot with friends in this kitchen and I don’t see communicating that vision to whoever is here. People just grab what they need.

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A pile of mismatched linens, fresh from the dryer.

    RM: Do you have any preferred linens?
    HS: It’s a mixed bag. I’ll pick some vintage linens up at the Alameda Flea Market, and my friend Chanda gave me some. I don’t do matchy, and we use them, so they stain. If we sit down for lunch, I’ll literally pull the linens out of the dryer and I’ll fold them and put them right on the table; I’m definitely not ironing my linens.  

      Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Less is more when it comes to dinnerware.

    RM: What about plates and dishes?
    HS: I keep a collection of hand-thrown bowls and market finds, but I don’t have a lot of one thing. I do have enough to have people over. I am not into matchy-matchy, and I keep things for a long time. It’s not about accumulating things—I only add it if makes sense. A lot of things come from people I know, people I have a relationship with, like the ceramics and boards and some of the ingredients. It’s comfortable to be surrounded by these things and inspiring to work with them.  

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A collection of beans and grains stored in jars, with one jar devoted to remainders.

    RM: How do you typically store your food?
    HS: For beans and grains, I try to buy in bulk and I will put each different one in a jar—I use mostly leftover jars that I save for this use. Sometimes I have some stragglers left in a jar, so I started dumping my leftover beans and grains into a single jar. When it gets full, I throw together a soup. In a perfect world, I would cook the different beans individually, but say it’s a Sunday night, I just throw them all in together and cook until the one that takes the longest is done. 

    RM: What’s in your fridge right now?
    HS: Really? What’s in my fridge? Well, there’s some ancho chile relish and some orange tahini salad dressing.  I always keep a salad dressing in the fridge that I can chuck on a quinoa bowl, or at this time of year I will roast some cherry tomatoes down that I can then throw on anything from a frittata to a grain bowl. They’re just good flavor additions. There’s some nuts I had out on the counter, but since I am not going to go through them I popped them in the fridge. I’ll do the same with grains. Yesterday I made some coconut rice. Since there’s only two of us, I’ll cook extra then freeze it and thaw out for lunch later. I’ll do the same with beans. If I have vegetables that I am not using immediately, I’ll prep them, then put them in a bag and use within a couple of days.

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen Remodelista

    Above: Notes for an upcoming recipe lie beside a Nakiri knife next to the stovetop. The waffles are breakfast leftovers (made for Heidi's nephew, Jack) waiting to be turned into croutons.

    RM: Do you always take notes?
    HS: If I think I am going to develop a recipe, I do my best to make notes as I’m cooking. I never wait until after and try and reconstruct the process on paper. I also jot down things that resonate, like the great beet salad we just had, so I don’t forget. I’ll add little photos, too. Right now I'm developing a recipe for whipped green chile goat cheese, so I'm taking notes on that.

    Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks San Francisco Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A copper pan doubles as a sound amplifier for Heidi's iPhone.

    RM: Any other kitchen tips?
    HS: This might not be be very Remodelista, but if I’m here by myself I’ll listen to a podcast. Kitchens can be loud, so I’ll throw the phone into a copper pan and it acts like a speaker. When I’m at the studio, I’ll use a ceramic bowl. 

    Heidi Swanson San Francisco Kitchen Near & Far Book | Remodelista

    Above: Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel is the latest cookbook from Heidi Swanson and is available from Amazon for $16.49. We're giving away one copy to a reader; enter the contest on Gardenista here.

    For more on Heidi, see our post on her prior book, Super Natural Every Day. To read about another food blogger/photographer, see our post on Beth Kirby's Kitchen Remodel

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    To begin my investigation into the world of compact countertop appliances, I thought I'd first measure my own countertop. The verdict: 18 inches wide with a depth of 15 inches. My kitchen is small—not suburbia small, but city small—with a tiny refrigerator, an oven that barely fits a small baking sheet, and flatware drawers of odd dimensions. Since I need every inch of the countertop as prep space, my kitchen cannot afford a single stationary countertop appliance; they all go back into cupboards and drawers and anywhere I can shove them.

    Here is our selection of countertop appliances, where no single dimension breaches my own 18-inch requirement. Have a favorite small countertop appliance to share? We want to hear your suggestions in the Comments section below.

    Toasters & Toaster Ovens

    Plus Minus Zero 1-Slice Toaster in White | Remodelista

    Above: As thick as an average cookbook, Japanese company Plus Minus Zero's 1-Slice Toaster in white is 6.6 by 8.8 by 3.1 inches; $67.79 at Amazon.

    Breville Bit More Toaster 2-Slice | Remodelista

    Above: The Breville Bit More 2-Slice Toaster is one of the smallest among two-slice toasters, measuring 7.75 by 11.25 by 8 inches. The electrical cord stores up inside the toaster from below, which could prove useful if it can't live on the counter full time; $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Plus Minus Zero Toaster Oven | Remodelista

    Above: While difficult to source, the Plus Minus Zero Vertical Toaster Oven, from Naoto Fukasawa, is as slim as they come (8.8 by 9.5 by 11.7 inches). It can be found in both black and white (shown) through various dealers on eBay in the range of $275 to $320.

    Cuisinart Compact Toaster Oven Broiler | Remodelista

    Above: A great two-in-one appliance, especially for kitchens lacking a proper or functional oven, is Cuisinart's Compact Toaster Oven Broiler; it measures 8 by 15 by 13 inches and is $49.99 at Amazon.

    Naoto Fukasawa Toaster | Remodelista

    Above: Naoto Fukasawa's pop-up toaster will retail for $95 at Muji in Palo Alto, California, and other Muji locations this fall. Contact Muji for more information.

    Blenders & Juicers

    Cuisinart DLC Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor | Remodelista

    Above: Available in as many colors as a Birkin handbag, the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor has a three-cup capacity and measures 5.9 by 10.2 by 8.4 inches; $35.99 at Amazon.

    Vitamix S55 Personal Blender in Brushed Stainless Steel | Remodelista

    Above: As someone whose large Vitamix is dissected into parts and stored in various cupboards (in the interest of space), I wish I had purchased the Vitamix S55 Personal Blender instead. It measures 6 by 9 by 16 inches and includes two containers (both a 20- and 40-fluid-ounce size); $449.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

    L'Equip Mini Pulp Ejection Juicer | Remodelista

    Above: The L'Equip Mini Pulp Ejection Juicer has a funny, nostalgic look—like the juicer your great aunt passed down to your mother or the sort of kitchen appliance you'd see in a 1970s-era French film. Nonetheless, it measures 7.5 by 13.5 by 11.5 inches; small proportions for a decent juicer with a 480-watt motor; $109.99 at Sears. For more, see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Juicers.

    Microwave Ovens

    iWavecube Personal Desktop Microwave Oven | Remodelista

    Above: The smallest microwave we're able to source is the iWavecube Personal Desktop Microwave Oven (10 by 10.5 by 12 inches) for $129.99 at Amazon.

    Whirlpool Countertop Microwave in White | Remodelista

    Above: Whirlpool's 0.5 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave is a compact 13.75 by 15.38 by 14.13 inches and is available in black, silver, and white (shown) for $139 at Home Depot.

    LG Compact Microwave in Stainless Steel | Remodelista

    Above: LG's 0.7 Cubic Foot Compact Microwave is a little wider than the largest MacBook Pro; it's 10.13 by 17.9 by 12.25 inches and costs $99.99 at Syn Mart.

    Other Appliances

    Zojirushi Micom Rice Warmer and Cooker | Remodelista

    Above: The Zojirushi Micom Rice Warmer and Cooker has compact dimensions of 9.88 by 13.25 by 8.5 inches; $99.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.

    Naoto Fukasawa Rice Cooker | Remodelista

    Above: The Naoto Fukasawa–designed rice cooker is 7.3 inches tall and 8.2 inches wide; $195, bamboo paddle included, available at Muji in Palo Alto, California. Contact Muji for more information.

    Universal Expert Electric Tea Kettle | Remodelista

    Above: For the avid tea drinker, an electric kettle is a countertop essential. The Universal Expert Electric Kettle is an appealing option at 7.8 by 6.6 by 10.3 inches; $90 at West Elm.

    Looking for major appliances for a small space? See 10 Easy Pieces: Favorite Appliances for Small Kitchens for a set of ranges, refrigerators, and more. For more functional inspiration, sift through all our Small-Space Living posts.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 29, 2015, as part of our issue The Organized Kitchen.

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    For her latest collection, global designer Laura Aviva of L'Aviva Home collaborated with a women's craft collective in Hazaribagh, in northeastern India, transforming their temporary murals painted on the exterior of their mud houses into wallpaper and textiles.

    "The mural painting is part of a matrimonial ritual for the women that takes place in the spring. Every year, the murals are washed away by the monsoons and then started anew," Laura tell us. "Drawn to the exaggerated scale and the boldness of the designs, we commissioned women in the villages to make paintings for us that we've translated into our Khovar Collection. There’s something so profound and beautiful about art that is intentionally impermanent. I love the fact that this collection respects that tradition while extracting some permanence from it."

    L'Aviva Home Khovar colletion wallpaper with Garza Marfa leather chairs | Remodelista

    Above: Khovar Collection Flower Wallpaper is $12.50 per square foot and each order is custom printed on clay-coated paper to fit the project dimensions.

    "It's digitally printed here in the US," says Laura. "We had looked at silk screening in India, but found that the best way to keep the integrity of the original paintings and carry through the detailed brushstrokes was by digital printing—not as sexy as silk screening but a more authentic representation."

    Vine patterned pillows from L'Aviva Home's new Khovar Collection designed in India and modeled after temporary mud hut paintings | Remodelista

    Above: The collection features three designs, Leaf, Flower, and Vine, and each is also printed on heavyweight natural linen and available as pillows and yardage.

    Laura commissioned the designs from TWAC, the Tribal Women Artists Cooperative. "It was started by an incredible man named Bulu Iman. One of the motivations behind the formation of TWAC was to help give the women a sense of pride in their tribal identity and their art, and to incentivize them to preserve traditions."

    Vine-patterned linen pillows made in India from L'Aviva Home's new Khovar collection | Remodelista

    Above: The Pillows are 22 by 22 inches with one-inch flanges and come with feather/down-filled cushions; $310 each. Custom sizes can be stitched.

    Leaf-pattenered linen fabric from L'Aviva Home's new Khovar Collection inspired by temporary mud hut paintings and designed in India | Remodelista

    Above: A detail of the Vine pattern. The fabric in this collection is printed on 54-inch-wide, 100 percent linen; it's $150 per yard.

    Sugiya Devi with vine painting for L'Aviva Home's Khovar Collection  in India

    Above: A L'Aviva Home design in progress. Like the murals that inspired them, the patterns are created on a dark background. As Laura explains: "A canvas of charcoal earth is laid down and then covered with pale kaolin clay. Before the top layer dries, the artist brushes away the lighter layer with a comb or fingers to create lyrical silhouettes." 

    See the full collection at L'Aviva Home. And also take a look at the company's Moroccan Pom-Pom BlanketsColombian Poufs, and Sisal-Alternative Rugs.

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    Noticed lately in high-end projects: appealing dark wood countertops, finished with a sheen. Here's how to get the look for less.

    The Inspiration

    There's a lot to like about this kitchen by UK designer Patrick Williams of Berdoulat; the polished dark wood countertops, the wall-mounted dish rack painted white, and the sparkly glass pendant lights.

    Bertoulat Kitchen with Dark Countertops | Remodelista

    Above: A kitchen by Patrick Williams of Berdoulat in London has a pleasing mix of warm and cool, glossy and matte surfaces.

    Bertoulat Kitchen Detail | Remodelista  

    Above: The dark wood countertops contrast with the pale walls and the clear glass light fixtures.

    Bertoulat Kitchen with Wood Countertops | Remodelista  

    Above: The space is traditional yet feels modern in its pared-down simplicity.

    A Trio of DIY Projects

    Three design bloggers document their experiences creating low-cost, high-impact polished wood countertops using Ikea components and a bit of elbow grease.

    Ikea Wood Countertops Stained Dark | Remodelista

    Above: Erin of Stillwater Story shares a DIY tutorial on staining Ikea butcher block countertops; she used low-VOC Miniwax Dark Walnut 2716 Wood Stain. Go to Stillwater Story for step-by-step instructions.

    This and That Refinished Ikea Countertops | Remodelista

    Above: Vanessa of This and That used Beech Butcher Block from Ikea, prepped with Minwax Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and finished with Minwax Special Walnut 224. Go to This and That for full instructions (Vanessa says, "Warning: This is a really long post that is not that interesting unless you want to know how we stained our butcher block countertops and installed an undermount sink").

    A Country Farmhouse Ikea Finished Countertops | Remodelista

    Above: Catherine of In the Fields, a blog documenting one family's adventures in remodeling, spent $240 on countertop materials in her kitchen, including an $80 slab of Ikea butcher block finished with a Safecoat food-safe stain in cedar; for more info, go to In the Fields.

    Interested in more low-cost remodeling projects? See A DIY Kitchen Overhaul for Under $500 and 15 Secrets for Saving Money on a Remodel. Trying to decide if wood is the best surface choice for your kitchen? Go to Remodeling 101: Butcher Block Countertops.



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    Boston-based home furnishings store Lekker Home has long been a Remodelista source for some of our favorites brands, including Urbancase, 8Knots, and MUD Australia. It's also the primary US source for a furniture line we've long loved—Ethnicraft, out of Belgium (Remodelista contributing editor Francesca Connolly has an Ethnicraft sideboard in her summer home on Cape Cod, and we've cited Ethnicraft in our furniture hits lists time and again; click to shop Ethnicraft on Remodelista). 

    Why the infatuation? Handmade of eco-friendly woods in simple designs that will stand the test of time, Ethnicraft furniture is as durable as it is beautiful—and comes at a reasonable price.

    Ethnicraft furniture is made in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Serbia with woods responsibly sourced from Java, France, Serbia, and the US. The company cites a "moral obligation" to carefully consider the impacts of its operations, from the origin of materials to factory waste. And all wood waste, from sawdust to woodcuts, is reused for nonfurniture functions.

    To purchase, follow the product links below or explore Ethnicraft at Lekker Home.

    Ethnicraft Teak Skelet Rack from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: A brand-new design, Ethnicraft's Teak Skelet Rack comes in two sizes: the five-shelf version shown here and a shorter three-shelf version. Both are made of FSC-certified 100 percent recycled wood, reclaimed from neglected Javanese buildings without cultural significance. The rack is perfect in an entryway, as a bookcase, or for kitchen storage, and is also available in oak; $900 for the three-shelf version and $1,600 for the five-shelf version shown here.

    Ethnicraft Teak Stretch Table from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: Ethnicraft’s Teak Stretch Table redefines the expandable table—jerky mechanisms and pinched fingers begone. A one-handed pull reveals extra leaves, and a smooth-glide butterfly mechanism flips them out into place. The table is made of cross-laminated solid teak wood for maximum durability; unlike lesser laminates, any scratches the table might earn during its lifetime can be gently sanded out. The Stretch Table is available in three sizes, starting at $2,600 for the 55-inch (when closed) rectangular table.  

    Ethnicraft Teak M Rack from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: The shelves of the Teak M Rack Small are made of visually slim yet durable three-quarter-inch solid teak, maximizing space for books and other objects while minimizing bulk. The bookcase can rest on both its long and short sides for maximum flexibility, and is also available in solid oak; $1,600.

    Ethnicraft Oak Shadow Cupboard from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: The Oak Shadow Cupboard is made of solid oak brushed with white oil for a slightly pale, matte finish—accentuating the natural grains of the wood. Both sets of doors open to shelves that can be adjusted or removed, and are engineered to hold the heaviest of items—including weighty ceramic dinnerware; $3,300.

    Ethnicraft Oak Console from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: The solid-wood Oak Nordic Console is made by hand in Serbia of sustainably harvested Serbian oak. (Ethnicraft's oak comes from partner plantations in France and Serbia.) Featuring box joint details, two deep, soft-close drawers, and a large open hull, the piece is the epitome of Ethnicraft's functional, clean lines; starting at $1,200.

    Ethnicraft Oak Dining Table from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: The apron-less design of Ethnicraft's Oak Apron Table gives the sturdy table an airy appearance—the top seems to float in space. Available in five rectangular sizes ranging from 63 to 94 inches long, the simple, farmhouse-style piece ranges in price from $1,700 to $2,600. The coordinating Oak Straight Bench starts at $700.

    Ethnicraft Walnut Nordic Rack from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: Ethnicraft's Walnut line is the newest addition to its collection of solid woods, and the Walnut Nordic Rack is one of our favorites. It comes in two sizes with four or six sliding doors for adjustable, concealed storage, and it's made of solid American black walnut—sourced from the US and Europe—finished with natural oil. Prices start at $2,800 for the six-door rack shown here.  

    Ethnicraft Walnut U Desk from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: The wide open space beneath Ethnicraft's Walnut U Desk suits minimalists as well as those in need of extra space. The desk comes in three sizes, starting at $2,100 for the 55-inch desk, and is also available in oak. 

    Ethnicraft Walnut Slice Table from Lekker Home | Remodelista

    Above: The Walnut Slice Expandable Table has a distinctive angled "slice" around the perimeter—a modern detail softened by the warmth of its highest-quality wood. The smooth-gliding expansion mechanism is hidden inside the table (you'd never know by looking at it that the table expands). Also available in oak, teak, and non-expanding versions in oak and teak; starting at $2,900. 

    For more from Lekker Home, follow the store on Pinterest and Instagram

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    Ada Egloff and Rick Banister bought their Victorian row house in South Philly for a steal back in 2007, when they were fresh out of college: "Philadelphia real estate: How is the secret not yet out?" she asks. They've been chipping away at their place themselves ever since. And though neither came to the project with remodeling experience, they each brought talents to the table: A former vintage clothing store owner and buyer for Anthropologie, Ada runs Young Ladies, a brand-consulting agency that fosters young design companies. She has the eye and knows how to source what she's after. Rick is a UX (user experience) designer at Automattic who works on WordPress, and happens to be a hobbyist woodworker.

    "The house had great bones—all original moldings, stained glass—but the 1990s kitchen was a nightmare," she says: "Drop ceilings with missing tiles, beige linoleum floors, and flimsy oak veneer cabinetry. But we left it until we had saved just enough to do it right." They gutted the room the summer of 2012, only to discover plumbing problems in that drop ceiling that derailed plans for the next six months

    Finally back on track, they built out the kitchen over the course of many, many weekends, nights, and vacations, hand chiseling out the old tile and keeping a close watch on expenses every step of the way. Now complete with soapstone counters built from remnants and a secondhand Viking found on Craigslist, the kitchen is all that they had hoped. Total budget? "Since we tackled so much of the work ourselves, we were able to do it for under $20k," says Ada.  

    Photography by Michael Persico.


    Ada Egloff and Rick Banister in their DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: Rick and Ada at their own coffee bar. 

    Surprise detail? The floor looks like slate but is actually hardwearing porcelain tile found at Earthstone Tile Works in Philadelphia for about $6.50 per square foot. 

    Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: The space is about 200 square feet, and Ada calls the layout "a U with a little extra something—sort of a G." Of the setup she explained: "Workspace flow was really important. We do a lot of cooking and entertaining, and wanted to be able to move easily from sink to stove, and from island to fridge. We also wanted to maximize under-counter storage so we could avoid upper cabinets and keep the space feeling open and light. As it turns out, we have more storage than we even need with just one floating shelf around the perimeter of the room."

    Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: Rick built the cabinets with the help of their friend Tim Lewis, a builder/furniture designer who has his own Philadelphia studio. "The task of making them on our own would have been really daunting." They're birch plywood and have MDF fronts with hardwood-edge banding. The bin pulls are from Horten Brasses and the knobs from Restoration Hardware. (For more ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Bin Pulls.)

    Ada and Rick bought the Viking range from a local seller on Craigslist—"it needed some updating and parts, but it was a steal at $500," she says. The stainless exhaust hood is Ikea's $399 Luftig.

    Farmhouse sink in Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: The farmhouse sink is made by Alfie and has an Essen Single-Handle Pull-Down Faucet. Prepping the walls before they could be painted and tiled took some doing: "Two of the walls are structural, so we had to carefully chisel off the original early 1900s subway tile that was underneath the 1990s renovation," Rick told us. "I wish it had been salvageable because they just don't make tile like that these days, but much of it was damaged, so it had to go. We then had to wire mesh and reapply the masonry layers to those walls before we could plaster and tile. It was a grueling few weeks, but a good workout."

    Soapstone counters in Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: The new subway tile is Daltile's three-by-six-inch Rittenhouse Square design in a semigloss with gray grout and the counters are soapstone: "By purchasing cutoffs and seconds and cutting them ourselves, we got a deal at $15/square foot." The espresso maker is a Gaggia Classic, and the yellow mixer is from KitchenAid's Artisan Series 5. (See more options in 10 Easy Pieces: Kitchen Stand Mixers.) The orange teapot is vintage Danish.

    Kitchen table/island in Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: A black walnut island serves as both a prep area, grocery unloading station (the fridge stands opposite), and table. In addition to designing and creating it, Rick built the paneled ceiling and milled trim to match the original in the rest of the house. "The plywood ceiling panels come from the dance floor Rick and my father built for our wedding," says Ada. "We used three-inch poplar strips to emulate that old English tavern style."

    Of the overall palette, she says, "We stuck with neutrals—white, gray and black, save for the black walnut island, which brings some warmth to the room. We wanted to have a workspace that would double as an eating area for breakfast and casual dinners, and we forfeited the potential storage space of an island for the open and airy feeling of a table."

    Affordable soapstone counters made from remnants in Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: The soapstone used on the island is heavily veined: "When we rub the counters with mineral oil, the peach and mint color in the stone really shines through," says Ada. "And we like that each piece has its own character."

    Hidden fridge in Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: The side-by-side refrigerator, positioned so it's convenient but not prominent, is Ikea's Nutid, and the built-in microwave next to it is also from Ikea's Nutid line. (For advice and more ideas, go to 10 Easy Pieces: Built-In Microwaves.) "We were really surprised by the quality of Ikea's appliances, including our dishwasher," says Ada. "So far, they've served us really well." The storage cupboards over the fridge are used for "dog food, paper towels, baking sheets, and weird roasting pans that don't fit anywhere else." 


    Before shot of Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: "The place was dingy and came with pests we had to get under control."

    Kitchen demolition—Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: The first weekend of demolition.

    Kitchen demolition—Before shot of Ada Egloff and Rick Banister's DIY kitchen remodel in Philadelphia | Remodelista

    Above: Peeling back the layers revealed damaged wallpaper and subway tile. "We wanted to modernize the space but keep the overall vibe true to the earliest kitchen this house would have had."

    Remodeling your own kitchen? Explore our Kitchens of the Week, including A Young Couple's Brooklyn Kitchen Reinvented and a Low-Cost Cabin Kitchen for a Family of Five, Faux Soapstone Included.

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    Founded by food writer Charmain Ponnuthurai (she's behind the London on a Plate guidebook app), Crane Cookware is a just-launched cast ironware collection for the style-minded home cook. The idea came about when Charmain found herself chatting with British product designer Barnaby Tuke about the lack of "serious competitors to French companies like Le Creuset and Staub." The upshot is Crane Cookware, a modernized version of classic vitreous enamel cookware, manufactured in Picardie, France, in a foundry established in 1840. Barnaby, who studied at the Royal College of Art, designed the smart-looking set of five pieces with ergonomically designed handles that make carrying the heavy cookware from stove to table less arduous. 

    Crane Cookware from England | Remodelista

    Above: The line on display (table and chairs by Very Good & Proper).

    Crane Cookware from England | Remodelista

    Above (L to R): The Saute Pan is £110 ($171). The Casserole is £135 ($210). In the US, the line is available at Shed in Healdsburg; contact the shop directly for ordering information.

    Crane Cookware from England | Remodelista

    Above: The Griddle Pan is £58 ($90).

    Crane Cookware Skillet | Remodelista

    Above: The Frying Pan is £85 ($132).

    N.B.: During the upcoming London Design Festival, from the 22nd to the 24th of September, Lyle's Restaurant will host one-off dinners "celebrating the intersection of food and design," serving food prepared and presented in Crane Cookware. Go to Lyle's for booking information.

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    Bakery owner Dawn Casale and designer Oliver Freundlich have been leaving an enticing trail of crumbs all over Brooklyn since 2006. The third One Girl Cookies outpost—this one in Sunset Park's revitalized Industry City—captures a look Casale calls "modern Mayberry." And it's filled with clever takeaway for home settings.

    Photography by Dana Gallagher.

    One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: A pegboard rises behind the counter animating the space and supplying easy wall-hung storage and displays, including a George & Willy Kraft Paper Roll.

    "Our directive was to take a 650-square-foot raw concrete manufacturing space and transform it into an inviting cafe," says Freundlich, who collaborated on the project with Emily Lindberg from his office. "As with the other two One Girl outposts, we set out to find the right balance of vintage, modern, and playful." The palette—dominated by bright white and turquoise offset by warm ash counters—takes its cues from One Girl Cookies' greatest hits and serves as a foil to the existing concrete and steel.

    One Girl Cookies in Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn | Remodelista

    Above: The colors continue on the floor, which is patterned with Artistic Tile's Hydraulic Blue tile in matte porcelain. The metal windows were installed during Industry City's recent overhaul—go to Remodeling 101 to get the low-down on Steel Factory-Style Windows and Doors. The white metal hanging lights are Ikea's Foto design, $19.99 each—"32 of them with Cree LED bulbs," says Oliver. "The idea was to create a field of lighting that defines the ceiling plain and conceals ductwork and sprinklers."

    One Girl Cookies in Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn | Remodelista

    Above: Each One Girl Cookies location has an antique display case—this one was found in Brooklyn—and vintage milk glass cake stands collected by Casale.

    One Girl Cookies coffee counter in Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn | Remodelista

    Above: The coffee bar's work counter is made of Corian-like Staron: "very clean look and durable," says Oliver. (Read about solid-surface counters in Remodeling 101.) It's offset by an ash counter in a chevron pattern with a built-in Staron ice basin. The hand sink has a classic restaurant supply gooseneck faucet, the Krowne H-102, widely available for less than $100.

    One Girl Cookies' owners Dawn Casale and David Crofton at their newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: One Girl Bakery owners, Dawn Casales and David Crofton, met when she hired him to be the company's head baker. (And they discovered Freundlich when they moved into the Brooklyn loft he designed as his first job after graduating from Yale architecture school. The three have been working together ever since.)

    They're shown here seated on banquettes upholstered in Candid, a vinyl from Maharam that, says Freundlich, "had to pass the buttercream test—many before it failed." All of the bakery's millwork is by Matt Hogan of Reliquary Studio, a tenant of Industry City and longtime Freundlich collaborator. Windsor-style Salt Chairs, $129 from DWR, were selected because "they matched our palette exactly." (See more options in the Windsor Chair Revisited.)

    Pendant light in One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: Freundlich took a high/low approach to the lighting: Beneath the Ikea ceiling pendants, he introduced vintage English industrial lights sourced from 1st Dibs. (Looking for something similiar? Trainspotters may have it.)

    One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: Each One Girl Cookies outpost features a mural that tells the story of the bakery, the family behind it, and the location. This one is by illustrator Jing Wei. The cake window offers a view of the finishing room, part of the bakery's vast industrial kitchen next door.

    The cookies at One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above:  The cafe's recipes are gathered in the One Girl Cookies cookbook.

    Oliver Freundlich and crew, the design team behind One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: Oliver Freundlich and Emily Lindberg of Oliver Freundlich Design with Jing Wei in front of her artwork.

    Jing Wei's mural at One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: "The murals are our way of embedding a sense of place and give cafe-goers something to remember."

    One Girl Cookies' newest Brooklyn outpost in Industry City, Sunset Park | Remodelista

    Above: Pale rose-colored curtains provide "a nod to cafe aesthetics and a little intimacy." One Girl Cookies is located in Industry City's new food hall modeled after Chelsea Food Market. It's at 254 36th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

    We're longtime fans of Freundlich's work. Have a look at Behind the Scenes: Design Lessons from Julianne Moore and The Ultimate Starter Apartment.

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    A roundup of ingenious kitchen spaces—some no larger than a closet—that are minuscule yet functional (and full of ideas to steal).

    1. Do Away with Cabinet Hardware

    Villa Piedad Kitchen in Spain | Remodelista

    Above: Uncluttered countertops, lofty ceilings, and hardware-free cabinetry make this kitchen in the Villa Piedad in Spain by architect Maria Badiola seem larger; via Huh Magazine. We like handle cutouts as an alternative; for ideas, go to 10 Favorites: Cutout Kitchen Cabinet Pulls.

    2. Use a Monochrome Palette (Kitchen Faucet Included)

    Mischa Lampert in NYC | Remodelista

    Above: In Mischa Lampert's tiny NYC studio, even the kitchen faucet is white, creating a blank canvas. Photograph by Genevieve Garruppo via Lonny.

    3. Install a Cantilivered Table

    3XA Architects in Poland | Remodelista

    Above: A cantilevered table in the tiny Wroclaw, Poland, kitchen of architect Ewa Czerny of 3XA saves precious floorspace (one leg is better than two); via Architizer.

    4. Consider an All-in-One Kitchen Unit

    Spruceton Inn Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A truly tiny Avanti 30-Inch Complete Compact Kitchen with Refrigerator at the Spruceton Inn. Photograph via A Journal.

    5. Use a Tiny Kitchen Island as Room Divider

    Old Homestead Provincetown Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: In the Old Homestead in Provincetown, designers Kristin Hein and Philip Cozzi of Hein + Cozzi built a small kitchen island that defines a kitchen area without breaking up the loftlike feel of the space. See more at Low-Key Luxury: The New Old Homestead in Provincetown.

    6. Choose a Skinny Fridge 

    Ore Studios Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: A tiny kitchen by Ore Studios has a refrigerator that measures a mere 24 inches wide. See more at 5 Favorites: Skinny Refrigerators.

    7. Make a DIY Wall-Mounted Wire Storage Rack

    A Beautiful Mess Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Make a DIY $38 Wire Pot Rack That's Perfect for a Compact Kitchen via A Beautiful Mess.

    8. Source a High-Style Folding Table

    Table Plus by Magnet Kitchens | Remodelista

    Above: The Table Plus from UK-based Magnet Kitchens offers an extra work or dining surface and includes storage space. The leather pockets are handy for stashing mail and magazines.

    9. Think Like a Puzzle Maker

    Above: A tiny kitchen by Mesh Architectures occupies a nook in a 300-square-foot art dealer's studio. Bonus points: The high-mounted oven includes a drop-down feature. See Remodelista's Favorite Space-Saving Appliances for Small Kitchens.

    10. Build a Tall and Slim Bar Counter

    Tiny Kitchen with Slim Island | Remodelista

    Above: A tall, slim table serves as a seating counter in the tiny kitchen of Karlijn de Jong, via Lisanne van de Klift.

    11. Install a Bar Sink

    Karin Montgomery Spath Kitchen in New Zealand | Remodelista

    Above: Karin Montgomery Spath used a tiny bar sink and slotted in a two-burner cooktop to create a mini kitchen in an Auckland space. See more at Small-Space Living: An Airy Studio Apartment in a Garage. Photograph by Matthew Williams.

    12. Hang Utensils on the Wall as Art

    Above: A galley kitchen in London by Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi features walls of framed photographs and—ingeniously—kitchen implements either hung from hooks or mounted directly on the wall for immediate access.

    13. Consider a Radiant Electric Cooktop Surface

    Stadstem Apartment in Scandinavia | Remodelista

    Above: The look of this minimalist Stockholm apartment is streamlined by a smooth surface electric cooktop. Photograph via Design Attractor.

    14. Use Vertically Stacked Subway Tile

    Charles Mellersh Kitchen in London | Remodelista

    Above: In a London apartment, architect Charles Mellersch tiled the walls in vertically stacked subway tiles to create a sense of loftiness.

    15. Spec an Integrated Sink and Countertop 

    Christi Azevedo Tiny Kitchen in Oakland | Remodelista

    Above: An integrated stainless sink/countertop in a revamped Oakland carriage house by Christi Azevedo provides a seamless work area. See more at A California Carriage House Transformed

    16. Use Every Inch of Vertical Real Estate

    Danielle Arceneaux DIY Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: When Danielle Arceneaux overhauled her Park Slope kitchen, she added an additional shelf above her cabinets and gained space for displaying her bowl collection. See more at Reader Rehab: Danielle's DIY Kitchen Remodel for Under $500.

    For more small-space living ideas, see Radical Downsizing: High/Low Mini Kitchens and Race-Car-Style Appliances for the Compact Kitchen.

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    Sue Pryke's background is "firmly rooted in the crafts," as she says. "I started my journey into ceramics at a small pottery in Lincolnshire, learning the skills of production throwing." She's worked at Wedgwood and as a product design consultant; not long ago, she launched her own line of finely detailed everyday items. "I wanted to create my own collection of objects that sit comfortably in the home, that aren't awkward, audacious, or tricky to use or care for, but are familiar, have fluency, and sit effortlessly." We especially admire her subtly luxurious tea set, made from slip-cast porcelain with oak detailing; plus a companion pewter milk pourer. See the range at Sue Pryke.

    Sue Pryke Teapot | Remodelista

    Above: Mr. and Mrs. Teapot is £80 ($125) at Such & Such.

    Sue Pryke Tea Strainer Set | Remodelista

    Above (top to bottom): The individually slipcast Mr. & Mrs. Oak-Handled Tea Strainer is £35 ($54); the Mr. & Mrs. Tea Caddy Spoon is £30 ($47) from Sue Pryke.

    Sue Pryke Sugar Bowl | Remodelista

    Above: The Mr. & Mrs. Oak Lidded Sugar Box is £30 ($47) from Sue Pryke.

    Sue Pryke Pewter Pourer | Remodelista

    Above: Pryke collaborated with Wentworth Pewter in Sheffield for her Pewter Pourer; £45 ($70) from Sue Pryke.


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