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    Craig Bamford founded SASA Works in 2009 after spending two decades practicing carpentry and metalwork; along with his partner, Louise Isik Sayarer, he now directs a small team of collaborators, working on projects as an architect, maker, and construction manager. Based in Camberwell, London, Bamford describes SASA as a "workshop-based architecture practice connecting the knowledge and practices of making with each stage of design." See more at SASA.

    SASA Built Project in London | Remodelista

    Above: The firm's Finsbury Work/Home is an "ongoing project, bringing a warm, modern take on traditional Victorian features to make a work/home environment."

    Sasa Works Bench | Remodelista

    Above: The Spanish Sofa was inspired by an old Spanish sofa and is made with reclaimed douglas fir, pitch pine, oak, and larch; available by special order (it's been featured in World of Interiors, the UK bible of interior design).

    Sasa Works Bench | Remodelista

    Above: The Foca Sofa is "a versatile piece for the middle of the room or the side of the room, with cushions; for one person, two, or many"; according to the makers.

    Sasa Works Table | Remodelista

    Above: The Tana Table is made from reclaimed pitch pine and has an oak drawer.

    Sasa Works Lighting | Remodelista

    Above: The Flock Series 1 Lamp is a wall-hung, individually made sculpture light made of steel and brass.

    Sasa Works Screen | Remodelista

    Above: The SASA Screen is made from oak and birds eye maple veneered plywood.

    See more from SASA at A Stable for Artists: The Cold Press Gallery in Norfolk.

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    Take a look at a few things we loved this week. And, if you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, please join us at our holiday market at Big Daddy's Antiques today and tomorrow, 10 am to 5 pm. 


    Above: From future design stars to Remodelista favorites, more than 30 LA makers will be showcasing their wares at our one-stop holiday shop hosted at Big Daddy's Antiques, 3334 La Cienega Place near Culver City. A few include (clockwise from top left): Elsie GreenWrk-Shp, Mt. Washington Pottery, Petel, and True Nature Botanicals.


    • Above: Minimal interiors with a feminine appeal. Photograph via Elin Kling.
    • Beautiful, functional metalware.
    • LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's midcentury LA abode is for sale.




    • Enter to win a $1,000 giveaway from Dara Artisans, now through December 9.
    • A Danish design firm's completion of a building that meets some of the most stringent security measures.

    Instagram and Pinterest Picks of the Week


    • Above: We're looking to Triibe's (@wearetriibe) Instagram feed for simple living and bedding designs. 


    For more Remodelista, explore our Anglophilia issue

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    Twenty-five years ago, Los Angeles-based Modernica started out as a vintage shop, founded to celebrate the products and principles of American modernism. Today the company designs and manufactures furniture in the midcentury modern style, headquartered in a 1929 factory in downtown LA.

    For gifting inspiration, Modernica gathered some of its best sellers and special editions for the midcentury admirers on your list, starting at $89. Can't decide? Modernica offers Gift Certificates in any amount, starting at $50, and with free shipping on many items within the contiguous US, your recipient will get plenty of bang for your buck. 

    Photography by Havens Creative

    Modernia Nelson Lamp | Remodelista

    Above: Made by hand in Michigan, the George Nelson Cigar Lotus Table Lamp combines a Modernica-designed base with a George Nelson-designed shade. The base is nickel-plated steel with a walnut cover and walnut pull. The shade is made using the same methods and materials that Nelson used for his original Bubble Lamp series: taut plastic over a steel frame for abundant, diffused light; $425 with free shipping in the contiguous US. 

    Modernica Midcentury Planter | Remodelista

    Above: Suitable for both outdoors and in, the Case Study Ceramic Cylinder echoes a classic 1950s design and is available in White, Charcoal, and Pebble; $149 for small and $189 for large with free shipping in the contiguous US. 

    Modernica Midcentury Desktop Planter | Remodelista

    Above: Equally useful as a planter or as a bowl for corralling office accouterments, Modernica's stoneware Case Study Desktop Cylinder comes in four matte colors—Orange, Charcoal, Pebble, and White, in a stand of Brazilian walnut; $89 with free shipping in the contiguous US. 

    Modernica Daybed | Remodelista

    Above: Modernica's Case Study Alpine Daybed has a bent plywood frame of maple with a walnut veneer, both North American hardwoods. Available in more than 200 upholstery options, the daybed starts at $3,495. 

    Modernica Shell Rocker | Remodelista

    Above: Modernica's version of the classic shell chair is made with the same machinery originally used to produce the chairs in the 1950s. The Case Study Fiberglass Armshell Rocker is available in more than 30 colors with a maple or walnut base and black or zinc wire, starting at $435. Shown here is an indigo shell, walnut base, and zinc wire; $459.

    Modernica Confetti Shell Chair | Remodelista

    Above: Modernica has partnered with Kelly Mindell of LA's Studio DIY to create a limited-edition confetti-flecked version of its fiberglass shell chair using confetti from Knot & Bow. The Studio DIY x Modernica Confetti Chair has an Eiffel-style base in pink, yellow, or orange; only 100 chairs will be made; $395.  

    Modernica Fiberglass Table | Remodelista

    Above: The Case Study Fiberglass Demi Table is a Modernica design of laminated hardwood with beveled edges and a fiberglass top available in more than 30 colors. Made in Los Angeles, the table is $189, including free shipping within the contiguous US. 

    For more gift ideas, browse Modernica's full Ceramics, Lighting, and Seating collections. In Los Angeles, visit the Modernica Showroom at 7366 Beverly Boulevard.  

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    This week in architecture and design, Lord Rothschild's house wins for RIBA House of the Year, Damien Hirst's new gallery will soon have a skyscraper neighbor, and Denise Scott Brown gets long-overdue recognition. 

    Lord Rothschild Residence Wins RIBA House of the Year

    Flint House RIBA Winner | Remodelista Design News

    Above: Photograph via Architecture

    The UK's Royal Institute of British Architects awarded its prestigious House of the Year award to Flint House in Buckinghamshire, built on the grounds of Lord Rothschild's estate, Waddeson Manor. London architects Skene Catling de la Peña designed the stone building, which from the sides appears to rise from the ground in a series of shallow steps. Read the full story at the Independent

    Rem Koolhaas Wins Manchester Performing Arts Project

    Rem Koolhaas | Remodelista Design News

    Above: Photograph via Despertar

    Dutch designer Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture have won an international contest to design a £110 million ($166 million) performing arts center in Manchester. The center, to be called the Factory, is part of a civic growth initiative for the city. The building will be the first major public building for OMA in the UK and is due for completion in 2019. Read more at the Guardian

    Denise Scott Brown, Robert Venturi Win AIA Top Prize

    Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown | Remodelista Design News

    Above: Photograph via Architectural Record

    The American Institute of Architects awarded its 2016 Gold Medal to Philadelphia architects Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, joining notable winners including Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, and I.M. Pei. The joint win follows longtime controversy over the 1991 Pritzker Prize, awarded solely to Robert Venturi and not to his business partner and wife Denise Scott Brown. In 2013, she asked the prize committee to retroactively recognize her contributions to Venturi's Pritzker win and the committee declined. Through their firm Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates, notable works include the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London and the Seattle Art Museum. Read more at the Chicago Tribune

    New Skyscraper Neighbor to Damien Hirst Gallery

    Alsop Vauxhall Skyscraper | Remodelista Design News

    Above: Image via aLL Design

    More big news for London's Vauxhall neighborhood: British architect Will Alsop's studio aLL Design will build a skyscraper next to Damien Hirst's new Newport Street Gallery. The 15-story residential tower, called the Beacon, will contain 12 homes, each with a private terrace, and sport round windows and an exhibition gallery on the ground floor. Alsop's past work includes the Stirling Prize–winning Peckham Library. Read the full story at World Architecture News

    Yves Béhar Win and Retrospective at Art Basel Miami

    Yves Behar Sketchbook | Remodelista Design News

    Above: Béhar's sketches for the Herman Miller Sayl Chair, inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge. Image via Vanity Fair. 

    This week San Francisco-based Swiss designer Yves Béhar accepted the 2015 Design Visionary award from Design Miami at Art Basel Miami Beach, which included a retrospective of his work for clients including Herman Miller, Jawbone, and Puma plus a pop-up surf shack to highlight the sport's influence on his work. Afterward, Béhar joined a Vanity Fair panel and discussed the ways technology might save us from spending too much antisocial time on our screens. "Technology should remove friction in your house, not cause it," he said. Read it at Vanity Fair

    More from this week: 

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Natural materials in simple, contemporary forms: Here are this year's favorite Scandinavian-inspired trimmings for your tree.

    Dala ornamants from Quite Alright, Remodelista

    Above: Hand-cut by Ingrid Shwaiko, these simple Swedish Dala Horse silhouettes are so lightweight they dance in the air; $25 for a set of 5.

    himmeli by Hruskaa, Remodelista

    Above: Hruskaa's Set of Three Finnish Himmeli are hand strung in either black or brass; 48.

    Makeatx laser cut dahlia ornament at Brit and Co, Remodelista

    Above: MakeATX's Winter Flower Ornaments are laser cut from Baltic birch; at Brit & Co. $6 each.

    ferm living porcelain ornaments, Remodelista

    Above: New from Danish design firm Ferm Living, these simple, white Porcelain Ornament Circles feature geometric shapes in sparkling gold; €8 ($8.71). Also available at The Modern Shop; $24 CAD.

    bells ironaworks, Remodelista

    Above: Ring in the season with forged Brass Christmas Bells on a jolly red string. By Ironaworks; $22

    European House ornaments by POAST, Remodelista

    Above: Classic European buildings miniaturized for the holidays. By Poast in Norway these European Architecture Ornaments are fashioned from white porcelain. Individual ornaments range from $13 to $26. Or $170 for a Set of 10.

    Balsam Sachet by Quite Alright, Remodelista

    Above: Quite Alright's Balsam Fir Sachet Tree Ornaments are hand sewn using recycled materials; $27 for a set of three.

    antler ornament, Terrain, Remodelista

    Above: A graceful white Porcelain Antler Ornament for your tree, from Terrain; $12.

    Snug Studio snowflake ornaments, Remodelista

    Above: Snug Studio's Typostar Pendants are handmade from birch plywood; $10.80 for a set of three.

    pilosale paper tree ornament, Remodelista

    Above: Rustic, old-world charm, Pilosale's Sewn Paper Tree is made from vintage books; $3.

    See more ornamental favorites:

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    It's 5 o'clock somewhere; join us for a week of cocktail culture.

    Cocktail Hour Table of Contents | Remodelista

    Above: Photograph from Makers & Brothers in Ireland.


    Schoolhouse Electric Corkscrew | Remodelista

    Above: We're rounding up our favorite cocktail accessories in Monday's Holiday Gift Guide.


      Jenni Kayne Cocktail Bar | Remodelista

    Above: Alexa rounds up our favorite bar sinks in our Trend Alert column. Photograph via OKL.


      Urban Electrical Lighting | Remodelista

    Above: Our latest remodeling discovery: chic industrial-style Lighting from an SF company, with prices starting at $30.


      ABV Cocktail Bar in SF | Remodelista

    Above: In our Design Travel section, Meredith visits a glittery cocktail bar in San Francisco.


    Tricia Foley Entertaining | Remodelista

    Above: In our Expert Advice column, Sarah gathers simple holiday decor tips from lifestyle guru Tricia Foley.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    David and Susan Scott, the husband-and-wife team behind Vancouver's Scott & Scott Architects caught our attention a while back when they headed for the hills and built themselves an off-the-grid cabin lit by candlelight. Their latest project is equally enthralling: Commissioned by a family—both parents are history professors—to build a mountain house, the conservation-minded couple instead helped their clients locate a well-maintained midcentury post-and-beam house just below the gondola at Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Taking upon the design as well as the remodeling and restoration work themselves, Scott & Scott preserved the original 1,600-square-foot layout while introducing a refreshed look: open living spaces, a dramatic kitchen sink and counter carved from a single slab of marble, and pale wood all around. We're hoping to be invited over for après-ski lounging.

    Photography courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects.

    Scott and Scott Architects in Vancouver, BC | Remodelista

    Above: "We were interested in the house for the strengths that it had. There was a very comfortable scale to it and we set out to work with its potential in a way that was not aggressive in approach," David Scott tells us. "We wanted to bring more light into the living spaces and work with finishes that would brighten the space without erasing the history of the house. We worked with a site carpenter and a number of architectural graduates and students to refinish the wood and apply traditional finishes." 

    Storage was consolidated into two plywood cabinets that maximize the open spaces and serve as room dividers. The windows are original—with new glass and hardware here and there—and help create what David describes as "a strong connection to the mature wooded yard with outlooks into the forest."

    Midcentury house remodel in North Vancouver at Grouse Mountain by Scott and Scott Architects | Remodelista

    Above: The living area opens to a dining room with a new, minimalist steel-framed fireplace. Scott & Scott stripped the living spaces down to their shell and had the glossy textured concrete floor ground and smoothed matte. The walls were repaired and then finished in a natural lime-based whitewash from Germany. The lightening process continued on the Douglas fir beams, which received a Woca lye wash, and the structural decking was treated with a cloth-applied pigmented oil. Read about how to create the look in Remodeling 101: Easy Whitewashed Scandi Floors.

    New marble kitchen counter and open storage in a remodeled midcentury house in North Vancouver by Scott and Scott Architects | Remodelista

    Above: By making use of the existing kitchen appliances and forgoing a dishwasher, the owners were able to splash out on a marble counter with integrated sink and open storage of solid ash.

    Scott and Scott Architects in Vancouver, BC | Remodelista

    Above: The marble came from Hisnet Inlet quarry on Vancouver Island, near the the Scotts' own alpine cabin.

    Show-stopping marble kitchen counter and sink in a midcentury house remodel in North Vancouver by Scott & Scott Architects | Remodelista

    Above: The counter weighs 800 kilos (approximately 1,763 pounds); its ash base may look light but was designed to structurally bear all that weight.  

    Scott and Scott in Vancouver | Remodelista

    Above: The under-the-counter joinery cabinets.

    . Scott and Scott in Vancouver | Remodelista

    Above: Along with kitchen essentials, the open shelves display the owners' collection of studio pottery.

    Open storage in a midcentury house remodel in North Vancouver by Scott and Scott Architects | Remodelista

    Above: The shelves extend out to a mudroom area at the entrance, lit by a wall of windows. 

    Scott and Scott Architects in Vancouver, BC | Remodelista

    Above: The cabinets are made of locally milled Douglas fir plywood; they section off what had been an enclosed kitchen. Throughout the house the existing lighting was replaced with strip lights flush with the wall faces.

    New open steel stair in a midcentury house remodel in North Vancouver by Scott and Scott Architects | Remodelista

    Above: The architects replaced a closed-off stair with a new open steel design with fir treads. Like the steel fireplace surround, it's finished with woodstove paste and bowling alley wax.

    New stair landing in a remodeled midcentury mountain house in North Vancouver by Scott and Scott Architects | Remodelista

    Above: The second-floor landing is newly open to the first floor and filled with light. 

    Scott and Scott Architects Floor Plans for the North Vancouver House, a midcentury design remodeled | Remodelista

    Above: The architects preserved the house's general setup while bringing it into the 21st century. As David Scott explains, "Many of the finishes were quite dark and the details of the stair, entry, and kitchen were cellular and not allowing for the degree of light and spatial continuity that was possible."

    See more by Scott & Scott, including two restaurants with inventive finishes:

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    For the mix masters in your life.

    Schoolhouse Electric Corkscrew | Remodelista

    Above: The Beechwood Corkscrew, made in Slovenia, is $28 from Schoolhouse Electric.

    Carry On Cocktail Kit | Remodelista

    Above: The W&P Carry-On Cocktail Kit is $24 from Sur la Table.

    Sferra Modern Monogram Cocktail Napkin | Remodelista

    Above: A set of four Sferra Modern Monogram Cocktail Napkins is $25 from J. Brulee Home. 

    Kaufmann Mercantile Flasks | Remodelista

    Above L to R: Kaufmann Mercantile has a good selection of flasks; the Handmade Pewter Flask is available in a four-ounce size for $69 and six-ounce for $79; the Handmade Copper Flask with Cork Top is $249; and the Handmade Pewter Flask is $49.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Hate the stress of holiday spending, but love to deck the halls? Fortunately it doesn't take much money to conjure the holiday season in your home. All you need is a little creativity and a bit of help from Mother Nature.

    1. Foraged Wreaths

    foraged wreath by Sarah Nixon via The Marion House Book, Remodelista

    Above: A foraged larch and evergreen wreath by Emma Reddington and Sarah Nixon for Chatelaine Magazine. See more at The Marion House Book.

    Even for those who live in the most barren climes, the winter landscape still offers a bounty of festive materials for the holiday home. It's easy to forge a wreath out of grapevines, rose hips, larch bows, or willows—basically any flexible branch. These can be left plain or adorned with ribbons, or foraged pinecone, berries, or evergreens. Remember to think outside the box. Many ground covers, such and ivy and pachysandra stay green all winter long, as do some shrubs such as rhododendrons and mountain laurel.

    See more unexpected wreaths and bows at Earthy Holiday Decor from LA.

    foraged rose hip wreath by Sarah Nixon via The Marion House Book, Remodelista

    Above: Foraged rose hip wreath by Emma Reddington and Sarah Nixon for Chatelaine Magazine. See more at The Marion House Book.

    2. Herbal Remedies

    modern-wall-hanging-christmas-tree, via-almost-makes-perfect1, Remodelista

    Above: A simple DIY tree made from rosemary by designer Molly Madfis. See complete instructions at Almost Makes Perfect.

    For those in warmer parts, consider the rosemary plant as holiday green. These flexible, aromatic herbs make great wreaths. Mixed with other garden savories, they make a great gift for the holiday host.

    herb wreaths by spoon fork bacon and eau de nil, Remodelista

    Above, L and R: A rosemary wreath place card DIY by Spoon Fork Bacon. Herbal wreath by Eau De Nil.

    3. Go Bare with Branches

    via 79ideas_decorate_your_table, Remodelista

    Above: A bare branch, a vintage jar, and some hand-cut leather stars are all that's needed to conjure the holiday spirit at this table, by Radostina at Seventy Nine Ideas.

    Even bare branches will do. Strung with lights or hung with cardboard stars or paper snowflakes, sculptural branches evoke the quiet magic of a northern forest bound in snow.

    branches, lights, deer via Elle FR, Remodelista

    Above: Bare branches, some lights, and a photo of a reindeer make for a serene Scandi scene. Via French Elle Decor.

    4. Paper Cuts (and Folds and...)


    Above: Paper tree garland DIY by Melissa Fenlon and Sara Albers of Alice & Lois via Julep.

    Break out your scissors and some glue for some easy paper crafts. Snip snowflakes and hang them from a branch to create a wintery mobile. Origami up some trees or stars to hang in the window. You can even try your hand at paper maché—all it takes is paper, water, and flour.

    Paper DIY ideas for the holidays, Remodelista

    Above L: Origami paper stars DIY by Home By Linn. Above R: Paper maché bells with larch pinecones via Bolig Liv.

    5. Chalk It Up


    Above: Chalkboard tree via House and Home.

    Got an old blackboard or slate cheeseboard? Draw a holiday message or image on it. You can even decorate the driveway with a boarder of holly garlands or Santa and his eight (or nine if you count Rudolph) reindeer.

    chalk holiday decor, via Trends Panarna, Remodelista

    Above: Holiday chalk drawings via Trends Panarna.

    6. Ice, Ice Baby


    Above: These ice lanterns were made with balloons. See complete DIY on Willowday

    For outdoor decor, nothing is more magical (and easy) than ice lanterns. All it takes is water and freezing temperatures.

    ice lanterns as holiday decor, Remodelista

    Above, L to R: A simple ice lantern DIY via Raising Jane. See Erin Boyle's Botanical Ice Lanterns DIY on Gardenista.

    7. Light It Up


    Above: A nautical take on the holidays, coiled rope entwined with Christmas lights, via Decoist.

    Christmas lights are not just for trimming your house or tree. Take those extra strands and string, drape, gather, or coil them anywhere for a festive holiday feel. Frame a picture with fairy lights or drape lights over a mirror for extra reflective effect. My grandmother used to fill several large glass spheres with lights and place them in her nonfunctional fireplace.

    christmas lights, Remodelista

    Above, L to R: Firefly string lights gathered under a cloche, via Urban Outfitters. A mirror outlined in lights, via Olof Jakobina.

    See more creative lighting concepts at 5 Quick Fixes: Holiday String Lights.

    8. Washi Walls

    copper tree via hellolidy, Remodelista

    Above: Reminiscent of Finnish Himmeli, this metallic geometric tree is made of copper tape. See the DIY at Hellolidy.

    Washi tape. Love it or hate it, it can work well for a quick and inexpensive holiday display. I recommend using it sparingly, as in the fine examples above and below.

    washi tape holiday decor, Remodelista

    Above, L to R: A reindeer bust in washi tape. Erin Boyle decks the walls of her tiny apartment with a holiday collage secured with washi. See Holiday Decor for Small Spaces.

    9. Clusters of White Candles

    winter2, via Basic Label Sweden, Remodelista

    Above: White tapers in a concrete vessel help chase away the cold. Via Basic Label, Sweden.

    From tea lights or tapers, we all seem to have numerous white candles lying around. Grouped together these twinkling lights create instant holiday cheer. Outside you can fill a galvanized tub with water and add a flotilla of candles.

    white candle clusters, Remodelista

    Above, L to R: Clip-on candles make an easy advent via Bella Rose. White-painted tin cans filled with white candles make a festive holiday table. Via Show Home.

    10. Evergreens Everywhere


    Above: A giant pine branch, via Fryd + Design, originally spotted on Poppytalk.

    And, of course, there's the evergreen bow. Large or small, a single branch in a glass jar or ceramic vase instantly says "winter wonderland."

    evergreen branches as holiday decor, Remodelista

    Above, L to R: Delicate white pine branches as centerpiece, via Sunday Suppers. A single birch tree branch in a mason jar with candles. Via Elles Appelle.

    See more easy evergreens at Single-Ingredient Holiday, 10 Ideas.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    I often find myself returning to the same four Rose Uniacke projects for design inspiration, so it was refreshing to discover a project of hers that I hadn't seen before, a townhouse in North Kensington once owned by an art scholar and erotica author and reimagined by the British designer as a family home. The kitchen does glamour well and includes plenty of storage options (we especially like the creative V-shaped arrangement of copper pots on the wall). Here's how to get the look.

    Rose Uniacke Kitchen in London | Remodelista

    Above: White and off-white play off one another with paint, countertops, appliances, and lighting. Photograph via Domus Nova.

    Rose Uniacke Kitchen in London | Remodelista

    Above: A pyramid of copper pots, an antique chandelier, a farmhouse table, and leather dining chairs. Photograph via Domus Nova.

    The Key Elements

    Corian Countertops | Remodelista

    Above: Shown here is a kitchen equipped with white Corian countertops. For more on the material, see our post Remodeling 101: Corian Countertops (and the New Corian Look-alikes).

    Lacanache Kitchen Range Cluny 1400 in White | Remodelista

    Above: Lacanache's Cluny 1400 Range, shown here in white, starts at $11,000; contact Lacanache for a dealer near you.

    Furniture & Lighting

    Rose Uniacke Modernist Table | Remodelista

    Above: Rose Uniacke's Large Modernist Table is made of pippy oak and patinated steel; £8,000 ($12,078).

    Restoration Hardware Leather Dining Chair | Remodelista

    Above: For a rustic dining chair with leather upholstery, consider Restoration Hardware's Adèle Leather Side Chair; $619 each.

    Belle Epoque Chandelier from Anthropologie | Remodelista

    Above: The Belle Epoque Chandelier from Anthropologie, made of iron, copper, glass, and resin is $1,998.

    Original BTC Task Wall Light in Cream | Remodelista

    Above: The Original BTC Task Wall Light in cream is $689 at Horne.

    Kitchen Decor

    Custom Metal Mirror from Restoration Hardware | Remodelista

    Above: The Custom Metal Mirror Level is a minimalist option with a metal frame that comes in three different finishes; $499 for the 30-by-40-inch size at Restoration Hardware.

    All Clad Copper Saucepan | Remodelista

    Above: The All-Clad Copper Clad Sauté Pan is $379.99 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Bristol Smoked 1 Inch Hardware Pull | Remodelista

    Above: The Bristol Smoked One-Inch Knobs with a French antique finish are $15 each at Rejuvenation.


    Handmade White Candlesticks from Alder & Co. | Remodelista

    Above: Handmade White Candlesticks made of stoneware ceramic in Portland, Oregon, are $36 each at Alder & Co.

    Libeco Belgian Linen Pot Holders | Remodelista

    Above: Neutral-colored Libeco Pot Holders in Taupe and Vision (green) are $35 each at March.

    Le Creuset Yellow Chef's Oven | Remodelista

    Above: The Le Creuset Cast-Iron Chef's Oven in Quince is $280 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Bread Bin and Canister Set in Chalk White | Remodelista

    Above: A set of three canisters as part of the Bread Bin Set in Chalk (white) is £55 ($83) at Garden Trading in the UK.

    For more ideas, see our posts:

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Calling all Bay Area readers: This weekend at the Remodelista Holiday Market in San Francisco, 40-plus vendors will be offering everything from small-batch furniture and tabletop designs to fashion accessories we swear by. Among the most irresistible? The kid's wear from four favorite West Coast designers. Here's a sampling.

    Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13, the Remodelista Holiday Market will be in the factory space at Heath Ceramics at 2900 18th St. in the Mission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

    Kid's fashion: Daisy Dress by Les Petits Carreaux of SF and Paris | Remodelista

    Above: Les Petits Carreaux's Daisy Dress Saphire Blue of machine-washable Japanese cotton is made in San Francisco. The label is a joint venture between three mothers who work together between SF and Paris. See founder Stéphanie Ross's Grand but Understated Paris Flat—discovered when Izabella fell in love with her kid's designs at last year's holiday market.

    Toddler dress: Ulla Wrap Shibori from Dagmar Daley | Remodelista

    Above: Also stitched in SF, the Ulla Wrap Dress Abstract Shibori is by longstanding Remodelista favorite designer Dagmar Daley. Take a look at Dagmar's Disappearing Home Office and tour her kitchen and bathroom in the Remodelista book.

    Mor Mor Nu Smocked Hat from Flora and Henri | Remodelista

    Above: From Flora & Henri, an alpaca Mor Mor Nu Smocked Hat, Steiff Miniature Teddy Bear, and European Baby Zipper Boots in copper leather. The Seattle boutique has branched out to women's clothes and housewares. See more here.

    Petel kids' clothing made in SF from African fabrics | Remodelista

    Above: Julie and Ibrahima Wagne of Petel met when she was in the Peace Corps stationed in Mauritania, West Africa, and he was teaching biology. Now based in the Bay Area, their housewares and fashion company uses Mauritanian textiles and creates the finished designs in SF. Their new children's line includes the Petel Petite Pattern Dress of hand-dyed wax-printed cotton (above left) and the Petel Petite White Dress (above right). Ten percent of proceeds from Petel Petite goes toward creating jobs for women and funding children's education in Ibrahima's village of Boghé. 

    We hope to see you this weekend! Go to Remodelista San Francisco Holiday Market for all the details. 

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    Forget the bar cart. We're admiring these architectural solutions for a built-in cocktail station, tucked into stealth corners or under the stairs. Here are seven glamorous bar sinks for the cocktail connoisseur.

    Rose Uniacke Bar Sink | Remodelista

    Above: Rose Uniacke's bar sink, complete with a pair Charlotte Perriand sconces, in her Pimlico House in London.

    Jenni Kayne Bar Sink in Los Angeles House | Remodelista

    Above: Fashion designer Jenni Kayne's glamorous and desaturated bar sink in her Los Angeles house, via One Kings Lane.

    Park Slope Townhouse Bar Sink | Remodelista

    Above: A slender bar sink in a Brooklyn brownstone by Gerry Smith from The Architect Is In: A Brooklyn Brownstone Transformed, with Respect.

    Jerome Buttrick Bar Sink Under the Stairs in Palo Alto, California | Remodelista

    Above: A bar sink tucked under the stairs in a Palo Alto house by Buttrick Projects. For more ideas, see Storage: Under-Stairs Solutions.

    Usine Restaurant by Richard Lindvall | Remodelista

    Above: To be filed under: Do try this at home. A sink at Usine Restaurant in Stockholm designed by architect Richard Lindvall.

    Hecker Guthrie Carlton Residence Bar | Remodelista

    Above: A floating Carrara marble bar sink with storage overhead at the Carlton Residence in Melbourne, Australia, by Hecker Guthrie.

    Medium Plenty Bar Sink | Remodelista

    Above: A silver of space by the kitchen stairs is transformed into a narrow bar sink by architects Medium Plenty from 10 Favorites: White Kitchens from Remodelista Directory Members.

    Prefer a bar cart after all? See our posts 5 Favorites: Industrial Bar Carts and 5 Favorites: Simple Bar Carts for the Holiday Season.

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    Shouldn't your light switches be as glamorous as the fixtures they turn on? We think so. Here are 10 switches and covers in gold, brass, bronze, leather, and more.

    Brass Light Switch Plate from Futagama | Remodelista

    Above: From Oji Masanori and Yoshiki Yamazaki, Brass Switch Plates are available through Matureware and can be customized by the number of switches and engraved. For more, see our post Architectural Hardware from a Japanese Artisan.

    Luxonov Neva Switch Plate Cover | Remodelista

    Above: The Neva Switch Panel has a single, stealth push button and is available in 12 different finishes (shown in bronze) through Luxonov. Contact for pricing and more information.

    Meljac French Wall Switch Plates | Remodelista

    Above: Some of our favorite switches come from French company Meljac (see Beautiful Basics: The Brass Light Switch and More by Meljac). Shown is the 3 Push Buttons Classique from the LVL-USA line in Bronze Medaille finish. Contact Meljac for more information.

    Nanz No. 9810LT2 Switchplate Cover | Remodelista

    Above: From hardware company Nanz, the No. 9810LT2 Switch Plate, shown in Light Pewter, is available in Nanz's plated and patinated finishes. It's also available in a variety of switch options. Contact Nanz for pricing and availability.

    Meljac LVL USA Light Switch | Remodelista

    Above: The 1 V&V + 1 Push Button, shown here in Argent Patiné, is also from Meljac and available through LVL-USA.

    Vervloet Switchplate from E.R. Butler | Remodelista

    Above: A Baroque option from Maison J. Vervloet-Faes for E.R. Butler & Co. is the Vervloet Cat. No. 741 Switch Plate. Contact E.R. Butler & Co. for more information.

    Luxonov Sydney Switch Plate Cover | Remodelista

    Above: Luxonov's Sydney Switch Panel is a customizable panel available in 12 different finishes (shown here in brushed brass). Contact Luxonov for pricing and more information.

    Legrande Adorne Leather Switch Plate Cover | Remodelista

    Above: Legrand's new Adorne Leather Wall Plate is finished with black leather; $53.78 each at YLighting.

    Solid Bronze Switch Plate from Van Dyke Restorers | Remodelista

    Above: The Solid Bronze Single Switchplate is $18.99 at Van Dyke's Restorers.

    Tomoaki Wall Outlet Plates from Japan | Remodelista

    Above: Japanese architect Uno Tomoaki designs Brass Electrical and Switch Plates (electrical outlets shown here). Contact Uno for more information.

    Jung 24 Carat Gold Light Switch | Remodelista

    Above: From German company Jung, the LS 990 European Flat Switch is made of 24 karat gold. Contact Jung for more information.

    Meljac 1 Push Button Ellipse Duo Switch Plate | Remodelista

    Above: Meljac's 1 Push Button Ellipse Duo Switch Plate in a copper patina finish is available through LVL-USA.

    For more ways to discover beautiful hardware, see our posts:

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    A savvy, design-loving couple set out on a mission to increase the feeling of space and bring more light into the 600 square feet of the ground floor of their narrow, contemporary mews house in Stoke Newington, London. Unable to enlarge the existing footprint of their home, they called on London-based interior designer Charles Mellersh. The couple, a teacher and a TV executive, discovered Mellersh when they spotted his renovation of a Notting Hill on Remodelista. 

    Like a magician, Mellersh makes it all look easy. His design moves may be familiar tricks of the trade, but combined with his highly honed attention to detail and signature skillful application of textures and colors, the result is a warm glow of brilliance. Come take the tour and see what he did.

    Unless otherwise noted, photography by Chris Tubbs.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Crittal Screen into Kitchen, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: The first step was to replace an existing solid partition wall that separated the kitchen from the entrance hall with a steel-frame glazing system, manufactured by Crittal. The glazed wall distributes light into the hallway and increases the sense of open space. "The new kitchen space feels huge in comparison to what it was before and all without increasing the actual footprint," Mellersh says.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Kitchen, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen cabinets were custom designed by Mellersh and manufactured locally using a mixture of Tulip wood faces and MDF units, spray-painted Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball. "The low-sheen finish of the paint creates a beautiful, warm feel," Mellersh says. "We needed to maximize the feeling of space, so we employed a ‘wraparound’ color scheme—a neat trick where the units, walls, and skirting boards are painted the same color. This unifies the disparate elements and provides an illusion of space, in contrast to the previous kitchen, where a hodgepodge of clashing materials, tones, and textures made the small space feel chaotic and oppressive."

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Gold Tap, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: The custom-plated gold tap adds warmth to an otherwise muted palette of color and materials.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Another Country Pitcher, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: A Vox Pendant by Rubn hangs above the oak and honed Carrara marble table that Mellersh custom designed for the small kitchen. The Pitcher on the table is by Another Country, a housewares company founded by Paul de Zwart, a colleague of Mellersh's from their Wallpaper days.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Crittal Door, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: Mellersh replaced the existing solid door between the hallway and the living room with a floor-to-ceiling metal and glass screen and a door that is hinged off a glass side pane. "The Crittal door and side screen that connects the hall with the living room was a breakthrough idea in opening up the space while maintaining the integrity required by the building regulations," Mellersh says. "From a design point of view it changed the relationship between two adjacent areas by promoting a continuity of light flow within the ground floor level, which previously had felt very oppressive and tunnel-like." A series of Cone Wall Lamps in white from Atelier Areti continue from the hallway into the living room.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Crittal Door, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: "The two-tone paint effect from the hallway into the living room adds dynamism to an otherwise static environment," Mellersh says. "This was a simple idea to bring some energy and movement to the space while drawing people toward the living area from the front door." The vintage 1950s Italian mirror reflects light from the kitchen and was sourced from 52 Meters.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Utrecht Chair, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: The living room looks out onto historic homes in the neighborhood. To maintain continuity throughout the ground floor, Mellersh replaced the existing PVC conservatory, which "literally creaked in the wind," with the same Crittal framing system he used in the kitchen and hallway. "The instant continuity between the various spaces we gained was further amplified by using the same flooring in all the rooms," Mellersh says. "One of my rules on any project is to invest in a really great floor. It provides an anchor to the scheme and a strong layer of materiality that sets the tone throughout." The flooring used in this project is a system of solid oak parquet blocks laid in a herringbone pattern and finished with a matte lacquer.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Utrecht Chair, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: "The furniture plays to the modernist lines of the contemporary architecture," Mellersh says. "The red Utrecht Chairs are by Cassina. The marble- and metal-framed Tati coffee table is by Asplund. The vintage Berber rug is by Larusi, who is hands down the best source in Europe for such rugs. And the somewhat industrial-looking floor lamp is by Lampe Gras."

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Another Country Desk One, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: The space has been designed for flexibility. The Desk One Table by Another Country moves positions, depending on how the room is being used.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Another Country Desk One, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: The desk is accessorized with a Gubi Grasshopper Task Light from Another Country.

    Above: "Bright colors add energy into an otherwise neutral scheme," Mellersh says.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Utrecht Chair, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: On the opposite wall, Mellersh built a shelf to hide the Wi-Fi router that attaches underneath as well as various cables.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Photography by Chris Tubbs | Remodelista

    Above: "The shelf also provides a useful area at waist height for placing keys, pictures, and novels," Mellersh says.

    Above: In the bedroom, Mellersh mixed robust natural materials including brass, sheepskin, and wicker to add warmth and texture. The blankets and cushions by Eleanor Pritchard play on the modernist feel.

    Above: Lamp 2349 by Josef Frank, designed in 1940 for Svenkst Tenn and available from Twenty Twenty One, sits on the Hardy Table by Simon Kampfer for Zilio A&C.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Floorplan | Remodelista

    Above: A plan of the ground floor shows the flow of space from the entry door on the left through to the living room on the right.


    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Before Photos | Remodelista

    Above: A view down the entry hall with the kitchen through the opening on the right. All "Before" photographs by Charles Mellersh.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Before Photos | Remodelista

    Above: The PVC glazing system that was original to the building.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Before Photos | Remodelista

    Above: The previous "hodgepodge" kitchen with its mix of colors and materials.

    Charles Mellersh renovation in Stoke Newington, London, Before Photos | Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen as it was originally closed off to the hallway.

    For more London renovations, see:

    Christine is also the writer of the new lifestyle and wellness blog My Contents Have Shifted—A Fabster's Musings on Being 50 and Beyond.

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    All year we've been coming across one-off gift ideas, items for the kitchen or table that we think would (or should) be universally appreciated. Be it for a certain discerning someone or just about anyone hosting you this holiday season, here are 10 glamorous gifts sure to please (all under $100).

    N.B.: We'll be running the "Under $50" counterpart to this guide on Friday; stay tuned.

    March Pantry Starter Set | Remodelista

    Above: The March Pantry Starter Set includes allspice, brown mustard seed, crushed chiles, herbs de Provence, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, thyme, turmeric, and cloves packaged in black glass jars. The set is $99 at March in San Francisco.

    Quitokeeto Avocado Blossom Honey | Remodelista

    Above: A tall 40-ounce jar of rare Avocado Blossom Honey harvested from a Southern California grove is aged to a dark, molasses color; $58 from Quitokeeto.

    Ilse Vase by Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen | Remodelista

    Above: The polished stainless steel Ilse Vase by Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen is a can't-fail gift for the tabletop; €89 ($96) at Makers & Brothers in Ireland. It's also available at The Line in New York and Los Angeles for $100.

    Ebonized Wood Bowls from Spartan | Remodelista

    Above: Ebonized Oak Bowls made from fallen New England trees have a pale blue hue; $58 for the nine-inch size and $89 for the 11-inch size from Spartan in Texas.

    Brass Lift Coasters at Mill Mercantile | Remodelista

    Above: A set of Four Brass Lift Coasters by Fruitsuper Design are $68 at Mill Mercantile and include a polishing cloth to maintain their shine.

    Ingegerd Ramen Wine Carafe at Mjölk | Remodelista

    Above: One of our favorite carafes in the world can be spotted on our own wish lists. It's Swedish artist Ingegerd Ramen's 75cl Wine Carafe (or 25 ounce) for $90 CAD ($66.25 USD) at Mjölk in Toronto. For a more traditional serving shape, Ramen's Bellman Pitcher is $120 CAD ($88) also at Mjölk.

    Imbibe and Kaufmann Mercantile Japanese Cocktail Set | Remodelista

    Above: For the cocktail connoisseur, Imbibe and Kaufmann Mercantile's Japanese Cocktail Set comes complete with six drinking glasses, a glass carafe for mixing and serving, a spoon, a strainer, and an ice bucket all for $99 at Kaufmann Mercantile.

    Pauline Deltour Wooden Cups | Remodelista

    Above: Mahogany Wooden Cups by Pauline Deltour are €24 each ($26) at Makers & Brothers, giving you the option to buy a pair or set of four without breaking the bank.

    Creative Women Textiles Pulled Napkins | Remodelista

    Above: Pulled Napkins in red (shown), blue, natural, and beige are woven by Creative Women, a Vermont-based women-owned company partnering with independent textile studios in Africa, South America, and India; $22 each or $88 for a set of four at March.

    Food52 Flavored Nuts Gift Box | Remodelista

    Above: Food52's Flavored Nuts Gift Box is made up of three nut varieties in a wooden box; $55 at Food52.

    See all our gift guides this year to date via Gift Guides 2015, including ideas for the cat lovercocktail connoisseur, and more.

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    In 2009, when Antonio Martins bought his Victorian house in San Francisco's Dogpatch, he was a new rising interior designer and his poetically named neighborhood was considered sketchy. Both have since come a long way. For Martins, who grew up in Brazil, studied hotel management in Switzerland, and worked in corporate positions internationally for Hyatt for 11 years, becoming a designer was a longstanding dream. And a second career leap: In 2001, when he was in his early thirties, he had moved to SF to study at the Academy of Art University, where he spent three years earning a degree in interior architecture and design. On graduation, he opened his own firm and the commissions started coming—which eventually led to the purchase of his own home.

    When Martins bought his house, he was only its second owner and it had been largely—blessedly, he says—untouched but was in bad repair. He tackled the kitchen straight away, and five years later, with a very different budget and requirements (cue the romantic music), had another go at it. Here are the kitchen's three lives to date.

    Photography courtesy of Antonio Martins Interior Design.

    Phase 1

    Interior designer Antonio Martins's house in SF's Dogpatch neighborhood | Remodelista

    Above: A classic SF Victorian, the house was built at the turn-of-the-19th century when Dogpatch was being settled by European immigrants, many of whom found work at the nearby American Can Factory. (The garage, by the way, was added likely in the 1930s.)

    Before photo of interior designer's Antonio Martins's SF kitchen: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: The previous owner was born at home in the 1920s, worked at the can factory, and walked home every day to cook for her two sons on her 1948 O’Keefe & Merritt stove (Antonio learned this from his stove repairman). A niece inherited the structure and Martins bought it from her in 2009, when he snapped these shots. Note the opening in the wall to the left of range—it's an old-fashioned pass-through to the dining room (on the other side, there's a built-in china cabinet with glass doors).

    Before photo of interior designer's Antonio Martins's SF kitchen: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen—approximately 350 square feet with 12-foot ceilings, a beat-up floor, and beadboard paneling—had been last updated around when the stove was installed.

    Phase 2

    Interior design Antonio Martins's SF 2010 kitchen remodel: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: "The first renovation was fast, inexpensive, and to the point," says Martins, who estimates he spent $5,000 total. "I wanted a kitchen that would be my style—i.e. someone who does not cook and only has Diet Cokes and yogurt in the fridge. Accordingly, the old stove stayed in place, the only refrigerator was a mini bar from Costco, the cabinets were made out of industrial restaurant tables, and there was no dishwasher."

    He created the center island from another industrial restaurant table—remember, he was once in hospitality—outfitted the lower shelves with baskets from World Market, and installed custom cold-rolled steel shelves to hold essentials. As for the the old pass-through, Martins enlarged it to hold storage shelves partially concealed with a steel-framed barn door. The chandelier, Droog's 85 Lamps, came out of his previous quarters and, he points out, is in the collection at SFMoMA. The wood floor was resuscitated and stained ebony.

    Interior design Antonio Martins's SF 2010 kitchen remodel: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: One of Martins' projects for Hyatt took him to Mendoza, Argentina, which is where these framed photos by Rocca were taken. 

    Phase 3

    Interior design Antonio Martins's SF 2015 kitchen remodel: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: Fast-forward five years: Martins, now sharing the house with his partner, Cris, who likes to cook and entertain, decided it was time to upgrade and fully stock the kitchen. 

    This time, working with a budget in the vicinity of $50,000, he introduced a custom island and cabinets by Fabian's Fine Furniture. The old stove stayed—he bought a similar model on Craigslist and used the parts to have his fixed; "now it works like a Swiss watch"—and paired it with a Best Stainless Steel Chimney Hood and a wall of subway tiles from Floorcraft. (Get installation ideas in our Subway Tile Pattern Glossary.) 

    Interior design Antonio Martins's SF 2015 kitchen remodel: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: The two cabinets that flank the stove were modeled after classic Victorian chests of drawers; they're stained oak topped with Carrara marble and fitted with oil-rubbed bronze Duluth Pulls from Restoration Hardware. The new inset sink is by Blanco.

      Interior design Antonio Martins's SF 2015 kitchen remodel: see the three lives of the kitchen on Remodelista

    Above: The chandelier was given a second life as were the steel shelves and barn door storage. Built from reclaimed Douglas fir, the island has inset panels of birch ply to conceal two new under-the-counter refrigerator units. And there's a Bosch dishwasher next to the stove. Complete with four Plywood Bar Stools from H.D. Buttercup (in a Holly Hunt linen), the kitchen is now fully put to use. "Love changes everything," says Martins.

    See the rest of the house at A Brazilian in San Francisco and take a look at a Martins-remodeled Sonoma cottage in Designer Visit. See more of his work at Antonio Martins Interior Design

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    In SF's most hipster neighborhood, the Mission District, a new bar aims to avoid design clichés. It's called ABV (Alcohol by Volume) and was opened by three restaurateurs with serious Bay Area cocktail creds (Beretta, Dalva, and Bourbon & Branch), along with a chef who hails from local favorites Bar Tartine and Commonwealth.

    The stake they claimed is a former 75-seat sushi restaurant that has undergone a modest redesign—expanded drinking space, shrunken kitchen, and aesthetic updates. But before anyone picked up a hammer, the founders vowed that they would keep the interior trend-free: no Edison bulbs and reclaimed wood here. Their bar would be practical, comfortable, and affordable. As they told spirits blog Alcademics, "There's not going to be a uniform, and it's not like everyone is going to wear a certain kind of hat." 

    ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: Hand-patinated wall mirrors and sconces hang opposite the bar. ABV aims to keep the drinks at under $10 each—and to make sure they're not so artisanal that they're gimmicky. Photograph by Patricia Chang via Eater SF.

    ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The bar counter is made from an elm tree that lived for more than a century on the campus of San Jose State University, south of San Francisco. Photograph by Patricia Chang via Eater SF.

    ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above L: At night, the mirrors and sconces have a warm sheen. Photograph by Pete Kane via SF Weekly. Above R: In daytime, they're a cool silver. Photograph by Patricia Chang via Eater SF.

    Aged Mirrors at ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: Not much table space is required for food—the menu is all finger foods, and forks are not included. Hand-distressed mirrors and lamps give the space a glow. Photograph via ABV.

    ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: Imbibers on the mezzanine have the best perch for people-watching. A pop art mural by SF artist Nathaniel Russell animates a swath of white wall (visit ABV's home page for a video of the design being painted). Photograph by Patricia Chang via Eater SF.

    ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: A sound-absorbing black foam ceiling is visible from the mezzanine. Photograph by Patricia Chang via Eater SF.

    Mural at ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: In the main lounge, the mural and a light fixture designed by owner Ryan Fitzgerald share center stage. Fitzgerald also designed ABV's tables, and the founding team of bartenders did much of the construction work themselves. Photograph via ABV.

    ABV Cocktail Bar in San Francisco | Remodelista

    Above: The facade got a dramatic redesign, including new street-level and clerestory windows to avoid the dungeon-style club look all too common in the neighborhood. A cafe table and chairs accommodate late lunchers (the bar is open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.). Go to ABV for more. Photograph by Patricia Chang via Eater SF.

    Keep exploring dining in San Francisco: See The Mill: A "Bright and Messy" Cafe, New Restaurant Alert: Souvla, and Boulettes Larder Gets Brassy. For recommended hotels, shops, and garden finds, visit our San Francisco City Guide.

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    Think about how much more open looking (but also how much more greasy and garlicky) kitchens would be without range hoods. Today we're spotlighting a nearly invisible option that clears the air while keeping sight lines open: the downdraft stovetop vent. (And to see more, check out our recent post Ceiling-Mounted Recessed Kitchen Vents.)

    Brooklyn townhouse kitchen remodeled by Ensemble Architecture | Remodelista

    Above: It's there, but you don't see it: In lieu of a bulky ceiling-mounted hood, this townhouse kitchen has a Faber Scirocco Downdraft Vent concealed at the back of a 30-inch Capital Precision Series range. (The venting draws smoke in and conducts it to the kitchen's chimney, where fans send it out.) For a tour, go to Brooklyn Revival: A Bright and Open Family House by Ensemble Architecture.

    Faber Scirocco downdraft kitchen vent | Remodelista

    Above: A Faber Scirocco Downdraft Vent in working mode.

    What are downdraft vents?

    Popular on kitchen islands, downdraft vents are slim retractable designs inserted at the back or sides of stovetops as an alternative to bulky overhead range hoods. At the press of a button, downdrafts raise and lower, allowing them to remain blessedly out of sight except when needed. They come in a range of sizes to match a variety of stovetop dimensions. (There are also stationary, low-profile downdraft models incorporated into the middle of cooktops; for years these have been a Jenn-Air specialty, but of late few others offer them.)

    Kitzen of Finland kitchen with German Bora Classic range and downdraft vent | Remodelista

    Above: Known for its clutter-free kitchen systems, Kitzen of Finland frequently specifies downdraft vents. The one shown here, in Kitzen's Minimasculin model, is a Bora Classic range with built-in extractor vent from Bora of Germany. Read our post on Kitzen's State-of-the-Art Kitchens. Photograph by Verna Kovanen for Kitzen.

    Pop-up cooking vent: Miele downdraft stovetop vent | Remodelista

    Above: A 30-inch stainless steel Miele Downdraft Hood. It's available from AJ Madison with a 500 CFM internal blower for $1,749 and 1,000 CFM external blower for $2,099 (see below for info on CFMs).

    Where do they work—and what's the catch?

    Downdraft designs are compatible with gas, electric, and induction cooktops, and require space behind or at the side of the burners for insertion, which is why they work especially well on islands and peninsulas. Their vents rise to heights ranging from 8 to 19 inches (in general, the higher the better: You want your vent to cover your tallest pots). They serve as grease traps—most of the latest models have removable dishwasher-safe parts—and typically vent air externally (the more efficient and much more common way to go), but some, such as many in apartments, have motors with charcoal filters that recirculate air internally.

    Ventilation effectiveness is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute)—that's the volume of air being exhausted through your hoodand most externally vented downdrafts offer a respectable 500 to 1,200 CFMs. What you need depends on how powerful your range is and the sort of cooking you do: Go to our Remodeling 101 post Decoding BTUs: How Much Cooking Power Do You Really Need? Downdraft designs are getting increasingly powerful, but the hitch is that for clearing the air, they don't compare to traditional range hoods and are generally not advised for pro-style ranges. Conor Sheridan, owner of the kitchen in the top photo and an avid cook, says his downdraft vent is "quiet and does the trick but will never be as effective as an overhead vent." Another longstanding complaint raised by Constantin Oltean, a New York–based kitchen designer for Bulthaup, is that downdraft suction steals heat from burners (especially gas, less so induction) making it hard to maintain a consistent temperature while cooking. Conor Sheridan hasn't found this to be the case, but others have, including a vocal group of Jenn-Air owners.

    KitchenAid electric cooktop with downdraft vent and double ring elements | Remodelista

    Above: KitchenAid (part of the Whirlpool corporation, which also owns Jenn-Air) offers this 30-inch Ceramic Glass Electric Cooktop with a central flush downdraft vent; $1,449 at Home Depot.

    Who makes downdraft vents?

    A lot of well-known brands offer downdraft designs. Among the most popular: Thermador, Gaggenau, Electrolux, Faber, Broan, and Elica. Prices start at $1,200, about 20 percent higher than mid-priced, high-end hoods says architect Elizabeth Roberts's go-to appliance specialist David Sugarman of Gringer in New York, who notes that costs triple for big-name brands "even though the concept isn't radically different than the others: You pay for the label and the fine detailing."

      Henrybuilt kitchen in NYC | Remodelista

    Above: To preserve a New York loft's dramatic views of a water tower, this Henrybuilt kitchen has a downdraft vent and windows that can be opened. Photograph via Henrybuilt.

    Bottom line? 

    Downdrafts are a compelling option for preserving views and keeping kitchens clean lined, but traditional overhead hoods get the job done better.  

    Other options?

    In addition to ceiling-mounted recessed kitchen vents—see Remodeling 101—under-the-cabinet hoods are a popular choice. There are also plenty of inventive ways to display or conceal range hoods. Take a look at:

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    Ever since we discovered Hillary Peterson's True Nature Botanicals line of perfumes, skin care, and hair care, we've been devotees (read our primer in True Nature Botanicals: Nontoxic, Science-First Skin Care). Based in Mill Valley, CA, True Nature Botanicals has a simple manifesto: no toxins, ever, and serious luxury, superior results. Hillary, a melanoma and thyroid cancer survivor, has educated herself about the damaging effects of the sun and of the danger of toxins. So it's important to her that True Nature Botanicals formulations include "the highest quantity of the highest quality ingredients." To that end, she spends up to five times as much on ingredients as the leading luxury brands, and uses more of them in her products.

    For the holidays ahead, True Nature Botanicals' Skin Care, Hair & Body Care, and Perfumes make a lovely holiday gift, and Remodelista readers will receive free Tranquility Dead Sea Bath Salts with a $150 purchase using code REMODELISTAGIFT, now through December 19. (Limit one gift per person and cannot be combined with any other promotion.) For ideas, browse True Nature's Holiday Gift Guide, and keep in mind that True Nature offers free gift wrapping upon request and free US shipping on all orders over $40. 

    SF Bay Area readers take note: Hillary and True Nature Botanicals will be at our San Francisco Holiday Market this weekend, December 12 and 13, on Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 11am to 3pm at Heath Ceramics, located at 2900 18th Street. Join us!

    True Nature Botanicals | Remodelista

    Above: True Nature Botanicals Dead Sea Bath Salts are available in three formulations. Bliss, shown here, features Bulgarian rose oil, South African rose geranium oil, and sustainably harvested sandalwood oil, prized for its woody and rich aroma; $48 for a 13.5-ounce tin. 

    True Nature Botanicals | Remodelista

    Above: Dead Sea Bath Salts in Vitality makes for a relaxing, reviving soak with cooling bergamot oil from Italy, ylang ylang oil from Madagascar, and neroli oil from French orange blossoms; $48. 

    True Nature Botanicals | Remodelista

    Above: Dead Sea Bath Salts in Tranquility make an evening bath even more relaxing. Using Moroccan chamomile, grosso variety lavender from France, and Valium-rivaling jasmine, tranquility salts help relax the mind and instill a sense of calmness; $48.  

    True Nature Botanicals | Remodelista

    Above: While many brands claim to offer "Dead Sea Salts" but really sell regular salt sourced from anywhere in the world, True Nature's really are harvested from the southern end of the Dead Sea, where the mineral content is the highest. And instead of stripping salts of their naturally skin-softening and relaxing properties like other manufacturers do, True Nature's bath salts retain 21 essential minerals including magnesium, calcium, iodine, zinc, and potassium. Gentle enough for all skin types, True Nature Botanicals Dead Sea Bath Salts are $48 each. They're a favorite of Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson, who says, "I only recently discovered the benefits of an evening soak with magnesium-rich bath salts; I'm a convert to the ritual, and Dead Sea Bath Salts are my new favorite indulgence."


    Above: Follow the bath with True Nature's Pacific Body Oil, filled with apricot kernel oil with linoleic acids that plump cells and protect against moisture loss, sesame seed oil to reduce flaking and soothe cracked skin, and highly absorptive watermelon seed oil, excellent for mature skin. Fragrant essential oils include tuberose, rosewood, and neroli; $95. It's a favorite of Remodelista features editor Meredith Swinehart, who calls it "the most luxurious body moisturizer I've ever used. I typically reach for heavy lotions to soothe my dry skin, but Pacific Body Oil is a potent moisturizer that somehow dries to the touch almost instantly, without leaving a greasy film. It also smells amazing, without a hint of sweet."

    True Nature Botanicals | Remodelista

    Above: True Nature's Pacific Mist is a lightweight skin freshener made of antiaging white and green tea extracts for plump, dewy skin. It's both a "toner" for use before True Nature's daily facial moisturizing oils and a luxurious skin pick-me-up for anytime throughout the day; $48.  

    True Nature Botanicals | Remodelista

    Above: The stars of the True Nature Botanicals collection are three potent Face Oils (above, L to R) for regular skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin. Pacific Face Oil is True Nature's most beloved product—an everyday moisturizing serum suited for all skin types, rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Pacific Balancing Face Oil is a daily moisturizing oil for blemish-prone skin in need of antiaging care, which Vogue called "one of the most coveted formulas in the United States." Pacific Soothing Face Oil is True Nature's daily moisturizer for sensitive skin, packed with calming, skin-healing properties; $110 each. 

    True Nature Botanicals has extended a special holiday offer to Remodelista readers: Receive free Tranquility Dead Sea Bath Salts when you spend $150 using code REMODELISTAGIFT. (Limit one gift per person. Expires December 19, 2015, and cannot be combined with any other promotion.) For gift ideas, browse True Nature's Holiday Gift Guide plus Skin Care, Hair & Body Care, and Perfumes.  

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    San Francisco, we hope to see you this weekend at our annual Remodelista Holiday Market! It's this Saturday and Sunday—yes, we've doubled our days—and 45 of our favorite California maker-designers and shopkeepers will be showing their wares. Come meet the Remodelista team. Here are the details, plus a preview.

    Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13, the Remodelista Market will be in the factory space at Heath Ceramics at 2900 18th St. in the Mission District from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. (Note the different hours each day.) 

    Come to the Remodelista Holiday Market 2015 in San Francisco

    Above: Remodelista-selected housewares vendors, tabletop designers, ceramicists, weavers, jewelers, perfumers, natural beauty product specialists, and clothing designers will be at the market, including (clockwise from top left):

    In Fiore 

    Kathleen Whitaker

    Julia Turner

    Rough Linen

    Alice Tacheny

    Heritage Artifacts

    Linda Fahey Ceramics



    Sarah Kersten 

    There's also irresistible kids' clothing. Go to the Remodelista San Francisco Market for a full list of vendors.

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