All posts filed under: decor

Tile with Spark: 10 Sources for Bold and Modern Tile

A big hello from somewhere up in the sky over the middle of continental U.S.! I’m headed to California to visit two of my bestest friends and I can’t wait. Even though the reason for the trip is principally work-related, I’m taking a few days on each side of the work to spend time with my friends and to also do a little work on the house. I love a good renovation and I love all the creativity, I really do, but there seems to come a point in each renovation when I’m a bit worn out, when decisions don’t come as easily, and my to-do list just seems to spiral out of control. The chance to escape the cold (and craziness) of home/work in Boston and be productive in a warmer (and quieter) climate is something I’m really looking forward to. The big item on my house to-do list right now is the tile. I’ve been searching high and low for the “right” tile for weeks now and, due to an abundance of options and a little fear of …

Decisions, decisions and a touch of fun in the kitchen

If you know me, you know I love a good kitchen backsplash. In home design, I often think of the backsplash as an empty canvas just waiting to be explored (exploited?). It’s a great place to show the personality of your home, with a touch of color, pattern, or texture. With that in mind, it’s now time to decide on the backsplash for our new home and I need your help. You’ll remember that in our last apartment, we had a beautiful vermillion back-painted glass backsplash. It really stood out in our apartment and was a great focal point in the expansive kitchen. This time round, as we’ve talked about before, the plan is for a Scandinavian modern house with some punchy geometric accents. Along these lines, I have a reference image that I love, and that I had hoped to use as the basis for our new kitchen. As you can see below, it’s this incredible geometric patterned wall paper by Minakani set against light grey cabinetry. And I had big plans for a really bold backsplash …

Dressing up your sofa (or table, or chair, or…)

Right now we are smack in the middle of a year-long spell of temporary living, somewhere between the designed-it-myself happiness of our old loft in the city and the excitement of a big, new house in the quasi suburbs. We’re in an apartment, decently sized for city-living standards, and located in an awesome neighborhood we knew nothing about, but at the end of the day, it just doesn’t feel like home. I’ve spent some time trying to fix that, adding curtains here and there, making sure all our artwork is on the wall, insisting on using our rugs even when rooms have carpet (much to my partner’s chagrin)… and little by little we are creating a space that feels less like a hold-over and more like an enjoyable space. But between you and me, if you care at all about design, living in a temporary space isn’t really all that appealing. It’s frustrating because the spaces aren’t designed the way I would like them to be, there’s no overhead lighting, the walls are this bizarre almost-but-not-quite …

More than just a mattress

When we sold our house we received one of the best compliments that a design-crazy homeowner can ever hope to receive. The buyer’s agent said “the buyers really like your house as it is, and feel like they could move in today and not have to change a thing. Would you be interested in selling your furniture and decor?” Now most of the pieces we want to come with us — most particularly the live-edge walnut dining room table and steel-topped walnut bar my brother built — but we were certainly open to passing along some of our other pieces, and particularly those that are harder to move. One piece that we’ve agreed to sell to the buyer is our bed, The W Hotels Clive Bed, which we love. It’s really solid, great for sleeping and reading, and is such a nice example of understated contemporary furniture. So now I’m on a hunt for a new bed and I wanted to share the beds that are on my shortlist. To set some design parameters, let …

On kitchens, cabinets, and the cost

In our home, the kitchen is the center of it all, the hub of energy around which everything else revolves. Sure, we have an open plan apartment with one large living space and the kitchen has a big physical presence, but it’s more than that. We spend the great majority of our time in the kitchen, cooking, snacking, hanging out, having meals, chatting. We’ve had evenings with friends when we never even left the kitchen area and, in fact, we had some friends over for brunch this past weekend who said, “you know, I don’t think we’ve ever sat at your dining room table or in your lounge area before!”. And they’re right, we’re just always hanging out in the kitchen or at the amazing counter bar we created for just that purpose. Because of all this, as I spend hours head-down in proposed layouts for the new house, I’m constantly coming back to the kitchen: it’s placement, it’s size, it’s organization, it’s aesthetic. And recently, while wandering the Internet for inspiration and guidance, I came across a pretty exciting …

The design-conscious traveler, Part 2

You know how I’ve been bemoaning the difficulty of finding gorgeous holiday accommodations? You know how I love planning holidays but always struggle to find the rental home that’s just right? Well I just discovered a resource that has me thinking the struggle may be over. It’s sort of VRBO crossed with a sense of design crossed with kid-friendly… it’s called kid&coe.  And its full of awesomeness. Seriously, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about this site. First, it’s attractive to look at and easy to use (admittedly I haven’t actually tried to book anything yet). Second, it lists properties all over the world. Want to go to Porto, Portugal with your family? They have great houses and apartments there, like this one. Or maybe Melbourne, Australia? Look at this place. San Francisco anyone? Go enjoy this awesome kitchen. The thing that makes me love this site isn’t the fact that the houses are all kid-friendly (although that’s definitely great) but it’s the fact that most of the houses look just like somewhere I …

Light and Ladder pendant | Textured Modern

Porcelain Cluster Lights

Not much to write here, the picture speaks entirely for itself. The perfect matte finish on these imperfectly-shaped porcelain vessels makes you just want to reach out and touch them (and own them immediately). I’ve been pining over these pendant lights for a while now and I think the time to incorporate them in our home might finally be right around the corner… Designed by Light and Ladder in Brooklyn, NY.

Perfectly simple spaces in Reykjavik

You know, for someone who writes a blog, I’d say I spend relatively very little time actually popping in on other blogs and keeping abreast of all the good design floating around on the interwebs. I mean to, I’d like to, but life just seems to get the better of me. That said, one site that I do routinely stop by is DesiretoInspire.net, an interior design blog written by two women, a Canadian and an Australian, who are self-proclaimed “interior design junkies” (um, yeah, that’s definitely me too) and who share posts about all sorts of lovely goodness. Our styles don’t line up perfectly, and now and then they’ll present something I don’t love, but they’ve got a great eye and by and large I really enjoy what they share. So somewhere between checking work email and checking to see when the next blizzard is going to hit today, I happened upon a post that really caught my eye.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s so hard to find interesting and stimulating holiday accommodations, …

Design with(out) kids in mind, Part 2

So now that we’ve talked about designing a beautifully curated home that is simultaneously right for the whole family, it’s high time to turn to some of the specific little things I learnt while designing our home. I’m talking about the juicy little tidbits that make up (the beginnings of) a list of things to keep in mind when designing a home for your family. I searched high and low for lists like this and didn’t find much so I hope this will be helpful to those of you in the throes of planning, designing, or renovating. The standard-height bathtub. I made a fly-by mention in the intro post about the bathtub issue. When we were renovating our home, I was (as I’m sure you might imagine) pretty focused on the details and left very little up to the professionals involved as far as fixtures, finishes, and furnishings were concerned. In an incredibly ironic twist of fate, the one thing I left up to someone else ended up being less than ideal. It was the bathtub for …

Design with(out) kids in mind, Part 1

As I previewed earlier this week, I spent a lot of time thinking about whether and how to design our home with kids in mind when we completely overhauled our apartment two years ago. I was heavily pregnant with Little L at the time (you can read more about that and our terrible timing here) and how he’d fit into our lives was at the forefront of my mind. Reflecting back, almost two years after we (finally) completed the renovation, I can safely say that we chose the best route for our family: we designed a home for us, a home that we love living in, and it has turned out to be a great home for Little L too. Lesson #1: You can totally have the house you want, stark white walls, uncarpeted floors, open stairs, the lot. To some it might sound blindingly obvious and to others it may sound a little controversial. But here’s the thing: the choice to pursue the aesthetic you want, to have a house that takes design into account, …

The stunningly modern urban “barn”

Allow me to present you this “barn”, re-imagined for urban dwellers with a key appreciation for the modern. I can’t help but immediately share this incredible home with you. It’s nothing short of stunning. The gorgeous industrial siding in my favourite shade of grey and the way it envelops a textured, warm wooden facade. Those strong vertical lines of the steel that contrast perfectly with the much more narrow horizontal stripes of wood. Oh and the open, airy interior. And that awesomely asymmetric window in the living room with the strong black frame that pops so compellingly from the blank-canvas-like white walls. I’m pretty sure I could move into this house tomorrow and be delighted. Maybe they’ll rent it out and we can add it to our design-conscious traveler series? Oh I wish. Right this way for more on this fantastic home or head on over and check out the architect’s site.

Award-winning!

It’s kind of amazing to imagine, but our loft just won an award! The Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston’s annual PRISM awards were just announced, and our loft won Gold in the Best Remodel category. This is the first time any design or architecture project I’ve been involved with has won an award and I’ll admit to having that warm, radiant feeling inside. A shout out and congratulations to ZeroEnergy Design for the collaboration that led to the finished product: a pretty fantastic space to live in. All the photos of our loft can be found here on my Pinterest page.

A touch of gorgeousness from Dinosaur Designs

Happy Friday! I love Fridays because I get to spend them with my toddler son, L, and we get to roam the city, go on trips, get up to mischief, and its usually just the two of us. While I treasure our Friday adventures, I also treasure the peace and quiet during L’s nap time, as it’s the one dedicated time during the week that I can think about all things gratifying in the visual world around me. And today, during nap time, I realized that I’d be remiss if I weren’t to share with you my favourite jewelry and home wares (online) destination: Dinosaur Designs. I’m known among friends and colleagues for my bold necklaces and much of the credit for this little fashion signature is due to these amazing, relatively unknown artists. Dinosaur Designs is an Australian retailer who started off in the late 80’s as a small trio of artists making all sorts of fimo (whoah, flashback, remember fimo?) and resin necklaces, bracelets, platters and the like, and now has a very …

A few of my favorite things…

Last week I promised that I’d return to share a smattering of the things I like in architecture and design. I know you’ve been holding your breath in anticipation but you can rest easy as today is that much anticipated day!Like so many, I consider Pinterest to be my creativity warehouse, wherein all the beautiful images and ideas I’ve stockpiled over the years lay in wait for my future creative pursuits. In the early days I used to try and annotate my pins carefully, noting what it was that drew me to the image and trying to help create a little memory file so that when the day came to build my future house/populate said house with gorgeous furniture/outfit a future child I would remember exactly what it was I loved about the image. These days I’ll admit to being much less fastidious about my pin descriptions, and as you explore my boards you’ll see the decline evolution. Anyway, I’ve spent some time combing through my boards and have salvaged some of my favorite images …