All posts tagged: modern

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 …

A photographic rewind: before the demolition

So sometimes I like to do things backwards (read: life is too hectic to think far enough in advance to allow me to do things in the proper order). So today, by popular demand, I’m sharing some pictures of the house from before the demolition. Yeah, I know, the “before” pictures should really precede the demolition and construction pictures, but that’s just not how it happened here. So, in no particular order, here are some of the photos from the real estate listing. It’s worth noting that the house was in perfectly liveable condition, and it’s only because of our aesthetic priorities, our interest in energy efficiency, and a desire to create a space better suited to our family needs that we are gutting the house and building the interior from scratch. Starting at the property’s front door, above is the entry hall or foyer, which in many respects is quite beautiful. But since it’s definitely not my style, we’re saying goodbye to the dark wood and will see it replaced with simple painted plastered walls, modern casework (cabinetry), …

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 …

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 …

The Runcible

There’s been a bit of buzz lately around the Runcible: its beautiful lines, gorgeous warm-hued wooden exterior, and its simplistically chic concept. I mean, who wouldn’t spot this flying-saucer-meets-modernism objet d’art and be curious, right? If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check it out. It’s basically a new gadget that is supposed to integrate our digital lives in a post-iPhone/iPad sort of way. In fact, it’s actually supposed to become a bit of an heirloom, like a pocketwatch, and is described in the press release as the “first-ever fully round screen and palm-sized form [that] is modeled on devices that humans have always carried with them: the pocket watch, the compass, the magical stone that fits the palm of our hand.” The rest of the marketing copy is alluring too, telling us that the Runcible is the device that’s going to untether us from our non-stop digital lives and allow us to experience the world around us without interruptions and in new ways, while having an interface to our digital lives close by. Oh and did I …

São Paulo

I travel to São Paulo a lot these days and it’s always such a mixed experience. The people are nothing short of incredible, the warmest and friendliest people I’ve ever worked with, and yet the city itself is utterly draining. Maybe it’s because I’m not the big metropolis type, more into the mid-sized manageable city with its quirks and charms and real sense of community. Being amidst all the noise, traffic, old concrete and new glass just isn’t my idea of a great city, neither for business nor pleasure travel (let alone to live in). But on my last trip there, as I stood on the 23rd floor of one of the city’s many hotels, making small talk with a woman I had just met, I saw the city in a whole new light. For the first time I was able to see above and beyond the constructed mass, to see the edges of the city, to see pockets of green space, and to begin to see the real contours of the build environment. “It’s …