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Friday, December 6th, 2013

Favorite Design Books Published in 2013: The Beautiful

Becky

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What’s on your holiday book wishlist? To get you started, here are five notable design books that were published in 2013; I realized after selecting a few that with this list, I was going for the beautiful. I’ll be back with five more favorites next  week, perhaps the bold, or the gritty.

In the meantime, if you scooped up a favorite title this year, one that now has a permanent spot on your coffee table or nightstand or in your workspace for inspiration, please drop us a comment and let us know.

In With the Old by Jennifer Boles. I’ve enjoyed Jennifer’s blog, The Peak of Chic, for years, and this glossary of the elements of timeless design is a great and entertaining reference that should grace any design lover’s shelf.

Timeless Style by Suzanne Kasler. I love the way Kasler can use antiques and luxe fabrics, yet her clients are so airy and fresh. The latest volume does not disappoing (her Inspired Interiors is another one of my favorites).

Beauty at Home by Aerin Lauder. Yes, you kind of want to hate her because she’s beautiful, but this book is just so full of pretty rooms and vignettes that you can help but love it.

American Beauty by Thom Filicia. This book chronicles the former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s adventures in renovating his lake house. It even has an intro by Tina Fey.

Stephen Sills: Decoration by Stephen Sills. This man’s designs are so good, Karl Lagerfeld himself claims if he ever had a house in America, he’d hire Sills to decorate it for him.

So those are just a few of the wonderful books full of elegant style. Stay tuned for modern inspiration in a few days.

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

High-Flying Design

Becky

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Why are most planes so boring looking? It seems like airliners spend millions in paint jobs and additional drag that uses up more fuel every time two mega-airlines merge. However, some companies are doing some eye-catching things to planes that are anything but plain.

Photo: Eva Air

This week the Hello Kitty plane from Eva Air made a lot of U.S. headlines when it landed at LAX.

Photo: Finnair

My modern-day personal favorite is the collaboration between Finnair and Marimekko, who have applied some of their most popular prints with planes. There’s a great video about the cooperation between the company most known for iconic Finnish fabric patterns and the airline here:

Photo: Braniff International Airways

This is not a new idea; Braniff International Airways really upped the artistic plane game back in the Don Draper advertising era, though I don’t think Cooper Sterling Draper Price ever came up with anything this exciting as these Braniff Alexander Calder bedecked planes for Mohawk. The full story is great, and you can check it out braniffpages.com.

Photo: Braniff International Airways

The photo above shows the only time I’d would not get tired of the mother-?#$@#$! planes on a mother-#!*@#?!!$# plane!

My fictional personal favorite is Austin Powers’ shagadelic plane. I could have sworn there was an Emilio Pucci design on a plane back in the day, but there were just the fabulous flight attendant uniforms with the crazy bubble head thing. The Austin Powers plane is the closest thing to a Pucci print that was out there, and it just suited the character and the era so well. Plus, the interiors were so fitting with the exterior.

Does a certain airline’s aesthetic choices suit you? Let us know in the Comments!

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Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Around the Web – Owls in Residence, Classical-Meets-Hipster

Becky

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Sometimes I forget to share all of the great things I’ve seen around the web that is world-wide. Here are some of the best things that are floating around in cyberspace right now.

image by Kai Fagerström

Loving this project where photographer Kai Fagerström documented all the critters inhabiting this house in the woods.

photo by Katherine Marks for the New York Times

Scoop up a slop sink in NYC for just under $10K? The New York Times reported that buildings are now selling off prime real estate like pieces of the hallway, landings and closets that hold the slop sink for mopping to homeowners in order to keep their costs and thus homeowner fees down. I suppose in a city where space is so tight, that 17-square foot slop sink room could be worth big bucks to most people.

image via Lexington, MA Historic Survey

The Five Fields Community in Lexington, Massachusetts. I knew nothing of this modernist neighborhood spearheaded by a group of architects that included Walter Gropius. The philosophy behind the shared common areas reminded me so much of Randall Arendt’s work.  By the way, I think it sucks that the Boston Globe won’t let anyone read one measly article per month online without subscribing, so I apologize that you won’t be able to read the whole thing without signing up for 99 cents, but this article by Linda Matchan is worth it, I promise.

Photos by photographer Léo Caillard and photo retoucher Alexis Persani

Classical sculptures dressed as hipsters. Thanks so much to my friend Paola Thomas of Mirror Mirror for bringing this to my attention!

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Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Yummy Kitchens

Becky

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We love pinning our favorite kitchens to our Pinterest board, Yummy Kitchens, and the latest pin was Cameron Diaz’s  New York City apartment (interior design by Kelly Wearstler). As her chic pad goes viral after being featured in Elle Decor’s latest issue, I thought, why not jump on the bandwagon? The entire apartment has a luxe-meets-bravura modern vibe, full of rich fabrics and amazing metallic finishes, like this stunning reflective backsplash.

photo by William Abranowicz for Elle Decor

White kitchens still seem to rule and they are everywhere you look, so seeing the emerald green cabinets and unlacquered brass counters and backsplash were refreshing to see.

Jeroen van der Spek for VTWonen via The Kitchn

It’s fun to see people experimenting with metals besides stainless steel. This clever use of copper pipes adds great shine, patina and a dash of steampunk style to this kitchen.

photo by Manhattan Nest

I’m also digging the contrast of black and white and black and gray in today’s kitchens, and really love “the inky blue black” of these cabinets. This renovation on Manhattan Nest left me gobsmacked. Even more shocking, it was completed on a budget of $1230.74. That is just ridiculously inspiring, isn’t it?

All of the new tile patterns out there these days offer endless possibilities for unique backsplashes. A lack of upper cabinets and shelves allows these horizontal stripes to stun and the kitchen to appear very open and airy.

photo by Michael Graydon

It may seem tough to sacrifice upper cabinets for clear wall space or open shelving and it’s a personal choice. However, if you really pare down your china, glassware and cookware to the bare essentials, you may just find you have room (do you ever really use that “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug, or that extra set of china?). One idea I love is this plate rack. It creates an organized, beautiful and functional way to stash china within reach while keeping things open. One tip to those considering such a move or open shelving – you’re going to have to dust more, so keep that in mind.

What kind of kitchens are you finding yummy today? Please let us know in the comments section, and/or add “#yummykitchens” to your kitchen pins so that we can all find them with ease!

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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Bathrooms With Big Personality

Becky

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When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, a lot of people get caught up in worries about resale value issues and thus wind up with something quite blah. The truth is that a lot of trends come and go, and a perfectly plain and popular standard overmount sink that’s the only option available one year can be passé just a few years later when undermount sinks are all the rage; that polished nickel you loved so much and seemed like a no-brainer may fall out of fashion like brass did after the 1980s (brass is back, by the way). No matter how exquisite you found your ever-popular granite pick, the next year marble and Caesarstone could come in and kick it right out of Elle Decor forever.

Depressing, right? Nah. When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, if you’re not planning on moving within five years, go ahead and do what you love.

Go mad with marble:

photo by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Avant-garde design goddess Kelly Wearstler designed this gorgeous bathroom for her daughter. The walls and floor are covered in an eye-popping inlaid marble pattern.

photo by Eric Piasecki for Architectural Digest

In interior designer David Kleinberg’s own apartment he went for striped marble, down the floor, and up the vanity, backsplash, shower stall and wall.

My calculator exploded when I tried to add up how much the marble in those two bathrooms cost, but they are beautiful inspiration.

Add unique lighting:

Photos by Sean Fennessy, production–Lucy Feagins / The Design Files

In a playful nod to Magritte, these bowler hats dangle over a freestanding bathtub with modern lines.

Warm up neutrals with lots of texture:

photo by Noah Webb

Coastal Modern master Tim Clarke warmed up a neutral-colored bathroom with pebbled shower walls. They lend an outdoor shower feel to this spacious shower stall.

Add unique artwork and accent pieces:

In addition to the brightly colored patterned tile, the homeowner’s patina style dressing table, lady in bright yellow portrait and lucite stool add loads of personality to this delightful bathroom. I would never want to leave it!

Paint a vintage clawfoot tub an unexpected color:

photo by James Merrell for Living Etc.

I also love the way they’ve added this unique schoolhouse map as art. It’s something that is easy to switch out if you’re tired of the bathroom.

What would you do if money/resale/reality in general were no object in your bathroom?

CREDITS:

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