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Do Carry On: 4 Actually New Ways With Vintage Suitcases

Trends are put; they burst on blogs; costs on Etsy and eBay soar; big retailers such as Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn start selling them; everybody’s got one; folks start to get tired of these; and snarkiness ensues. Writer Malcolm Gladwell explains it much more eloquently in The Tipping Point, but that is the gist of decor trends. However, designers and smart homeowners are always tweaking tendencies and giving them fresh appearances. Just one example suitcases and trunks.

The tendency: Using vintage suitcases as storage, decorative props and side tables. Here’s a look at the tendency since it soared toward the point. Don’t get me wrong; I like them, however, they hit the tipping point when stores started carrying fresh suitcases designed to look vintage.

The difficulty: Often these vintage cases were a little overly scuffed and dirty and paired with too much other crusty old stuff, sending us into vintage overload (in other words, an excessive amount of shabbiness and not enough chicness).

The alternative: It’s time for a reset. Below are some examples of vintage suitcases used in new ways. The tendency all is dusted off and looking shiny and new .

Toronto Interior Design Group | Yanic Simard

What’s new here: This very tailored, monochromatic modern room needed something with wear and age to add interest. These suitcases are roughly the same size and have a color-blocked impact, for a exceptional nightstand.

Tips for your search: Figure out the measurements and colours you want to use before you begin looking. Maintain a doodle mat outside so you can add up the measurements of every case to your nightstand’s total elevation.

Montana Reclaimed Lumber Co..

What’s new here: This vintage case is mounted beneath a metal stand, which turns into a one-of-a-kind nightstand. Its deep crimson colour picks upon the bedding, and specifics such as the chain manage and lock components include personality.

Tips for your search: If you currently have a stand, you have the measurements you want. Maintain the colours you are thinking about for the room or that exist in the room while searching. A suitcase that is colored will help inspire the color scheme of the whole room.

Allure Interiors Inc…..Crystal Ann Norris

What’s new here: These truncated and mounted instances function as identifying picture rails. They complement the wood accent wall without competing with it.

“We cut the suitcases using a saw and created L-shaped shelves — imagine a step,” says Crystal Ann Norris of Allure Interiors. “We utilized a 2-by-4 for the rise and also a 2-by-6 for the step. Then we screwed them into the wall and set the suitcases them over.” She hot-glued ribbon round the edges.

Tips for your search: Do a rough sketch of what you would like your wall to look like to get an idea for measurements. This idea would also work well for a wall-mounted nightstand.

Jordan Cappella

What’s new here: The designer encased a sizable classic instance in an acrylic box, mixing new and old in one coffee table. The clear box coats over the crustier particulars of this suitcase, elevating it into an artful object.

Tips for your search: Determine how big this table you would like. Then have a look at boxes in locations such as Acrylic Screen Store for size choices to organize your suitcase dimensions accordingly. You can also have a box custom made from a firm like Screen Case Art, and include details like castors and hinges.

Where to find the very best vintage suitcases: I like the selection in Etsy the finest; revealed here is a smattering of what has been available from vintage sellers on the site. I just did a search for “vintage suitcase.” You will find pages and pages of listings to choose from. If something high end such as Goyard or Louis Vuitton is more your thing, I urge 1stdibs and eBay.

Maintaining going: More new and old ways with vintage suitcases

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First Drawings Guide That a Midcentury Gem's Reinvention

While helping their friends move to Ellensburg, Washington, Scott and Emily Faulkner fell in love with a midcentury home there. Designed by architect James Cowan at 1957, the home nodded to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian design, using its L-shaped plan, native materials, flat roof, clerestory windows, and large cantilevered overhang for passive solar heating and cooling. Before leaving their friends and heading back home to Seattle, the Faulkners vowed to relocate Ellensburg if the home ever went up available. One year after it did.

The Faulkners purchased the home, moving from Seattle across the hills and settling into their new rural town. Scott, an architect and furniture maker, constructed the majority of the plywood furniture. And though the previous owners had renovated in 2006, much of the home’s original character stays. The couple was fortunate to get an entire set of the original drawings of the home, and they intend to honor and reflect Cowan’s design.

Who lives here: Scott and Emily Faulkner, cats Pearl and Tiger, and puppy Domino
Location: Craig Hill neighborhood of Ellensburg, Washington
Size: 3,200 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 3 baths

Kimberley Bryan

Many substances transfer between the indoors and outside. A bed of river rock inside near the entryway goes outside, as does the concrete masonry unit wall.

A large, unadorned entry window washes the entry with natural light, while offering a clear perspective of the exterior vertical weathered siding.

Kimberley Bryan

After the Faulkners, revealed here, entered the home for the first time after purchasing it, Scott introduced Emily using a midcentury design clock that hangs on the transparent, vertical-grain Douglas fir paneling in the living room.

“I was hoping it would look like one of those built-in clocks often seen in midcentury homes. And it will,” says Scott.

Hitter: Chiasso

Kimberley Bryan

The two-bedroom home blends timber, cement and glass. A large wall of glass lets light flood into the living room and also connects the distance into the outdoors, but a wood-screened courtyard facing it from feeling exposed into the street.

The home was constructed in 1957 for the Devney family. It stayed in its original condition until it was offered to its next owner in 2006.

The Faulkners have met both James Cowan’s daughter and one of those Devney sons. “Speaking together has added into the home and our desire to preserve it as a historic object of architecture,” says Scott.

Kimberley Bryan

Front entry is a study in textures: fir wood siding, cement pavers and cubes, glass, river stones and playful shadows created by open roofing.

The homeowners created their own version of a screen door a 3/4-inch board of fir plywood painted and sprinkled with circular cutouts.

Kimberley Bryan

The circular cutouts bring breezes indoors but also create an artistic light element.

Kimberley Bryan

Both enchanted with and motivated by the home’s rich design background, Scott constructed over half of the home’s furniture, including this entry console made from cherry and plywood, with cutout slots designed to make sorting incoming mail easy.

The slate flooring is unique to the home.

Kimberley Bryan

Scott also constructed the long, low-slung console, coffee table and armchair in this living room. “At this time the seat and coffee table are raw plywood,” he says. “They will be finished such as the console, and a few cushions will be added to the seat. However, like the home, I enjoy the furniture to be great in its own details: nicely made, with multiple, surprising functions and with tidy, surprising elements, such as the cherry and heavily striated plywood”

The couch and 2 orange vases were gifts from Scott’s family.

Tall orange vase: Mort’s Cabin; table lamp: vintage, Vintage Vine

Kimberley Bryan

Eames-style rockers add curves into an otherwise straight-lined composition.

Scott constructed the door propped against the wall along with a composite substance left over from one of his own architectural endeavors.

Kimberley Bryan

The bamboo flooring, installed by the home’s second owners, represent the abundant light that pours through paned windows.

Little groupings of furniture anchored by no-frills carpets in dark browns and gray keep the eye on the home’s lines and the play of shadow and light.

Rugs: Morning Coffee, Espresso, Flor

Kimberley Bryan

Scott constructed the storage cabinets to echo the scale and form of the rectangular opening that leads to the dining room. “I enjoy things Upgraded, but also usable and functional,” he says. “I appreciate architecture and furniture that’s adaptive and will transform itself for multiple applications.”

The tufted vintage Mort’s Chair, made by George Mulhauser, was a present from Scott’s mom.

Floor lamp: vintage, from a secondhand store (now closed)

Kimberley Bryan

Bamboo flooring continue into the dining room, bathed in light. High windows create an open atmosphere but block the view of the carport on the other side.

Kimberley Bryan

A classic teak and glass light fixture hangs over a desk and seat that Scott constructed.

The low-slung round table and console are both vintage.

Kimberley Bryan

One of many original pocket doors at the home connects the dining room to the kitchen, which retains its original layout and birch cabinets.

The previous homeowners had installed new flooring, a tile backsplash and updated appliances. “It really is amazing just how much of the home stayed intact,” Scott says. “And we’ve got that fantastic original spec book, which we can look at to find the items that are missing. Gradually we will try to re-create them”

Kimberley Bryan

The homeowners admit that other individuals might prefer to completely revamp the kitchen but they’re happy the cabinets and sliding glass doors stay. “It’s so interesting to observe how intelligently a few of the facets of the home were designed,” Scott says. “The glass sliders can be opened from either side, so that if you wish, you can get the light from the family room windows pouring into the kitchen. Where the dog bed has become, there used to be a swing-out desk that you could put up against the [image] wall, to operate at. I’d like to reconstruct that one of these days”

Hitter: made by George Nelson

Kimberley Bryan

The kitchen connects to a living room, making an open concept that is common now, “but if this home was designed, this was forward thinking,” Scott says.

The original fireplace was not drafting correctly, therefore the homeowners installed a woodstove in its own place.

Woodstove: Lopi Republic 1750, Armstrong’s Stove & Spa

Kimberley Bryan

Sliding doors off the family room conceal a large storage and utility room with floor-to-ceiling closets.

Scott constructed the sawhorse table, coffee table and sofa; the latter turns right into a guest bed. “Together with five bedrooms in the home, we actually haven’t needed to use it,” Scott says. “But I enjoy that it’s that second purpose.”

Kimberley Bryan

A staircase results in the bedrooms and baths, which can be “all about function,” Scott says. “They’re small, and regardless of what you do, you have to leave the bedroom to get into the toilet. A good deal of individuals who seemed in the home when on the marketplace were turned off with that. But it works for us”

Kimberley Bryan

Clerestory windows are the hallmark of the upstairs bedrooms. “You can tell their positioning was carefully picked,” says Scott. “The light that comes through the windows entirely changes throughout the day.”

In this home office, a vibrant shaft of afternoon light seems to point straight to one of Scott’s multiuse layouts: a Murphy bed that folds down to reveal a complete shelves and headboard.

Kimberley Bryan

After the bed is closed, the distance becomes a home office at both function and appearance.

Kimberley Bryan

Lined with sliding doors, the hallway includes ample storage created even more functional through another creative initial element: slide-out cabinets.

Kimberley Bryan

Even though a bathroom renovation by the last owners veered from midcentury design, the Faulkners still like the interplay of light through the windows that are original. “We will return the baths to their midcentury roots one day,” Scott says.

Faucet, sink: Grohe

Kimberley Bryan

The bathroom area is set by A enclosure with three dimensional windows that are rectilinear apart from the bathroom.

Kimberley Bryan

Though another bedroom has larger windows, the Faulkners created this their principal bedroom because they love the way light pours in through the clerestory windows.

Scott constructed the platform bed with underbed storage.

Kimberley Bryan

The only other furniture in the room besides the bed and a shelving is a vintage desk. “I saw it in an auction and thought it might be a George Nelson bit,” Scott says. “It was not, but we enjoy it.”

Kimberley Bryan

Living in the home for the past five years has shown the carefulness of this design into the Faulkners. “Cowan took into account all the organic elements we have here in Ellensburg: our famous winds, the need to capture the sun in sunlight through glass walls but shield from the sun at the summertime with large overhangs,” Scott says. “The home does not have air conditioning, but it does not require it. The home was not just designed to be pretty, but to be somewhat livable.”

Kimberley Bryan

Among the couple’s greatest challenges was enlarging storage at the carport for their bikes while still staying true to the home’s design.

The few of increased a storage area by 6 feet, constructed doors to match the home’s front “display” doorway and repurposed the home’s siding to create a wall.

Kimberley Bryan

For this couple, the architectural background of the home helps them enjoy the home itself. “It is like unraveling a mystery,” Scott says. “We are lucky that we’ve got the original spec book for the home, together with all the blueprints. Whenever we wonder what the house had that’s gone, we can always reference those. It is unusual and astonishing to have all the materials”

See more photographs of this home

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From Olden Church into Soaring Modern Marvel

When an 1892 Anglican church outside Melbourne, Australia, arrived the market, husband-and-wife architects Dominic and Marie Bagnato jumped at the chance to rescue the weatherboarded structure from being bought and turned into a commercial office space. With older churches such as it becoming a rarity in the region — the little designs can’t support growing congregations, so churchgoers are consolidating into larger spaces — the couple determined that converting the building into an amazing modern house would help make sure its remaining power. “We wanted to maintain the architecture and keep the appearance but bring it to a 21st-century home on the interior,” Marie says.

Clearly, adding a little style did not hurt, either. Since it had been recorded as a heritage site, the architects could do just so much to the existing construction. They created a mezzanine with two bedrooms and a rumpus room in the older church structure and added a new modern building with a lavish master suite, ramping up the square footage to accommodate the current occupants: a physician, his wife and their six kids.

Together with the house’s hundred-year-old trusses and ceiling, and luxury decoration, being inside it today is almost a religious experience.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A family of 8
Moonee Ponds neighborhood of Melbourne, Australia
Size: 5,274 square feet; 4 or 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
Budget: $1.55 million

Bagnato Architects

It had been all about highlighting the emptiness in the living room. The monolithic fireplace soars up to 6 1/2 meters (a little more than 21 feet). The normal ceiling height in Australia is half. “It’s quite imposing when you’re standing there,” Marie Bagnato says. The chimney has a black marble hearth and a plaster finish, also connects to the ceiling and timber trusses, both a hundred years old.

Leaving the limestone floor “lumpy and bumpy,” Bagnato says, and incorporating an acid-washed finish, helped make the surface look aged.

Bagnato Architects

Since it was a very insular building, the architect worked to link the distance to the yard. Large windows now open to the swimming pool and scenic Moonee Valley. The larger window is supposed to be a modern interpretation of a Gothic window. “It gets the space magnificent back there,” Bagnato says.

Gold is a theme throughout the home. The color reminds Bagnato of older churches, something she says she subconsciously thought of throughout the plan. Gold comes from the multicylindered chandelier, which is intended to emulate organ pipes.

Bagnato Architects

Since this is a heritage-listed building, the architects kept all the original exterior features on the church side, including the weatherboard, Gothic windows and cloverleaf port. “To be transparent, we wanted to highlight the building, not ruin the facade,” Bagnato says.

A black stairwell links the church to the new modern building, which includes the master bedroom.

Bagnato Architects

The designer wanted the press lounge in the church building to have a very different vibe in another living areas. Whereas the living area is spacious and filled with light, this space is intimate and moody, with gray walls, alligator-skin-recalling wallpaper, velvety sofas and carpets, and tiny surprises of stone.

“I wanted it to feel very lush and over the top. It’s almost just like a foyer to a resort,” Bagnato says. “It’s where you go with friends”

All furniture: Coco Republic

Bagnato Architects

Black and gold remain in this sitting area, which was the first entry to the church. It now links to the press couch, with windows that look to a garden.

Bagnato Architects

Calacatta marble runs throughout the kitchen, such as the staircase. The place connects with the dining area and spills from the living area.

Bagnato Architects

A freestanding Caroma Noir bath overlooks the master bath. The materials utilized throughout the rest of the home replicate within this space. The black Nero Tempest marble found around the fireplace comes up here as an imposing wall; acid-washed Chiampo limestone similar to that in the living area adorns the ground, just here it has a more honed, smoother finish. The light fixtures glow amber when lit, complementing the golden tones in the marble.

Bagnato Architects

This staircase is the link between the old and new building. It leads up to the bedrooms and features partially exposed stained wood treads to get a floating effect.

Bagnato Architects

The first Gothic windows divide the ground levels in the two church bedrooms. An original truss cuts a striking scene, as does a mirror near the ceiling over the bed that makes the hundred-year-old wood roof appear to hover.

Bagnato Architects

This al fresco seating place is underneath some of the new building that joins the two structures. The cabinetry around the stainless steel barbecue and sink is recycled timber.

Bagnato Architects

Glass walls fuse old and new, inside and outside, connecting the home to the pool area and the Moonee Valley beyond.

Bagnato Architects

The mezzanine looks over the living area void, aided by a glass balustrade. The old trusses jut into the distance, maintaining the rhythm of this old structure.

The architect wanted the staircase, which contributes to an attic-type space, to sense sculptural but not fight the old building design.

Bagnato Architects

The homeowners are turning the attic-type space with views of Moonee Valley into a attic bedroom for two of their kids. A kitchenette and powder room are back.

Bagnato Architects

The owners wanted the master bedroom to feel somewhat like a lavish hotel room. Sheer black drapes, charcoal wallpaper and an artichoke-recalling mild add to the effect.

Bagnato Architects

The ceiling at the wine cellar is recycled timber. The backsplash is backlit onyx.

Tell us Can you live in a remodeled church building? We would love to find a photo.

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Playful Luxury Infuses a 1929 Houston House

When inside designers Laura Umansky and Kristina Wilson of Laura U, Inc. came upon this home, it was in great condition. Constructed in 1929 by noted Houston architect John Staub, the home had undergone a rather recent update by a dominant interior designer. But the new owners turned into a young family who desired a much more open plan for your kitchen and the breakfast room, an updated master suite and insides that reflected their very own fashion. The results equilibrium luxury and relaxation, elegance and coziness, muted tones and bold hues, elegance and fun.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A family of 7
Size: 4 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms
Location: Houston
Year built: 1929

Laura U, Inc..

The residence is located in the tony Houston neighborhood of River Oaks. Architect John Staubfamous for his understated elegance, designed there, including this one. This house’s features include first floor-to-ceiling windows, a glass sunporch plus a grand pool pavilion.

Laura U, Inc..

Throughout the insides, the designers in Laura U Interior Design continued the tradition of understated elegance, ramping up the luxury from the mature rooms while focusing on colorful playfulness from the more kidcentric rooms.

This formal living room’s neutral color palette is emphasized by luxe metal finishes and rich textures. “We love to combine our metals” exclaims Umansky. “This room features nickel sconces, gold rope frame chairs from Annie Selke for Vanguard and custom cushions in platinum cloth.”

Settees: Donghia

Laura U, Inc..

The first windows were carefully restored and outfitted in tailored, custom drapery, Umansky says.

Hardware: Bradley

Laura U, Inc..

In the dining room, Umansky enlisted the talents of local artisans in Imago Dei to paint a trompe l’oeil design on the ceiling.

“We love combining patterns and using sudden color,” she says, talking about the purple silk drapes. “The customer owned the zebra-patterned chairs, so we knew this was a match made in design paradise.”

The hair-on-hide rug by Kyle Bunting adds more texture on the ground and plays off the geometry of their ceiling mural.

Laura U, Inc..

This room functions as the family space and viewing space; a recessed, motorized screen is located in the ceiling over the fireplace. “It’s the ideal space for piling onto the couch and watching movies,” says Umansky.

“We lacquered the paneling in this library at a rich brown with fuchsia and gold accents,” she says. “The color palette makes this a snug, comfy room.”

Sofa: B&B Italia; colors: Lutron; custom artwork: McClain Gallery

Laura U, Inc..

Next into the dark and comfy library is this mild and vibrant sunroom. The floor borrows its color palette in the library, making the hues in a bold checkerboard pattern. Because this is a kids’ domain, carpet tiles by Flor were a great option.

“The persimmon color on the ceiling and also at the accent cushions is a fun foil to the otherwise muted colour,” says Umansky.

Sofa: Vanguard; ottoman: Ralph Lauren Home; table, chairs: Michael Aram

Laura U, Inc..

“The muted color palette in this master bedroom set the stage for the play which is the Hudson chandelier,” says Umanksy. The outcome is a comfy yet glamorous space.

Automatic drapery: Lutron; bench: Christopher Guy (via Laura U Collection)

Laura U, Inc..

“We love to use a writing desk in a bedroom, often as an alternative to a night table,” says Umansky. “We locate the lost art of handwriting letters to be intimate and ideal for your boudoir.”

Laura U, Inc..

Calacatta gold marble is mirrored in layers of mirrors at the master en suite. Venetian mirrors were layered over a wall of custom-cut antiqued mirror. Custom vanities bring the mirror out into new dimensions.

Laura U, Inc..

The mother’s dressing area is an enjoyable meeting spot for all of the women in the home. “Her dressing room connects to the master suite and into the space her daughters share, making this a great space for them to hang out together,” explains Umansky. The room is playfully fashionable; you can see that bolder colors and prints reappear within this shared adult and kid room.

Ceiling wallpaper: Maya Romanoff

Laura U, Inc..

Two young brothers share this room. “We floated the bunk beds because of the locations of each the doors and windows,” explains Umansky. Each bed has a recessed reading light in the head.

Mirrored desks: Bungalow 5

Laura U, Inc..

In a teenaged boy’s room, the habit splatter-painted ceiling steals center stage. A deep blue accent wall causes the bed.

Art: Collaboration involving Natalie Davis and Saba Jawda

Laura U, Inc..

A slick homework and notebook channel consists of a shiny black parson’s desk out of West Elm plus a contemporary chair from the Phillips Collection.

Laura U, Inc..

One existing element from the prior homeowners inspired this entire room: the entertaining, colorful, striped Stark carpet. Low Togo Chairs are a comfortable choice for little ones and match the scale of their attic playroom.

Laura U, Inc..

Moving outside, Umansky added an abrupt jolt of electrical orange poolside via ceramic garden stools. The curvacious wicker furniture is by Janus et Cie. A black and white umbrella provides a crisp graphic component.

Laura U, Inc..

More crisp black and white continues on the pool pavilion’s terrace. “The swimming pool pavilion is equally suited for elegant entertaining as it is for children’s birthday parties,” says Umansky. Philippe Starck’s Bubble Club Chairs provide an enjoyable component, while the black and white palette keeps things sophisticated.

Laura U, Inc..

“The pool pavilion was designed for the previous homeowner. We supplied the space for our customer, keeping in mind that the space would be utilized for entertaining adults but would have to resist wet bathing suits,” says Umansky. “All the upholstery materials are either industrial or indoor-outdoor.”

1929 Mansion Revival in Minnesota

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Look Picture Perfect With Vintage Cameras

Even before digital cameras snapped the photography landscape, older movie cameras have always had an edgy, stylish vibe. They’re plentiful on the current market, and you can often score great bargains, so they may be an inexpensive way to spark your interiors with a gathered display.

When you plan to put your vintage cameras into use, go through a reputable dealer — you do not want to take a chance with internet auction websites or local garage sales. A trader can help you figure out a vintage camera’s condition, find a model that uses film still accessible and offer ideas on how to coax out the very best possible shots. Many offer a guarantee as well. Try KEH, Collectible Cameras, Adorama and E.P. Levine to start.

If, however, you’re more interested in attractiveness than function — and in case you do not care about value — don’t hesitate to save money on thrift-store or Craigslist finds. Stumped for how to exhibit them? These ideas will get your creative juices pumping.


Like things always have more impact when grouped together. The same as the trio of vases with this side desk, the set of cameras brings a great deal more attention in unison than either camera would on its own.

What an approach to art! Frames surround a grid of cameras for a beautifully manicured screen.


Layers of vintage chic add as much as a supercool impact in this setting, by the midcentury modern–fashion cupboard to the old-school phone and cameras.

Tiffany Brooks, Interior Designer & HGTV Host

Purists may shriek, but spray painting a classic camera elevates it to the realm of sculpture.

Cameras, rather than paperbacks or bric-a-brac, dot these bookshelves for a lovely shadow box effect. This therapy is evidence that you don’t have to audience shelves with objects — occasionally simplicity works best.

Megan Buchanan

Wondering what to do with a sterile mantel? An assortment of cameras appears so much fresher than the expected candles or vases.

Annie McElwain Photography

I adore the way this peekaboo camera is slotted to a shelving unit full of additional flotsam — you do not notice it right away, and that’s the purpose. It is a sly surprise amid ordinary objects.

Amid a display of clocks and old books and photos, a set of cameras adds a period-appropriate finishing touch.

Get Inspired With Suggestions To Get Vintage Style
How to score in the Flea Market

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Kitchen of the Week: Aqua Knockout at Austin

Formal dining moved out the window when designer Jennifer Ott remodeled the kitchen in her Austin, Texas, home. Ott and her husband did not use the huge closed-off dining room next to the first small kitchen, so they knocked down the walls to create a modern, ample space for entertaining as well as cooking. Bold colors, two pantries, clever cupboard designs along with a smart breakfast nook today give her the room and style she’s craved.

Loop Design

Ott needed plenty of countertop to share with her husband, and room for two guests and cooks to move smoothly around the kitchen. “I’m a lover of generous aisle widths,” she states. “If you cook or entertain often and have the space, I suggest 48-inch into 54-inch wide aisles. Greater than 54 inches starts to feel overly wide, and you’ll feel like you have run a marathon after building a meal” Following the remodel, the kitchen is 250 square foot, and the dining space is 115 square foot.

Cabinetry: Ikea base cupboard boxes, Texas Trim pecan door and drawer fronts; shelving: habit pecan; countertops: concrete by Caesarstone; stove, hood: Wolf

Loop Design

Following the walls between the original kitchen and dining rooms were knocked down, architect Christy Seals of Loop Design needed to incorporate a large beam to support the loading of the second story, which was rather a challenge. Because the beam is a foot thick, it meant they needed to lower the ceiling height in this field. However, Ott loves the varying ceiling heights — they allow for a subtle willingness from the kitchen and intimacy from the dining area.

Ott picked the colors based on housewares she had fallen in love with. Her strategy was to use neutral colors for substances that are costly or hard to change — such as the quartz countertop and concrete floor — and use bold colors for substances that are economical and easy to replace — such as paint and accessories.

Floors: concrete overlay; wall paint: Parakeet, Sherwin Williams; island paint: Larchmere, Sherwin Williams; bar stools: Ikea

Loop Design

Although she loves her kitchen neat and clean, Ott isn’t always able to stay on top of putting everything off. She made the window seat as a secret storage space, with a massive space for oversize and little-used products. Two pantries at the end of the kitchen help with this too. Since the pantries are behind closed doors, she doesn’t have to be concerned about them being spotless.

Refrigerator: Samsung; pendants at dining room: Firefly, CB2; window seat cloth: Little Dandelion, Premier Prints

Loop Design

Ott put extra-large drawers at the bottom cabinets, rather than fixed shelves, making it easier for her to reach kitchen items. Often-used bowls, plates and glasses were put on the open pecan shelvingsystem, to stop constant dusting. Ott also used the house’s existing plumbing to keep down costs. This limited the kitchen’s layout, but they had lots of room to work with.

“nobody comes with an unlimited budget, so it’s good to determine what your priorities are and place the money from the items that make the most sense for you, for how you’ll use your kitchen,” Ott says. “I do not bake, so that I did not want two separate wall ovens. It might be a popular must-have for a great deal of people, but we simply didn’t want it”

Sink: Silgranit Precis Super Single Undermount, Blanco; fixtures: Grohe; pendant over sink: George Kovacs, Lights Fantastic

Contractor: Jason Williams, Shoal Creek Construction

Photography: Patrick Wong, Atelier Wong

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Steer the Sun and Shade With Louvers

The most effective architectural design — contemporary, conventional, whatever the situation may be — chooses the natural surroundings into consideration. Architectural type, materials and assemblies should react to sunlight, wind and other factors of climate. One means of addressing sunlight is with louvers — closely spaced slats that allow the sun’s rays to pass through specific times of the day, producing shade at other occasions.

The following examples illustrate how louvers can be oriented vertically on a facade or as a trellis. The majority fall into the latter category, as spending some time outdoors while still having some respite from the sun is a popular reason to use louvers. For much more shading ideas, see my posts on timber slats and sunshades.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

The horizontal louvers located on the outside of the house designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects are located on the projecting quantity at left along with a stair which sits between it and the more solid place on the right side.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

It’s simple to see why louvers were used here: All these are the areas with the most transparency. In the instance of the foreground quantity, a screened porch, the louvers wrap the top half (approximately) of three sides.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

By increasing the louvers above door height, views from the seating area inside to the landscape are rather open. The amount, horizontal profile and standing of the louvers means the large, midday sunlight is blocked but the very low sunlight can come through.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

The louvers are articulated in precisely the same fashion from the stair, filtering the light which enters the tall space. The louvers mitigate the impact of the sunlight on the space, keeping it from turning into a greenhouse in warmer months.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

Here is the view from the staircase out to the landscape, together with the screened seats area seen beyond.

Baldridge Architects

Baldridge Architects’ aptly named Courtyard House is highlighted with a large trellis within the decked outdoor space. With the louvers oriented vertically (the opposite of the former example), the sun is allowed to input when it’s directly overhead but is filtered when in an angle.

Baldridge Architects

This daytime photo shows the trellis in action. It’s important to be aware that the louvers work in concert with all the surrounding trees, so more shade is provided together than independently.

Baldridge Architects

When seen from inside, the trellis appears to function as an exterior ceiling, solid at a few angles. This provides a enclosure and privacy to the space adjacent to the glass walls.

Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects

Much like the preceding instance is the home in Sydney, Australia, designed by Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects. The trellis also sits just outside the glass walls, in this instance sliding walls that connect inside and out.

Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects

The placement of the louvers makes it seem they are a continuation of the ceiling, making a stronger tie between inside and out in line with the remainder of the design.

Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects

Nevertheless the timber used for the louvers provides the trellis some warmth which the rest of the layout lacks in its minimalism.

Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects

This detail shows the simplicity of the layout: closely spaced wood slats attached to paired galvanized steel angles.

Studio Saved – ASAP House

Studio ASAP’s ASAP House on New York’s Long Island features a red trellis in the rear which is apparently completely different — visually and physically — from the home, a straightforward one-story box. That they function together is evident from the way the trellis columns sit between each set of double doors.

Studio Saved – ASAP House

The trellis is capped in translucent, corrugated plastic, shielding the occupants from rain as well as sunlight.

Studio Saved – ASAP House

Another Studio Kiss project features a trellis more in tune with its house, but there’s still something to it that makes it feel as the trellis is a great addition. In fact the project is a renovation with a new front porch.

Studio Saved – ASAP House

The trellis sits in the front edge of the new porch, behaving like a screen between the street and the home. It’s an interesting design that provides a little bit of privacy to some side not normally used to it. I really could see a barbecue occurring here, as opposed to out back.

Studio Saved – ASAP House

The stepping from the wall creates places to sit down, aided by the wall’s thickness.

Shade in Summer, Sun at Winter

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Sourcebook: Contemporary Coastal Style

Tired of your coastal home design? Pare down your decor and vary textures and finishes to update to a appearance. Color plays an integral part go bold with splashes of turquoises along with corals throughout spaces. Think of your room as an art gallery; put and select objects for maximum effect. This appearance doesn’t scream coastal. On the contrary, it’s very subtle — you may have just 1 painting or piece of furniture that defines the appearance, but it will be sufficient to give your space a coastal feel.

Related: So Your Design Is: Coastal

John Lewis

Davey Factory Ceiling Light, Copper – GBP 360


This lighting has all of the components needed for the modern coastal appearance — a maritime feel and smooth, sleek lines in a beautiful polished copper.

Locate this at John Lewis (U.K. just).
Restoration Hardware has a massive selection of lights that look perfect in modern coastal homes.


Floating Coral Shelf – $49


Mix coastal contours with more contemporary materials. Organic shapes are highlighted by these coral shelves in a format that is clean.

Locate this at Wisteria.
Anthropologie is great for quirky takes on coastal accessories.


Zikat Fabric, Indigo – $10.50


Play with layouts from neutrals and blues, such as this gorgeous chevron stripe from Beebolt. A couple bits in a fun pattern are.

Lewis & Sheron have a beautiful range of stripes and ikats.
Romo fabrics always has great coordinating stripes.


Malibu Fish Plates, Set of 9 – $239

Wall Art

Create a screen of coastal-inspired art. Visit local galleries to locate sculpture or a painting that feels special.

Discover these great plates at RSH.
Art.com has an excellent selection of modern art in many different price ranges.

ABC Carpet & Home

Shibori Linen Pillow – $158


This shibori linen pillow is filled with visual feel. It’d look amazing.

Get this cushion from ABC Carpet & Home.
West Elm is a great source for pillows in all shapes, sizes and colours.
For more modern coastal cushions, attempt Tuvalu Home.

John Lewis

Eames RAR Rocking Chair, Ocean – GBP 435


Keep furniture lines classic and clean. Aim for simple bits that still stand out — such as this timeless Eames rocker at a foggy blue.

Check out Dwell (U.K. just) for some magnificent contemporary furniture.
Restoration Hardware always has a great mixture of modern and unusual pieces.

Exquisite Surfaces

Montaigne Collection Tournai Wood Floors


in case you’ve got the option of trimming your floors, target to get worn hardwoods in light colours to keep the more classic side of your coastal home.

Locate this timber flooring at Exquisite Surfaces.
Take a peek at Pavé Tile and Stone for more worn wood options.


Coral Rug – $270


Utilize a picture rug to add a wow factor to any room. Keep the colour palette simple and instead aim for patterns.

Locate this carpet at Weego Home.
A fantastic selection of rugs may also be located at Modern Rugs (U.K. just).

Benjamin Moore

In the Tropics Paint


You can play with colour in a modern coastal home, and thus don’t feel like you need to adhere to just neutrals. Brighten things up with a coral or turquoise!

Discover this and other great coastal colours at Benjamin Moore.
Try Small Greene for more great colours.

Thomas Paul

King Octopus Duvet Cover, Charcoal – $400


Keep bedding simple but statement making. This duvet cover creates a real impact with its vintage drawing from bold black and white.

Locate this at Thomas Paul.
Try Ralph Lauren for pared-down seems for your bedroom.
The White Company has an extensive range of bedding.

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Asian and Vintage Styles Mix at Eclectic Home

Dutch homeowners Petra Mens and Sander Van der Burg mixed several design styles to make a harmonious three-story home for their family. Situated in the newly built neighborhood of Wateringseveld, between the towns of Delft and The Hague, this contemporary home balances Asian influences with classic mid-century contemporary design pieces.

The couple fell in love with the area for its close proximity to the city, beaches and the historic town of Delft, where they own an inside décor boutique, Interieur Decor Delft. These factors, as well as the distance the home offered and family-friendly area, guided them to buy a block of land to construct their perfect home.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Petra Mens and Sander van der Burg
Location: Wateringseveld,The Netherlands
Size: 160 square meters,2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

Holly Marder

“It’s rather difficult to describe the fashion of our property, because we like a good deal of things,” Mens says. “It’s contemporary, but it’s also warm, and though all those things are so different and come from different shops and boutiques, all of them work well together.”

Suspended over the coffee table would be the Bird Lamp composed of black paper cranes from Tas-ka. With its own handmade clustered origami birds, the unique light fixture brings together the Asian influences found in the rest of the space, such as the large imported antique Chinese cabinet in the dining area from Zen Lifestyle.

Light fixture: Bird Lamp by Tas-ka
Coffee table and sofa: Linteloo

Holly Marder

A subtle wall installation that doubles as a media stand separates the living room space from the open kitchen design. The charcoal grey sofas offer a cozy place to relax and admire the views outdoors. Teak’Sushi’ stools, which can be offered in the couple’s boutique, function as the perfect perch for coffee or a cocktaillounge.

Possessing an inside décor boutique has its advantages for the few, who completely endorse the products that they market in their boutique. “The products that we sell in our store are hand-picked by me, and I choose items that I would like to have in my home,” Mens says.

Light fixture: Bird Lamp from Tas-ka
Coffee table and sofas: Linteloo
Candlesticks: Ikea

Holly Marder

Holly Marder

The showstopping part in the dining area is the Non Random Light from Dutch design home Moooi. Designed by Bertjan Pot, the pendant projects light through an intricate net of epoxy and fiberglass strands, which gives off an organic softness while remaining quintessentially contemporary.

Paint colour: Hardwick White by Farrow & Ball

Holly Marder

The key accessory in this dining area vignette is a traditional George Nelson made Turbine Clock by design home Vitra. One of the most popular wall clocks made, the midcentury made brass Turbine Clock is now an icon in contemporary design.

The clock unites with a Scandinavian designed vintage Palisander wood bar cupboard, a personal favorite item of Van der Burg. Warm golden colors match the soft gray-green walls.

Hitter: George Nelson”Turbine Clock” by Vitra

More on George Nelson clocks

Holly Marder

The contemporary, fuss-free kitchen is large and spacious, with clean lines and contemporary appliances. A wall of custom-built dark Wenge wood cabinets houses a row of Siemens built-in appliances, such as a steam oven, coffee machine, oven and hidden refrigerator. A glossy kitchen island and stainless steel finishes produce a compact appearance. Large Asian rock floor tiles operate throughout.

Holly Marder

With a 12-year-long connection to their credit, and a company they have run successfully together for five of the years, teamwork is crucial for this particular couple. They fulfilled when Mens was an interior designer with her own business, and Van der Burg was working as an upholsterer and part-time interior designer. When it came to designing their home, Van der Burg took on the architectural aspects of the property’s design, and Mens dragged herself to the accessories and overall appearance of the home. It would seem that the design duo are a match made in paradise.

Holly Marder

The vintage Scandinavian dining table is really a buy the few created in Antwerp, through a visit to the town’s popular antique shopping road, Kloosterstraat. The seats surrounding the table are original iconic Fritz Hansen Butterfly seats. One of the most widely sold seats on earth, the contemporary classic chairs are a design icon that the couple has loved for ages.

Antique Chinese cupboard: Zen Lifestyle

Holly Marder

This darling little table was bought for a sneak at a local thrift shop for 2 Euros! The vase on top was also a thrift shop find. The mixture of new and old accessories makes this home both cozy and inviting.

Candlestick: Habitat

Holly Marder

The master suite is made with Asian flair. Red Chinese side tables, bought during a visit to a furniture store in The Hague’s Chinatown, soda from an otherwise neutral setting. A vintage Chinese print was bought at Zen Lifestyle. The couple bought the sculptural piece in a design boutique at Delft. It’s a folding clothing stand by Italian design home Zanotta.

Wall colour: Shaded White by Farrow & Ball
Bedding: Mrs. Me Home Couture
Lamps: Kartell
Printing: Zen Lifestyle
Clothes stand: Sciangai by Zanotta

Holly Marder

A feature wall of Asian-inspired wallpaper is striking against the bedroom’s neutral tones, and picks up on the red accents in the room.

Wallpaper: Osborne & Little
Wall colour:’Shaded White’ by Farrow & Ball
Bedding: Mrs. Me Home Couture
Lamps: Kartell
Printing: Zen Lifestyle
Clothes stand: Sciangai by Zanotta

Holly Marder

Walking out of the master bedroom to the ensuite feels like entering a Balinese spa, using soft pebble-like tiling below the toes and a soothing color scheme.

Holly Marder

The couple’s ensuite is a relaxing escape. Contemporary hardware unites with Turkish and Moroccan accents to make a soothing space to unwind in the tub or enjoy a steaming soak in the shower. The pebble appearance floor tiles have been brought over from Bali to complete the”Zen” appearance that the few were heading for in this area.

Mirror: Habitat
Hardware: Doornbracht

Holly Marder

Holly Marder

With a baby boy due very soon, the nursery is near conclusion. A feature wall covered in robot wallpaper by Scandinavian company Ferm Living is a whimsical and entertaining addition to the space. Paired with soft yellow walls, the area is ideal for their own son. Mens picked the vintage baby bed to get a sneak at an internet boutique specializing in vintage and retro items for kids.

The appearance the few were heading for in the baby’s room was”vintage and fresh using a mix of contemporary and vintage furnishings.” The couple plan to bring a changing station and Mens plans on sewing a handmade mobile for their son to gaze upward at while lying in his bed. “In my wishlist is an Eames rocker as my feeding seat,” Mens says.

Wall colors:’Light Blue’ and’Babouche’ by Farrow & Ball
Robot Wallpaper and cushions: Ferm Living
Mattress: Mevrouw de Uil

Holly Marder

This gorgeous vintage cupboard adds retro appeal into the space, while another contemporary classic provides comfy seating for extended feeding sessions when baby comes together. The vintage Verner Panton chair was awarded to Van der Burg as a present from a former company. The one-piece plastic seat made by one of the most influential designers of the 1960s and’70s is considered today as a classic in contemporary furniture design.

Holly Marder

Throughout the couple’s home are things that reflect about the traveling they have done together over time. “I am a collector,” Mens says. “Every town we visit, we buy something. We have brought things back from Morocco, Bali, Barcelona and Paris.” The collection of image frames at the entryway is a growing tradition for the few, who find a new picture each time they see a new city or nation. The antique Chinese mantelpiece in the end of the hallway is home to a range of things brought back from vacations abroad, such as a Moroccan stone-studded mirror, and sea shells, coral and also a Buddha out of Bali.

Holly Marder

Away from the entryway on the ground floor is a large and spacious home office that Mens utilizes to sew and work from home from time to time. Modern floor-to-ceiling cabinets in a high-gloss end provide ample storage for cloths, office materials and knickknacks, while tangerine coloured Eames Eiffel seats add more style to the room.

Holly Marder

A striking black-and-silver wallpaper brings excitement and texture into the space, and provides a luscious backdrop to the bright orange Eames seats. Both solid wood tables were produced by Mens’ dad who is a carpenter. In addition, he produced the three wooden blocks that hold the office and printer supplies.

Wallpaper: Chinese Dragon from Osborne & Little
Clock: George Nelson Asterisk Clock by Vitra

Holly Marder

When Mens and Van der Burg bought the land and home, they played around with the ground plan to produce the open kitchen, dining and living area that provides them with loads of living room, and additionally sacrificed among the three bedrooms on the third floor in favor of producing a spacious master bedroom having an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet. The few have considered extending the home to incorporate a fourth floor later on.

Holly Marder

On a bitter winter day, the views of the charming, family-oriented area from the couple’s home are a pretty sight.

A Home Grows With the Family
Contemporary Character at a Dutch Studio
Canadian Cottage at the Netherlands

See related

Regular Glamour in Dallas

The state of Texas has a design all its own. Homes in this large and gorgeous nation have a varied and one of a kind style. The owner of this home in North Dallas desired something which plays into two sides of Texas design — a comfortable living space with a touch of glamour. After getting remarried, the customer wanted a new home for a brand new start, and hired Dallas designer Emily Johnston Larkin to help her create a house that felt livable and chic, with a touch of Hollywood Regency design.

Emily Johnston Larkin

This Martini Lounge has been Larkin’s favorite room to work on. The customer wanted a playful but elegant space where she could host guests for after-dinner drinks. Larkin balanced outside the space by using classic designs blended with colorful and fashionable accents. The room glows with a tone-on-tone painted striped silver wall and warm wood flooring. An enjoyable light fixture and colorful textiles complete the appearance.

Couch: Crate & Barrel
Coffee tables: Arteriors Home
Chandelier: Horchow
Pillows: Custom-made Duralee cloth
Rug: Shades of Light

Emily Johnston Larkin

To create the casual glamour her customer desired, Larkin stuck with comfy furniture and fabrics together with glamorous accents. In the living area, lush green armchairs are lined with brass nailheads, and stunning glass side tables contrast with the more subtle jute rug.

Once the customer first started working with Larkin, she desired her whole home made — paint, wallpaper, accessories and furniture. It has taken a few decades, but they’ve almost finished every area.

Mirrors: Crate & Barrel
Table lamp: Currey & Company
Rug: Blackstone Carpets
Couch and armchairs: Charles Ray
Negative tables:
Global Views

Emily Johnston Larkin

Present hand-scraped hardwood floors were laid in a herringbone pattern at the entryway. Larkin maintained the entrance a clean and sharp white to let this stunning ground stick out.

Mirrored console and table lamps: Horchow

Emily Johnston Larkin

The kitchen has been completed in warm forests and granite to blend with the hand-scraped hardwood floors and exposed wooden beams from the ceiling. Even though a number of the substances had been put in by the builder, Larkin had the granite and detailed backsplash set up for visual texture.

Backsplash and countertops: IMC

Emily Johnston Larkin

The dining room ceiling provided a bit of a challenge for Larkin. She knew they needed a gold metallic paint to the ceiling, but she needed it to coincide with the gold wallpaper perfectly. Because paint darkens when it dries, the color kept turning out more bronze. After a couple of tries they could get it correctly.

Table and seats: customer

Emily Johnston Larkin

While their is a mix of merchandise throughout the home, the customer did tack on a few high-end wallpaper, fabrics, and furniture to continue.

Wallpaper: ID collection

Emily Johnston Larkin

A recreation area (complete with a custom Texas Longhorns pool table) is the best spot for those clients to blow off steam at the end of a very long moment. Larkin outfitted a window seat with custom cushions and cushions for visitors to sit and relax while watching the others play.

Pillows: Custom made of Pindler & Pindler cloth

Emily Johnston Larkin

The customer is this energetic and charismatic person, and Larkin needed to make sure that the home really reflected that. In the master bedroom, green and gold accents feel fresh however sophisticated, while a muted rug and wall color ground the rest of the room.

Headboard: Custom
Bedframe and bedding: Encore Hotel’s home shop
Sofa: Charles Ray

Emily Johnston Larkin

The glamorous combination of new and old is present in the customer’s perfectly coordinated cupboard. Larkin had a seat and ottoman reupholstered to add color to this dressing room.

Seat: Client’s, at a Kravet cloth
Ottoman: Client’s, in Pindler & Pindler cloths

Emily Johnston Larkin

The guest bedroom is a bit more neutral than the master bedroom, and really is a crisp and soothing space for visitors to snuggle up for the night. A custom headboard makes the mattress feel plush and comfy, and Larkin tied the room together by using the same cloth on the cushions and curtains.

Headboard: Made by Jimmy Bishop using Pindler & Pindler cloth
Bedding: Horchow
Interior color: Sherwin Williams Camelback
Rug: Pottery Barn
Table lamps: Emissary

Emily Johnston Larkin

Double French doors lead from the master suite to the couple’s expansive master bath.

Chandelier: Currey & Company

Emily Johnston Larkin

Classic trellis wallpaper generates that Hollywood Regency appearance in this bathroom. A custom shower curtain is surprisingly formal — a chic update of the standard.

Wallpaper: Schumacher
Shower curtain: Custom made of
Pindler & Pindler cloth

More Tours:
Luxury and Cozy Lake House

Coastal Chic Family Getaway

Agnes Blum’s Heartfelt Home

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