Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Help for Cord Clutter

Friday, July 6th, 2012

We all have cords in our homes…but certain areas (desks, entertainment centers and nightstands) become easily overwhelmed by all our gadgets.  Here are some quick suggestions on how to manage all those crazy cords.

I’m currently working on a home where we want to hide the cords from a crawling baby.  We are going to create a thick baseboard to run them through.  I’ll post pictures when we are done.  Until then, here are some simple solutions to clean up the cord clutter in your home.

Because I share a printer in our office, I am constantly looking for the USB to plug into.  This holder from Blue Lounge would certainly help (as would a wireless printer).  Although one has to be careful to limit the amount of “helpers” so the desk doesn’t become cluttered.

 

Room and Board offers these simple yet very functional cord covers that run along your furniture edges and legs.  Very well designed.

 

If you are in need of running cords around a room, this idea works and is a decorative element for a kids room or play room.  From Apartment Therapy.

 

This clever little outlet cover would be great behind a nightstand.  Lamps usually have long cords and this would work nicely.

 

There are several ways you could label your cords if needed.  Need a very inexpensive solution?  Here it is!  Cute idea from Simply Placed for all those little bread “things” that get tossed into the trash.

Picture labels from Dotz.  They have several versions as well.

 

 

 

 

ICFF 2012

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Not having a lot of time to lollygag at ICFF, I noticed a few trends to share with you.  There were numerous woodworkers who all had beautiful products.  The one thing I kept noticing was that they love drawers in multiple sizes and configurations.  Here are some of my favorites.

Above is a cabinet with drawers from Portuguese design company Wewood.  Like the shelf detail at the base.

A similar cabinet from Richard Watson.  The pulls looked like thumbtacks; nice unusual detail.

Cabinet with beaded detailing on top and on the drawer reveals by Sami Hayek of Espacio.

 

Booth installations are always fun to admire.  I wonder how long it takes to set up some of these.  Two manufacturers, Hellman Chang (furniture) and Lindsay Adelman (lighting), had a piece of their actual workshop demonstrating work in progress; brilliant idea.  Anyone who wonders how things get made as much as I do must have loved this.  I bet next year we’ll see even more of this.  I was clearly so engrossed that I forgot to photograph BOTH of them!  Sigh…

Above is a tree that was made out of rope strung though a mesh “ceiling.”


Installation with a bench and shaded cover made from a somewhat translucent fabric called Xorel.  This was created by a collaboration of students.  It felt good to be under; almost like shade from a tree.

A photo from Amuneal Manufacturing‘s booth.  I’ve seen them before at ICFF and I always get “lost” in their booth.  It’s a beautiful, wonderland of the imagination.  They manufacturer displays and components for stores and have a very craftsman look that sucks me in.  Above is a wall of woodworking tools beautifully displayed.   Inspiration for storing my tools!

The picture above is small but these innovative light switches/organization helpers are from Upwell.  This was one of those products that I looked at and wondered, “Why hasn’t this been created before?”  These switch additions add a little organization right where we need them, by the front door.  I spoke with the creator and he’s looking for a manufacture to produce them…someone find this guy a manufacturer!

I always love lights that create a pattern on the wall or ceiling.  Above is a light from Absolut in Germany.  The bulb is in the middle (covered) and reflects through an etched pattern on the glass around the outside.

This fixture is from Lightexture (as is the picture).  The piece expands and contracts (like a metal veggie steamer) to project light up or down casting beautiful reflections on the surrounding surfaces.

Porcelain tiles from Kowa Collection caught my eye for the large format and texture they create.  They can be installed in numerous patterns on walls or glass.  This is more of an architectural element than a bath or kitchen backsplash tile.

NYC Patio Completion

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Our patio is complete, just in time to share it with friends on this lovely Friday.  The first three photos are of the patio before we started.

 

 

We created a little dining area with a rug, table and chairs.  We planted a new Japenese maple tree (very small at this point) but the red leaves glow brightly under the sun and it’s perfect.  The umbrella brings in a pop of color until everything blooms and I combined stripes and the graphic patterned rug for visual interest.

In the corner we planted lettuce, herbs, beets, carrots and tomatos.  The large black pots include garden sage, honeysuckle and some red nancy.   They are all pretty small at this point so I look forward to them growing and blooming.

We used wine crates for the beets, lettuce and carrots since we did not have any actual ground to plant in.

Lettuce just popping up.  Can’t wait to have a fresh salad from our garden!

This is our “gnome” Bella.  She will keep the birds away but unfortunately she loves lettuce and carrots so we’ll see who gets the first taste of summer.

Hats Off to You – Kentucky Derby Style

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday and in honor of it we are bringing you some of the most creative, interesting, and beautiful hats from years past.  From home-made to couture, there is a style for everyone.  Take note of the amazing color palettes and textures.  Each one is a miniature masterpiece full of design inspiration…well maybe not this first photo but I couldn’t resist!  Stop by our facebook page next week to see how my outfit came together for the big event and post pictures of your own creations.  We can’t wait to see them.  And they’re off!!

 

I give this couple props for creating their own pony hats.

This hat is stunning, I love the color contrast between the magenta, cream and black.

The fabric on this hat has an interesting texture and I like the way it filters light, giving its owner an angelic glow.

This woman was obviously a show stopper in her matching hat and dress.

Simple and elegant – a testament to “less is more”.

Now this is a doozy for a hat! I would love to see how it frames her face from the front, but the back is a true work of art.

This is a great example of a DIY hat.  The ruffle on the edge is fun and I love that her earrings match the sash on the hat.

Peacock inspired – loving the bright colors!

I want this hat.  It is a summer classic.

I want this chic fascinator too!

I can’t resist the crisp chocolate brown and cream combo.

Bigger isn’t always better – but I think she pulls off this outrageous topper quite well.

A First Home in Denver

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I had hoped to be ready to post some “preliminary” shots of our new house, but didn’t want you all to think we are total slobs.  We have been in the new house for just over a week.  Step one was getting things out of boxes and into piles.  We have succeeded at that, but the next step of finding everything a home has been a bit trickier, so here are some photos to give you a feel for the space, but none of the belongings in the pictures are ours. Hence, my personal disclaimer:  I am going to cheat a bit with the first photos of our new home today.  These are the photos taken by the realtor and whoever staged our home prior to us buying it, so none of the furniture it ours – also, please note they used a wide angle lens so the spaces feel slightly larger than they really are.

I love this picture – our new place has tons of windows and light.  As you can see the space is long and fairly narrow – I can’t wait to paint and get some really fun carpet on the stairs.

Once in the door, this is your view directly to the right.  I am thinking this will be where our TV has to go and maybe a small chair in the corner by the window.

This is your view to the left of the door, essentially our living space.  It looks clean and simple with this furniture, but our pieces are slightly larger so I am going to have to play with it a bit.  A bold patterned rug is something I am looking for and a new light fixture or fan – I am undecided if we actually want a fan in this space or not.

This rectangular table fits nicely in the space, but ours is round.  It will be interesting to see how it fits.  We also have a large armoire that we want in this area to serve as a pantry since there isn’t one in the kitchen.

I love the island in the kitchen and the huge sink!  Our biggest issue is the limited number of cabinets and drawers.  We only have eight cabinets and five drawers.  Storage solutions will be my initial focus in this space.

The half bath downstairs is enormous and a poor use of space.  Down the road I would love to reconfigure it and add a pantry and coat closet.

The master bedroom has doors or windows on every wall, which makes using the space a bit more challenging.  I am hoping to get a dresser, two small night stands, and a little vanity table in here.

I will post another update in the next few weeks once our belongings are settled.  We are in the process of picking paint colors so I will keep you posted on that progress.  Until then…

 

A New Home in NYC

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

As some of you may know, my husband and I have recently moved into a new place in New York City.  We are thrilled to have an updated, warm and quiet space.  I wanted to share  pictures of it in progress and then I’ll post the afters as they happen.  I’ve found that it’s WAY HARDER to do my own space.  I know too many great vendors and want to use them all!

A bit of background on the place.  It was built in 1910 and the last owners updated the kitchen & dining area before moving.  It is a duplex, which in NY means the unit is two floors, not side-by-side.  It has a great layout for entertaining our friends and family.  The first floor consists of the kitchen, dining, living, main bath and a great little patio out the back door.  Down a tight, little  spiral staircase is the basement consisting of two bedrooms and a half bath.

Giang and I live very casual lives.  We love being home and entertaining which means lots of cooking.  We tend to use what we have until it falls apart.  We don’t like having lots of tchotchkes around and prefer a pretty low maintence home.

The kitchen is small, but we have a Wolf!  It beats our last stove that was so uneven that we had to prop up the burners with aluminum foil “pads” so that the pans would be level.  I probably won’t be doing much with this room but it needs a rug and a shade to for the window by the dishwasher.

The dining room is one of my favorite rooms.  It’s large and comfortable.  I love that they hide the refrigerator in the wall of cabinetry (far left).  The center of the cabinetry was this strange, large cabinet.  We didn’t want a TV so we made it into a bar.  I painted the inside red and built the small bank of drawers to store more utensils and charge our iPad.  The dining table was built by yours truly out of reclaimed NYC water tower wood and I found the legs locally.  The last bit to do here is find art for the wall.  We painted the core color a pale yellow you see pictured.

 

 

 

The living room is probably one of the few rooms that came together quickly.  Our furniture came with us from Denver and we added the coffee table by Palo Samko.  We plan on relocating and hiding the TV in a wall at a later time.  The wall of photos were taken by Giang and I on our travels around the world.  We selected pictures that are serene yet graphic.  Some of the shots are recognizable, some are not.

 

The main bath will become more of a powder room (without removing the shower) once we finish the basement bath.  The basement bath will add much needed storage for all our toiletries so we can remove them from the main bath that everyone sees.  I plan to put carrara mosaic on the floor, install an interesting vanity with some storage, add better lighting and replace the mirror and toilet.

Our little staircase to the lower level.

This is where it happens!  The dreaded office.  It’s only dreaded because it is the room I spend the most time in and will likely be the last to be complete.   I thought about doing a large built-in but they realized I wanted the space to function differently so the plan is:  I want to make this room come to life.  It’s DARK!  There isn’t much natural light so color and accessories are where it will happen.  I’m currently making a long desk to replace the existing one we have.  This will split my husbands space from mine and not protrude so far into the room.  I’ll also be making new storage pieces to replace the plastic ones.  Also on the drafting board is a plan for a large magnetic chalk board with a high gloss white frame so that I can post even more inspiration pictures.  And let’s not forget, we need wallpaper or paint!  Behind the door is a little temporary book case made out of wine boxes.  I recycled a shoe storage rack on the back of the door for storing fabric samples, samples and paint decks.

 

 

The master bedroom is also a work in progress.  We have two bikes that are currently residing in here and I need to find them a better home.  Art above the bed is a must!  Another project is building nice night stands…but, as we all know, all in time!

Basement bath as is.  The cabinet is being made and I’m selecting the top today.  This should be done within the next few weeks.  Yippeee!

It’s patio season.  We are working to finish the patio in the next couple of weeks as well.  We’ve found some dining chairs, have all our pots, have a rug ordered so now it’s just a matter of planting all the greenery.  I’ll post pictures on Facebook and Twitter as these projects come to life.

 

April Showers…

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The perfect topic for a gloomy day – these umbrella stands are sure to put a smile on your face when you step out of the rain and into your home.  From playful to traditional, there is sure to be one that fits your personality and style!  The fact that most of them are under $100 is just a bonus.  So go play in the rain and enjoy!

Room Re-do

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Recently Paradigm held a contest for a room re-do on our Facebook page.  Our lucky winner was Rosa of New York City.    Below is the before photo of her submitted living room.

 

And below are a few shots of what we did to liven up the room and address the concerns Rosa had.  Many of Rosa’s pieces were large and actually did not need to be repositioned in the room so we started by leaving them in place.  The most obvious thing we did was move the chaise at an angle to open up the room to the entry and kitchen.  We selected a smaller tray for the ottomans because the one she had was maxing out the surface area because it was the wrong scale.  Although we didn’t get to it, we determined that the photos above the TV were hung correctly however they needed to be raised about 3-4 inches (not to exceed the height of the black bookcase).  The other items that are to be completed and things you can apply to your own home are:

- Add softness to the higher pieces.  We proposed removing the basket and adding a plant on top of the black bookcase.  The apartment is light-filled so we wanted to take advantage.

- Hiding clutter.  Moving the baskets of DVD’s and misc items to the base of the bookcase clears the space on the floor so that it feels more airy and open.  Small, but very important change.

- Cord management.  An issue in every home but try tucking them behind furniture, under rugs or buying clips that secure to the furniture so you can run then along a leg or base.

- Grouping items in vignettes.  Try grouping small items in odd numbers instead of lining them up.  We did this with Rosa’s plants on her window sill and it made everything look refined and purposeful.

- Scale.  Scale is the easiest thing to overlook and also the trickiest for those with an untrained eye.  Don’t stretch items to the edge of furniture but rather show off some of the surface.  This may be as easy as moving a large plant to the back of the group or to the floor.  Or as in the room below, switching out the tray on the ottoman.

- Book placement.  Sounds silly right?  However, not lining all your books up is actually better.  Try placing some vertical and some laying flat.  Place any small trinkets on top of the horizontal/flat books to again create those special vignettes in the room.

 

Terraniums Galore!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Have you noticed terraniums are the new hot thing?   A terranium is a small enclosure often made of glass that is used indoors to grow and display plant life.  I remember my grandparents had a large one in their basement and I thought it was weird as a kid but now I want some for my deep window sills.  Apparently the plants are easy to maintain which is good for my brown thumb.  Simply water once a week and keep near a moderate light source.  They are a great way to incorporate a bit of green into your home and a much more sustainable option than floral arrangements.  Here are a variety of ideas to help you create your own indoor “miniscape”.

 The contrasting layers of earth and rock create an interesting composition.

 

I love the use of funky, exotic looking plants and the smooth rocks compliment the organic plant shapes.

 

This pear shape vessel looks great sitting on a table or hanging.  The whispy greens and sand remind me of the sand dunes in Michigan.

 

 No space for potted indoor plants?  Add a dash of color to your “air plant” by using a small flower in your terranium.

 

Who needs a lavish garden when you can create a mini-masterpiece.  What a fantastic combination of color and texture!

 

 These little guys are from Matteo Cibic. How cute are they?

And the Winner Is…..

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Drum roll please…Congratulations to Rosa, the winner of our room re-do contest! 

Here is what Rosa had to say about her living room: I generally like our living room but I’m curious as to ways to improve it. Is the furniture clashing? Do we have too many trinkets? Can we do something different with the paintings on the walls? What kind of curtains can we add? Although our ceiling is high, the eye seems to go low. And there’s not enough light in the evenings. How can we add lighting that doesn’t cost too much and goes with our antique motif?

Rosa, this room has an abundance of potential! You have some beautiful, unique pieces and we can’t wait to help you get the most out of your space – both visually and functionally.  Stay tuned to see the before and after shots…