Monthly Archives: June 2019

Vacation Cottage Defies a Stormy Coast

Remodeling a fantasy holiday home near a flood zone does not seem like a recipe for comfort. However, for homeowners Bob and Kate Horgan, this rock structure off the coast of Maine was precisely what they were looking for. Set on the edge of miniature Hunting Island, off the southern tip of Southport, this former rock searching retreat can be found inside a 100-year flooding zone and only a couple feet over the high-water line.

Flooding in a storm surge is a real threat here, therefore the Horgans had to think of a very special design and construction to meet the code requirements for your redesign. The couple hired Knickerbocker Group to do this while keeping up the cottage’s charm and making room for occasional visits in their seven grown children.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A holiday home for Bob and Kate Horgan
Location: Hunting Island, Maine
Size: Main house: 1,570 square feet; 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Bunkhouse: 270 square feet; 1 bedroom, 1 bath

The cottage’s outside walls are made from stone found on the staircase. Originally, this structure was a simple searching escape with no electricity. It had only a couple little rooms and rustic pipes, and was filled with ocean debris from demanding storms.

The construction was sensitive to the cottage’s surroundings, so waste had to be kept to a minimum, and several changes were made to the house’s exterior. The majority of the renovations were developed to maintain the house inside the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) flooding code. Vents had to have the ability to handle flood waters by equalizing water pressure all around the structure, wood had to be rotproof and all electrical services had to be set up a minimum of three feet off the ground.

At the time of construction, FEMA demanded that if a structure was enhanced by greater than 50 percent of its worth, it had to be transferred out of the flood plain. However, this residence is mostly made from rock, and moving it would have been an impossible feat.

Rather, architect Rick Nelson and his group at Knickerbocker got inventive. “We decided it would be best to be as meticulous as possible about costs, which helped focus our efforts on maintaining the rugged charm of the structure,” he says.

Basketball-size rocks and piles of sand have been known to wash into structures within this area. To battle this, Nelson and his group constructed mahogany and ballistic storm panels that will be securely attached to all the front doors and windows during storms and in the off-season.

Ship inset: Wooden Screen Door Co.; stained glass: Kim Villard

Obviously, the prospect of flood made choosing furniture difficult as well. Simple pieces with restricted upholstery proved to be the best bet. To remain within the budget, the cement floors were stained rather than covered with tile, timbers were left unfinished and the present stone walls were simply cleaned.

An iron pole round the living room roof was set up to secure the roof to the walls through rough weather. “A structural requirement became an chance for a modern decorative element,” says Nelson.

Paintings: Kim Villard; cushions: On Board Fabrics

FEMA demands made the design and practicality of these main downstairs living spaces especially complex, forcing Knickerbocker Group to acquire creative with materials and installation.

The kitchen, only visible through this doorway, had its own set of limitations. Installing permanent lower cabinetry was not a choice, since it might be completely destroyed in a flood. Rather, cabinets were custom made and put on casters so they could be readily eliminated. This also meant the cabinetry was believed furniture and may be taken out of their funding for FEMA accounting.

How to install the sink was a head scratcher, but ultimately Nelson permanently attached the sink counter into a wall with mounts and constructed the cupboard below to slide out and in on casters.

Knickerbocker Group

Rough-sawn cedar was used to sheath walls and stairways for a rustic appearance that met the rotproof requirements.

The driftwood railing on the staircase is original to the home. It was stored and reused to maintain the house’s original rustic appeal.

Natural rock shower tile keeps the major bathroom’s appearance in line with the rest of the home. A stencil on the stained concrete flooring adds a subtle decorative element.

Fixtures: Rohl; stenciled floor pattern: Jill Valliere Design

The clients wanted larger, more personal bedrooms — a major change from the home where they raised their seven children. These chambers were kept simple and mild, with antique furniture that reflects the house’s roots. White linen bedding appears clean and crisp against the rough stone walls.

Bed: Maine Cottage; shade: Creative Canvas

Few modifications were made to the surrounding property, since harsh weather could potentially destroy any landscaping. Nelson and his group did make some improvements into the rock formations around the house, though, producing rock terracing, stairs and a bonfire pit with boulder chairs.

For additional guest housing, Knickerbocker built a little bunkhouse on the only sliver of their house that may host a new construction. Storm panels sit out, prepared to undertake the demanding weather.

The board and batten walls within this bunkhouse bedroom make it feel more comfy than the stone-clad bedrooms in the primary house. Kate Horgan is an interior designer and frequently collects shore temples to decorate the house. Here, a beautiful branch found on the beach hangs from your bunkhouse ceiling.

Watch more inspiring homes by the water

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Mustard Yellow Offers a Taste for Rooms

There was a time when mustard yellow was one of these colours that sprucing up Brady Bunch nightmares, similar to burnt orange and avocado green. Thankfully, we’ve come to our senses since then, and mustard has gone from obsolete to dashing. Yellow can be a tricky color to use, but the browns in mustard make it a little easier to approach. Need proof? Just examine the varied personalities that mustard happens under.

Muted. Deep grey retains a mustard coverlet and pillows in check, preserving this bedroom’s quiet air.

Lizette Marie Interior Design

Glam. Mustard-yellow tile provides a swanky top note to a sophisticated bath. The effect has more mystique than white could provide.

Strong. To pull off a yellow sofa, you will need a space with enough moxie to stand until the effect. This picture scheme rises to the challenge .

Lisa Hallett Taylor

Mod. Deep mustard yellow, a classic midcentury colour, perfectly matches the aesthetic attitude of this dwelling area and reflects the gold flooring colour.

Austin Patterson Disston Architects

Elegant. Subtle mustard on the island lightens the banks of black cabinetry also elevates the texture of this kitchen.

Michael Sisti

Cheery. This yellowish door just beams, drawing people right in.

Klang & Associates

Eclectic. It’s hard to envision another wall colour that would seem as fitting as mustard does in this informal, collected bedroom. It’s just offbeat enough to encourage the gallery wall and panoply of layouts.

Leona Mozes Photography

Formal. Mustard reveals its traditional side in this gracious dining room. Woods with undertones look all the richer against it.

In the mood for mustard? Try one of the paint picks below.

Serena & Lily

Dandelion Wall Paint – Gallon – $45

Use this French-inspired yellowish in an area that gets sunlight. Illuminated, it radiates an irresistible glow.

Benjamin Moore Ben Paint, Cork – $35.95

Khaki is bordered on by this Dijon mustard colour. If you like the idea of yellow but aren’t convinced about venturing beyond impartial land, make it your very first step.

Paints Stains And Glazes – $36

Bright, this color and soft would seem pitch perfect.

Benjamin Moore

Goldsmith Paint

The golden notes in this mustard paint give it a glamorous edge.

Benjamin Moore

Hannah Banana Paint

Try this dignified yellowish to set the tone for a study or home office.

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Monopoly House Leaves Nothing to Chance

One glance in the Monopoly House, designed by Demerly Architects, and the reason for the name is obvious. The pared-down gable form recalls the playing bits that players stand up as they try to have hotels on Boardwalk and other Monopoly properties. However, the home is anything but cookie cutter. Since Mark Demerly explains this was very much a client-driven job, and also the form is closely derived from their position and the house’s circumstance.

House in a Glance
Who lives here: A couple of grown children
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Size: 4,500 square feet; 3 floors (including basement)
That’s interesting: The home is designed as two pieces, linked by a bridge.

Demerly Architects

The clients moved out of New Mexico, and “their central request was to bring as much all-natural light into the home as possible to re-create the light of the Southwest,” Demerly says. They eschewed an all-glass facade in favor of carefully placed windows. This choice appears partly because the property is situated in a historical area, which also drove Demerly to make a contemporary gable “pared down to its essence,” he says.

Demerly argues, rather convincingly, that “there is a certain symbiosis between the new and the old — neighborhoods thrive on variety, and this endeavor is stronger due to its historic context, and we believe that the historic context can also be enhanced by our contemporary insertion.”

Demerly Architects

The clients have two grown children who do not live at the home but need areas of their own when they see. Hence the splitting of the home into two volumes. The bridge links the master bedroom to the children’s bedrooms on the second floor. The link serves to open up the interior of the room and bring in more natural light. On the exterior these windows are evident, as is the fracture in the gable form. As Demerly puts it, “The interior and exterior of the home are inextricably linked.” The Monopoly moniker came after the layout, not the other way round.

Demerly Architects

The central part of the home displays the large quantities of light which input from the selectively placed windows. Another strategy is to bring in light from porches carved to the gable form.

Demerly chosen to “reverse the relationship between the home and its porches … producing negative spaces,” he says, instead of adding them to the built quantity.

Demerly Architects

This view shows the high windows within the kitchen which, like the dining room in the previous photograph, is located in the double-height central link zone.

Demerly Architects

And here are high windows in the central space which are set back in the windows visible in the second photo. These windows help loosen the spaces in more light.

Demerly Architects

When the children are not visiting, the home functions in all the regions minus the secondary bedrooms reached by the bridge. So, by way of instance, the stair contributes to the master bedroom, so the clients do not have to traverse the bridge to satisfy their daily functions. Yet the bridge is a constant indication of the children, whether they are here or away.

Demerly Architects

This vantage point looking from the master bedroom toward the children’s bedrooms exemplifies how the interior is much more complex than the exterior signifies. While inside and outside have a symbiotic relationship, the ease of the exterior balances involving the interior functions and also the requirement to fit to the historic context. Spatially the interior is quite wealthy, making the home a rewarding experience for the clients’ family.

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So Your Is: Colorful

What it is: Colorful design celebrates the beauty of the spectrum. It’s not tied into a single set of design specifications — it can be sleek or rustic, contemporary or traditional, cozy or minimalist. But it’s always lively, engaging and full of life.

Why it works: Nothing can satisfy a colour craving except colour. The sheer quantity of possibilities is tantalizing, and it’s empowering to know that no matter what shade you pick, there is a way to pull it off. And we respond so strongly, so personally, to colors that their impact on our mood and mind-set could be magical.

You will enjoy it if… You find yourself humming”Kodachrome” from the shower. You consume the rainbow not just because it’s great for you but because it seems pretty on your plate. Your toenails are painted indigo one week and mint green another. Your garden blossoms with luminous daffodils, brilliant delphiniums and zesty poppies. You do not know why colors drop in and out of style — aren’t they all gorgeous?

Anthony Baratta LLC

Design Secret: A Artful Balance

One secret to combining a lot of strong colors in a room: Pay attention to scale and proportion. In this living area, the strong zones of colour help buoy and balance one another: crimson walls, yellowish chaise, orange couch, green and blue carpet. Take away any of these elements and the entire composition would feel off-kilter. Little visual echoes, such as the red carpet border along with the rainbow of framed polka dots, tie the space together.

Color your world: The useful thing about this guideline is that it applies to every palette you pick. Imagine this room using a mixture of citron green, periwinkle, turquoise and Prussian blue, or using a subtler blend of cream, straw, oxblood red and blue-gray. You could even put it in practice using a stark black and white plot, not that many colour addicts could live with this kind of restraint.

Burnham Design

Style Secret: Color-Wheel Opposites

It’s color theory 101: Hues that oppose each other on the colour wheel work well in combination. That means oranges complement blues, purples play well with yellows, and greens and reds get together. Go as daring or as pale as you like — a distance done in watery blues and crimson oranges can seem as striking as one that is saturated in sizzling tangerine and cerulean.

Color your world: Give a space depth by layering in variations of every colour. Picture a butter-colored living area with a deep eggplant couch, punctuated with accents of taxicab yellow and pale violet. If you are intrigued by the thought of red and green but do not need an area that feels like year-round Christmas, try instead a complex pairing such as olive and crimson.

CapeRace Cultural Adventures

Style Secret: Analagous Colours

Here’s another lesson from the colour wheel: Dress a distance with similar colors, which fall alongside each other about the spectrum, rather than opposites. That might mean yellows and greens, reds and oranges, blues and purples. This distance artfully marries swaths of turquoise, teal, sky and chartreuse into a cohesive whole.

Color your world: One secret to the success of this palette displayed here is that the rich pigments are cut by bands of crispy white. This imbues the appearance with a more restful, less rambunctious feel. If you wished to make a livelier atmosphere, nevertheless, you can skip the neutrals and just go all-out with bold colors.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Style Secret: Judicious Editing

If you crave a hit of colour but aren’t so confident about pulling all the stops, take heart: A room can still read as vivid even when the surfaces are largely neutral. This living space, though grounded in creams, browns and beiges, is anything but bland, as a result of its red chair and ottoman, the green accent pieces as well as the bright art.

Color your world: Because colors perform differently in relation to additional colors that surround them, a neutral base can work to your advantage. Against the pale walls, as an instance, that red chair actually pops. High contrast contributes to drama and energy, and that is part of what a colorful room is all about.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

Style Secret: Livable Base Hues

Under a skillful hand, this living area could have caused a headache. But look closer, and you will see how masterfully it’s balanced. Here’s the secret: The reigning colour, green, is easy on the eye (partially because we are used to viewing it in character ) and easy to live with. Regardless of the daring slipper chairs that appear to dominate first glance, the magenta and persimmon colors are really just beams.

Color your world: Recall the colour wheel opposites we spoke about a minute ago? That is exactly what this strategy boils down to — greens and reds — and that is one reason it works. But you can find sufficient orange and purple undertones from the mix to provide the pairing a totally new spin.

Judith Balis Interiors

Design Secret: The Power of Paint

Some individuals are so in love with colour that they hesitate to devote themselves to one palette. What if your connection with kelly green ends abruptly or you suddenly turn against tomato? If that’s the case, paint is your very best friend. It’s easy, it’s cheap and you can’t beat it into bang-for-buck stipulations. Create paintable surfaces, such as walls and wooden furniture, your most important sources of colour in a place, and proceed with neutrals for items that aren’t really easy to replace: couches, tile, carpeting.

Color your world: Those with a colour commitment phobia can go with brightly patterned bits to satisfy their changing tastes. The duvet and shams in the bedroom possess enough different colors that it would be easy to pull out one, then another, then another to replicate about the walls if you were in the mood to create a shift. And when the whole palette becomes old hat, little accessories are a snap to replace.

Erika Bierman Photography

Design Secret: Color Blocking

Color blocking has been around for years, in vogue as well as interior decorating. But sometimes it’s hard to think beyond simply painting squares of varying shades on the walls. Remember that color blocks can take the kind of any material: fabric, flooring, accessories. Within this space a mustard ceiling, blue draperies along with a rainbow of colors on the backs of the storage crates along with the throw pillow produce a obstructed effect that goes far beyond the paintbrush.

Color your world: Color blocking doesn’t have to be permanent. The next time you throw a dinner party, consider using a different shade for every place setting and fitting vessels into the tone of these meals served in them (a red transferware bowl for berries, possibly, or a green majolica platter for asparagus). Or how about a modular gallery wallsocket? Hang a set of canvases that are each painted a different solid color, then move them around or swap them out as you’d like.

Style Secret: A Lighthearted Twist

Color and whimsy go together, so don’t hesitate to have some fun. Paint every one of your kitchen seats another shade, spatter your ceiling with wild hues, follow the lead of artist Scott Ingram and trickle nail polish a blank sheet of newspaper for a first abstract work. Or compile all those paint chips you’ve collected into a picture composition such as the one in this dining room — much fresher than just one painting or a mirror.

Color your world: Look for less obvious opportunities to perform with colour. Maybe you can organize the books on your shelves by the color of their spines or produce a rainbow effect with your collection of Fiesta ware, glass or china. Or mass together a group of plain or clear white vases, each stuffed with blossoms in one, strong colour.

8 Color Palettes You Can Not Secure Incorrect
More articles about the energy of colour

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A beam is a very long, horizontal structural piece that transports and supports weight above it, namely a squared piece of timber or engineered timber or a metal girder.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

The beams of this room have mortise holes where other beams connected with tenons.

Birdseye Design

Steel may rust as quickly as overnight. A primer was applied to those steel beams, giving them their blackened look.

Equinox Architecture Inc. – Jim Gelfat

This wall opening is created by steel girders. The posts are perpendicular and the beam is horizontal.

Quezada Architecture

Two steel beams support the roof material of this covered walkway.

Designs Northwest Architects, dan Nelson

Glulam, or glue-laminated, beams are suprisingly more powerful than a solid piece of timber.

Read more beam photographs

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Guest Groups: Charm and Whimsy

In the dark days of winter, when Mercury has fallen and the sky is dull, who wouldn’t need a peek of whimsy heating up the house? A conservative by nature, even that I locate myself magnetically drawn to bright and joyful colors, playful patterns and ethereal qualities. Never underestimate the power of an unexpected pop of color or even a pretty print. It might be just what the doctor ordered to elevate your mood and give your space a breath of fresh air.

These selections exemplify a whimsical, playful style that never takes itself too seriously. They are sure to brighten even the bleakest doldrums of winter, long after the holiday cheer has subsided. — Kelly in The Kitchen Designer


Alessi | Inka Press Filter Coffee Maker/Infuser – $115

My brother bought me this French press coffee maker during his journeys to Scandinavia almost a decade ago, and it remains among my most-used and cherished kitchen things. Just how much more personality can you ask for out of a coffee maker?


Kirie 01 Clock – $84

How fragile and pretty is this clock? Reminiscent of frilly lace or intricate latticework, this timepiece just sings and possesses an undeniably feminine aura.

Scandinavian Made

Zipper Vase – $190

This playful vase boasts such intricate detail and dramatic design. Handcrafted in Denmark and completed in a creamy jade glaze, it is truly a one-of-a-kind piece that will elevate a simple blossom to a stunning statement piece.


Have a Dip Terrarium – $125

Terrariums are a current darling among home decor enthusiasts, and who wouldn’t need a splash of green brightening their interior? Twig steps up the whimsy by adding an abrupt miniature figurine to their already lush flora environs.

Modern Pillowcases And Shams – AUD 49

Everybody knows that neon is sexy at this time. Pair it with polka dots and a smoky grey background, and this gorgeous shade of yellow will surely spark the power. I am especially a fan of this random pattern of these dots, which elevates the already whimsical print from fun to fabulous.

MoMA Store

Nesting Tables – $2,100

A set of nesting tables is super functional and efficient as is, yet this offering also packs a potent punch of colour and cheer. Keep them together, or spread them throughout your house for a bright burst of joy in each area.

Have You Met Miss Jones

Nest Pillar Lamp with Swallow – AUD 115

Ever a fan of this aviary set, I am in love with this little lamp with a bird perched atop. The chalky white end keeps it compact, while the rich texture adds fashion and depth.


Nouvelle Old Fashioned Teaspoon, Steel Blue – $36

I really like this set of spoons at a matte royal blue end to turn the temperature up on afternoon tea. The contemporary colour plays well together with the traditional shape for an intriguing complementary contrast which feels so fresh.

Happy Tape

Quirky Bright Pack – $36

What can’t you freshen up with washi tape? Ubiquitous for good reason, these sticky little rolls of joy add a bunch of fun and fashion to almost anything. Rip off a few bits to garnish up family photographs with panache; line a plain vase or glass with alternating rows of colour; or insert it to wrapped presents or envelopes for a small pleasure when opened.

Design Public

DwellStudio Peacock Citrine Bedding – $90

I am not positive if it’s the glowing blue peacocks, the joyful yellow background, or the lush rain forest feel of this bedding which simply makes me grin. At first glance, it is perhaps a little daring, but it is sure to grow on you and also find a means in your heart. There is no denying its effervescent charm and character.


Lacework Wool Rug by Amy Butler – $876

I am a huge fan of anything by Amy Butler, and these rugs inside her signature patterns aren’t any exception. I’d really like to have this contemporary pairing of lavender and chartreuse with all the big, bold graphics underfoot.

Candle Delirium

Rouge Candle – $75

This candle does double duty, also it seems fine to boot. Burn the lovely scent to excite your senses and add a sense of calm to your home. When your 40 hours of olfactory bliss are upward, feast your eyes on the lovely vessel as a permanent object of decor.

Alora Ambiance

Alora Ambiance Reed Diffuser – $90

I have had some of these diffusers, and I find them hanging round my house long after the lusciously scented oil has evaporated. The simple layout of this bottle combined with all the brightly hued, picture cloth tag make this a helpful piece which you’re going to be reticent to a part after it is finished.


Felt Balls Earthy Mix by Handbehg Felts – $19.75

To get a quick and effortless dose of whimsy, catch a few richly colored felt balls and then chain them up as a decorative garland. It will, without a doubt, put a grin in your face with each passing.

Scandinavian Made

Dangling Light Candles, Red – $155

Few things rival the ambiance-enhancing power of candlelight. Pack an excess punch with this unbelievable hand-crafted hanging tea light holder. Group a couple in a corner, or hang a simple, dramatic fixture to get an immediate mood enhancer.


Daydream Wallpaper, Blue – $125

I am loving all the gorgeous wallpaper designs of late, and this whimsical blue variety with birds soaring and fluffy clouds has captured my heart. I would really like to put this in a foyer or bedroom to get immediate drama and personality.

Ferm Living Shop

Lunch Plate – $29

Ferm Living is among my favourite brands because of its simple Scandinavian designs and apparently effortless fashion. The harlequin routine and unexpected colour pairing make this among the most interesting dishes I have seen. Pick up the whole set or just a few bits, and watch that grilled cheese morph into a five-star .

Design Public

Artecnica Midsummer Light, White – $100

This pendant lighting reminds me of falling snow or lily-white flowers finely floating in the sky. Bring some love into a living area or bedroom, and illuminate your soul.

Design Public

Turning Leaves Mobile, Black and Red – $65

I have bought a few Flensted mobiles for my daughter, but I have always coveted them for myself. So delicately made, they float through the air with the slightest breeze, including endless movement and elegance to the space where they occupy.

House & Hold

notNeutral Tetra 4 Cabinet – $3,150

I love this sideboard with all the sudden blocks of colour and burst of green which are paired beautifully with the blonde wood. Not your normal furniture, this line has a sense of humor and dramatic personality that will add character to any space.

Serena & Lily

Curvee Shelf Table, White – $395

I am so in love with this gorgeous side table from Serena & Lily. With sensual fluidity and graceful lines, this table softens up a space and provides a delicate, dramatic touch.

Next: Not Your Usual Accessories

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Guest Groups: Seeing Red

It is the time of year when the red and green accents come out, but I believe that you can use red in your home year-round. Here are some of my favorite ways to add a shot of red (large or little ) to every room in your home. — Maggie from Maggie Stephens Interiors

One Sydney Road

Wine Label Print – $20

Just tellin’ it how it is. I’d love this at the kitchen or as part of a gallery wall.

Layla Grayce

One of a Kind Vintage Dining Chair Louis XVI Warm Cream – $2,200

Vintage French-style dining seats look beautiful in a traditional space, or they can provide a smart comparison to a mid-century contemporary tulip table.

Pottery Barn

Game Accent Side Table – $299

This is not only a sweet little accent desk, but also a pull-out backgammon and chess board. I’d really like to get this for fun.

Jayson Home

Zondra Chair – $895

This chic pillow-top slipper seat in brick red would look fantastic next to a classic side table in rustic timber.

Layla Grayce

Clairebella Monogram Cutting Board, Houndstooth – $38

Even your counter tops could be decked out in fashion. Bring some preppy to your homework work with all the always-elegant houndstooth and monogram.

Jayson Home

Vintage Oushak Rug – $1,195

This is a fail-proof vintage Turkish carpet. Done and performed.

Pottery Barn

Macallan Plaid Duvet Cover & Sham – $99

This is the perfect bedding for a cabin, or pair it with equestrian details for a look to last through all seasons.


Tribal Beaded Necklaces – $39

I really like when jewelry is incorporated to design, like hanging in a gallery wall arrangement or strung around a lamp.

Pottery Barn

Tess Floral Tapered Drum Lamp Shade – $59

A pair of wooden lamps would show these off pretty shades and bring a timeworn appearance to the room.

Layla Grayce

Thomas Paul Blossom Persimmon Tufted Wool Pile Rug – $312

This high-contrast rug would liven up any room. I vote to the entrance or the den.

High Street Market

Chevron Knit Throw Blanket, Persimmon – $195

This toss is for draping over the arm of the couch and snuggling on cold nights.

Lamps Plus

Tree of Life Hand-Painted Japanese Room Divider Screen – $449.91

Add some serious glamour using a Japanese screen. Use it to soften a corner or to make a private area at a studio.

Pottery Barn Kids

Carolina Collectors Table – $159

The playroom can have some red. Children can show off their collections (rocks, pens, etc.) and develop a spot to create. I wish I had had this when I was little!

West Elm

Collapsible Sawhorse Table – No Longer Available

I’d like this utilized as a desk at a minimum, white attic space. Plus, it is collapsible, which means you could put it away for celebrations.


Updated Louis Chair, Red – $329

I state every room needs some red and something contemporary. There’s nothing like this seat, killing two birds with one stone.

Lamps Plus

Hand-Painted Red Finish Solid Birch Wine Cabinet – $499.91

This could be magical in a little nook in the dining room. Mix drinks on top and use the drawers for cocktail lounges and corkscrews.

Pottery Barn

Daniella Chest – $599

The pretty lines of the chest look even better in this holly berry tone. It could be fantastic from the entrance, guest room, or even the living room — anywhere that could use a little hidden storage.

West Elm

Mia Table Lamp, Paprika – $129

This lamp has a magical, squat little shape and a very simple shade. Tuck it into the bookshelves at a bedroom.

The Container Store

X-Small Lacquered Rectangular Box, Red – $8.99

This lipstick-red lacquer box would be on my own desk stashed with stamps, pens and a chocolate, or 2.


Tailor Sofa – $1,699

For the ultimate shot of red, go with a couch. This one’s nail-head trim and rolled arms set it apart.

Next: Welcome Winter with a Little Plaid

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Batman, holy Creativity!: Comic Strip Decor for Real Life

I’ve known people who are Sunday comics fanatics. Not a Sunday goes for these folks without the morning ritual of coffee, comic strips and crossword puzzles. It is a routine that many people have enjoyed for several years.

It is no surprise that this cherished pastime of reading the comics has morphed into interior design inspiration. Comic strip–inspired art, cloths and murals are fantastic for kids’ rooms, game rooms or any room that wants a kitchy twist. If you are looking for a few quirky design tips for your space, consider these examples.

Lucy Interior Design

Within this setting, the comic strip art piece appears modern even though the topic is retro. Bold scale and colour make this space feel all grown up.

Imagine Living

The comic strip fabric on these art deco–inspired chairs is reminiscent of the black and white ink of ancient comics. This fabric would look amazing in a room with a black and white colour scheme or with a bold paint colour on the walls.

Eunice Fernandes

The same as the comic strip format itself, this art tells a story in a panel format. Comics-inspired art is a perfect backdrop for game room activity.

Laura U, Inc..

With this look in the entry hall, you understand this Houstonpied-à-terre is going to be fun. The colours in the art set the palette to your whole house.

Laura U, Inc..

A bedroom in the same home includes a sitting area with a mirror shaped like a cartoon dialog bubble.

Lea Bassani Design

This comic strip fabric on a lacquered white rococo armchair is unique style at its best. I do love the glowing reddish wall but could also see this working with vivid green, yellow or cobalt blue.

Utilize a primary color scheme to enhance comic strip art. The modern elements of this space make it appropriate as a kid’s room or a home office. Superman seems to be coming from the skies outside this room.

Cody Anderson Wasney Architects, Inc..

Overscale comic strip art takes up the entire wall in this game space. The camp-style lights take color cues in the art. The other wall tips at a comic-book “Pow!” With an opening that imitates a broken brick wall.

Cody Anderson Wasney Architects, Inc..

Here’s the same room from the opposite side of the broken wall. Whimsical comic-style pillows support the subject.

Flea Market Sunday

Framed comic strip art signed by Charles Schultz of Peanuts fame is the focal point within this fantastic kid space.

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A Love Letter to Writing Desks

Every weekday morning starts exactly the same for me. Wake up, shower, drive kids to college … test messages. My phone starts to ring, buzz and tweet on the driveway to college. My kids just chat, sing and laugh to the radio, dismissing the various alarms coming from my phone. I usually sneek a peek at each red light and the 1 train stop on our route.

Recently I’ve been wondering about how we all communicate in our instant world of iPhones and iPads. Some frequent texts I get during the day are quick notes, such as “c u @ 12” or even “thx 4 ur hlp.” I’m still attempting to master texting language. I have to admit it seems strange for me to spell in this format, though I recognize it saves time. Being a man who specializes in details for a living, I find brevity difficult.

Can you recall the last time you received a handwritten note from a friend? Do you recall the colour of the ink or the smell of this stationery? Handwritten letters are those that actually stick in my mind, and they’re a dying art form.

The distances below look like perfect places to pause and write a handwritten note to your friend or relative — no wires, no Wi-Fi, no abbreviations. Have a look and be inspired to dig out that stationery and fancy pencil, and write to someone you care about. You will make a lasting, good impression.

Kathleen Burke Design

Using a writing desk for a bedside table makes great use of space in this soft and tranquil bedroom. This gorgeous traditional desk is the perfect size to maintain the basics: lamp, clock and blossoms. Stationery and pens could be held in the petite drawers.

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

A traditional wall hanging highlights a beautiful writing desk perfectly placed in the area’s recessed area. The gorgeous floral lamp provides the lighting you’d need for writing letters.

Michael Abrams Limited

This beautiful writing desk in a private corner doubles as a vanity. Together with the silk and glass-bead wall coverings, who wouldn’t be inspired to sit and compose a letter to an old friend?

Cravotta Interiors

Pens, stationery and stamps can all be tucked away in the abundant drawers of a secretary in this way.

With writing tools neatly kept away, the main doors can stay open for a complete perspective of this piece’s detailed craftsmanship.

Don Ziebell

Try to find a quiet, private corner on your home where small pieces such as this desk could be placed, lit with a nearby lamp.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc..

This modern secretary at a calming blue home office is perfect for some rapid paperwork and then a relaxed moment to compose a handwritten note.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

Float a desk at a master bedroom to get somewhere to compose letters while gazing on a courtyard.

Vendome Press

Place a desk facing windows to make the most of a perspective. Bonus: Together with the intention of only writing letters, there are no messy wires to handle.

Lucy Interior Design

With no cords in the way, you can highlight fantastic details, such as the legs of the vintage sawhorse table.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Now that is blue! This daring blue paint produces a fantastic background for this midcentury writing desk. Notice the scale of the vintage piece; its petite size makes it a fantastic selection for a bedroom.

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