Treat Yourself into Spring Blooms in Winter

Forcing bulbs inside is an effortless way to enjoy spring blossoms in winter. Almost any spring bulb can be forced indoors. Forcing is a broadly used term which means you are fast forwarding their growing cycle to bloom in winter. Paperwhites, also called Narcissus papyraceus, are among the easiest bulbs to force since they don’t require a chilling period. The fragrant flowers bloom within approximately four weeks of planting.

Susan Duane

You will need:
A container, 3 to 4 inches deep. If you are pushing the bulbs in water you can use a little bowl, vintage trophy, or another fairly dish would work superbly. If you are planting in dirt, choose a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. Pebbles or potting soil to fill the bottom few inches of your own container. Bulbs of your selection. I utilized paperwhites, such as these grown by Jennifer of Dear Lillie, and tulips. Mine were purchased from Home Depot but they may be easily found online and at the neighborhood nursery.

1. Fill in your container with a couple inches of dirt or soil. Use bagged potting soil, or simply go outside and scoop a few pebbles and dirt from the backyard.

Susan Duane

2. Nestle the bulbs into the pebbles/dirt with the tips facing upward.

3. Place a few pebbles/some dirt around to keep the bulbs in place. It’s okay to put them closely together. It is going to help hold them up right, and they look amazing in bunches.

Susan Duane

4. Add water, stopping just short of the bottom of the bulb. If the bulbs sit in water, then the bulbs can rot. If utilizing dirt, water enough to dampen the soil.

5. Place container in a cool (50 degrees or so) dark spot until roots begin to form. My paperwhites took 10-14 days. Tulips may take up to ten weeks. Keep adding water as needed, filling to just below the bulb, or before the dirt is totally damp.

Susan Duane

Last year I used dirt in terracotta pots for my paperwhites. I spray painted the pots black and composed messages on them . It made for an enjoyable screen!

Susan Duane

Once the roots take hold, put the container into a warmer room and set in the sunlight. When the paperwhites begin to bloom, move them to indirect sun. This will help the flowers last longer. The tulips will bloom beautifully with direct sunlight.

Susan Duane

Vintage milk glass vases were my pick this year. Here they are just beginning to peek out. I adore the white milk glass with the white blossoms.

I used two of the containers on the buffet in my dining room. They should look like this after spending a week or two in the house. It’s wonderful how fast they grow!

dreamywhites.blogspot.com

Maria of Dreamy Whites planted hers in shallow bowls. As soon as they grow taller, then you might need to tie them together. I enjoyed that she packed the bowl with lots of bulbs giving them a true existence.

dearlillieblog.blogspot.com

Jennifer of Dear Lillie utilized paperwhites in a vintage trophy for a simple, elegant holiday mantle.

Paperwhites are a part of the centerpiece with this table. Because this is so simple to accomplish, you can plan to do this anytime during summer time bringing in a gorgeous, organic element to your desk.

These potted bulbs also make for a wonderful present, or even a fun activity for the children. I hope you’ll give this simple, budget friendly project a try on your own home.

More: Amazing Air Plants for Wall or Tree

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Dirt Optional: Beautiful Air Plants for Wall or Tree

For outdoor lovers and botanical admirers, winter can be a difficult season. However, for the people at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco, the struggle only fuels their imagination and famously alternative approach to gardening.

A fresh release of vacation products reveals innovative strategies to give and decorate with plants. Building on the use of their signature succulents and air plants, these designs prove how easily indoor gardening can extend beyond the normal Christmas poinsettia, lasting well past the holidays and into the new season.

Flora Grubb Gardens

The nursery features a distinguished choice of succulents and tillandsia air plants. “Our inspiration was the astonishing and unusual qualities of the plants themselves, and also their own capacity to endure without roots, without dirt,” Grubb says.

“We adore the giftability of those inventions, and also the fact that they continue to raise and bring joy far beyond the holiday season. We can not wait to see what our customers do together.”

Flora Grubb Gardens

“We are plant people,” adds Grubb. “We love being close living things. During the spring, we won’t be found by you indoors — if we’ve got a selection. So during the winter as we turn our attention to being indoors more and for entertaining, we work to bring the things we want to be around inside with us”

An assortment of air plants on a wall provides a chance to enjoy the complexity and elegance of the tillandsia’s arrangement and growth both up close and as a group.

Flora Grubb Gardens

Thigmotrope Satellite Air Plant – $29

Grubb uses advanced pieces of steel hardware made in collaboration with Seth Boor to secure the air plants into the wall.

Flora Grubb Gardens

Boor demonstrates how to use the Thigmotrope Satellite to scatter a wall using tillandsia. Air plants may be removable for replacement or watering. Make sure you set up the hardware at which you won’t bump into it!

Flora Grubb Gardens

Succulent Ornament – $19

These unique holiday ornaments made from plant cuttings will continue well through the winter season and beyond. After the holidays, the cuttings will happily consider to planting and might even begin to sprout new roots while hanging around the tree.

Flora Grubb Gardens

“Many men and women think of succulents as those cute rosette-shaped plants with plump leaves and nominal, if any, spines,” says Grubb. “One of their charms is how easily they root from cuttings. They are amazingly durable and breathtakingly lovely, and thus perfectly conducive to being used as ornaments for a couple of months. We love how they look hung in a tree — upon cutting cutting. What distinguishes the decoration from the tree is that when the tree comes down, the decoration can go into a pot to become a new plant on the windowsill or in the backyard “

Flora Grubb Gardens

Aerium Ornament – $24

Specimens of tillandsia, mosses and lichens encapsulated in glass decorations create miniature landscapes to your own Christmas tree or window.

Flora Grubb Gardens

Grubb functions with vendors to come up with new contours to best show off the plants, also stresses the importance of supporting independent companies to fuel innovative layout.

Flora Grubb Gardens

At the dead of winter and without any needed nourishment, you can not help but be astounded by the beauty and tenacity of those succulents and tillandsia air plants.

Flora Grubb Gardens

Find joy in keeping living items close at hand while stuck indoors for the winter — with the prospect that spring is just around the corner, bringing with it new life for your outdoor garden once more.

See more gift ideas from Flora Grubb Gardens

Next: 11 Inspiring Vertical Gardens

3 Fuss-Free Ways to Garden

Great Design Plant: Blue Chalk Sticks

Grow With Winter Berries

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Guest Groups: Talkin' Turkey

Whether you’re novice or a specialist, whether it’s your very first turkey or your 50th, we need your main dish this Thanksgiving to be among the record books. There are particular essentials you need to cook the perfect turkey, and we’ve gathered 20 of our favorite products which we believe are must-haves for paying honor to the celebrity of this table this holiday season.

Heather and Vanessa from In the Picket Fence

Pottery Barn

Bountiful Turkey Serving Platter – $79

We can’t think of a beautiful way to present the crown jewel of this Thanksgiving feast compared to with this gorgeous platter. The colours catch the gist of harvest year, and we would love to get this gracing our tables this year.

Goal

Rachael Ray Red Open Roaster with V-Shape Rack – $59.99

A roaster may be a Thanksgiving essential, however they do not have to cost a arm and a leg. We adore this beautiful reddish version from the Rachael Ray set at Target.

Big Chill

Big Chill Retro Stove, Cherry Red | Big Chill – $4,295

If the turkey is the celebrity of Thanksgiving, the oven is where the conversion occurs. In our dream world, this reddish variety would have us speaking turkey daily.

Crate&Barrel

“Thanksgiving” Cookbook – $15.95

We can practically smell this turkey! The cover of this beautiful cookbook is simply a sampling of all the wonderful recipes and tips you’ll find inside. Take your time to pore over every page and revel in planning for this particular period of collecting together.

Williams-Sonoma

Apple & Spices Turkey Brine – $18

Using a brine can be a great way to add flavor to your bird. We love this mix, which has all the ingredients that you need to take the guesswork from brining.

Acorn Twine Holder | Williams Sonoma – $29.95

This is the way you shop kitchen twine in fashion. The acorn shape captures all the best of autumn, and we would have to keep it on our counters yearlong. We just love the way the smooth end of this alder wood turns this functional kitchen item to a work of art.

Organize

Cuisipro® Dual Baster and Flavor Injector – $10

We definitely belong to the “turkey basting” camp. After all, who needs dry turkey? This fantastic baster serves two purposes, basting and injecting flavor, for the perfect turkey every time.

Cooking

Hamilton Beach Electric Roaster Oven – $79.95

Just say no more stuffing — your oven, which is. We love the notion of freeing up much-needed oven space by using this stainless steel, electrical countertop roaster to cook your turkey.

Goal

Turkey Fryer – 3 in 1 Multi-Use – $59

Turkey? Good. Fried? Good. Fried Turkey? Yes, please! You won’t need to be worried about a crispy coating once you use this 3-in-1 turkey fryer. We have it on good authority that guys adore fried turkey.

Williams-Sonoma

All-Clad Instant Read Digital Thermometer – $39.95

Maintaining its temperature might not be the most glamorous part of cooking the bird, but it is undoubtedly the most important. So why not take it in fashion? We adore this sleek digital meat thermometer for taking the guesswork out of getting the meat just perfect.

Anthropologie

Rococo Potholder – $12

It is possible to pull your turkey from the oven or fryer in style with these gorgeous cotton bud holders. We think they’d be perfect for the entire holiday season.

Food Network Store

Sili Gourmet Oval Turkey Lifter – $34.95

For an alternate to heaving that turkey from the roaster, how about utilizing this Sili Sling Lifter? We love that you can actually roast the turkey directly on it and then lift it from the pan. Sounds a lot less messy to us!

Mountain Woods

Acacia Turkey/Roasted Meat Serving Board – $34.95

We adore the dual purpose of this acacia wood carving board. One side is smooth for everyday cutting, but the opposite surface includes deep grooves for amassing the liquids from the leafy greens, preventing messy counters.

Cuisinart

Electric Knife – $49.95

It’s rated one of the best by Good Housekeeping which makes it a winner in our book! If you prefer to carve your turkey up before it strikes the dinner table, we think this electric carving knife can fetch you the perfect slices every time.

Food Network Store

Knuckle Sandwich Guy Fieri Carving Set (2-pc.) – $89.95

You won’t have any more trouble convincing the man in your life to split up the turkey with this Guy Fieri carving set. He can slice that turkey up like a rock star fighter.

OXO

Fat Separator – 4 Cup – $14.99

Nobody needs a greasy gravy. We think the heat-resistant OXO fat separator is the perfect instrument for straining off the fat for perfect gravy every moment.

Pottery Barn

Antique-Silver Gravy Boat – $39

We adore the timeworn patina of the vintage-style engraved gravy boat. It’s a great new addition to your table with the look of a traditional family room.

Cost Plus World Market

Turkey Serving Dishes – $7.99

Don’t leave your side dishes from this turkey talk! Mound your stuffing and mashed potatoes in those domed, covered serving dishes. They are pretty enough to maneuver around the table.

Crate&Barrel

Storage Bowls With Clear Lids – $19.95

We love to send our guests home with leftover turkey — when there is one. These clear glass storage bowls make the great take-home containers.

Williams-Sonoma

If all else fails, you can always buy one of those fabulous precooked-to-perfection turkeys. Scatter the above mentioned products around your kitchen and also pass this yummy mail-order bird away as your own. Your secret is safe with us!

Next:
20 Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table
Fun at the Thanksgiving Kids’ Table

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Nordic Style with a Twist

A mixture of comfy and worn-in antiques and flea market finds mixes with genuine Swedish designs within this Northwest home. Blogger, online store owner, and Sweden native Monika Claassen shares this house with her husband, 3 kids, 2 cats, and a hamster. Due to her legacy, her look has always leaned towards the clean lines and simple palettes that dominate the Swedish layout landscape. Claassen’s Washington house is a definite reflection of that style, but with her own unique take.

Splendid Willow

One of the great things about Claassen’s house is the abundant existence of that beautiful Northwestern lighting that many Oregon and Washington designers rave about.

The dining table and seat within this eating nook is from Cost Plus. Claassen, who runs the internet store Splendid Willow Avenue, could not pick between several tables for this area, so that she posed the question to readers of her website. They picked this affordable and beautiful setup.

Wall baskets: Ralph’s
Table/Bench: Cost Plus World Market
Lighting fixture: Crate & Barrel
Chairs: Tolix Marais A Chair

Splendid Willow

Claassen embraced the openness of her house’s design. The rooms flow beautifully, and there are lots of big spaces for entertaining. “I put a great deal of emphasis on making my house warm and inviting so individuals will want to stay until we have to kick them out,” she states.

At the dining area, Claassen mixed antique Swedish 18th century chairs (with the first paint) with fresh slipcovered chairs from IKEA, and breeding Gustavian chairs.

Table: 1700 Collection
Candle centerpiece: Crate & Barrel

Splendid Willow

The warm and comfy burnt orange formal living area is Claassen’s favourite room in the home. “I love the colours in it, and it has the ideal reading nook next to the big bright window,” she states. “It’s usually just me and the cats in there!”

Curtains: Swedish imported
Ladder bookshelf: Urban Outfitters

Splendid Willow

“A number of my dearest things have a private connection or background,” she states. “For example, an older Swedish 18th-century secretaire actually reminds me of my home nation. I have called it ‘Longing Home’ and that I maintain little Hindi paintings in it.”

Splendid Willow

Claassen goes on the hunt for products only about everywhere. Some of her favourite finds have come from eBay, Etsy, neighborhood stores, antique malls, and late-night net searches. She also brings several pieces from her annual visit to Sweden.

Mirror: Swedish Antique
Background: David Hicks Hexagon

Splendid Willow

This was initially a blank wall across from the desk at Claassen’s library and office. She wanted to put something inspiring there, so she created a vignette with an antique secretaire and a cubby shelf full of Swedish collectibles. A couple contemporary art pieces add contrast.

Cubby: Pottery Barn

Splendid Willow

In 4,200 square feet, Claassen’s home is a fantastic size, however there are not very many walls to place furniture against or display artwork. A window, door, or alcove fills the majority of the wall area, therefore it was challenging to decorate initially. She made great use out of this space she did possess, incorporating unique and quirky wallpaper and Victorian-inspired artwork into her home office, for example.

Background: Andrew Martin

Splendid Willow

In this dark gray and chocolate brown stairwell, Claassen made a small vignette with an antique chest of drawers and a vintage educational poster from Sweden. This poster was designed from the 1940s to show the parts of a violet.

Splendid Willow

Claassen recently redesigned her son William’s room, to transition it from a nursery to a “big-boy’s room” Like the rest of the home, she wanted it to feel distinctly Scandinavian, so that she stuck to a simple palette with a mixture of furniture from IKEA and salvaged antiques.

Bedding: IKEA
Headboard: IKEA
Map: IKEA
Milk crate: Vintage, with casters additional on

Splendid Willow

One of the main focal points of the soothing child’s room is the daring red chalkboard. Claassen and her husband painted red chalkboard paint directly onto the wall, and stained a large custom made gray/blue frame to put around it. To light it up perfectly at all hours of the night and day, she put in a swing arm adjustable sconce above it.

Sconce: Boston Library Light, Circa Lighting
Red Cabinet: Antique
Rug: IKEA

Splendid Willow

This bedside vignette is the 1 part of the home that’s 100-percent Claassen’s — everybody in the home knows not to mess up mother’s special corner.

The nightstand is vintage. Claassen painted it a brilliant shade of cerulean and emphasized it with brass lion attracts. Vintage marching-band music cards have been pinned up next to the curvy mirror she discovered at a consignment shop.

Lamp: Tizio, Design Within Reach
Stool: Cost Plus World Market
Bedding:
Target
Pulls on chest: Whitechapel Ltd
Paint on chest: Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy

Splendid Willow

While durability and comfort are the biggest priorities in her house, part of what pushes Claassen’s design philosophy is a love of contrast. Mixing antiques with contemporary pieces and high-end flea market finds help her produce rooms with personality. This living area (just one of three in her house) is an ideal example of that style, with a mixture of Swedish antiques and contemporary textiles.

More Tours:
Playful and Elegant at New York
A Neutral Palette Pleases by the Sea
Personality and High Design in Toronto

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Blue Crush: Tranquil Palettes Inspired by the Sea

In the glowing aquamarine tones of Caribbean waters into the deep indigo colours of the Pacific, coastal-inspired colors of blue are versatile, relaxing and elegant. Consider developing a luxurious, tranquil space using a pale blue shade or fashioning a sharp and cool haven by pairing bright turquoise with crisp white. If you’re afraid of going full blue, then incorporating jolts of color using accessories will infuse your house with an aquatic flair. To get a sea-inspired abode, read on–the sea blues are prepared to enchant you.

Elad Gonen

Strong blue accents and beautiful artwork join forces with the deep azure of the sky overhead to take center stage in this area –quite a feat thinking about the highly effective design element and rustic charm created by the all-white slick lines of the furniture and walls.

Philpotts Interiors

The unusual pairing of colours within this living area is a touch of genius. Pale turquoise colors pop when placed within an earthy environment. The artistic faux finish resembles the crystalline waters of an untrampled Caribbean shore; the exact same blue is replicated in the cushy sofa and chairs. The rustic columns flanking the entrance add to the pure feel. All in all.

Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..

This bedroom is a study in how to use different intensities of the same color. Sky-blue stripes on the mattress give this ocean-view space a nautical touch. Royal blue paint on the walls is strategically extended to the borders of the ceiling, putting off the super pale blue it surrounds and adding dimension to the room. Bright white throughout ties it all together. Every single time you use color, add a lighter shade of the color too to balance out the color scheme.

If you aren’t fond of working with a great deal of color, a very simple but bold statement can be reached by adding only one brightly colored accessory. Here, the luscious small seat functions as a focal point, adding interest without compromising the natural and relaxing feel of the rest of the room.

Gentle blues are heated by natural light within this irie bathroom. Pale blue hues can create quite relaxing moods, especially when white functions as an anchor.

Sylvia Martin

A bold bit of blue-hued art is used as a focus in this area. The turquoise panels are reminiscent of sea waters and deliver a spirited twist to what would otherwise be a somewhat somber and serious vignette.

Divine Design+Build

The gorgeous shade of brown on the cabinets serves as the perfect foil for your aquamarine counter tops. Other colors of blue can also be used throughout the kitchen, in the backsplash, the pottery and even the cups. The color scheme jumps from bright blues to snappy oranges, giving the room a fun and flexible style.

Applegate Tran Interiors

An oversize art bit sets the tone for this particular room, leading to an area that’s modern, artistic and tasteful. Indigo, brown and white mix together perfectly , with every color perfectly balanced in relation to the others. Just a tiny dose of blue is enough to add a sea appeal.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Tranquil and exotic, this place gets its cool from the deep, ocean-inspired blues of their cushions and the firebowl. The classic table and the pure finish of the wooden gazebo exude warmth and elegance.

Anna Lattimore Interior Design

This diverse version of a sea-inspired motif has a lively vibe, thanks to the rich, dark shade of turquoise on the wall that serves as a backdrop. Considering how many colors, prints and designs are utilized, as well as the amount of exotic pieces, it is impressive to see how coherent–and dazzling–that place seems.

Next: More ways to utilize blue

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Guest Picks: 20 Products to Pretty Up Your Front Porch

With spring just around the corner, I am already starting to think about ways to liven up the exterior of my property. The front porch seems like the obvious place to start. It’s actually the very first impression of your house, and it can look fabulous, even if the inside of your house is covered in toys, clothes, dirty dishes — you get the picture.

It does not take much to create a gorgeous porch, however big or small it could be. Here are a few examples of accessories which instantly say “welcome” — Emily from Emily A. Clark

Restoration Hardware

Ring Door Knocker – $28

This classic door knocker comes in two dimensions and provides instant style to a ho-hum entrance doorway.

Grandin Road

Nantucket Rocking Chair – $199

If you’re fortunate enough to have a spacious front porch, these rockers are an ideal addition! I like the cleaner, right lines of this trunk versus more traditional rocking chair styles. These would be great paired with bright pillows.

Grandin Road

Box Planter – $99

These all-weather planters are classic and can be utilized year-round. They would look fantastic as a pair flanking the front door. I’d add low-maintenance greenery to my porch using a easy boxwood topiary or even a little spruce tree.

Wisteria

Compass Doormat – $34

This fun doormat is always pointing toward home. I like that it is graphic but still sophisticated enough for a front entrance.

Horchow

Large X Design Lantern – $185

Insert a welcoming touch to your porch with some of those lanterns. I’d flank the front door with them down them the front steps for instant style.

Home Infatuation

Elaine Smith Yachting Mitered Cross Pillow – $99

Insert a bold, graphic element to your porch with this outdoor pillow. I like that it is quite enough to use inside but durable enough to resist fading, staining and precipitation. There’s also an option to upgrade to some faux-down fill if you want a softer pillow.

Home Infatuation

Square Fresh Boxwood Wreath – $58.95

This boxwood wreath is the perfect touch of green, even if you don’t have a green thumb. It’s classic, easy to keep and available in round or square shapes.

Home Infatuation

Elaine Smith Sedona Sun with Concho Pillow – $165

If you’re fortunate enough to have room for a seating space on your own porch, this pillow is a fantastic way to add pattern and some subtle colour.

Inside Avenue

Four Seasons Garden Stool, Green – $250

I love that this stool has numerous functions — besides adding instant color to your door. Use it as a pedestal for planted flowers, a little table between two chairs or even a little seat.

Pottery Barn

Post Mailbox – $59

If you’re fortunate enough to have mail delivered right to your front door, I love the simplicity of the mailbox. I might even use it inside as a drop-off stage for mail and keys.

Etsy

CARVED SLATE ADDRESS Plaque by T. Michael Studio – $30

This slate address plaque is little enough to center on your own front door or to spruce up your mailbox. I like its earthy feel.

Inside Avenue

Red Ceramic Garden Stool – $229

Even if you can not maintain blossoms alive, you can add some fun colour by using one (or a couple) of these beside your door. They are even quite enough to pull indoors for accent tables or additional seating.

Etsy

Fantastic Gatsby Square Doormat by Karen’s Rope Function – $86

This exceptional doormat is made by an Etsy seller that specializes in rope creations. It’ll add a nautical touch to your front entrance, and it is a wonderful conversation piece.

Traditional Outdoor Coffee Tables – $159.95

This fantastic little table would work indoors or outside. I see it paired with a brightly colored seat or two. You can also pull it from the own porch to your patio if you want it to maintain your outdoor umbrella.

Wharf 10in 1 Light Std Bulb Outdoor Wall Light in Empire Bronze – $71.80

I love the modern simplicity of the outdoor wall lighting. It comes in two finishes and is made of cast aluminum.

Pottery Barn

Stella House Numbers – $12

House numbers are an easy way to add charm to your front door or door posts. I love the traditional font of those amounts, plus they come in three distinct finishes.

Overstock.com

Mariner 1-light Bronze LED Outdoor Pendant Light – $157.99

Add style and keep green in precisely the same time by installing this outdoor LED pendant lighting. It’s easy and transitional sufficient to work with a great deal of unique styles.

Horchow

Acorn Finial Statue – $125

If you don’t have a green thumb, some of those acorn finial figurines could possibly be an ideal thing to flank your door. In 24 inches tall, they’d make a statement, and I love their paychecks end.

Etsy

Texas Aggie Maroon Door Knocker by Camilla Cotton – $28

If you’re afraid to commit to painting your entire doorway, this dark red door knocker might work instead. It’s oozing with classic charm.

Ballard Designs

San Luca Outdoor Pendant – $349

Updating your outdoor lighting is one of the greatest strategies to increase curb appeal, and also this outdoor pendant is guaranteed to make an impression. I love the complicated design, and also that it could go traditional or contemporary.

Next: Curb Appeal Begs Your Attention

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2012 Trends: See What's Ahead in Kitchen Faucets and Fixtures

Lots of new kitchen amenities and and styles are in store for remodelers this year, such as integrated sinks and drainboards, sinks you are able to conceal or personalize, stainless steel apron-front countertops, lots of new faucets, and new darker finishes. Continue reading for some faucet and fixture tendencies for your kitchen this year, dependent on trade shows, insights from The Home Depot, and ongoing industry research.

Browse modern kitchen photographs | Locate a kitchen designer

BLANCO

BLANCORONIS: The Entertainment Sink

Hiding your sink is a European trend starting to make its way across the Atlantic.

They are developed for”un-kitchen” open plan looks. In addition to minimizing visible sink mess, they also add kitchen counter and prep space.

elkayusa.com

Elkay Avado Sink – $2,205

Modular sinks that incorporate flexible bowl configurations and accessories will be sexy in 2012.

We’ve become so accustomed to our electronic work surfaces, so it’s inevitable that we will want to personalize our additional work surfaces too. Think of them as iSinks, together with the I position for”individual preference.”

Silestone Nebula with Integrated Quartz Sink

Engineered stone countertops, a.k.a quartz, stay on-trend. What’s likely to be a hot trend in 2012 is the integrated quartz sink.

Integrated countertops have been popular for Corian, stainless steel and granite countertops. Their availability from producers, not just a few revolutionary fabricators, is new, exciting and likely to be a popular fad this year.

Paul Anater

I expect integrated drainboards to be a trend this year, too. They will likely be smaller in size than this dramatic model Blanco showed us at a Living Kitchen display in Cologne last year. Most of the fixtures producers at the show featured integrated drainboards, and a few have begun to provide them in the U.S. market. Keep a look out for them at a showroom near you.

Pankow Construction – Design/Remodeling – PHX, AZ

Once seen mostly in copper and white, newer apron-front sink offerings are sexy in low-maintenance, modern stainless steel.

Also expect to find more shallow apron-front sinks that are suitable for remodeling functions. This means they’ll fit into a standard sink base cabinet with its front removed and can be used when you update to granite counters.

SeamlessSink

Zero Radius Seamless Undermount Kitchen Sink – $744

Dan Sullivan’s Affluence Seamless Sink (now CreateGood.com), introduced the faucet drain when none of the significant sink firms were considering his invention. It won a significant design award and the hearts of architects and homeowners, such as me.

The majors have begun to take notice, and are introducing their own versions to the marketplace this year. Expect to see more of those clean-lined sinks in 2012.

Susan Serra

Nation and rustic inspired faucet shapes will be big this year in both traditional and non-traditional spaces and styles. Bridge taps are going to appear in expected finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze, but also in polished nickel. They’ll be large and accessible in traditional and modern styles.

Superior Woodcraft, Inc..

Modern compact taps will probably be hot this year, particularly pull-down styles. These include both modern dash and convenience to your kitchen and work with contemporary or traditional sinks, as revealed here.

Kitchen Faucets – $569.25

More one-touch and sensor taps will be entering the residential market. This will be a popular trend in 2012 as more homeowners take for their convenience and possibility of germ reduction.

Kayron Brewer, CKD, CBD / Studio K B

Dark finishes are showing up all over the area this year in some intriguing variants. There’s a new dark chrome many makers are offering, together with brown and black composites and the popular oil-rubbed bronze.

More:
10 Components of Today’s State-of-the-Art Kitchens

Fab Fixtures: The Wall-Mounted Faucet

Bronze: Ancient Metal With Modern Appeal

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Houzz Tour: Modern Bucktown Beauty

The group in Kara Mann Design were initially challenged with the sheer size of this 6,600-square foot modern home in the heart of Bucktown, one of Chicago’s metropolitan areas. The designers began with the color palette, by introducing warm tones and colors of brown into the space, and abided by the desire of homeowners Al and Anna Goldstein’s want to maintain the surroundings neutral. Anna says, “We wanted to keep it simple, in order to not restrict us in selection of furniture and décor.” The house was constructed and designed keeping in mind the couple’s need to entertain guests and also have room for a family one day.

The initial vision of the fantasy home was that of owner Al, with inspiration from his wife Anna. “My husband already began dreaming up the house before we met, therefore the fundamental out lay was his thought,” Anna says. “After I came into the picture, I became really involved with the specifics of the house and fell in love with it also.”

Houzz in a Glance
Who lives here: Al and Anna Goldstein along with their dog Jackie
Location: Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
Size: 6,600 sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 6 baths
Architect: Environs Development; Interior Designer: Kara Mann Design

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The stem of the house is painted in a chocolate charcoal brown to serve as an anchor and pull the home’s warm tones together. The seating area from the living room provides a visually open texture. It enables those seated to have an unobstructed view of the dining room and a glance into the family room/kitchen area.

Anna discovered the glowing painting onto a trip to New York. The warm hues from the painting pull together the traces of color from the room. The acid-green pillows also function as a pop of color against the monochromatic chairs.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Floor-to-double-ceiling windows from the living room look onto the bustling Bucktown neighborhood through gauzy roman colors. The oversize chairs were designed by Kara Mann and upholstered in a polyester/viscose tonal stripe cloth by Pollack Fabrics.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The dining chairs are timeless in arrangement, but made edgy with a patterned print onto its back. The sea urchin-like chandelier and oversize Casamidy mirror complement the couple’s modern design.

Dining seats: Artistic Frame
Chandelier: Lumière by Jean de Merry

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Mann wanted the living room to function as a couch, and she realized that by designing around the fireplace. Anna says this is their favorite spot in the house.

Coffee table: Jayson Home & Garden

Cynthia Lynn Photography

A bookshelf functions as a divider between family room and kitchen. The designer maintained the shelving low to prevent obstructing the view of anyone seated on the sofa. Their dog Jackie can see into the kitchen and know when dinner is prepared!

The bookshelf also functions as a display area for the couple’s image frames and keepsakes, such as a figurine given to the couple after their engagement.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The home office overlooks the double-height ceilings, which make a great open space. An abundance of lighting makes the oversize club seats a great place cozy up with a novel. The Dennis & Leen woven seat and Tai Ping rug add classic design elements to the modern design room.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Hardwood floors flow through the residence. The selection of flooring had been their main design issue, Anna states. “I wanted lighter and my husband needed a dark wood floor. He won, and as much as I hate to acknowledge it, I look at the final solution, he was perfect.”

An adjoining stairs leads into the kitchen, family room and foyer. Waiting from the front door is a part the couple picked up in a neighborhood design store. The piece reflects the Chinese Chongqing Dog, a powerful and muscular natural guard dog. The figure functions as protector of the house, but don’t tell their dog Jackie!

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The elongated kitchen is embellished with shimmering glass tiles that guide all the way up. The tiles add a bit of contrast to the ordered cabinets that line the wall. Tiles were sourced in Urban Archaeology’s Glass Sticks with a custom color by Kara Mann.

Barstools were set along the counter for a casual dining experience along with extra guest seating. Large lace pendant lighting by Moooi hang above.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The master bedroom on the second floor has a much lighter color palette than the remainder of the house. A plush rug under the king bed is nearly as comfortable as the bed. It’s a wonderful spot for their dog Jackie to sleep — which is, when she’s not on the sofa.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The home office, that overlooks the living room, has an open source approach to its layout. A tri-level publication shelf which divides the hallway from the workplace.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The basement press room is meant to be in which the all-male actions take place. The designer wanted to keep with a lodge-like texture, bringing in darker tones and rustic leather seats. The table converts into a pool table, along with the poker dining table next to the wet bar keeps the actions to a central room.

The basement also holds a home theater, wine cellar, gym/sauna and other sleeping quarters.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The house sits on the corner of two tons; its modern design fitting right in with the urban landscape.

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Kitchen of the Week: Ultra-White Cabinetry in Calgary

While each of the components of this kitchen stand out — rich walnut floors, contemporary design, and sleek stainless steel cappliances — the real show-stopper is the high-gloss white cabinetry. This cabinetry may be the brightest, whitest, shiniest custom cabinetry out there — thanks to a professional piano finisher. To make the space seem as clean and modern as you can, the designers at Fifth Element Homes at Calgary, Alberta sent this cabinetry into a piano finisher to provide it the same high-gloss white as the keys on a grand piano.

For this project, the client wanted a sleek, white kitchen which may still be functional for entertaining large groups of people. Having an open floor plan was crucial, as had been having sufficient space and storage to cook economically — without sacrificing style.

More: 20 Great White Kitchens

Fifth Element Homes

Full-height pull-out cabinets on the back wall and storage under either side of the island offer sufficient storage whilst keeping up the kitchen’s minimal and clean look.

The walnut island blends beautifully with the rich flooring, and a white quartz countertop on the island offers a durable surface.

Refrigerator: 42-inch Sub-Zero

Fifth Element Homes

The kitchen was built for a client who loves to entertain. Since the kitchen is indeed often the heart of those events, the client wanted to make certain this principal level had an open floor plan which would not divide up the space . The kitchen is situated with a dining room and a sitting area directly to the side — a perfect way to control overflow whilst dinner is cooking, and permit guests to roam around without feeling separated from the activity.

Fifth Element Homes

A more compact living room sits just past the kitchen bar. There’s no TV in this room — it is meant as an addition to the kitchen. A small sleeper sofa provides a feeling of coziness in the rather large space.

Fifth Element Homes

The backsplash was handmade at a seamless custom cement, which removes any grout lines. It had been extended a distinctive wave-like pattern and feel for visual interest. The feel is very subtle, which also makes it effortless to wash.

Hood: Zephyr 36-inch Roma (Essentials Europa)
Range: Miele 36-inch Gas 5-burner (Vintage series)

Fifth Element Homes

The walnut floors finished onsite using a low-sheen, high-traffic commercial clear coat. The rich, warm wood provides a perfect contrast to the white cabinetry and stainless appliances.

Oven: Miele 30-inch Traditional series oven and microwave combo

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Powder Rooms That Actually Perform

After the holiday season is in full swing it’s time to host celebrations and accommodate visitors to make them feel comfortable. Your powder room might seem to be a rarely used little jewel box the rest of the year, however when the guests begin pouring through the door it’s important functions to perform! Believe it or not, a poorly thought-out half bath can really be a source of stress for your visitors, who need to have the ability to freshen up smoothly with everything they want readily at hand. Have a look at these great examples and tips on how best to design the perfect powder area to pamper your guests.

KuDa Photography

Whirlpool baths are a terrific area for dramatic appearances, and they are able to look so pretty with soft lighting and candles.

However, your guests frequently use the powder room to apply lipstick (or to assess whether they might have anything stuck between their teeth prior to flashing that joyful smile with a piece of lettuce front-and-center).

Providing plenty of lighting and a good mirror are important. These lovely wall sconces placed on either side of the mirror provide great lighting.

Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers

Put on a dimmer switch. The minimal level of lighting in this powder room looks so pretty bright softly from the deep color of their walls.

But using a dimmer switch, your guest can turn up the light as required to make sure they have not pulled the wrong shade of lipstick out of the purse.

Aneka Interiors Inc..

This stunning powder area positively bathes the guest in mild from a chandelier, pendants on either side of the mirror and lighting in the markets.

Ownby Design

A mirror that allows guests of any height test their faces is good, and the previous three powder rooms handled nicely with generously sized mirrors above their sinks.

I’m only 5′ 2″, and happen to be in powder rooms with small mirrors placed so high I had to stand on tiptoe to see my head.

This floor-to-ceiling mirror behind the dressing table is a wonderful bonus, allowing guests to provide their entire outfit a quick check.

Willman Interiors ASID, / Gina Willman

Provide your visitors with a location for their bag and other hand-held products. This vanity has a nice, wide countertop with loads of room to place a purse or toiletries to freshen up.

Don’t you hate going into a powder room and needing to balance your purse on the edge of a pedestal sink whilst attempting to rummage through it? Then you pull out an item or two you want to use and there is not any place to set down those, either. I really don’t know about you, but I also don’t like having to put my purse on the ground.

Hint: If your powder room already has a pedestal sink with no counter space, consider including a couple of hooks on the wall for hanging up bags, coats or sweaters.

If you have a pedestal sink, then you might add a small table to provide space for your guests’ personal products.

This powder room has a wonderful full-length mirror.

CIH Design

Here’s a lavish touch. Click on this picture to see below this stunning vanity and you will come across a little upholstered stool. It’s so nice to have the ability to perch on something apart from the toilet seat if you want to.

Additionally, it offers another place to place a purse or sweater.

Geiss Custom Builders

Am I the only one who has become a beautifully decorated powder area to find nothing but a jewel encrusted, be-ribboned and heavily tassled hand towel — also been so intimidated by it I just let my palms air dry?

Provide your visitors with hand towels they know they can use. Shared hand towels can spread germs; this stack of cloth towels is a more opulent way of giving your guests a more sanitary way to dry their hands. Provide a basket for the soiled towels and put one in — or tag it so it is not confused for a waste basket.

K2 Design Group, Inc..

This tray filled with color-coordinated paper towels is appealing, convenient and sanitary. The box of cells covered in a mailbox is just another very helpful amenity for your visitors. You can find coordinated containers at every price point. The demonstration is so much nicer than plastic liquid soap packs and cardboard tissue boxes.

Habachy Designs

I love everything about this elegant powder room. The table lamps include an opulent feel while the ceiling lamps provide additional illumination. There’s loads of counter space, along with the tray together with rolled guest towels is a gracious way to offer new towels for everyone. The lower shelf of this vanity gives a great place to place extra amenities for your visitors.

Hint: To get a truly luxurious powder area, have a page from restrooms in high-end restaurants or clubs and provide some toiletries that would be helpful: liquid soap, air freshener, hand sanitizer, lotion, tissues, toothpicks, hair spray. Put them all in decorative containers. Set them on a beautiful tray to help keep them corralled and clean.

Using transparent containers of varying heights for the toiletries you supply makes them easy to recognize and adds flair into the counter top.

Melissa Miranda Interior Design

Maintaining additional supplies close at hand makes it easy for you to quickly refresh the room. Having extra storage at a powder room can be tough if the room is really small, but there are very slim vanities available that provide a surprising amount of storage.

Willman Interiors / Gina Willman, ASID

If you don’t have a dressing table with cupboard space, utilizing a decorative chest like the one under this counter can supply just enough space for extra towels and toilet paper.

Debra Campbell Design

Another great little chest is under this particular corner shelf and dressing table. Such a great immediate storage idea!

Joni Spear Interior Design

You can tuck storage space in lots of places apart from under the sink. This powder room includes a little cupboard flush in the wall above the toilet.

Elad Gonen

The storage is to one side of the sink on a floating shelf that functions as countertop in such a long, narrow powder area. I really don’t know whether that long shelf has some drawer space inside, but it is thick enough to possess it. That is a good spot to keep extra supplies.

Faiella Design

Skirting can make a great hiding place for the supplies. A black leather skirt provides this room extra sex appeal as well as functionality.

Loadingdock5 Architecture PLLC

This wall-hung dressing table is minimal, keeping the spacious feel of this restroom. But in addition, it has these great little side cubbies to stash conveniences.

Donna DuFresne Interior Design

This little secret compartment is built into the wall so it takes up no precious floor space. I would leave it open, just like that, when guests are at the home.

Dorit Sela

We have been studying the primping works of this powder room and how to best accommodate them, but let us get down to the business end. Ladies, we’ve all been there: you are at somebody else’s home and too late, you observe the toilet paper has run out. Aaarghh! Don’t let this happen for your visitors. Have toilet paper within arm’s reach of the toilet. This contemporary little powder room really makes a decorative statement out of the stored rolls with nine markets just for the purpose.

Birdseye Design

T.P. can run out fast at a major party. This niche is perfectly placed and it holds several rolls so that you can spend your time enjoying the party rather than checking supply levels.

You don’t need to construct in a niche to provide an attractive way to hold the extra rolls. I enjoy this particular clear, tall tube because of its minimal appearance. Baskets work also.

BiglarKinyan Design Planning Inc..

The freestanding holder beside this toilet holds one roster in a simple position for usage, together with extras below. Keep a waste basket next to it to get a place to discard the empties.

Pepe Calderin Design- Modern Interior Design

No toilet paper in sight here. It looks to me like that might be one of those magnificent toilet and bidet mixes that disturbs you and dries you also. If your guests are more comfortable using a more European solution, you might just not require any toilet paper at all.

While I’m speaking about automation, I just love those new super high-definition air conditioners for your hands that I’m discovering in public restrooms. They are fast, sanitary and they eliminate paper litter. If there’s an attractive version for residential toilets, I’m going to get one and eliminate the need for hand towels altogether.

Inform us Is there anything else that you think should maintain the perfect powder room?

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Powder Rooms for Dudes
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