Space-Maximized Victorian in Toronto

Dwelling in a three-story Victorian sounds like a dream come true to some homeowners, but for designer Shirley Meisels it was a struggle. The home was amazing but impractical because of her family, so she began hunting for an opportunity to downsize. Meisels found another Victorian tucked off in midtown Toronto. The 1,500-square-foot house had less space but still retained the high ceilings and structural bones of a Victorian. Meisels equipped it with functional storage, space-saving solutions, and classic furniture punctuated with pattern and color.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Shirley Meisels and her household
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Size: 1,500 square feet
That is interesting: A couple of days later Meisels purchased the house, it was on the front page of the real estate section of the newspaper, together with the headline”Ugly Duckling.” “I was really proud of the headline, because I could see the transformation in my mind’s eye,” she says.

Shirley Meisels

Despite its own”ugly duckling” standing, Meisels knew this home had good bones. The home is located in a part of Toronto where some of the last Victorians from town were constructed, so the majority of the homes have high ceilings. “A few blocks north, the houses are newer — maybe 1920s — and the ceilings fall,” Meisels says.

In the formal dining room, a chandelier highlights the room’s high ceiling, and Meisels’ classic vase set adds color to a clean-lined dining room collection.

Shirley Meisels

Vintage furniture dominates the chambers. The excitement of the hunt is partly what attracts Meisels to these bits — as well as the endless customizations. “These items tend to be more whimsical and less expensive, with good-quality basics,” she says. “I think this mix is what makes my house feel warm, inviting and a bit quirky while still maintaining its modernity.”

Meisels fell in love with this home’s Victorian bones and more contemporary layout — every room was more thought out with respect to space, storage and flow. “I actually realize that this home feels bigger than my old one,” she says. “We utilize every square inch , where before I was heating so many unused rooms.”

Chairs: re-covered at Robert Allen Entrelazos; ottomans: Target, re-covered in Missoni fabric; sofa: habit; lamp: vintage

Shirley Meisels

The narrow front hall supplied some spatial challenges. There was no coat cupboard, so Meisels needed to find out a way to incorporate storage without consuming too much space. Sliding at a narrow cabinet allowed for adequate storage and strengthens the wall as a divider between the dining room and hall.

Pendant: classic; wallpaper: Osbourne & Little, Asuka

Shirley Meisels

Meisels transformed one of the home’s first 3 bedrooms into her office. Built-in shelving plus a desk offers plenty of storage, and the space is big enough for a classic chaise and table.

Table lamp: Restoration Hardware with custom shade

Meisels made the master bedroom with performance in mind. She’s not someone who recalls to hang up clothes consistently, and it is partly why she constructed the dividing wall behind the bed. A pass-through cupboard is tucked beneath this wall; she could make a mess there and nobody would know it from a glimpse into the bedroom. “If I had a traditional cupboard, my clothing would be stacked on the ground at front,” she says.

Wallpaper: Elitis, Fleurs Découpées; bedding: Matteo; bed frame: habit; sconce: classic; chandelier: vintage

Shirley Meisels

Most of the house has neutral undertones, and Meisels brought the very same ideas to her daughter’s room. “If there’s a common tone to color, then you don’t actually have to match everything perfectly. My daughter’s room has pink, but it’s not actually a pink room,” she says.

Wallpaper: Anthropologie; bedding: Pottery Barn and Urban Outfitters, Bella Notte; bed frame: habit

Shirley Meisels

Meisels quickly learned to take advantage of as much space as you can — even it’s meant inches instead of feet. “Niches in walls, beneath stairwells and supporting cabinets are key and worth exploring,” she says.

Rug: Elte; chair: classic, re-covered at Robert Allen Cat’s Cradle

Shirley Meisels

A Calacatta marble backsplash and countertops provide the kitchen a contemporary but timeless appearance. Meisels kept the space clean but functional by installing massive pull-outs and pantry space into her cabinetry. “Function is the most important thing,” she says. “Really consider how you live. What are your habits?”

Countertops: Calacatta; backsplash: Calacatta mosaic; bar stools: Umbra; cabinetry: O’Sullivan Millwork

Shirley Meisels

A chalky gray exterior reflects the home’s contemporary interior layout. Synthetic grass makes the little backyard livable and vibrant, and saves money and time in the long run.

When remodeling a house, Meisels proposes designing from the inside out, with a clear layout in mind. “This way, you can prevent errors, like a window where you might have inserted a desk in a bedroom,” she says.

Shirley Meisels

Meisels was torn between using a little master bath plus a small principal tub, or devoting all of the space to a big bathroom. “I finally arrived at the conclusion that if any single space in the home was small and pokey, then the home would feel small,” she says. She left the idea of a master bathroom and instead built a generous family tub that would look at home in a bigger home. “People are always surprised when I tell them just how many square feet I have,” she says.

Tile: Luna Honed stone tile; vanity: O’Sullivan Millwork; wall paint: Revere Pewter, Benjamin Moore
Builder’s Beige Gets a Makeover
Global Architectural Style: Victorian

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Book Tour: 'Coastal Modern'

Sometimes coastal style brings to mind an explosion of seashells, driftwood, ship’s wheels, nautical and rope versions, with everything themed out in honour of the sea into the max. Not in interior designer to the stars Tim Clarke’s world. Through careful screening and a gorgeous comprehension of mixing textures and materials, he’s created a fresh, updated and contemporary approach to coastal fashion, which he’s sharing with the world in his new book, Coastal Modern. The styles are certainly not confined to beachfront fantasy homes.

Clarke has divided the book into five coastal contemporary styles: Scandia surf, beachfront Mediterranean, shore classic, inherited simplicity and indigenous forests. While each has its own distinct aesthetic, Clarke doesn’t believe in hard and fast rules when it comes to style. His advice for getting the coastal contemporary appearance: “Keep things simple. Use chunky linens in solid colours for upholstery; coating with vintage ticking stripe and large-scale faded print cushions,” he says. “Layer a natural woven carpet with a faded ethnic rug to define a seating area”

Whether you’ve got an ocean view or you’re landlocked in the Midwest, the book is full of gorgeous photography by Noah Webb and useful information from Clarke. This is only one of the most inspirational tomes to grace my coffee table in some time. It makes me dream of the shore and moves me to edit my house. Here’s a glimpse inside.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Scandia surf. This is what Clarke deems “the new Nordic style in the shore.” Drawing from Scandinavian contemporary style, it brings in a airy and light palette, highlights natural substances and celebrates clean lines, superior proportions and uncluttered spaces.

However, the appearance isn’t strictly minimalist. As you can see in this area, fun beach finds and artwork produce a pleasing composition on the wall, and even incorporate the above driftwood and kitschy miniature ship wheels.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Seaside Mediterranean. Clarke draws design inspiration from many countries along the Mediterranean Sea’s coastline, including Morocco, France, Spain, Greece and Italy. Elements such as mosaic tile, aged stone, taupey-gray wood finishes and plaster walls are part of this material palette.

This kitchen illustrates Clarke’s beachfront Mediterranean style with its pared-down aesthetic. It incorporates materials such as wealthy wood counters and limestone floors. Lattice panels include a subtle pattern that recalls North African Mediterranean fashion, while pieces of coral reefs are styled as if they came out of a French flea market.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Beach timeless. Clarke describes this quintessential relaxed and rambling New England shore “cottage” when defining this appearance, remembering the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. To keep matters livable and comfortable, Clarke urges avoiding having a lot of stuff. Rather, he advises, “simplify to fewer bigger pieces, arranged symmetrically to permit free movement”

Clarke updates the shore classic appearance whilst paying homage to its traditional ago, freshening things up with new (but casual) upholstery, utilizing organic materials such as canvas, sea glass and grass. While he’s attentive to edit, he’s certain to incorporate beloved items, from black and white photos to favored beach reads.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Inherited ease. This style incorporates classic, heirloomworthy pieces into their own sort of coastal style. The key is to use items that are classic; nicks, age and patina simply increase attractiveness. When these furnishings are somewhat more formal, casual arrangement and layering lends the style a relaxed beachy look.

This restful bedroom is a great illustration of how to attract the serenity of coastal style to any room, anywhere. Natural fiber textures along with a calming color palette drawn from sand and sky make this room a relaxing retreat. A weathered chandelier and an antiqued mirror add a sense of age and elegance.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Native forests. This fashion celebrates wild and woolly nature, and has a more rustic and groovy vibe. It recalls the aesthetic of Sea Ranch in California, the rocky coast of Maine and the heavily wooded shores of the Pacific Northwest.

As noticed in this comfy den, the appearance celebrates materials like stone and wood in large doses. It is the grooviest of the coastal contemporary styles.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Exotic inspiration. Component of native forests is appearing at coastal fashion from round the world. Rich forests, tropical plants and cultural prints collected together can make you feel like you’re halfway across the world even if you’re in your own backyard.

Twist your porch, deck, patio, lanai or gazebo into a coastal-feel retreat with a seaside color palette, organic fibers and tropical substances. This distance will become your beach-inspired home away from your home.

Penguin Random House, LLC

“I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. … It was on my first trip to Hawaii 15 years ago that I actually started to visualize my company involving the ocean in a real way,” says Clarke.

Actually, Hawaii is ongoing to inspire him today. I asked Clarke what his most recent inspiration is, and he explained, “I am in Hawaii, and I am loving the lava against cobalt blue ocean. … I believe I am going to do a whole blue and black room once I get home”

Penguin Random House, LLC

Coastal Modern is available in stores now.

Tour more design publications

So Your Design Is: Coastal

A Neutral Palette Pleases by the Sea

Shingle Style Meets SoHo on the Jersey Shore

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Design Calendar: April 5–26, 2012

See what innovative technology and products are light up the design industry at Germany’s Light+Building show or step within the house and curated collection of a San Francisco art collector. Our roundup of upcoming events around the world has something for you.


TRADE SHOW — April 15–20, 2012
Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre
Frankfurt, Germany

Energy efficiency is the buzzword at this year’s Light+Building show. Mingle with architects, designers, engineers and other business professionals from around the globe as you see what is new in lighting technology and products. This year’s show is expected to feature over 2,100 exhibitors plus also a”Trend Forum” imagining four house fashions: fluorescent modern, hot elegance, soft minimalist and natural neighborhood. Ideas for LED technology, smart metering and intelligent grids are also exhibited.

See more details

SHOWCASE — April 13–December 7, 2012
DreamHome 2012
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, First Floor, Chicago

Nine Chicago interior designers generated spaces with house furnishings from Merchandise Mart showrooms. Room displays include a game room and an outdoor dining room. This year’s DreamHome features operate by Jillian O’Neill Interior Design, Vincere (picture ), SemelSnow Interior Design and more.

Cost: $5 suggested donation to gain Nearly Home Kids.
Hours: Weekdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Ed Ritger Photography

ART TOUR — April 18, 2012
Private Collections: The Spring Art Tour
San Francisco

Peek within the house and personal art collection of one of seven San Francisco homes on the 12th annual Private Collections tour. (You have to select which of those seven to visit.) Collections vary from international contemporary to eclectic and include photography, works on paper and sculpture. The art collectors may also share their experiences in creating relationships with artists, curators and galleries. Proceeds benefit Enterprise for High School Students, that can help provide job placement and skills development for young people from San Francisco.

Choose from seven groups and email [email protected] with your choice. Buy tickets .

SHOW — April 2126, 2012
High Point Market
164 South Main St., High Point, North Carolina

Boasting 10 million square feet of showroom space and over 2,000 exhibitors, higher Point Market is the show to attend if you’re trying to see the hottest in retail home furnishings. The largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, it will bring over 85,000 individuals to North Carolina. Attend a market concert, catch lunch and listen on a design lecture, or stay on top of what is happening in the industry through various educational events. Also see the most recent products from your favorite exhibitors.

SHOW — April 24–26, 2012
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)
McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

This kitchen and bath business event will showcase the latest trends and products. Socialize with new products via your smartphone in a new multimedia product gallery. Network with other business professionals, find out how to stay competitive in your area and wander through this year’s”UNcontained display,” highlighting the lifestyles of five unique customers.

It is also possible to hear vice president of marketing Liza Hausman and kitchen writer Rebekah Zaveloff discuss”Marketing from the New World” at 3 pm on April 24.

See the complete schedule of events and pricing choices.
Hours: Tuesday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

More design events: March 22–April 12, March 29–April 19, 2012

What’s in your calendar? Let us know in the Comments.

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Vase Shapes Set Shrubs

When you cut blossoms to bring them inside, how can you display them off? I bet at least a few of the time you put them in a vase. And guess what? You can use that notion to shrubs in your garden too. Flowers — and leaves too — look ever so sophisticated in forms that are skinny at the bottom and billowing at the top.

Most are greatest with a bit of yearly training and pruning, particularly eliminating suckers that pop up in their feet, but the problem is well worth the return. Here are a number of vase-shaped shrubs, and it occurs that four are spring bloomers, so now’s the perfect time to be thinking in their place in your garden design.

Fountain butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia, zones 5 to 9) is a bigger cousin of the more familiar butterfly bushes. Unlike those, this blooms with a frothing fount of lavender in spring, therefore its title. Fountain butterfly bush blooms on last season’s wood, so prune it just right after it blossoms. This drought-resistant shrub likes sunshine and narrow soil, and its silvery leaves make it interesting during the growing season. Cultivar ‘Argentea’ is much more silver.

Photo by Cillas through Wikimedia Commons

Kerria (Kerria japonica, zones 4 to 9) is just another vase-shaped attractiveness that colonizes politely, so give it space to spread. In spring, it blossoms in tens of tens of thousands of gold daisies. This tree does best in part shade, even reasonably dry color, but average soil is nice. For all-season interest, look for variegated cultivar ‘Picta’.

Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica, zones 7 to 10) is a bulletproof evergreen with gorgeous gold-flecked foliage that can’t be overcome. A workhorse for shade, in which it positively glows, it’s good in tough spots near trees and inquires little maintenance. Protection from drying winds from the northern reaches of its range is greatest.

Another perk of vase-shaped shrubs? They’re beautiful from above. This is a venerable beauty (Kolkwitzia amabilis, zones 4 to 8) in my garden, as seen from a second-floor window. It blooms in spring with pink flowers that smell like bubble gum, after which it fades to the background, although its peeling old trunks at floor level are eye catching even in winter. Beauty bush is an easy drought-resistant shrub. It does best in sun to part sun but will take a bit of shade.

Elderberry cultivars are sensual, busty foliage plants grown mostly for their colorful foliage, like this one, branded as Black Mirror (Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’, zones 4 to 8). They bloom pink or white, which adds to the show. A lot of different species exist, for instance, native elderberry (Sambucus canadensis, zones 3 to 9), which produces edible fruit. All are hard and thrive in full sun to part shade and ordinary garden soil, though in my experience they like a bit of shade in the hottest part of the day.

Who could forget the throw orange? Really easy to grow, therefore freely, fragrantly blooming in spring, and several natives and their cultivars are more available to the trade all the time. (This is one, Philadelphus lewisii, zones 4 to 8.) Frequent threads among mock oranges, aside from the above: They grow in almost any old place in full sun to part shade, and their clean, crisp foliage is attractive even if they are not in bloom. Cultivars of various sizes also mean there’s a mock orange for any size garden, no matter how little.

Photo by A. Barra through Wikimedia Commons

More amazing design crops:
Red-Leafed Mukdenia | Blue Chalk Sticks| Hens-and-Chicks | Redtwig Dogwood |Toyon

Wonderful design trees:
Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel |Japanese Maple | Manzanita | Persian Ironwood
Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel |Tree Aloe

Great design blossoms:
Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris | Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw
Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant |Snake Flower

Great design grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush |Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass

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Poppies Pop Up in Home Interiors

Clean, colorful and graphic, poppy blossoms are a designer’s dream. They represent the very best of the contemporary and classic camps: just frilly enough to sense conservative, yet so intense they can resist cutting-edge insides. Have a look at these 11 examples of poppy-themed décor for inspiration. Where will they blossom in your property?

Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Inc..

Double poppies painted onto the walls of the powder room, so realistic they appear almost three-dimensional, give a free-form, natural note to a starkly contemporary area.

Flea Market Sunday

Stylized poppy-print wallpaper blossoms supporting this particular bed. The bold graphic treatment eliminates the need for a headboard.

Rossana Novella

Dreamy and lush, a poppy painting artfully bridges the difference between bookshelves.

Thomas Deir Studios

Think florals are frumpy? Here’s your antidote. In addition to the whimsical blossoms curling up the kitchen walls, the light fixture evokes softly ruffled blossom in a thoroughly fresh way.

Birdseye Design

Poppies scattered on this particular kitchen rug provide a welcome base of colour in a darkened area.


A mosaic of tiles that form a poppy pattern feels like a streamlined twist on simply hanging a bit of art.

Ziger/Snead Architects

Minimalist poppies in this art create a vivid focal point. Like every thing else in the area, they are stripped down to their purest kind.

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

What a lovely way to welcome guests: painted tiles in the entrance emblazoned with glowing blossoms. Stair fronts often have missed, however they are a prime place to put in a hint of graphic power.

Palmerston Design Consultants

You can not talk about poppies in interior design without mentioning Marimekko’s iconic poppy printing. It is so strong that just a dash of it is all you have to wake up a subtle space.

A Chick to Understand

Marimekko redux: Here, an overscale variant of the print makes a splashy shower curtain.

Urban Elements Interior Space

Poppies look just as pretty in inverse. These black ones against a yellow wall feel to be an ultracool photo negative.

When This Bloom Were a Space
Magnolia Magic Breezes Into the Home

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Steer Clear of the Great Paper Pileup

After reading the comments from previous weeks’ articles on home planning, it appears to be a lot of folks are thinking about living the paperless way of life. However, as you can probably imagine, no matter how much you really need paper from your life, receipts, bills and business cards will still make their way in your home. So it’s crucial to handle them by creating effective but simple systems for easy access later.

This implies:
Placing an active filing zoneDeciding the way you’re digitize your paperMaking sure you back everything upYou’ll also need a strategy for properly disposing of paperwork which now exists in the digital world.

Jeri Koegel Photography


It’d be great if I had the discipline to scan paperwork as it comes, however I don’t. I also don’t have time to open up the scanner and record things away one by one. So I have made a place for “active files” to corral my paperwork prior to the lot gets scanned and digitally recorded.

And as you may be organized into some T (and therefore likely to skip this step), I think it’s important for one reason: Taking a second for your busy filing will help clue you in as to what needs to be scanned and everything could be recycled, preventing the custom of attempting to scan each record that comes in.

For example, after a couple weeks, I know I am not likely to return my Banana Republic shirt, and I can now recycle the reception. Or perhaps I have determined I don’t really require the pamphlet for my newest organizing conference. You get the picture.

CWB Architects

What to Contain Energetic Filing

It may be as simple as having a “To Scan” file folder which you process once each week to twice a month. I’ll usually process this file folder when I really have time to scan the things inside. Anything deemed irrelevant or no longer needed gets recycled or stained. The rest gets scanned.

Other files you could create: “To Do,” “Pending,” and some other project-related newspapers that require a spot to land.

I tend to think vertical when looking for a spot to store my busy files, and utilize hanging wall pockets. It is possible to use the interior of a cabinet door or the corner of a wall socket.

Mark Newman Design


Flatbed scanners: You probably already have a flatbed scanner in your home; mine arrived as an all-in-one together with my printer a few decades back. And while those scanners work just fine for digitizing active newspapers on a weekly basis, you will probably die of boredom if you tried scanning your backlog of paperwork with those dinosaurs.

Sheet-fed scanners: If you’re seriously interested in going paperless and have tons of photos, business cards and newspaper which require digital archiving, then you will want to have a scanner that is thick. Normally compact in size, most take 25 to 50 pages at once. Here are my top faves.Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners. The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M is owned by me. It is a scanning monster and also can capture double-sided paper. These scanners also utilize technology called OCR, which permits you to search handwritten or typed files as soon as they are scanned.NeatReceipts makes scanners compatible with PC and Mac users, with a portable or desktop variant available.If you’re saying, “Bah, humbug” to scanning, you may always send off your paperwork to be flashed. I have clients who love 1DollarScan and Shoeboxed. The investment is significantly less than buying a scanner but may accumulate over time. It depends on the circumstance. Will the newspaper get scanned only if you pay someone else to get it done? Answer this issue before spending the big bucks on a new scanner.

CONTENT Architecture

Backing Ude

If you don’t anticipate your backup system, you’re bound to maintain the paper copy as a reinforcement, which negates the purpose of scanning everything in the first location.
Mac machines finally have a program called Time Machine which will automatically back up your data to an external hard drive.If you are using only an external hard drive to back up, you may think about having a backup external hard disk drive saved away from your computer. I’d suggest a safe or something comparable. If something bad happens to a computer, it might also occur to your external hard disk drive, so it’s best to have a backup of your backup.I strongly suggest also backing up your data into the cloud. Not only will your data be safe if something happens to a personal computer, but you are able to get your files from anywhere.My personal favorite cloud programs are DropBox, Evernote and iCloud — all free.

Isolina Mallon Interiors


Disposing of your sensitive files is key to finishing up the paperless process. If you don’t need to purchase a shredder (or refuse to discover a spot to conceal this eyesore) there are loads of shredding tools out there.Most office supply stores offer shredding services for approximately 75 cents per pound. With most file boxes weighing 5 to 15 lbs. When filled with newspaper, it’s not a bad idea to have someone do it for you.Most large cities host shredding events where you could bring approximately five boxes of newspaper to be ruined. Do some research and find out what you can find.The Automobile Club of Southern California generally offers one or two totally free shredding events per year.
Just Say No to More Paper
Online Tools Help You Move Paperless
The Paperless Office
The way to Use a Professional Organizer

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Now Featuring … That the Toilet!

We hide the bathroom behind counters, half-walls and privacy glass, and even close it up at a tiny little space all its own. When we can not hide it, we attempt to disguise it beneath fluffy pink seat and tank covers — ugh!

However, what if we took another approach and attribute it rather? Plunking a candle at the surface of the tank and slapping a tiny picture of seashells over it just will not cut it. I am speaking about carrying through precisely the same flair for design which you employ to the rest of your toilet. Listed below are 19 beautifully designed spaces for the bathroom.

Pepe Calderin Design- Modern Interior Design

When choosing where to place a stunning tile mosaic, why don’t you think about the wall from the bathroom? This ultracontemporary and minimalist bathroom style is the perfect foil to the exuberant dance of colors in the mosaic.

orit galili

The bold, red tile behind this modern wall-mounted bathroom takes attention to this area and generates artistic interest. So often, a toilet has beautiful tile around the dressing table and shower, but it completely fizzles from the bathroom area. However, this designer transported the subject all the way through this toilet, end up with a complete and balanced look.

HRD mimarlık

Employing accent tile and a minimalist wall-mounted toilet is a terrific way to create a feature instead of an eyesore.

Tip: Square toilets are no issue for some and very uncomfortable for many others. I find it is not the right front edge that’s the issue. In the end, we sit on dining seats with a front edge all the time. Instead, I think it is how sharp the corner over the edge is. So, if you’re considering one of them, for the love of Pete put on some shorts and sit before you buy it!

Barker O’Donoghue Master Builders

Toilets come in all shapes and styles, so select one which matches your space. This tall, slim one is great for its tall, slim niche.

A box-shape wall-mounted bathroom looks similar to a minibench compared to a bathroom. The feel of the tile on the accent wall is a real attention grabber, and niches over the bathroom in exactly the same width tie it into as part of the plan element.

Elad Gonen

The accent tile heads across the ground and wraps up the wall for a solid architectural look. I believe the smooth, round shape of the bathroom is a nice contrast to the straight lines in the rest of the bathroom. The bathroom is based at the most powerful design element inside the room.

Laura Burton Interiors

Wall-mounted toilets are not the only ones which work nicely as a design component. This model sits on the ground, but its simple cylindrical shape gives it the look of a stool. This bathroom does have a market solely for the bathroom, but the style of the bathroom and the pretty mirror elevate it to the status of a throne room. Sorry, could not resist the pun.


Another bathroom market is treated to a beautiful accent wall at the back and a pendant lamp over. Adding some nice art makes a pleasant environment. And why don’t you? You may be here for a while.

Andre Couture Coloriste Decorateur

I really like that the designer chosen an attractively curved one-piece bathroom like the form of the base sink. The strong lines of the shelf holding the stunning botanical structure match the expression of the mirror frame. It is a really integrated design.

Savio & Rupa Interior Concepts (Bangalore)

In this spacious wet-room-style toilet, the custom made tile behind the bathroom produces a strong focal point for the space.

Mark English Architects, AIA

This whole bathroom is gorgeous! See several views of it. However, I feel the designer pulled all the stops from the area inhabited by the wall-mounted toilet and bidet. This live-edge wood floor meeting up with all the tile is so beautiful, I can barely take my eyes from it.

Kirsten Marie Inc, KMI

In this space, notice how the base of the bathroom and the cap of the tank seem very much like the molding inside the room. This traditional style is ideal for this bathroom’s décor. The wall market with decorative accents and an orchid make a beautiful sight.

Melissa Miranda Interior Design

And also this squared-off tank works nicely with the squared form of the integrated sink and counter tops. It is also quite modern, just appropriate for the style of this toilet.

Chronicle Books

The golden colour of the exposed plumbing on this bathroom is ideal for the conventional style of the decorative metalwork on the wall and other accents in the room.

LGS Designs,llc.

I just can not envision a much better choice for the style and colour of this toilet when it’s paired with this stunning rock pedestal sink.

Tracy Stone AIA

This gleaming stainless bathroom is a real standout from the timber walls and flooring.

The matte black colour of this toilet and bidet is ideal from the matte black-tile accent wall.

Peter Tow

Choosing a low-slung one-piece bathroom exactly the same elevation as the tub prevents it from breaking the strong horizontal line produced by the bathtub and its own reflection from the mirror behind the bathroom.

Gauhar ZH

What can be more Zen than the egg contours of the toilet and bidet in this minimalist toilet? I believe they do much more than just complement the style of the space — they set it.

Get Floored by Creative Use of Tile

Bathroom Storage: Where to Maintain the T.P.

9 Ways to Make a Not-So-Standard Bathroom

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Higher Ground: 6 Spectacular Landscapes

We’ve toured some magnificent landscapes here in over the past couple of years. From a garden on a Greek island into a bocce ball court overlooking the Pacific Ocean, by a small front yard in the Hollywood Hills into a grand estate in the Berkshires, every one these landscapes wow. Each has a special relationship to the home, the property and the increased context. Get tips for planting period from six special properties.

Carolyn Chadwick

This magnificent Greek garden on the island of Paros was designed to look as if it had always been there.

Carolyn Chadwick

Purple, blue, white and pink flowers, for instance, tall African lily and pink society garlic are spread between the home and the ocean edge of the house.

Carolyn Chadwick

There’s nothing like saving the best for last; this is the view from the house across the gardens into the Aegean Sea.

See the rest of this landscape

At Edith Wharton’s former home, The Mount, there are many different moods created by the landscapes. The nearer they are to the home, the more formal they’re.

A stone staircase surrounded by ferns takes visitors in the wooded entry to the formal gardens.

A lengthy strand lined in linden trees joins the two formal gardens.

The secret garden has a more rustic aesthetic than its counterpart. It is sunken, utilizes boulders and retains a green and white color palette.

See more of The Mount’s landscape | Tour inside The Mount

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

This stunning property on California’s central coast takes full advantage of opinions of Morrow Bay. It straddles the line between manicured and untamed, with native plants and careful color choice linking built bits to the unbuilt landscape.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

A system of meandering paths connects the home to the estuary literally and figuratively (in its colours and sinuousness), and the layout provides stains to sit in isolation and enjoy the view.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Boulders mimic the shapes of the hills in the distance.

See the rest of this landscape


Blogger and house accessories programmer Cococozy has added lots of square feet into her living room by producing many areas to relax, do swim, visit, site, browse and nap in the front yard of her Hollywood Hills cabin.


Thick cushions, colorful throw pillows and a classy rug bring indoor layout relaxation out to the deck.


A huge dining table is a favourite spot for friends to gather on hot nights.

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Feldman Architecture, Inc..

These two cottages were designed to operate with the slope of a wooded Mill Valley, California, site.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Both studios, constructed instead of an attached addition onto the main house, tread lightly on the land, with a rooftop supplying the room to garden.

Know more about rooftop gardens and green roofs

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

The adventure of traveling from the main home to cabin was carefully considered; variables included slopes, substances, width and places to stop and enjoy the view.

See more of these cottages, including some peeks inside

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

This house sits atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Aptos, California. A beautifully entry court provides a glimpse at the sea.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

As you round the corner, you find the bocce ball court in the foreground and the ocean beyond. There’s also.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

This big, troughlike fountain provides a visual boundary at the edge of this cliff.

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Eclectic Los Angeles Bungalow

Echo Park in Los Angeles attracts many artists looking for refuge from the glittery veneer of Hollywood. So it’s no surprise that design consultant Justina Blakeney discovered herself (with her fiancéeand her baby-to-be, as she’s 18 weeks pregnant) in a post-1940 stand-alone home she calls in her blog her “jungalow,” a lively mix of “jungle” and “bungalow.”

Blakeney is inspired by the jungle’s stability of colours. “I really like the way bright colours come together in the jungle in a dramatic cacophony,” she states, “but somehow manage to be completely harmonious.”

Justina Blakeney

Blakeney painted the chopping board in rainbow hues to add a punch of brights to the kitchen. She also uses it as a serving tray, to the delight of her guests.

Justina Blakeney

Blakeney enjoys this bright green color on the trims from the kitchen : “It’s bizarre and profound. I just love it.”

Trim paint: Mint Sprig, by Behr; chairs: Verner Panton

Justina Blakeney

The design aesthetic across the home is a commentary on the urban atmosphere. “We are animals, however we spend too much quantity of time indoors,” Blakeney states. “We should be in the sun. For this reason, I really like to bring the outside indoors as far as possible and to surround myself with nature-inspired, crazy-looking, wild patterns.”

She also surrounds herself with bits from her travels. “I have the pillows while traveling and others right here in some L.A. thrift shops and groceries,” she states. “The kilim pillows I brought back from a visit to Ephesus, Turkey, and the couch was a hand-me-down from my grandmother which I re-covered myself.”

Justina Blakeney

Blakeney doesn’t fret so much about things going collectively as she does choosing things she enjoys. “I adore bright colours,” she says, “but I especially love when they’ve faded a bit because of age. I love to contrast florals with geometrics, therefore I may put a floral cushion near a zigzag one for result.”

Justina Blakeney

Blakeney explains her entryway as “a little bizarre.” Instead of a closet and bench, there’s a white shelf for her brightly colored footwear. The shoes themselves — peep-toe pumps, suede boots, platforms — are a part of the décor, like vibrant book spines peeking out from an étagère.

Shoe shelves: Ikea; print: classic, unsigned; crops: Succulent Enjoy

Justina Blakeney

Every region of the house is touched by some kind of greenery. The living room shelving unit showcases houseplants together with novels, some of which she’s penned herself. (She coauthored the 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie string for Random House.) Along with being an author, Blakeney works with people needing creative consultations, new thoughts, and influencers. She shares design thoughts, finds, and overall design-related musings on her blog, Justina Blakeney.

Shelving units: custom made by Pepe’s Thrift Shop

Justina Blakeney

This pine apothecary chest came from a thrift shop in Los Angeles. It’s a creative solution to flaunt her indoor plants from top to bottom.

Justina Blakeney

Blakeney painted this vanity double before settling on a bright blue. “It was a natural color and fairly beat up when I bought it for $80 at a thrift shop,” she recalls.

Vanity paint: Aqua Waters by Behr

Justina Blakeney

Masks and hats bought while traveling or thrifting enliven the walls. “The angel and both monkey dolls are from Mexico,” Blakeney states. “The African masks come from thrift shops in Los Angeles, and the 2 hats are Peruvian.”

Justina Blakeney

This mattress canopy was easy to assemble. “I just used two Turkish towels and held it with an elaborate Turkish lantern,” Blakeney states. Even the bedspread, a suzani from Turkey, has an intriguing backstory:

“I had zero intention of arriving home with a suzani from the grand bazaar in Instanbul,” she recounts. “The classic suzanis are normally very expensive, however I haggled with the shop owner for 40 minutes and finally bought it. The adventure of sharing tea with an owner, pointing out each hole and stain, was part of the fun and ultimately makes me adore the bedspread more.”

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Rex Ray's Joyous Collages Come to the House

Rex Ray’s work is everywhere. Even when you’re unfamiliar with his name yet, chances are that you have seen his art on posters, record covers, fabrics and accessories. Ray’s appearance is unmistakable — and it’s hard not to fall in love with his vibrant and psychedelic-like work. The bright tones and lively nature of his pieces have a special and imaginative undertone which Ray was bringing to his artwork since he was rather young. “I knew I needed to become an artist when I was 11,” Ray says. “I think a lot of children have that urge. It is only a matter of if you can sustain it into maturity.”

Affordable versions of his artwork have always been important to him, and in 2011 he launched Rex Ray Studio and R2 Lab to produce stationery, home décor products and much more.

The art pieces in this story are gallery samples of Ray’s work.

Rex Ray

Art Is for Everyone

Ray has always believed commercial artwork often display the same level of talent since museum-quality good art. “I fell right into a loony set of Marxist, intellectual gays at Colorado in the 1970s,” Ray says, laughing. “They had a very democratic method of art, where they believed that all art forms were the same. Fine was just as good as commercial.” When Ray attended the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1980s, his view was legitimized under teachers Angela Davis and Ray Mondini. To him, art wasn’t about who had been looking at it, it was about how it had been making people feel.
This bit:”Untitled 3562″

Rex Ray

Music as Inspiration

After graduating, Ray started a freelance graphic design firm and worked for music, literary and art groups all around the city. Much of his first work comprised flyers for nightclubs and bands. “Odds are, if you went to any San Francisco nightclub from the’80s, then you noticed some of my work,” he states.

Ray had always been fascinated with record covers. In high school, he made his own photo sleeves for his 45s employing a camera, his own art, and a Xerox machine. “I’ve really carried the speech of graphic arts with me,” he states.

This bit: “Delcon”

Rex Ray

Since Ray racked up clients like City Lights Bookstore and Bill Graham Presents, his company grew, and his work was everywhere. “Originally, I had been prepared to forfeit high cover for imaginative freedom,” he states. “However, as I became more well known, there were more restrictions in my work.” As his clients became more prestigious, he found that he was working with more marketing firms, and the requirements were getting more specific.

In 1997, Ray started doing package designs for David Bowie. It was exhausting — and thrilling. “I sort of guessed that was my pinnacle from the audio world,” he states.

This bit: “Opaliane”

Rex Ray

Creating Art Only for Himself

At the point, however, Ray started looking for a means to escape from graphic design. “I had been getting so frustrated with so many hands in my work,” he states. “You emotionally internalize this criticism. When you’re an artist, then you become your own worst enemy in this sense. I truly needed to just get back to fundamentals and indulge in simple creativity.”

This bit: “Lasallia”

Rex Ray

While he was still grinding away at his graphic design day job, Ray started working on collages at night. He’d cut out large images with a great deal of white space from hoarded W and Rolling Stone magazines and paste them together. “It was very liberating to do this purely for myself,” he states. “It was all about the process rather than the final piece. I would let them dry, put them in a drawer and didn’t really look at them again.”

This bit: “Untitled 0797”

Rex Ray

Pretty soon, he’d countless collages piled up. On a whim, he put them all up on a wall at his San Francisco attic, which gave him a sort of revelation. “All of a sudden I realized that others might actually like these,” Ray says. “It was just like I’d invented a speech, and it was time to tell a story with it.”

This collagelike design is among the things Ray is famous for today. His vibrant and graphic pieces can easily be understood and loved by people with a variety of styles and tastes.

This bit: “Untitled 0032”

Rex Ray

Bringing His Function into Home Design

While much of Ray’s work was exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide, he wished to implement his view that art is for everybody. “I didn’t want to simply do museum-like artwork. This was artwork for individuals,” Ray says. “I needed people to buy it off the wall and hang it in their home — no frame ”

This bit: “Pleopcialis”

Rex Ray

When Metropolitan Home did a feature on Ray’s home, designer Jonathan Adler saw the piece. After falling in love with all the collages, he called Ray up to market originals in his store. Although Ray had licensed his work out before, this was a foray into a completely different kind of work. It was the launch pad for a lot more collaborations.

This bit: “Cirrosa”

Rex Ray

“What has been appeal to me about licensing is that this notion of having my work out there, of having everybody get to see it,” says Ray. “Working with various companies permits people to get my work who may not be able to afford one of my paintings.”

This bit: “Dabinett”

Rex Ray

The Future of Rex Ray Studio

Regardless of his deeply held conviction on the democratization of art, Ray, like many other artists now, still worries about his journey back to commercial art. “I am still very torn about licensing,” he states. “It is a big experiment for me.”


Rex Ray DODOcase to get iPad2 – $89.95

Today, Rex Ray Studio and R2 Lab continue to attract Ray’s diverse and vibrant work into the home. From stationery to iPad cases, messenger bags and a new line of shopping bags with Blue Q, Ray’s work has made the leap from your museum wall to the normal home.

This iPad2 case from DODOCase is a great way to get Ray’s work into your own hands. Bold and abstract, the case is made from black Moroccan fabric and is bound with conventional book-binding techniques.


Blik Wall Decals: Vibrant Velocity by Rex Ray – $50

Ray’s cooperation on Blik wall stickers was especially popular. If you would like to find some of Ray’s work on your walls, then this is a clever and customizable option. “I love making the work,” he states. “That’s my joy. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate.”

Rex Ray’s work has been included at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Modern Art, the Crocker Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. Find more home décor goods at

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