Guest Picks: Valentine's Day Entertaining

I’ll admit it. There is something so perfect about a holiday strictly dedicated to love. And may I add that any holiday revolving around a pink and red colour scheme is a winner in my book. Here are my picks for fashionable and entertaining in enjoyable ways this Valentine’s Day. — Rhiannon from Hey Gorgeous Events

Paper Source

Kisses & hugs Garland Kit – $10.50

Hugs and kisses. X’s and O’s. Forever loved by all and fashionable. I believe I would love to have this garland hanging across my fireplace mantel.


Printable Naturally Sweet Fruit Stickers from Twig & Thistle – $6

Do not overlook the kiddos on Valentine’s Day. Send them a little extra love within their lunch boxes using these adorable Twig & Thistle fruit decals. Even I would eat a plain old apple using a decal this adorable on the medial side.

Super Rural

For Just Like Ever Poster, Pink & Red – $65

I have been a lover of the punchy and fun typography print for a few years now. Decorate your living area with it, and you will be set come every February 14th. Here’s a fun tip: change up the frame color to coordinate with the season or occasion.

Sweet Lulu

Pink Chevy Chic Treat Bags – $7

The chevron trend is still going strong, so I think these pink chevron handle bags are so sweet. Shop Sweet Lulu has lots of goodie bags in every colour, print and style available also, so don’t fret if hot pink chevron is not your style.


Fleur-De-Lys Tumbler – $8

If I were able to stock my kitchen cabinets with only tinted glass pieces, I would be one happy girl. These Anthropologie tumblers are so totally and festive.

Pottery Barn

Love Letter Table Runner

For the hostess who would like a less flashy approach to observing February 14th, this Love Letter Table Runner is the perfect accessory.

Rifle Paper Co..

Love Card – $4

Rifle Paper Co. gets the most whimsical and delightful paper products I have ever observed. These Love Cards are the perfect way to invite friends over for the holiday. Or use just one to share your love with your significant other.


144 Pink Heart Stickers by Knot & Bow – $12

Holiday cards, love letters, handcrafted menus — where can not you use these super adorable pink heart decals from Knot & Bow? Plus, they also come in red and Kraft brownish.

Cost Plus World Market

Heart Cake Mold & Cookie Cutters

It’s not a whole Valentine’s Day party without heart-shaped treats. This cake mould and cookie cutter set will ensure all your sweet-toothed guests are fulfilled in the most festive of ways.


Cross My Heart Coasters – $14

Coasters are this easy method to put in a bit of holiday spunk to any house or holiday get-together. The classic cross-stitch detailing on those BHLDN coasters is so sweet.

Layla Grayce

Rosanna Decor Bon Bon Pink Round Cake Stand – $75

I am a firm believer that you can not have too many cake stands. I particularly love the soft pink hue of the one. It can be used for a lot of distinct occasions long after Valentine’s Day also.

West Elm

Felt Hearts – $5

How cute would these small felt hearts be at each person’s plate for Valentine’s Day dinner? Or hung from front door knob to put in a subtle but festive touch to your home? They are so sweet and cheap too.


Bronze Age Flatware – $36

While the rose-gold hue of the Anthropologie flatware set initially caught my attention, the special form of each piece actually adds dimension and texture to any location setting.


Pink Himalayan Salt

This is the perfect hostess gift: pink Himalayan salt to the cooking-savvy host or the homeowner who likes pretty things sitting in the pantry.

Urban Outfitters

Smell the Roses Pillowcase Set – $34

Not everybody loves roses for Valentine’s Day, but those quirky Urban Outfitters pillow cases are certain to please many.


Heart Pillow Cushion Red Love by Sewn Natural – $45

Classic doilies and lace cut collectively on one adorable heart-shaped pillow? I’ll take two, please.

Cost Plus World Market

Rosso Ceramic Dinnerware Sets of 4 – $27.96

Maybe you’re not to heart-shape decor or anything overly pink. If so, shifting out your regular dinner plates for something in a punchy red hue may be exactly the correct touch.


Live Love Pillow – $68

This is, hands down, one of my most-coveted goods from my favorite retail shop. This Live Love Pillow is so perfectly classic and pretty, and the traces of turquoise in the floral pattern make it acceptable to have on display yearlong.


Conversation Hearts Valentine Soaps by Thus Stinking Sweet – $15

Do not forget about the toilet when you decorate your house for Valentine’s Day. And do not forget to inform guests (or your children ) that these adorable Conversation Heart Soaps are not edible!


Sweet Heart Large Mug – $4.95

I would not mind drinking my morning cup of joe in a pretty mug such as this. I love the way you can pick from two dimensions to fit your drinking style.

Next: 50 Valentine’s Day Decorating Suggestions

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Landscaping Magic Fixes a Dangerous Sloped Yard

Landscape architect Michael Glassman usually has to walk a home before he starts to analyze a site’s challenges. However, when he visited Larry and Beth Goldberg’s home in Sacramento, California, he was not out of the car before the problems became evident. “I could not find somewhere to park,” he says. “The home is on an incline, and the road goes up a hill, which people race down. You take your life in your hands out of your car if you park on that street.”

Here’s how Glassman opened the landscape and made it function for the family.

Before Photo

The driveway had been heaved up by A large hapberry tree. Weeds had taken over the yard. The home itself was a “bizarre yellow shade, and that I didn’t have any clue where the front door was,” Glassman says. “There clearly was a hokey stucco wall, definite measures, stepping stones over there, weeds everywhere and erosion issues.”

See this sloped yard’s transformation

AFTER: Glassman first addressed the parking situation. He created an ingenious parking bay that allows guests to pull right up into the front part of the home, safely off the road. And because guests didn’t know where to enter the home before, frequently drifting into a driveway-side entrance instead of the front door, Glassman established a clear route to the entryway.

Steps today lead directly from the parking bay to the front door, and there is a terrace with a water feature. To take care of the erosion issues, Glassman installed acid-stained-steel retainer walls that terrace the landscape. He then took the Goldbergs on a trip to the nursery to hand pick plants trees and blossoms for the home.

Michael Glassman & Associates

The tree on the right is a crape myrtle, the only one on the house. On the left of this is a purple smoke tree. Reddish barberry plants operate their way.

The grayish tree on the far left is a fruitless olive, among three. The spiky dark bronze plant below it is a flax. The green pots hold kangaroo paw, sedum, succulents and Red-Hot Poker.

Michael Glassman & Associates

The tree nearest the parking bay is your myrtle, revealed here. The one to the right is another fruitless olive. A little ollie and an ice-blue shore juniper adorn the steel corner in the foreground. Ornamental grasses fill from the remainder. The plants repeat in odd numbers throughout the raised beds.

See this sloped yard’s transformation

More: Find plants for your dream landscape | Find a landscape builder near you

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I’ve written before about laundry room envy, however laundry rooms that pull double duty as office spaces, potting areas, wrapping stations and more take it to a whole new level.

It makes total sense to squeeze some additional use in the laundry space, as it is most likely designed for durability and already outfitted with plumbing. And if you’re fortunate enough to have an island for folding, they can moonlight as flat surfaces for wrap presents, arranging flowers or doing almost any other job you can imagine.

Have a look at these laundry rooms have enlarged their role with grace.

Rock Paper Hammer

Mudroom. What is more efficient than having a washer and dryer at precisely the exact same room where dirty socks, wet gloves and soiled jackets land? This attractively incorporated space does a decent job of keeping the laundry stack to a dull roar. Bonus points to get that gorgeous sky-blue ceiling, a trick borrowed from the traditional front-porch technique.

Linen cupboard. Tucked into a shore home, this laundry room also houses towels and other gear for days at the sand and surf.

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc..

Office. Do your laundry while you pay bills or response messages, and you’re going to check two tasks off your list at the same time. The cushioned benches are an extra-nice touch — you could stretch out and read or rest while the washer spins.

Crisp Architects

Potting room. Make the most of the pipes lines set up and put in another sink for watering plants, washing empty containers and draining garden tools.

Crestline Homes

Wrapping channel. It can be challenging to find a flat expanse of space large enough to allow for wrapping gifts easily. Laundry rooms lend themselves to roomy countertops for both wrap and folding.


Breakfast nook. What a wonderful beginning to the day: a cup of coffee and a muffin or scone in this light-filled space, with the comforting scent of clean laundry in the air.

Whitten Architects

Pantry. The interior design in this combination laundry room and pantry makes for an especially smart utilization of space.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Pet area. This laundry space incorporates a custom dog shower, convenient if you have the square footage. However, you don’t need to be that elaborate. Just add a comfy dog bed, litter box or other designated place for your furry family members.

Dave Adams Photography

All-purpose room. This lovely, comfy laundry space adapts nevertheless it is needed — as a butler’s pantry, potting channel and much more. It is so attractive that I would probably just hang out in there with a novel while the laundry was going.

Who has the hardest-working laundry room in land? Publish your photo here!

Photos: Locate your favorite laundry room design

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Minimalism Suits an Arizona Ranch House

A dab of black in a sea of pink and white, this Phoenix ranch house stands out from the audience with a decidedly contemporary take on desert style. Cynthia Steinman came across the outdated and termite-infested ranch house and immediately envisioned a contemporary desert home she could market. With the help of architect Eric Spry, it evolved into a robust and clean layout. “We just wanted to clear the dance floor,” says Spry of the house’s new look.

Steinman adored the house so much, she moved right in. “I am not supposed to get emotionally connected,” she says. “But when it had been done, we put it on the market, and a week after I just couldn’t sell it”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Cynthia Steinman
Location: Phoenix
Size: 1,500 square feet; 3 bedrooms

Photography: Christopher Barr Photography

Spry Architecture

When Steinman and Spry initially saw the house, they knew right away that the website dictated a fresh, contemporary style. The black exterior was motivated by a house Steinman found in a magazine. Rusted steel, including a water-cut address plate, provides the only colour out front.

Before Photo

Spry Architecture

The renovation began as an exterior makeover, however, the degree of the necessary repairs was so good that it soon turned into a full remodel. Although this house is in a prime area of Phoenix, no other renovators had been prepared to get it. “It just needed some love,” says Steinman.

Spry Architecture

Spry kept the new house as easy and streamlined as possible. Anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary — including shingles, bulky columns and trimming — was removed. “I stuck with that which wouldn’t dismiss in a hurricane,” says Spry.

The entryway is composed of a single column, a steel beam and a plate at the top to get a portico. Fundamental pavers carve a path to the front door.

Spry Architecture

The chambers were split from the original design. Spry had four walls knocked down and turned into the main space into this open great room. They redid the ceiling construction, but the majority of the exterior walls are exactly the same — no square footage was inserted, which helped keep the budget in check.

The fireplace wall was already there. A second drywall layer behind it and light in between produce a subtle shine. Originally Spry simply refinished the drywall, but after the project was done Steinman wanted some texture in the space. Natural stone helps brighten up the contemporary lines of this fantastic room.

Fireplace surround: Idaho quartzite; floors: ceramic tile; light fixture: Cost Plus World Market

Spry Architecture

Every material and merchandise from the house is made from the U.S.. A muted, neutral colour palette reigns in each room. “I’d rather the people who come in be the pops of colour,” Steinman says. “Along with the outdoors: the pool, pool etc.”

Sinks: Decolav

Spry Architecture

Spry gutted the kitchen and put in new windows with a view to the backyard and pool.

The island has a unique seating arrangement that promotes gatherings. Rather than the typical-bar style island where those seated have to appear sideways, this island has seating on all three sides to produce direct conversation simpler.

Countertops: Corian; light fixture: Exeter 16 Jar, Pottery Barn

Before Photo

Spry Architecture

The pool had been left without water and attention for some time, causing quite a lot of harm. Originally, Steinman didn’t like the form of the pool because it didn’t go with the house’s clean lines. However a complete redesign or fill-in would have put them far over budget, so they refinished it instead.

Spry Architecture

A brand new Pebbletec surface and concrete decking tie the pool to its slick surroundings. As from the front yard, the backyard landscaping is also minimalist. “We wanted each bush and tree to be its surprise,” says Spry.

Spry Architecture

Spry designed a sculpture of metal panels and exterior light to hide an unattractive part of a neighboring block wall. The panels also hide an electric transformer and pool equipment.

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Contemporary Meets Exotic in a Dallas Ranch House

Stanford and Corrine Hudson know full well that their residence is landlocked in the fantastic state of Texas, but they like to envision it as an oceanside paradise. Corrine, originally from the island nation of Madagascar, says, “Sometimes I sit by the pool shut my eyes and envision the noises of the swaying cottonwood trees are sea waves.”

The couple calls their design “contemporary old-world exotic” and filled their 1950s ranch house with an eclectic mix of tropical and traditional pieces. Stanford says that in the end of a very long workday, “we want to unwind and feel as though we’re on vacation.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Stanford and Corrine Hudson and their 5-year-old son Charlie
Size: 2,500 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Location: Dallas

Sarah Greenman

On a covered patio in the backyard, billowy linen curtain panels help prevent the brutal Texas sun. Corrine says, “This could as well be our family room, because we spend so much time out here.”

Patio furniture: Into the Garden

Sarah Greenman

Crisp white deck chairs with striped lumbar pillows, bright-colored umbrellas and sexy pink flowering shrubs surround the pool. Quality furniture is essential for your Hudsons. Stanford says, “Everything is very sturdy and will last. No plastic here.”

Sarah Greenman

The land is surrounded by tall cottonwoods, crape myrtles and thick vegetation. Potted ornamental potato vine, bougainvillea, birds of heaven and citrus present to the tropical ambiance.

Sarah Greenman

The house was updated in 1989, when the previous owners included this barn, which spans the period of the house and has a view of the pool and backyard. The dining area includes seating for eight in a sturdy conventional wood dining table. “This thing requires a beating,” Stanford says. “We eat here, do assignments here, play board games — you name it.”

The place rugs in the sunroom could be obtained outside and hosed off. “Everything needs to be durable and easy to clean when there’s a 5-year-old running round,” Corrine says.

Dining place: Voyager (now closed)

Sarah Greenman

Adjacent to the dining area is a complete bar covered in cobalt blue tile. The bar incorporates overhead storage for glassware and spirits.

Bar stools: Pier 1 Imports

Sarah Greenman

A cozy rattan seating set includes views of the pool and a lot of surface space to hold drinks. A palm plant, a potted bamboo, a giraffe print throw plus crisp white cushions create a tropical farm vibe.

Rattan furniture: Voyager (now closed); drum end table: Pier 1 Imports

Sarah Greenman

Sarah Greenman

The previous owners removed a wall between the sitting area and the dining area to make one large room. Buttery walls, white trim, French doors and dark wood furniture would be the ideal setting for your family’s library and sitting area.

“We’ve had those mad leather sofas forever,” says Stanford. “We’re excited because a brand new set of couches are on order from Restoration Hardware.”

This grand bay window, trimmed in honey-colored wood, is the centerpiece of the sitting area.

Sarah Greenman

The dining area has been transformed into a house office. A bench upholstered in a cheetah print with nailhead trim pairs together with palm-leaf houseplants.

The home office is decked out using masculine details, like a high-back leather cushioned seat and a heavily carved wooden desk and bookcases.

Sarah Greenman

Five-year-old Charlie is a budding pianist and loves making making music with this family heirloom. “I grew up with this particular piano, and I love getting it in the house,” Corinne says.

A trio of framed sheet music pages, family photos, back problems of National Geographic and an African sculpture round out this cozy vignette.

Sarah Greenman

Sarah Greenman

The foyer is a bright space using an Asian-inspired hardwood dresser topped with tropical accents. A coral and peach print hangs above a potted orchid plus a Japanese-style tray holding books.

Dresser: Voyager (now closed); print: Cost Plus World Market

Sarah Greenman

A little living room in the center of the house boasts a romantic hearth and seating area.

Sofa, matching chair: Rooms 2 Go; coffee table, side tables: Voyager (now closed)

Sarah Greenman

The kitchen opens to the family room and receives a great deal of natural lighting from a cutout above the stove to the sunroom. The couple is now working on the kitchen and also in the practice of painting and installing new cabinet faces.

Sarah Greenman

Charlie insisted the household take a photo in his favorite spot near the pool.

telephone: Share your vibrant family house with us!

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Boost Your Energy With Natural Light

Abundant all-natural lighting in a home not only saves electric energy, but it gives you more private energy also. In a standard construction, lighting comprises 25 to 40% of your energy consumption (and energy bill), states that an architecture professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That is one good reason to incorporate clerestories, tubular daylighting devices and much more windows.

Another reason to get additional lighting is due to the positive effect that natural lighting has on well-being. I can speak from some personal experience: After moving from an apartment with a sofa which was dark all the time into an apartment with three windows which get morning sunlight, I can tell you I am more rested, more ready to get up in the morning and also much more cheerful throughout the day.

Medical professionals are just at the start of this study, however so far, it looks like natural light can benefit homeowners in many rooms by reducing seasonal dips in disposition, promoting healing, increasing productivity and much more.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

For those who have seasonal affective disorder, getting a lot of light early in the morning can help reset their internal clock. 1 way to do this in your home is to make sure the bedroom will get lots of dawn light with windows and skylights. But I imagine that once you get out of bed, down a trip light-filled staircase such as these would help jumpstart your day.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Natural light penetrates just so much through every window, so consider installing multiple points of light. You can also organize your furniture so the most-used pieces sit where there’s the most light.

David Vandervort Architects

Obtaining light in is important for your health, studies state, but is looking out your chimney. Looking out in gardens brings faster healing in patients, claims a paper by HMC Architects. And should well-lit perspectives help those that are sick, how much more will they assist those that are well?

Jay Hargrave Architecture

Some studies show that a lack of natural light in dining places might raise the odds of obesity. In 1 study, mice that ate beneath daylight gained 50 percent less weight than those which didn’t. Makes you wish a glass-walled dining area like this one, does not it?

John Maniscalco Architecture

As long as there’s no warmth, light in a home office can increase productivity, minimize mistakes, lessen eye strain, and increase your mood. That’s a lot of profit for some easy window installations — or to get some proper furniture placement, as in this office, where the desk is positioned to maximize daylight exposure.

One study showed that standardized test scores in students improved 26 percent when they obtained natural rather than artificial light at school.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

If you are thinking about optimizing natural lighting, also consider minimizing fluorescent lighting — particularly in kitchens.

If you are a stay-at-home mother or dad and devote a lot of time in the darkened area of the home, you ought to be certain your body can remain in tune with its own biological clock. Being out of sync can mean fatigue, depression or what The Washington Post calls for a months-long case of jet lag.

Leslie Goodwin Photography

And most of us know that natural lighting in the toilet means more precise makeup application, shaving and self-esteem. If you seem yellowy and exhausted under fluorescent lighting, you are likely to think negatively of yourself. Who knew light can affect so much of your life?

McClellan Architects

Can you get vitamin D from sunlight through your living area windows? The chance is enough to convince people that the windows in this living area are worth it.

Inform us: When did you realize the significance of natural lighting?

Tubular Daylighting Devices Bring Natural Light

Replace vs. Restore: The Fantastic Window Debate

Clerestory Windows Are Tops at Ushering in Organic Light

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Intelligent Combo: Metal and Aged Wood

The character of wood juxtaposed with the roughness of aged metal makes a marriage so packed with visual and character dimension, it can not help but steal the show. Whether you’re renovating your home or curious to work the tendency into your current area, seem to the following photos for inspiration. The mixing of substances might never be edgy or so gratifying.

Erdreich Architecture, P.C.

Because outdated metal and distressed wood are all organic elements, their attractiveness is obviously exceptional. Full of texture and colour, both of these will set any room aflame with character. The addition of a single copper presence in this primarily wooden kitchen, as an example, results in a potent statement.

AMI Designs

When working with aged woods and metals, elevate the visual measurement by using different species and types. In this kitchen, many different woods paired with bronze fixtures provide a variety of elements to hold interest.

Birdseye Design

A island made from distressed wood and metal is a functional advantage with identifying industrial design. Stools in a milder metal further optimize the mix.

Debbie Dusenberry, aka

Capturing the look can be as straightforward as monitoring the best piece. This island may be small, but with repurposed metal and wood, its aesthetic impact is striking.

Debbie Dusenberry, aka

Instead of pairing a wooden table with wooden chairs, keep a look out for chairs or stools in metal. Carry the alloy throughout the room with different pieces, like a light fixture.

The best thing about this look is that can discover pieces inexpensively once they are on your radar. Hunt down a distressed desk and seat in a flea market or antiques store, and add a metal toolbox for office supplies.

Dana Wolter

Boost an empty corner with a vignette made by a reclaimed wood plank topped with a metallic attachment, even if it’s just a photo frame.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

If you presently have a distressed wood bit somewhere in your home, add some metallic pieces. A reading lamp can be an inexpensive choice.

Casatelli Marble

From the restroom, juxtapose a metal sink with wood cabinetry.

Palmer Todd

Entire your Engineered timber drawers with metal hardware for an edgy cosmetic.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

If you’ve got beautiful reclaimed wood walls in your home, you’re already halfway there. Again, this can be a time to keep your eyes peeled for cheap metal steals, like a metallic pot like this one that may double as a place to store blankets or magazines.

Jane Kim Design

If you have recently completed a space with newer metal, then operate in reclaimed wood, like shelving.

Birdseye Design

If you’re renovating or building and want to explore this look, consider walls made with reclaimed wood with corners completed in rustic metal. This is particularly interesting in a modern space.

Jensen Architects

Or try the opposite: a wall completed in metal. Pull in the repurposed wood component through the floor or perhaps a bit of furniture, like this classic mattress.

Don Ziebell

Staircases are excellent places to capture this look. Maintain the stairs unfinished and pair them with an easy wrought iron railing.

Blending Styles: Farmhouse Meets Industrial

Pressure Less With Distressed Cabinets

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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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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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Take a Salvaged Sink

It’s wonderful to see so many salvaged sinks around lately. When it’s a large cast iron sink in a mudroom, a vintage kitchen sink full with dish drainer or an industrial bowl used at home, a salvaged sink could include unique flair to your kitchen, kitchen, mudroom or laundry area. Following is a look at how architects, architects, designers and writers are integrating these vintage fixtures into houses.

Joanne Palmisano, Salvage Keys

This image is derived from Joanne Palmisano’s publication, Salvage Secrets. The sink came out of an old factory building and is adding character to the beautiful kitchen in its next life.

Between Naps on the Porch

A fantastic potting seat within this Georgia townhome’s lawn involves a working salvaged sink, complete with dish drainer.

Dona Rosene Interiors

I’ve always admired this vintage sink and contacted interior designer Dona Rosene to find out more about it. Here is what she told me

“It’s a funny story because the sink was first to the house, that was constructed in 1926. The customer is about to upgrade the kitchen… and deciding if it goes or stays. It was in excellent condition once the owner took possession of the house and we managed to just use it since it had been for now.

The operator’s love for it has overcome the sacrifices she must create for ita)No garbage disposal along with several”experts” do not think it could be fitted for one. She hasn’t given up hope so we’re still searching for alternatives. B ) She’d really like to get a sprayer however, your choices for taps are extremely limited and pricey. C ) The sink is not as deep as a typical one and requires custom cabinetry underneath and around it to look right. Thus, you need to forfeit some cupboard space.

It is definitely a bit people have strong feelings about — they generally either love it or hate it. When the customer tells people she is considering a kitchen remodel that the first thing they ask is,’What about the sink?””

Home & Harmony

Rie, the blogger behind Home and Harmony, along with her husband have been pros at using salvaged sinks. For their kitchen they discovered a 4-foot-long old surgeon sink on Craigslist for $100, then spent 300 having it professionally reglazed. It’s a remarkably practical farmhouse-style sink that cost less than newer variants.

Home & Harmony

Rie’s laundry area comprises another used sink found on Craigslist. This time her husband painted it with outside high-gloss metallic paint, with a paint sprayer. They discovered that the taps on eBay.

Rie’s guidance for sink searching and salvaging success? “I feel that the trick to finding gems on Craigslist is trying out different search-engine stipulations. Different people explain their stuff in different ways, so the more potential searches you’re doing, the more options you’ll find. To find our antique sinks, I utilized various terms while hunting: old sink, antique sink, farm sink, farmhouse sink. My other suggestion is hunting frequently. I have been proven to search a few times per day for months before we find something that works.”

Gaspar’s Structure

This lucky homeowner already had this 100-year-old sink in the house; the builders were able to save it and flaunt its beauty during a renovation.

The vintage-style faucet is by Kohler.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

This whole kitchen has been created around this oversized salvaged sink, which the homeowner was saving in her barn for several years. The counter tops and windows had to be worked around it, and it had been well worth the effort.

The wall-mounted faucet is by Rohl.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

The same homeowner was saving this soapstone basin for her renovation, and it works wonderfully in her craft area. The architect, Pi Smith, designed a custom base to hold it.

See the rest of the home

DeForest Architects

This bathroom sink has a long history, both with all the homeowners (experienced salvaged fixture users) and before they discovered it. Here is their story:

“We purchased the sink many years ago from The Salvage Barn in Iowa City, Iowa. We were advised by a volunteer this may have been reclaimed from a remodeling of the University of Iowa’s Biology Building, but don’t have any means of verifying that. We didn’t yet own the Yum Yum Farm, so this sink dwelt in our back yard in Iowa City, growing different plants annually — herbs or yearly flowers.

It was well to the design phase of the Yum Yum Farm house that we ran a photograph of the sink by architect John DeForest to determine if he believed it would be a fantastic match for our residence. John agreed. Then we had the sink along with its own first metal stand refinished. The sink has been refinished by a ceramic fix guy, the metallic stand was refinished in an auto body shop.

We like the way the sink has a’counter’ built in. We also like the depth of this basin- it comprises splashes. We think the sturdy type of the sink adds to the farmhouse aesthetic.”


A salvaged cast-iron double sink is a fantastic match for this particular functional laundry room.

NowI feel compelled to share the flip side of using a salvaged sink: along with the drawbacks Dona Rosene outlined, there can be challenges for everybody involved in the installation procedure.

Be sure to be really nice to your architect, plumber and contractor when pushing for one. When I wanted to find out more about using them, I phoned my brother Clark (a general contractor) to determine if he’d experience with these (he didn’t ).

After he stopped telling me just how a lot of his customers are using , he said”Oh , I hope none of them read this salvage sink narrative and want me to do this for them. It sounds like a total nightmare.”

Console Sinks for a Vintage Style Bath
10 Vintage Touches for Your Toilet
Your Kitchen: Farmhouse Sinks
Kitchen of the Week: A Warm and Eco-Friendly Update

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