Swapping out mundane hardware for more special styles is an easy upgrade that gives a big return. Opting for brass intensifies the results. Who would have thought that the design world’s sudden penchant for brass, especially brass pendant lights, on the heels of it being considered so utterly bourgeois would have such staying power? Brass accents instantly brighten and freshen a space. Doing brass in the kitchen is big.
Gone are the days of the builder’s brass chandelier over the dining table. There is so much good brass lighting on the market. My favorite lighting sites include StyleCarrot partners Lumens, Ylighting, and Destination Lighting, (all of which are having major sale events right now). Let’s look at the 21 modern brass pendant lights I picked out from there and elsewhere.
Curtis, who’s 19 and writes the affordable-lifestyle blog A Life in the Fashion Lane, came to her 500-square-foot North End one-bedroom apartment basically empty-handed, save for clothing and photos. Luckily she met designer Jenna-Lyn Croteau at the South End Open Market, who agreed to take on the project for a budget of less than $1,000.
Croteau, who’s 22, is a student at Boston Architectural College and the founder of the furniture restoration and design firm, Recycle Refinish Reuse. (She also assists the fabulously talented Alina Wolhardt of Wolf In Sheep Design, who just designed the new Flour Bakery.)
Jenna created Alexa’s white and gold look with a little money, lots of DIY finesse, and a handful of freebies Alexa was able to score in exchange for exposure on her blog.
Photo by Samara Vise for the Boston Globe
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Alexa loves to display photos of her friends. Jenna clipped Polaroids of Alexa’s travels around Europe, including the Cannes Film Festival, to three rows of linen string above the campaign style nightstand. There are more snapshots tucked into a holder on the other wall, next to four enlarged photos in frames bought on clearance from HomeGoods that Jenna painted white. The Soho cityscape above the bed is from Minted, by Austin-based photographer Kaitlin Rebesco.
Jenna transformed aa 50-cent vase from the Salvation Army with gold spray paint. Croteau made a wall-hung headboard from plywood, foam, and quilted fabric. She even made the covered buttons. She has her own table saw, jigsaw, sander, and drill in her home workshop.
Ethan Allen supplied the bedding and throw pillows. (White bedding was a must since Alexa use the bed as a background for photographing outfits.) The diamond-pattern throw is from Walmart, and the Moroccan-style rug from Wayfair.
The tufted leatherette chair with nailhead trim was a splurge that Jenna found on Craigslist for $100; definitely their biggest purchase. Room & Board provided the black sheepskin pillow. The curtains are from Ikea; the rods were already there when Alexa moved in.
Photo by Samara Vise for the Boston Globe
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Jenna set up Alexa’s workspace on the other side of the bedroom. Responding to one of Alexa’s inspiration photos, Jenna made the desk by placing the top of an old trunk on the legs from two stools. A piece of found glass lets Curtis display snapshots underneath.
The Herman Miller fiberglass desk chair was a roadside find that was orange and very scratched up until Alexa primed and spray painted the seat white and the legs gold.
Jenna spotted the sparkly gold @ symbol at T.J.Maxx, which became the starting point for the art wall, which includes a print from Alexa’s dad and a pineapple print from Minted.
Alexa purchased the tall, mirrored chest from Overstock. Jenna revamped the dark metal honeycomb frame of an $8 mirror from the Salvation Army with white paint.
It’s true that most of us have stone countertops that can withstand heat, but I think (preferably) modern trivets still have a place in the kitchen.
Not long ago I put a Pyrex baking dish straight from the oven onto our granite countertop. It was wet. The entire dish, salmon included, exploded. Seriously. Exploded.
Many kitchens, including mine, mix countertops, using a different material for the island than for the rest of the workspaces. The ship-like cherry wood countertops on either side of our stove are scorched from the tea kettle. (Not my doing.) I leave a cork trivet nearby now.
And unless you have have a marble-topped Saarinen tulip table you don’t want to be putting hot dishes on your dining table.
Last weekend we spent a few days in Delray Beach. The weather and the timing were both perfect. My colleague Mike Carroll, who represents several of our Webster & Company artists at Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown and who is also an abstract artist, had an opening at the Fort Lauderdale gallery da Fonseca Contemporania.
I love the idea of communing with nature. AutoCamp knows what I mean. Offering Airstream trailer experiences as well as luxury tent accommodations, the California-based company does glamping right. Scoff all you want. You’ll never find me at a campground, but why shouldn’t be able to contemplate the great outdoors on my own terms?
AutoCamp has two locations, one by the beach in Santa Barbara, and this one, by the Russian River, 90 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma, sold as a modern retreat in the Sonoma redwoods. There are Airstream trailer suites designed by Lauren Geremia of Geremia Designand glamping-worthy tents as well as a mid-century modern clubhouse. You get WiFi, Malin+Goetz bath products, Casper mattresses, Schoolhouse Electric lighting, and pet-friendly options.
I totally want to go to AutoCamp (but I’ll probably leave my cat at home).