So I still haven’t figured out what to do about the pink Formica countertop on the vanity in Florida. Buying a piece of stone is out—definitely no budget for that. And really, it’s a basic, white tiled bathroom, so it doesn’t call for a slab of luxurious stone anyway. There’s no way I am paying for an updated lamintate countertop. Blech.
I think tiling the countertop is the way to go. I’ve come across a number of how-to articles for installing tile over laminate; it’s seems to be a rather popular DIY project. We also still need to swap out the lighting fixture above the mirror that are more appropriate for a C-lister’s dressing room. Maybe we can tuck some LED strip lights behind molding and add a more contemporary light fixture.
I’m thinking my husband could get to work on some simple changes over winter break when we’re there. After all, he has all sorts of tools—step ladder, pliers, wrenches, and plenty of stuff I can’t even name. It’s nice that he’s handy : )
It’s hard to find examples of cute tiled countertops on bathroom vanities, I’m guessing because it’s a low budget solution and gorgeous, photographed homes use more upscale materials. I did find 13 bathrooms with tiled vanity countertops that are quite nice. I should go for it, right?
The cork floors have been installed in our Florida condo! And the walls are all a bright, sparkly white. So happy. The cork floor is amazing. It feels good under my feet (it’s not squishy though, more like a pressboard with a coating, like you’d find as the backing of a picture frame, as unappealing as that sounds), cleans well, and looks cool.
I was worried that the 1’x3′ tiles would read too traditional, but the look is practically seamless. There are a number of manufacturers of cork tile out there, in different shapes, colors, and finishes, though I chose the plainest one possible. (I wouldn’t have minded a lighter color, but this is probably more practical.)
The cork floor has the funky, almost unfinished loft look of the plywood floor I had been contemplating, but is much better in terms of feel and durability. The price was very reasonable. They even installed new sharp-edged baseboards. I’m thrilled. Thanks to Steve Gee/Tiffany’s Flooring for doing an impeccable job.
Photo by Marni Elyse Katz/StyleCarrot New cork floor in Florida condo.
Door or no door? There’s no question that a walk in shower is the way to go (nobody wants to climb over a tub), but do you do just a simple, frameless glass partition, or do you add a door?
I was just having this conversation with someone (though I don’t remember who), and she pointed out that it’s a lot less expensive if you skip the door, not just in terms of the glass, but the hardware and installation. There’s also the whole hassle of shower door seals.
A shower without a door is good for a smaller space. We used one when we renovated our master bath down in DC, and also in the guest bedroom on the Cape. You also need to consider the shape. We did a door in the master because it’s square. And of course, if you don’t like a breeze on your naked body.
The other option is to do a tile wall or half wall. Not sure how the pricing works out. I guess it’s a decent option for more modest folks, but it definitely closes in the space, whereas glass keeps everything light and open.
Here are 15 walk in showers with frameless glass partitions sans doors.
Like most things in my house, I tend towards simple with clean lines. While it’s true that in my living room in Boston, I have a bold Angela Adams rug and smattering of patterned pillows by Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Hable Construction, and Judy Ross Textiles, the sofa and upholstered cushions on the vintage Scandinavian chairs from eBay are slightly textured solids
In the bedroom, I always keep colors and textures more subdued. When we lived in a bungalow in Chevy Chase, we had the loveliest bedroom, with pale lilac walls, a creamy wrought iron bed, and a beautiful quilt that my mother-in-law made for us as a wedding gift. The windows looked out on a magnolia tree in the backyard.
Our Boston bedroom, by contrast, is a dungeon. To lighten things up, we have a tall tailored headboard from Pottery Barn, upholstered in white cotton duck. The sheets and duvet are pure white. Not exciting, but the best we can do as everything else seems to have taken priority for the last dozen years. Happily the all white bedroom on the Cape is bliss.
The condo in Delray Beach is currently being painted white. White, white, and more white. The cork floor should go in later this month(!!!). If you’ve been following, you’ll know it’s decorated with white and pale wood furniture from Ikea (sofa, chairs), CB2 (nightstands, dining table), West Elm (bed), etc. and punctuated with pops of color.
The boys’ beds, of which i did a staged makeover, are back to its original style. While the bold graphic bedding looked better, it wasn’t the aesthetic I was going for. So they once again have the Ikea duvet covers in teal and grass green with organic patterns. While the fabric is slightly rough, I love the quality of the duvet inserts, pillows, mattress pads, and other bedding basics.
BeddingStyle.com was in touch recently about doing some sort of makeover using my choice of bedding from its site. There are a few great modern bedding brands, including Marimekko, so I’ve been contemplating whether to try one out in the Florida master bedroom. I had planned on using a sea glass colored Matouk coverlet I bought at the Matouk Factory Store in Fall River, Mass.
In trying to determine whether to go with a subtly colored solid duvet or comforter, or one with a pattern, I thought it best to pull together some examples. (The sheets will remain white; always white.) Here are 25 bedrooms with patterned duvets, comforters, or quilts.
You see a lot of the mismatched dining chair look in magazines and blogs, but really, how many real people do you know that live like that? Even if one half of a couple wanted to curate just the right chairs, the other would likely protest. I suppose there are some quirky beach houses, passed down and shared with extended families, that cultivate a mismatched dining chair ensemble by default.
One could however, get away with a more streamlined approach by choosing one style of chair, and using them in different colors. I used two each of white, charcoal, and robin’s egg blue Eames chairs for Meredith’s dining room; it looks really pretty and pulled together. It’s a fun look to do with chairs for the patio, where casual and fun are called for.
Mixing molded fiberglass Eames chairs is the most commonly seen execution, probably because they have long been available in a multitude of colors. But there are plenty of other options too. Or you could even start with pale wood chairs, and use paint to accent the legs, for a “dipped” look. Or mix woods or metals. Here are 16 dining rooms that use the same chair in different colors around the table.
I’m not ordinarily into the shell thing, but when I first saw my friend Deb’s Florida condo, with its sleek modern design and furnishings (which reminded me right away of the furniture in our house on the Cape), I was surprised to see a West Elm capiz shell chandelier hanging above the dining table. Deb is so not a kitschy, shell kinda gal. Of course, like everything she does, it totally works.
Since I am in Florida right now, I thought it would be a good time to round up 18 rooms with capiz shell chandeliers. I love how they can look glam, or beachy. My favorite is the one above the amoeba-shaped modern tub; it’s stunning against those green and gold mosaic tiles.
Quick, what’s the first association you have with black leather sofas? Bachelor pads? ’80s decor? The truth is, a leather sofa can be quite palatable, decor-worse. I wouldn’t have thought so, but it’s true. The trick seems to be using it in all white rooms, either sticking to a neutral palette and modern bent, with a bit of rich wood and brass, and maybe a kilim, or going Scandinavian, with pops of clear, bright color. Here are 26 rooms with black leather sofasthat won’t make you cringe. And, if you prefer a softer neutral, have a look at January’s “Montage: Cognac Colored Leather Sofas” and “Get the Look: 28 Leather Sofas in Cognac, Tobacco, & Caramel” for shopping suggestions.
Teepees, wigwams, play tents (whatever you want to call them) have been trending for a rather long time. However last week, the Wall Street Journal proclaimed them a trend: Teepees: The New Urban Hideaway. I’m not sure why a newspaper would be so slow to catch onto this (it’s not like there’s a three-month lead time). No matter, they’re still going strong. We had a refrigerator box playhouse for a while; admittedly not nearly as chic. But that was a dozen years ago.
The teepee is great because it looks good not only in a kids room, but in adult spaces too. As you can see from these 30 rooms with teepees, they work well in white Scandinavian interiors, minimalist black and white living rooms, nurseries with traditional childrens bedroom furniture, and of course colorful playrooms. You can even erect one outdoors.
I was obsessed with building forts as a kid, always enclosing my bunk beds with blankets, and wishing I had a way to hang a sheet from the ceiling. My kids, too, used to love taking all the blankets they could gather and draping them over chairs and ottomans to create fun enclosures. There’s definitely something satisfying, and practical too, about a kid constructing a hideaway on his own. That said, it’s also nice to have a ready-made private quiet space. Wonder if my boys are too big for one now?
I used to have a kilim in my dining room, back in the mid 1990s in a rent stabilized apartment on the Upper East Side of New York. My then boyfriend and I got it on a trip to San Francisco, and had it shipped back. It was perfect with our Mission-style cherry pedestal table by Charles Shakleton, and covered half the living/dining room. When we moved on, his brother used it, and later I took it back and moved it with me to D.C., where it graced the floor of my bedroom for a year. I think it may have gone to a friend after that. Maybe Sabrina? If so, she actually lives in L.A. now; I wonder if it travelled back there? Although my (very cute but vicious) cocker spaniel chewed a hole in one corner, the rug held up well. The geometric pattern was playful and young, but the colors lent a note of seriousness.
I’m not really a Southwestern or Persian rug person these days, but even so, I absolutely admire the way these work in the decor. An all white space is instantly warmed up with the rich red tones. Frank Lloyd Wright used them a lot in his interiors. The almost colorless (probably pricey antique) ones in Ellen DeGeneres’ and Portia de Rossi’s kitchen are an interesting choice too; almost like a more refined sisal. I also love how Anne Maxwell of Tilton Fenwick matched the kitchen cabinetry in her Brooklyn loft to the muted blue/gray stripe on the kilim. The juxtaposition of the wicker baskets and kilim with the clean lines of the cabinets and tiles is perfection. These rugs really do work with every style.
Since we looked at homes with surfboards propped up outside yesterday, I thought we’d go inside today. The owners of these twenty homes store their surfboards inside, where it functions as a design element. In the kids rooms, I suspect, the surfboards are solely decorative. Hey, my bike’s in my living room (and both my kids’ bikes), so why not a surfboard?