When Jennifer Acito and her husband purchased their Ridgewood, New Jersey, home in 2016, it had only ever belonged to one other family. The great-grandson of the couple who built the house in 1923 happened to be living there and gave Acito some pointers during the initial walk-through, including mention of an original screen door. “At the time we thought it was old-fashioned, so we just forgot about it,” says Acito. It wasn’t until this summer, as she was having her main front door stripped and painted, that she finally went hunting for its companion and found it hiding out in their detached garage. “This thing was awesome,” she recalls. “You don’t see this kind of craftsmanship today.”
The wood frame was in rough condition (even Acito’s painter was too scared to touch the fragile piece). “I just remember him saying, ‘This is a lot of work,’” she says. His advice? Have someone replicate it with all new parts. But Acito didn’t want to lose the soul, so she dedicated four weekends to salvaging the piece, all for just $99 (the expense, in this case, was her time). “I said, I’ll restore that door if it’s the last thing I do.”
Step 1: The Stripping
After removing the old screens from the openings, Acito laid the heavy frame on a table on her back patio. In order to remove the seven layers of old paint that had been applied over the decades, she coated the surface on both sides with a paint and varnish stripper and then covered it with Saran Wrap so the treatment would be absorbed by the wood. She left it to soak for an hour before chipping away at the layers with a scraper. “It bubbles up and just starts removing itself,” she says.
Step 2: The Priming
While not as labor-intensive as the first part, the priming was surprisingly the most time-consuming step. Acito ended up having to apply three coats of an exterior latex wood primer from Sherwin-Williams to the back and front in order to hide all the brown spots she couldn’t scrape off. Key to this process: She waited a full 24 hours in between each covering so they could properly cure and dry. “If you put the next coat on too soon, that’s when you start getting weird streaks,” she says.
Step 3: The Painting
“This is a screen door; this needs to be fun,” is what Acito told herself when browsing paint options for the frame. She thought something neutral might make it look too serious and old-fashioned. Even yellow, which crossed her mind, didn’t seem playful enough. Then she stumbled across Farrow & Ball’s Nancy’s Blushes, a bubblegum pink color. “I didn’t even sample it,” she says. “I bought it, popped open the can at home, and put it right on.” She applied three coats to the back and front of the door frame, leaving one to two days in between each application. Most of the trim on the inside of the door is still original, though she replaced some of the damaged sections with new wood. Acito spray-painted that part of the door with a glossy red hue from Krylon.
Step 4: The Hardware
Acito stuck with the original hardware out of necessity: They stopped making handle mechanisms that fit a door like this in the ’50s. She spruced up the steel pieces and hinges (also covered in brown paint) by letting them soak in hot water overnight and then rinsing them off with baking soda the next morning. Then she spray-painted all the components black.
Step 5: The Screens
Even though Acito was the most nervous about replacing the screens on her own, it turned out to be the simplest task. Her husband picked up a roll of black screen at Home Depot. Using a staple gun, she attached the fabric to the frame, pulling it tightly along the way to get it as straight as possible (the red trim hides all the staples). It might have taken a month for Acito to get to this point, but she pulled it off without a single splinter.
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High-ceilings and high-end decor shape this impressive private penthouse interior in Russia, visualized by Ab Architects. If you’re a fan of modern art, designer furniture and atmospheric mood lighting then this penthouse is going to be a real treat. Measuring 1105 square metres, this large and lavish home features a sumptuous open plan living space and a lustrous copper kitchen design with a gleaming island. There’s a grand double sided staircase design leading to luxury bedrooms and bathrooms that you’d never want to leave. Look out for a big bundle of KAWS love going on inside this home too, with collectable Bearbrick and Companion statues popping up in some unexpected places.
Massive floor to ceiling windows break apart the dark walls of a lofty luxury living room in our first home tour. Rich wood grain accentuates the vertical proportion of the room, and colour matched curtains fall softly around the borders.
Modern sofas and a large rectangle coffee table fill a large grey area rug, creating a cosy island in the open plan layout.
A custom fitted bookcase climbs the end of the room, all the way up to the rafters. LED strip lights glow warmly in the stacks.
A cloud-like settee floats on a fluffy white rug in front of the linear modern fireplace.
Blue accents run around the dining room area rug and across the seats of twelve modern dining chairs. A decorative mirror creates an obscure light reflective effect at the end of the long table.
A lustrous copper kitchen design makes a show stopping statement, coupled with a solid white marble worktop. Pink neon lights keep the warm glow going over the plain white walls of the room.
Suspended shelving takes the copper element to new heights, where indoor plants grow a green crown.
A glass wine storage room puts an extensive bottle collection on display to the living room.
Modern bar stools are positioned inside for tastings.
The staircase is a grand double sided design with scrolling balustrades. Mood lighting builds upon its dramatic presence.
A glass balcony overlooks the treads from the second floor landing.
A KAWS Companion stands on the ledge of a picture window at the turn of the stairs. The sunlit ledge places him in perfect position to be appreciated from the second story glass balcony, or from the crossroads of the landing layout.
Glass pendants scatter light over the luxurious staircase design, and two KAWS bears tucked in below.
An enormous recreation room is home to an incredible chrome tube slide that flows down from the upper floor like liquid mercury. See more inspirational homes with slides.
Boxing glove themed armchairs and a punch bag are arranged around the base of the slide, whilst bespoke shelving units wrap the perimeter of the room. A balloon dog statue adds a gleam of gold to a desk area by the window.
The glove chairs are angled to look toward a huge and meditative fish tank rather than the outside city view.
This modern home office is big business. A masterful desk chair sits in command of the large wood panelled room. Two smaller colleague chairs sit in reverence on the other side of a domineering desk.
A linear suspension light illuminates the desktop. A floor lamp and reading chair sit in the corner of the home office, where dual aspect windows open up all the city has to offer.
Behind walls of sound proof panelling, a deluxe home theatre design awaits in sumptuous fabrics and golden lighting.
Deep lounge chairs and a cosy sofa offer up comfortable seating down in front, whilst five stools and a bar set out a party situation up top.
A superhero theme fills the room with truly cinematic appeal, from printed wall murals to life-sized statues of the heroes themselves.
In the master suite, Kaws bearbrick statues are given their own recessed display nooks on either side of the room.
A rich brown, grey and copper colour scheme builds a warm and intimate atmosphere. Atmospheric LED radiance beams through a textured headboard feature wall.
Sliding doors connect the bedroom to a lavish ensuite.
A designer floor lamp coordinates with the transparent and light reflective quality of the glass wall bathroom. A luxury bathtub is set within the sights of the master bedroom, framed against a lush green view and a white marble floor unfolding beneath.
The halo of an illuminated vanity mirror can be glimpsed from the bedroom doorway, which complements the outline of a cylindrical pedestal sink and a circular shelf niche.
A freestanding copper faucet fills the unique marble sink.
Black bathroom fixtures and sanitaryware coordinate with the showcased black bathtub.
Outside on the terrace, outdoor chaise lounge chair recline under clear skies. Small side tables are just large enough for a couple of cocktails and a book.
Woven floor lamps give out a magical glow under the stars, at the foot of comfy outdoor lounge chairs.
Wood panels fashion a headboard accent wall in this double bedroom design. A stylish Snoopy lamp accessorises the modern bedside table.
As you probably already know, a lot of the Halloween decorations make use of candles. It’s just the classic jack-o’-lanterns that use them but also all those spooky luminaries that you may or may not be familiar with, the creepy candle holders that are nothing without the candles and lots of other things. That’s why today we decided to take a closer look at some DIY Halloween candle projects and see what they’re all about.
18 DIY Candle Holders for Halloween
Creepy candles for Halloween
Making creepy candles for Halloween is actually pretty easy and there’s a bunch of ideas you can try. For example, you can poke some nails into a pillar candle in random spots and then add some red paint to make it seem like there’s blood dripping down. So simple yet so effective…
Bird cage style
A bird cage with a candle inside doesn’t really seem that spooky but wait till you see this one. This is actually a Halloween chandelier made of a black-painted bird cage and decorated with green twigs. For the full effect, display this in a dark area.
Black Halloween candle holders
In case you need some Halloween candle holders in black and you don’t want to have to spray paint your existing one, you can make something custom from scratch. The list of supplies required for the project is quite unusual but it all makes sense in the end.
You can also make these plaster skull candlesticks from scratch if you want to. You need plaster, water, a bowl, a plastic spoon, a skull mold, a candlestick and some string. Optionally you can also choose to paint the skulls or the candlestick as a whole.
Another cool is to turn some simple glass candle holders into spooky cauldrons and jack-o’-lanterns. All you need is round candle holders, paint, stickers, some black string and a hot glue gun. You can actually get pretty creative with this project if you want to.
Speaking of spooky Halloween lanterns, check out how cool these ones are. There’s a bunch of ideas you can try but our favorite is the one made with clear printable labels and vellum paper. It actually looks spooky and not in a cheesy, cliche way.
Another cute idea is to turn pumpkins into candle holders. Use real pumpkins for that beautiful fall aroma. You’ll also need soy candle wax flakes, cinnamon stick candle scent (or your own favorite scent), natural candle wicks, bamboo skewers and glue. You’ll be able to make lovely pumpkin candles in no time.
Similarly, you can also make pumpkin votives which also look adorable. These ones are made out of mini pumpkins and can be spray painted in your favorite color. These blue ones for example are quite stylish and would look great on the mantel or the Thanksgiving table.
Glow in the dark mason jars
In case you have some empty mason jars lying around now would be a perfect time to put them to good use. You can turn them into spooky lanterns for your Halloween decor. If you decide to follow the tutorial provided on thebestideasforkids, you’re going to need the following: acrylic paint, black felt, a hot glue gun, fairy lights and googly eyes.
The frosted Halloween candles featured on refashionablylate are a perfect blend of stylish and spooky. This project is actually very inspiring as you can use this technique to create custom candles for all sorts of occasions, not just Halloween.
Nails and candles
Want to torture some candles this Halloween. That’s easy to do. All you need is some nails and a lighter. Apply heat to the nails and insert them into the candles ones by one. You can also do it with a hammer if you prefer this method. This is basically the first idea we mentioned today but without the blood. Check out mottesblog for more details.
Wine glass candle holder
Did you know you can turn wine glasses into candle holders? All you have to do is place them upside down. For Halloween, you can dress the glasses and turn them into spooky characters. You can make them look like mummies, pumpkins, Frankenstein’s monster and all sorts of other symbols. You can find more ideas on thedecoratedcookie.
The bloody candles featured on birdsparty are super easy to make. You only need white pillar candles, a red taper candle and a lighter. The idea is to melt the red candle and let it drip over the edges of the white candles so the wax looks like blood.
The opposite is also possible. By that we mean you can use a white candle to drip some wax over a different-colored candle and make it stand out a bit. All sorts of different color combinations are possible this way. Include the dripping candles into your Halloween centerpiece. For more details you can check out countryhillcottage.
These hand-shaped candle holders sure look creepy and that’s the whole point of this project shared on bobvila. You can actually make something very similar yourself from scratch. You need reusable rubber gloves, concrete mix and a few basic tools such as a utility knife, tweezers, scissors and a safety pin.
Sometimes it’s not the candles themselves that stand out but the way in which they’re displayed. An interesting idea is to turn bottles into candle holders. You can choose to use simple wine bottles or you can look for some bottles with cool and quirky shapes. Check out elsarblog for more details
Clay candle holder
If you like the idea of making your own concrete candle holders but you don’t want them to look like creepy hands, you can make them look like tiny pumpkins instead. The project is described in detail on oleanderandpalm.
Black lace candle holder
Of course, there’s also the option to decorate some existing candle holders or votives. As shown on thesweetestoccasion, a little bit of black lace is all you need. Use clear glass candle holders or vases for a clean and simple look. If you’re not doing this for Halloween, then other colors might be better suited for your project. You can also choose to add a few more ornaments if you want to.
On the surface, a kitchen island is just surplus countertop space, a place to prep food or drop your keys and mail when you walk in the door. But below that, the massive structure should provide two things: seating and storage. The former is handy on an everyday basis: You can cozy up here with your morning coffee, sit down to do emails in the afternoon, or treat it like a dining table and entertain at night. Incorporating ample drawers, cabinets, and shelves is a no-brainer if you’re working within a tight footprint. These five cleverly designed kitchens show how to squeeze the best of both worlds in your space, no matter the size.
Combine It With a Table
Its shape might be unconventional, but this round island, designed by Antwerp, Belgium–based architect Dries Otten, fits more than you think. For starters there’s a cooktop on the surface, and the main structure has hidden doors all around it for holding cookware. When you want to dine, just pull up a chair to the table, which has been conveniently placed under the countertop edge. Bonus: You don’t have to splurge on a giant slab of stone with this two-in-one solution.
Be Discreet About It
If you don’t want anyone to know that you’re storing things within the island, hide the cabinet doors under the lip of the countertop where the barstools are. Take the secrecy a step further by scrapping shiny hardware and doing cutouts for handles.
Carve Out a Nook for Your Cookbook Collection
Open shelves aren’t just for high places. Leaving one side of your island completely exposed allows you to easily access cookbooks or, if you’re Helene Henderson, freshly picked fruit and vegetables from the garden.
Simplify the Shape
A long, narrow structure like the one in designer Kara Cox’s homecan still offer up the best of both worlds. Steer clear of fancy drawers in a tiny space and just stick with large cupboards and simple stools so there’s still plenty of room for people to walk around.
Tack On a Console Table
Kitchen islands that look like pieces of furniture is one trend Shea McGee doesn’t want to see go away just yet. The Utah-based designer almost always incorporates some sort of end piece on her islands. In a lot of cases, these look like console tables or buffets that have been attached to the end. The addition allows you to achieve a more layered, lived-in look by offering space to display found objects or extra dishware.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love baths and those who can’t stand them. I used to fall into the second category. Maybe it’s because I can never get the temperature quite right or because I have a nasty habit of dropping my phone in the water, but for whatever reason, I never saw the point in filling up a tub with hot water and simply sitting there. That is, until I tried Maude’s Tub Kit.
As a 20-something navigating moving back to New York City in the middle of a pandemic (after returning to my parents’ home for six months and existing in a euphoric haze of my mom’s life-changing lasagna and freshly laundered sheets), I’ve been more stressed than usual. Meditation and journaling both did wonders for my focus and mental clarity, but my body still felt tense; my shoulders were in knots and my face was breaking out. Enter the Tub Kit.
What it is: Two products in one sleek cardboard tube: hydrating and exfoliating bath salts plus anti-inflammatory coconut milk powder. The salt crystals, packed with magnesium, sodium, and potassium, are hand-harvested from the Dead Sea, while the dehydrated milk powder infuses the water with vitamin C.
How it works: You can use the duo separately, but I tossed a handful of both into hot bath water. It took a minute for the powder to dissolve (with some water-swirling on my part), but the salts disappeared instantly.
The lowdown: The first thing I noticed was the scent. In the jar, the milk powder smells faintly like coconut—if I could somehow bottle it and turn it into a perfume, I would—but once dissolved, the fragrance went away. The salts, on the other hand, smell like a mix of amber, lemongrass, dates, and cedar, for immediate spa vibes (which is a hard feeling to create in a tiny Brooklyn apartment). The scent lingered on my body long after I toweled off—even into the next morning.
With the addition of the salts and milk powder, my bath water became almost silky to the touch, making the luxurious experience all the more tangible. I was doing that thing I’d never done in the tub before: relaxing. Suddenly, I got it. If I closed my eyes, I could have been on the beach in the South of France.
The next day my skin felt much more hydrated and nourished. (I have bad eczema, so it’s not easy for it to be anything other than desert-level dry.) All in all, the Tub Kit did more than just allow me to unwind, it allowed me to escape. Consider me convinced, bath fans. I’ll be taking many more in the future.
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Tools. TOOLS. TOOLS! To an expert, craftsman tools are your best friend. You’re probably the type that will delightfully peruse the tools aisle at Lowe’s or Home Depot, searching for just the right tool for what is needed for a new project. You know their names and their histories. They have never failed you, and they will never leave you.
On the other hand, If you have no idea what tool does what job, or what makes a clamp different from a wrench, you might walk down that same tools aisle at Home Depot and be totally lost. If you can relate, this article is for you.
How to Choose The Best Tools
There are a wide range of tools to choose from. From minute to the gigantic tools, the options are endless. You’ll need to read the manual on the furniture you’re building or take accurate measurements of the materials you will be using for your project before taking a trip to the hardware store. We’ll give you the rundown on different types of tools.
These tools are the most common ones out there, they are the ones you’ll need for pretty much any job (construction, home repair, craft-making, etc.) that you might happen upon. Read on, and happy hammering!
20 Types of Tools Every man should have
The hammer is every construction worker’s lifeblood. You’ll see it hanging from their sides, dangling from their tool belts, always at the ready. We’ll begin with the handle. A wooden handle will be cheaper, but a metal handle will be sturdier and last longer. If you’re planning on using your hammer a lot, you may want to opt for a fiberglass handle. For woodworkers who end up pulling a lot of nails out, definitely make sure any hammer you buy has a clawfoot for pulling nails.
One more thing—make sure you give any prospective hammer purchase a couple of pounds before checking out. This is an important tool, maybe the most important, and it should feel like an extension of your arm. It should be a part of you.
Screwdrivers are another object that pretty much everyone will at least be somewhat familiar with. You can plug them into a screw and either twist it into a piece of wood or twist it out. That’s not the end of the story though! Screwdrivers can come in both Phillips heads and flat heads. A Phillips head looks like a cross, while a flat head is a single straight line. You’ll want to have both on your toolbelt, as you’ll encounter both kinds of screws in the course of any repair or construction project.
Pliers are one of those tools that everybody has but few people ever seem to use. But! When you do need pliers, you will really need them. They are invaluable for picking stuff out of tiny holes or for twisting things into inconvenient spaces. Pliers, like screwdrivers, also come in different shapes and sizes. Some pliers will have thin heads for nuzzling into small spaces, whereas other pliers will have big, thick heads for ripping out and twisting big objects. You will want to invest in at least two pliers, a big one and a small one, but anything more than that is probably unnecessary.
Ladders aren’t just for firemen. They are probably the biggest tool on this list, and far from the least important. You will want and need a ladder that is long enough to reach the places you need it to while being sturdy enough for you to feel safe. Ladders used to be made from mostly wood, but wood tends to get loose and wobbly over time, so any ladder purchase you make in the future should be metal, preferably aluminum to keep it as light as possible.
Wrenches are a tool that most people, short of hardcore craftsmen and construction workers, can avoid. However, everybody could benefit from having an adjustable wrench on-hand. Wrenches are for screwing and unscrewing bolts and the like. The thing with wrenches is that bolts vary greatly in size, and you’ll need exactly the right size wrench for each one. A wrench set is a possible solution, while most DIY-ers will opt for a single adjustable wrench that can take care of the majority of the jobs.
Clamps are an absolute necessity for woodworkers and craft people, but optional for the rest of us. Clamps are mostly used for holding together pieces of wood (or other materials) that are being glued together. There are many different kinds of clamps you can purchase. The main thing to look for with clamps is their reach. If you are a woodworker, you’ll need everything from a few inches to a few feet. Clamps can be a slippery slope. They will tend to hang on the wall and get very little use, unless you’re dedicated and always building furniture or working around the house.
Rulers are another absolute necessity! It is impossible to complete (or even start!) any project that involves cutting or sawing without a ruler. Rulers are therefore a standard implement in everyone’s toolkit. Like with many tools, there are a couple of different types of rulers. First you’ll have your standard, 12 inch ruler. Beyond that, you’ll have a yardstick. Another classic item in any construction worker’s tool belt is a tape measure, where the ruler is thick plastic that rolls up together in a small case to conserve space. All three of these are must haves for your projects.
Axes come in all shapes and sizes. There is a wide range to choose from, varying from a small boy’s hatchet to an enormous wood ax for chopping down trees. Like with hammers, the handles for axes vary. They can be wood, metal, plastic, or other artificial fiber. Experiment and choose whichever material best suits you and your needs. Be careful! Axes are one of the most dangerous tools on this list and one wrong swing can end someone up in the hospital.
Handsaws, along with hammers and screwdrivers, are a must have. Though many people would probably rather use power tools, there is no replacing the good old fashioned handsaw. Handsaws can vary in size and weight, so make sure to understand your need before beginning your project.
10. Circular Power Saw
This is maybe the most well-used item in any woodworkers tool cabinet. A circular saw is relatively safe, but should still be used with care! The circular power saw can be used for basically many different types of projects. Circular power saws can be both battery-powered and require cords. Generally, what battery-powered saws boast in mobility they lack in power. So serious woodworkers often have both.
Circular saws are for long, straight cuts. Jigsaws are for everything else. You will need to use a jigsaw to cut holes in wood, or really for any rounded cut. A jigsaw is a perfect item to buy battery powered, as it’s unlikely you’ll need something more than that. Plus, with jigsaws, you’ll have ample mobility.
12. Power Drill
A power drill, like a screwdriver, is an absolute must. There is just no way you’re going to be able to drill in screw after screw like you’ll need to do in any DIY project with a hand drill. Plus, it is nearly impossible to hand drill a hole for a screw in the first place! Get a good, battery-powered drill. You won’t regret it.
A sander is an item that can be viewed as a luxury. Sanders are for taking the edge off wood so that it isn’t scratchy and brings out the beauty of the grain. This is not only an aesthetic issue, as sanded wood will always look better than rough wood. It’s purely a safety issue. Unsanded wood around the house will give you cuts and splinters. You can sand wood by hand, but it will take forever. If you’re doing any big project that involves pieces of wood, you will need a sander, preferably a cordless one.
Of all the outdoor tools, the shovel is the most important. If you’re working outside, chances are you’ll need a shovel eventually. Shovels dig holes, they fill them in, and they transport loose materials from point A to point B. Shovels, like hammers, come in different sizes with many different handle materials. When purchasing, really pay attention to how a shovel feels in your hands. The wrong materials will give you blisters. The right material will allow you to shovel for a project with a long duration.
Augers are the shovel’s cousin. They are basically giant drills that are used to hand drill holes in the ground for fence posts and things of the like. Like a shovel, you will want to get an auger with handles that are comfortable for you to use. If you get an auger with rough handles, it’ll just end up being rough on your hands. You should also invest in some gardening gloves for extra safety precautions.
While the auger is the shovel’s cousin, the mallet is the hammer’s little brother. Mallets are for gently pounding anything that a hammer would damage, such as wooden dowels. Mallets are very simple tools and have a wooden handle and a rubber or steel head. Make sure that you get one that is heavy or light enough to do the job you’re asking it to do. Don’t use a five pound mallet on a piece of wood the size of a toothpick or you’ll be greatly disappointed at the result.
17. Riding Lawn Mower
Some people might not consider a riding lawn mower to be a tool, but it really is! It is an especially important tool for anyone with a large lawn that needs to be mowed, not to mention how serious a job it is to mow something like a soccer or a football field. Make sure that any mower you buy is well-researched and durable. There is nothing worse than spending a bucket load of money on a huge lawn mower that lasts six months and then becomes an unsightly lawn ornament.
18. Push Lawn Mower
While those with big lawns will need a riding lawn mower, most of us will make do with a push mower. Push mowers are all pretty standard, but you will be able to decide between manual and self-propelled. Self-propelled mowers will be easier for you to use, and they are even made battery-operated now! No more need for smelly, expensive gasoline with those.
19. Lawn Trimmer
A necessary piece of equipment for anyone who prides themselves on a pretty lawn is a lawn trimmer. Lawn trimmers take messy, unkempt edges and corners of grass and make them neat, tight, and straight. If you are the type to be concerned with the appearance of your grass, a lawn trimmer is a must have.
20. Tool Belt
No tool inventory would be complete without a good tool belt. A good tool belt is an absolute necessity for anyone who will be taking on serious projects in a workshop, construction site, or around the house. Your tool belt should be customized for the kind of jobs you are looking to get into. If you’re a simple DIY-er, space for a hammer and pliers should be enough. For a construction worker, however, you’ll need loads of space for a hammer, pliers, screwdriver, nails, and everything in between.
How to Care for Your Tools
If you get a lot of use for your tools, you’ll need to inspect your inventory quite thoroughly on occasion. Check for any dull blades on saws or lawnmowers to ensure a safe working experience in addition to a project result that you can be proud of! If your tools are dull, you could have difficulty cutting into materials with ease. Another thing to do for tool maintenance is to clean your tools. Cleaning your tools is a great habit to form so that you don’t have particles building up. Dirty tools could increase the risk of your tools rusting or tarnishing.
Some tools are manual like screwdrivers, shovels, and axes, while others are powered by gasoline or batteries like lawnmowers and power drills. Make sure to create your list of tools you’ll need before starting your project. Whether mowing your lawn or building a house, we hope our list has helped you decide on the most essential tools to use!
When Amy Kehoe and Todd Nickey moved to sunny Los Angeles from New York City in 2003, one thing immediately struck them. “There’s this ethereal quality to the light here,” says Kehoe, who cofounded the design studio and shop Nickey Kehoe with Nickey, her longtime friend, 20 years ago. In fact, those rays inform almost everything they do.
“How they enter each home is unique, and we often take cues from that,” says Nickey. “Some of the houses we work on have hilltop views, whereas others may be more nestled into a canyon.” Two decades after their first meeting at a Manhattan dinner party, the prolific duo is releasing their first book, aptly titled Golden Light, and it reveals even more of their best trade secrets.
Let the Surroundings Dictate Your Palette
The trick to getting the right palette: samples (and lots of them). “I think we’ve made just a few contractors roll their eyes with our process,” says Kehoe. The same shade can look totally different in each room, so test multiple hues in multiple places—and make friends with your painter.
Salvage What You Can
The duo has a knack for retaining an older home’s original qualities, and in some instances that means resisting the urge to gut the entire kitchen. “Sometimes we just need to update the cabinet paint and install new hardware and lighting,” says Nickey. The same goes for floors: When possible, they prefer restaining or painting hardwood rather than replacing it. But when that’s not an option, the pair isn’t afraid to go bold with a blue-and-yellow checkered painted pattern.
Contrary to many homeowners, they also embrace quirks, like 1930s mint and burgundy ceramic bathroom tile, and decorate around it. “The right amount of whimsy and timelessness is key,” says Nickey.
Pick Materials That Have Been Around Forever
For finishes that will stand the test of time, the pair turns to classics: Carrara marble; aged brass; and wallpapers from William Morris, Sandberg, and Howe. After all, what hasn’t gone out of style for decades is less likely to do so in the near future. “Waterworks also has an extensive mosaic tile selection that we are currently loving,” says Kehoe. “The colors are rich and feel very cool-Italian.”
Don’t Design Around Age
In kids’ rooms, Nickey and Kehoe like to turn to architectural features, such as a Swiss Alps–esque bookcase border, to bring in subtle but playful details. “European interiors are a big source of inspiration, where this kind of characteristic prevails,” says Nickey. The approach also ensures that the rooms have continuity with the rest of the house. “Perhaps the whimsy is taken up a notch, but we are always thinking about the fact that children don’t stay young for long, and pretty soon they are teenagers,” he adds. Paint and bedding can change without a huge hit to the budget—hardwired lighting and built-in furniture, not so much.
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Norway has lots of big mountains and rugged landscapes which makes it a perfect place to search for beautiful and inspiring cabin designs. There’s a lot of inspiration to be found out here so we’re put together a list of our top ten Norway cabins chosen based on design, surroundings and overall appeal. Each is different and unique but they all share in common a modern design approach and a respect for nature and its magnificent beauty.
The Diamanten Cabin by A38 Arkitekter
This a cabin situated at the center of Norway, in the beautiful mountains above Oppdal. Its name translated as The Diamong Cabin which is a reference to its angular and unusual geometry. It was designed by studio A38 Arkitekter and completed in 2019 and it’s a small structure with a total surface of 45 square meters.
Upon looking at it you can immediately tell this is not your average traditional cabin. It looks like a gem and it contrasts with the more mainstream structures around it. At the same time, it’s designed to take advantage of its location and to have minimal impact on the land.
The Manshausen 2.0 Island Resort by Stinessen Arkitektur
This modern cabin was designed in 2018 by studio Stinessen Arkitektur and serves as an extension of the existing Manshausen Island Resort. It’s situated in the Steigen Archipelago between the mountains and the sea which gives it amazing views.
The expansion project includes a series of cabins just like this one and also a sauna which was constructed using leftover materials. The cabins extend over the water and had to be designed and positioned in relation to the climate and the fluctuating sea level. For the exterior a durable frame made of aluminum was chosen due to the exposure to salt water. This gives them a modern and slightly industrial appearance which is toned down by the glass and the overall geometry.
The Efjord Retreat Cabin by Stinessen Arkitektur
The talented studio Stinessen Arkitektur also designed this magnificent cabin back in 2017. It’s situated in Halvarøy island and has gorgeous views on all sides.
The team was asked to create an inviting retreat that would be able to offer total privacy but also take advantage of the panoramic views and the stunning landscape that surrounds it. That inspired the architects to create two slightly offset volumes with contrasting designs and functions using glass and pinewood for the exterior.
The Hooded Cabin by Arkitektværelset As
The design of this cabin is an interesting one for multiple reasons. It looks intriguing and unusual and it has a very sheltered structure as suggested by the name as well. It’s also a design created in response to multiple strict building regulations in this particular region of Norway.
Cabin out here are required to have sectioned windows, standing wood paneling, triple bargeboards and 22 to 27 degree cabled roofs. Although this adds a lot of limitations to the design, it also allowed the team at Arkitektværelset As to put a creative spin on the design and to come up with this unique structure.
The PAN-cabins by sivilarkitet espen surnevik as
This is a set of cabins situated in the beautiful Finnskogen forest area in Eastern Norway. They were designed by studio sivilarkitet espen surnevik as and they can be rented individually. The idea behind their unusual design was to create architecture that connects to the land in a unique way.
The most noticeable thing about them is the fact they’re lifted 8 meters up over the ground and they’re supported by slender metal frames. The actual cabins themselves have triangular, tent-like shapes and include a main floor with a kitchen and a living area as well as a bathroom plus a mezzanine with a sleeping area.
The Østfold Cabin by Lund+Slaatto Architects
The design of this cabin is interesting and unusual in its own unique way. The shape of the roof is rather peculiar, as it extends down at the back and connects to floor structure, thus giving the cabin a very sheltered look from this perspective. This is not a big structure.
It measures 60 square meters in total and was constructed in 2013 by studio Lund+Slaatto Architects. It occupies a beautiful site in the Oslofjord archipelago, with magnificent coastal views and lots of trees dotted around. There are two volumes that make up this cabin, a main section and a smaller annex. They’re connected by a terrace which helps to reinforce the strong relationship between the cabin and its natural surroundings.
The Stokkøya Cabin by Kappland Arkitekter
From a distance, it looks like a shadow, a glitch in the texture of the hill. As you get closer the shape of a modern cabin starts to form. It sits on Stokkøya island on a beautiful and lush hillside that overlooks the open sea. The low vegetation gives it a clean and unobstructed view and also allows it to stand out more.
The cabin follows the steep slope and that indirectly structures it on multiple levels. Inside, one gets to actually ascend the slope in order to reach the areas at the top. That’s a very interesting and effective way of establishing a strong bond between the cabin and the land that it sits on. This was a project completed by Kappland Arkitekter in 2018.
The Lille Arøya Cabin by Lund Hagem
This cabin is situated on a small island which can only be reached by boat. It has beautiful topography with large height differences, exposed rocks and coastal views. Building a cabin here was challenging. In fact, as you can see, this structure sits on the edge, on a small and low rocky area close to the water.
It’s attached to the island with a structure of stilts and it attaches to an existing house. It has two main volumes, one which contains two bedrooms and another which houses the living and dining areas as well as the kitchen. This is a case when the cabin enhances the site on which it stands which in this case was only gathering debris and served no useful purpose. This was a project by architecture studio Lund Hagem completed in 2014.
A small house by Atelier Oslo
The South coast of Norway is characterized by a smooth topography with curved rocks that gradually descend towards the water. Here Atelier Oslo built a beautiful little house for two artists, a place where they can work, be inspired and admire the beauty that surrounds them. It sits on a small hill and it becomes embedded into the landscape.
The concrete floors are set on different levels which follow the outline of the hillside and this creates a wonderful feeling of immersion. The rocks become a part of the interior design and the house becomes a part of the landscape. This special relationship is reinforced in multiple levels.
A lot of beautiful sites such as this one are secluded. During winter this cabin can only be reached via snowmobile or ski. It occupies a beautiful piece of land that overlooks the valley of Geilo and has to withstand harsh temperatures and heavy snowfall.
As a result, the architects at studio Lund Hagem had to adapt its design to these specific requirements. They created a 150 square meter cabin composed of three main sections: a main area, a guest house and a carport.
It occupies the lowest area on the site and almost disappears underneath the snow in winter. The exterior is made of concrete and dark stained timber which references the traditional houses found in this region. The design however is a modern one.
Emma Grant doesn’t like to rush her decorating process. Her apartment in London’s Primrose Hill is seven years in the making and it’s still in progress. “For the first few months, there was really only the dining table in the living room,” she remembers. It wasn’t just any old hand-me-down, though, but rather a 19th-century wavy marble bistro table from Lyon Grant found in a local antique store. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” she adds. “It’s typically where we spend a lot of time with friends.”
The thrill of hunting down unique pieces is what drew the interior designer to leave a career in fashion to open her own interior firm earlier this year. And the home she shares with her fiance, Jack, has been her experiment lab. She filled it over the years with her latest treasures: bathroom shelves made with fragments of A Verde marble fragments plucked from Tate Britain, an antique Suzani blanket (which inspired her bedroom palette), a pair of gold sconces scored at auction.
Grant didn’t have to do much reno-wise before moving in. The two-bedroom, part of an 1870s row house on a rainbow-hued street, already had a lot going for it: It was on the first floor (which the designer says guarantees higher ceilings) and the front terrace (her must-have for fresh air) looks over Primrose Hill towards the London Zoo. “You get this unusual London view of just trees and green which is really special,” says Grant. “The living space is south-facing so it’s extremely uplifting and bright throughout the day.”
Still, Grant put her stamp on the place early on: re-staining the oak floors and commissioning a ceiling rose to match the vine cornicing in the dining room. Instead of the liberally-painted blue and turquoise walls the previous owners had left behind, she put together a palette that goes from light to dark as you move north to the back of the apartment. “You come in through a very narrow hallway so you don’t really expect what’s beyond,” she explains.
The corridor, a neutral bridge between the two universes, is painted in Eau De Nile by Edward Bulmer. “His colors are made with natural pigments so they’re beautiful but also eco-friendly,” says Grant. In the main bedroom at the back, she chose a pale blue—a nod to the previous owners’ color scheme—and created contrast by adding pops of cherry red throughout.
Back at the front of the house by the living area, Grant brightened up the kitchen by salvaging the cabinets and gave them a new lease on life. She swapped the bulky uppers for reclaimed wood veneer shelving and cut the imposing black backsplash down to a thin border. “I have lots of glassware and ceramics that I felt didn’t need to be hidden away,” she says. The lower cupboards got a coat of Schoolhouse White paint by Farrow & Ball with vintage brass hardware while underfoot, wavy tile inspired by a trip the couple took to Sierra Leone covers the floors.
That isn’t the only nod to West Africa in the apartment: “Jack has been traveling to Sierra Leone for some time for work,” says Grant. “I visited him in Freetown and came across the living room’s raffia-skirted chairs in a gallery. I was dead set on getting them home with me.” Logistically, though, it was too complicated, so the designer left them behind. Fast forward six months later, when her fiance came home: he had the seats in tow.
“You come in through a very narrow hallway so you don’t really expect what’s beyond.“
Grant’s magpie tendencies even extend to the living room’s chair rails, where she leans seashells collected from her trips to the sea. “I’d kept them in a large glass jar for a long time. Now they’re just propped up here and I think they’re rather jolly,” says the designer. The rest of the white space is layered with vintage mirrors found in antique stores, terra cotta vases gifted by friends, and an eye-catching ruby red velvet sofa. “It was originally from Harrods but I bought it secondhand,” says Grant. “I really liked the big bullion fringe.” The extra-deep seat didn’t fit through the narrow staircase, so instead, the couple had it hoisted up through the French doors on a ladder-like contraption with a few guys and some rope.
Last year, Grant undertook her latest project: a remodel of the two bathrooms, one which she outfitted with a wavy sink crafted from a single block of marble (a splurge) and the other in which she installed a blue-bordered sink she scored from someone else’s bathroom reno for £20. She did have to sacrifice valuable wardrobe space for a shower, but the extra-roomy stall was worth it.
A few months ago, Grant welcomed her most recent addition: a 19th-century shaker style four-poster bed for the second bedroom. “It’s so satisfying to be able to bring a room together with pieces from all over and to create something that’s different and a joy to add to over time.”
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The waterfall countertop trend is really strong right now so it’s about time we talked about it in more detail. A waterfall countertop is easily recognizable by the fact that it drops vertically down the sides instead of stopping abruptly at the edge of a cabinet or island.
By doing that it creates a continuous flow and links the floor to the cabinetry in a fluid and natural manner. The impact that a waterfall countertop has on a kitchen (or a bathroom) can be observed on multiple levels.
Waterfall countertops have a sleek and minimal look which makes them a particularly good option for contemporary interiors. Their strong and clean lines would look out of place in a traditional or farmhouse kitchen but they’d fit nicely in a modern or contemporary bath.
Double kitchen island with wood waterfall countertop
The role of a waterfall countertop is not only to establish visual continuity between the floor and the worktop but also to hide appliances, to protect the cabinetry and be eye-catching and dramatic from a visual point of view.
Kitchen island with open shelves
Also, the waterfall design allows you to show off the material of which the countertop is made and to basically elevate an ordinary island or cabinet to a whole new level, turning it into a piece of fancy and sophisticated furniture. It’s such a simple feature that makes such a big difference overall.
Considering this dramatic impact that waterfall countertops have on the interior design, the material usually chosen for them is one that makes a statement. That usually means some sort of natural stone. Marble, granite and quartz are all great options and lately concrete and wood started to stand out as well. The last two offer an extra advantage: they’re DIY friendly and considerably cheaper than the others.
Marble waterfall with leather cabinet doors
A waterfall countertop is an important focal point for the entire space it’s in, be it a kitchen or a bathroom. It’s a centerpiece which puts on display the beauty and uniqueness of the material it’s made of but which can also put an emphasis on texture or color.
Modern kitchen with different accents
It’s usually the fluidity of the counter which impresses the most, the fact that it drops down like a waterfall and that it goes all the way down to the floor. The verticality of the surface is an unusual detail and the transition from horizontal to vertical has to be as smooth and as fluid as possible in order for the waterfall effect to truly be successful and worthy of attention.
Marble waterfall countertop and built-in appliances
You can witness the minimalism and beauty of the waterfall countertop in this remodeled kitchen which has a chic island with wooden storage spaces and built-in appliances and which is wrapped in a crisp white counter which drops down both sides.
Live edge wood
A waterfall countertop doesn’t always drop all the way down to the floor. This one, for instance is made of wood and ends with an asymmetric cut that showcases the live edge of the panel.found on dwell.
Island with seating – for large families
In addition to the aesthetic advantages of a waterfall counter, there are also practical details to take into consideration. The most important one of all is the fact that waterfall counters are easier to clean in comparison with the regular kind.
Small kitchen island
If you’re planning on having a countertop made out of a material which you love the waterfall design allows you to put an emphasis on it and to make the material stand out more. Of course, that means a considerably higher price.
Extension of the island and waterfall wood countertop
The waterfall design can also be adapted to suit kitchen islands which have a raised bar extension or which feature two different heights or materials. This is how such a design could look like if you were to have an island which blends marble and wood and which has a built-in bar.
Dark marble countertop
When working with marble, the tricky part is to perfectly line up the pattern when creating a waterfall counter. The veining has to line up if you want to put an emphasis on the fluidity and the continuity of the design.found on timberworx.
Over the kitchen island hood
Making it look like the counter molds onto the island as if it’s fluid is not easy. It takes a professional to get it right, especially when working with materials like marble or natural stone in general.
Natural wood kitchen island countertop
Wood is a more forgiving material, one that’s more accessible to DIYers compared to stone. Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone can make a waterfall countertop, even if wood is the material of choice. In fact, creating a fluid a continuous design can be pretty tricky even if you’re working with a single huge wood slice.
Reclaimed wood makes things a bit easier. Imperfections are viewed as quirky features which add character to the counter and make it look special and unique. Similarly, certain types of wood and certain finishes are easier to work with from this particular point of view.found on antoniomartins.
Stainless steel kitchen countertop
Stainless steel is also an option. It’s a great counter material because of its antibacterial properties and the fact that it’s easy to care for and to clean. A waterfall design puts an emphasis on the polished and shiny nature of the counter.
Kitchen layout with ceiling windows
The thickness of a waterfall countertop can vary a lot. This one, for example, is quite thin and that gives it a sleek and lightweight appearance as opposed to a think counter which looks very solid and heavy.
Concrete countertops are DIY-friendly, just like those made of wood. In fact, concrete may even be easier to work with than wood in this context. It’s also a great counter material with lots of great advantages to take into consideration.
Minimalist kitchen design
A waterfall design is a perfect choice if you’re planning to have a kitchen island which can double as a bar of breakfast table. The counter can be like a shell which extends beyond the width of the cabinet, almost as if it’s an independent feature.
Luxury kitchen layout
Marble is sophisticated, elegant and classy so what better way to put the spotlight on it than with a waterfall island counter? Since the material is the focal point, the design of the island can be minimalist and focused on practicality.