My absolute hands down favorite flooring choice for a home is real wood, even more than engineered hardwood. I love the look and feel of real wood in a home, in family rooms, bedrooms, anywhere. Real wood has the warmest look and a softness underfoot that tile and vinyl can’t really compete with.
But today I’m sharing my tale of woe regarding my hardwood floors, specifically in my kitchen. My kitchen addition was eleven years ago and I at the time I chose more traditional style cabinetry. If I was doing it again now I’d go with a different cabinet style like Shaker and quartz countertops not marble but that’s not the point. The focus today is on the hardwood flooring, more specifically, it’s impracticality in kitchens.
Because I’m a lover of consistent flooring throughout downstairs community spaces, when we added this kitchen to the house eleven years ago I opted to continue the hardwood into the space for seamless flow. The truth is that over time we experienced water damage in this space on several occasions, first where that French door access has to the courtyard, next under the sink and dishwasher, and this month, under the icemaker.
I’m not alone in this experience, my parents chose hardwood for their new build fifteen years ago and when their icemaker leaked a huge section of the flooring had to be replaced at great expense. I’ve heard other stories of water damage from friends and clients too because hardwood flooring’s greatest foe is water.
Ever since I refinished my hardwood floors in a dark stain a year and a half ago I’ve been anxious about any water that spills on it, whether it’s from the dishwasher or the pet bowl or any moisture spill at all. Aaaaaand just last month, the icemaker started leaking and now look what’s happened to my beautiful floors… they’re buckling from moisture and I will need to have these boards replaced. This wood runs under under the cabinetry which means the cabinets and countertop next to the fridge have to be removed to adequately repair the floors. UGH.
I have a client with a full house renovation right now and she also wanted hardwood in her home and for it to flow into the kitchen. When she asked what I thought I said to her “hell no!” Hardwood is great for foyers and living rooms and bedrooms and home offices or in any space where there’s little danger of water damage. However, hardwood is a terrible choice for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements and if you install it in those spaces, you’re asking for trouble.
Thankfully in these modern times we have really good alternatives that look just like wood!
So the two best and most practical choices for kitchen flooring are tile and waterproof luxury vinyl, and if you love the look of wood these days you can get it in those materials. (There is also the option of polished or honed cement flooring for those who like the modern or industrial look.)
But never ever ever again would I install hardwood floors in a kitchen. If you disagree tell me why! Do you have hardwood floors in your kitchen? Have you experienced water damage or have you been able to maintain them over time?
I’ve had dozens of emails asking me about this kitchen remodel from last year, specifically regarding the cabinet color and my answer has always been, “It’s the manufacturer’s color: Oat by Thomasville.” But the follow up question I get is, “OK, well do you know a paint color match?”
Now I do!
Some might call this color greige, some may call it mushroom, some may even think it’s khaki but I have always called it taupe, a color that’s the perfect balance between tan and gray, and a desirable neutral. On cabinets it looks amazing paired with matte brass hardware.
So I visited all my local paint suppliers, grabbed about a hundred taupe-ish swatches, then grabbed the cabinet sample and compared them all. (This image was taken under the florescent lights at Home Depot. Note I brought them all into the natural light outside for a true comparison resulting in odd looks from passersby wondering what the hell I was doing.) 🙂
The colors in natural light that are closest match to my Oat cabinets are 1) Sherwin Williams ‘Shitake’, 2) Benjamin Moore Affinity ‘Pashmina’, 3) Benjamin Moore ‘Stone Hearth’, and 4) HG Sherwin Williams ‘Loggia’.
Finding a great taupe is a tricky but not impossible. You don’t want green or yellow or lavender undertones. I narrowed down a great collection of taupe colors for you to choose from!
If you’re looking for a pure taupe, consider these fifteen paint colors:
In addition to cabinets, taupe is a really great color for a home’s exterior!
I’m considering doing this paint swatch color matching as a series, is there any color you’re looking for that I can help with? A perfect slate blue perhaps?
I’m thinking of that hue for a bedroom so it may be next…
As soon as we saw this totally on-trend tropical Marks and Spencer bedding we just KNEW it would be a hit! We just couldn’t have predicted how much of a hit, and how quickly it would catch on.
The lush new bedding design only went online and in stores 2 days ago and already it’s selling out. Thanks to being featured on the M&S Instagram page the bedding has generated 12,700 likes and 416 comments and counting!
The 2019 edition of the world’s premier event for furnishings and home decor trends — Salone del Mobile — gave the world a good look at the latest trends in furniture and lighting. This year’s focus area was Euroluce, highlighting new and exciting lighting designs and Workplace3.0, which presented the latest design innovations for the office. An enormous cadre of 2,418 exhibitors presented their designs to more than 386,236 visitors from 181 countries, up 12 percent over 2017, the last time Euroluce was the featured segment.
Here are some of the awesome designs highlights from Salone del Mobile that Homedit wants to make sure you see!
Table from Innovative Material
The elegance of the Elica table by Zanotta belies the advanced technology that was required to create it. The base is made from Cristalplant®, which is a polyester-resin composite material that incorporates lots of minerals. The new material allows designers to create sinuous shapes that have sculptural strength. The solid colored base is topped by an acidated crystal top painted in Sahara Noir and topped with a stain-resistant clear matt polyester protective varnish. Elica is a very artful contemporary dining table, which draws attention thanks to its elegantly twisted base.
Modern Writing Desk
A sleek glass-topped desk, also from Zanotti, features a modern off-set compartment. The asymmetrical design is just as functional as a traditional desk with a center drawer, but it has a great deal more flair. At the other end, the plate glass top of the Cavour writing desk is supported by a column of modern drawers. Available in a natural tone or in this black vanished oak frame, the desk is almost like pared-back frame, exposing the inner structure of a piece, whose artistry exceeds that of any enclosed desk design. The bonus of this modern desk is that it includes storage, which many types do not.
A Favorite, Remixed
A little like a musical remix, designer Jean Marie Massaud has revamped MDF Italia’s favorite chair on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. The Flow Filo features a metal silhouette that is crafted from steel, in either a nickel or black chrome finish. The base features a single sled, completing the versatile piece that is both classic and contemporary at the same time. Although it is designed without a pad, an optional leather cushion for the seat as well as the chair back is available. Even better, the wire-like structure of the Flow Filo is a great outdoor design so it makes sense that it is also available with an epoxy powder coating, making it suitable for outdoor use too.
Decorative Wall Shelving
Even the most compact spaces can take be transformed by decorative wall shelving like this from Pacini & Cappellini. Shelves of varied lengths rendered in a variety of wood veneers are anchored on artfully arranged modular strips of titanium painted metal. Designed by architect Norberto Delfinetti, the shelving unit is ideal for an entryway because custom additions can include mirrors and clothes hooks in addition to the shelves.
Sculptural Bar Cabinet
It’s a piece that can significantly upgrade a room: The Meridiano Bar Cabinet from Ginger and Jagger is equal parts art and function because of the offset shape, meticulously arranged wood grain marquetry and stylishly placed brass handles. Intended to play on the concepts of polarities in nature, the cabinet has a substantial and magnetic vibe. Both the interior and exterior of the bar cabinet shown here are made from American Walnut veneer along with interior components that are lacquered, however other wood finishes are also available. A standout bar cabinet is a grand option compared to a simple bar cart and can be a viable alternative to the average credenza that is often purposed as a bar.
Uber Elegant Coffee Table
Ginger and Jagger also presented their Lily Coffee Table, which channels the floating elegance of the namesake water plant. Set atop a base created from fig tree branches cast in brass, the coffee table has a number of layered tops surfaces, each made with masterful marquetry that lends each one the look of a petal. The version shown here is done in American Walnut veneer, but it is also available in Ebony, Amara Ebony or Olive Ash wood veneer. The stunning multi-part piece bridges the gap between the traditional coffee table and the current trend of using multiple smaller tables.
A Whole New Room
Wewood of Portugal presented an entire living room equipped with everything necessary to create a new, stylish environment that embraces quality and elegance at the same time. The dominant piece in the room is the Bowie sofa, which has a slim but substantial profile. The long design of the gorgeous sofa provides ample seating and its use of memory foam will preserve the deep and well-padded seat cushions. Behind the velvet-upholstered sofa is the Float Bookshelf, which uses a light frame design on which the smoked glass shelves seem to float. The design is also ideal for delineating the living room space, as it does here. Last but certainly not least, the Luna Mirrors on the wall provide a stunning wall decor element while reflecting back the vibrant color of the sofa.
A Chair of Your Own
Dooq’s Egoísta Chair is literally named for the design that envelops and ensconces a single person in his or her own seating environment. Translated from the Portuguese as “selfish” the name of this chair really does fit its profile, which rises above the head and shoulder of the person sitting in it. A modern twist on the concept of wings on the chair encloses the seating space, here done in a light-colored rattan. The chair’s design was said to be inspired by the narrow streets of Naples and is intended to feel like a throne. The solid wood frame of this modern armchair is available in Natural Walnut, Australia, Natural Oak, Beech Camel, and Beech Chocolat and the seat can be upholstered in a textile or leather.
Both on its own and in conjunction with new furniture pieces, Natevo’s new offerings for 2019 include lighting that changes the way it is used in a room. Starting with the Ashaa Lamp, designed by Stefana Bigi, the fixture makes a big statement, whether used alone or in multiples. Standing tall, this modernfloor lamp features eight slim slats of curved wood that enclose a clear crystal ball as they soar upward. LED strips inside the slats and in the metal top play off of the glass globe to create a magical lighting environment. The Ashaa is perfect for highlighting an entryway or for adding some mood lighting to a living space.
In the same way, Natevo’s Babele Bookcase uses light in an unexpected way. While underlighting is nothing new for shelving and bookcases, this design by Matteo Nunziati places the light at the center of the round bookcase, allowing the glow to spill out of the middle. The tall metal bookcase (it swivels!) has dividers set at a variety of widths which means that whatever is displayed in each section is highlighted by the central lighting element. Besides being a modern and distinctive piece, the Babele is an ideal solution for a space that doesn’t much room for shelving on the walls because this can be placed anywhere.
Sometimes, no matter how spacious a home is, a room needs to do double duty as far as function is concerned. For these occasions, there’s nothing more amazing for saving space than a room system from Clei. The company is known for its transformable furniture that quickly and easily changes a space from a living area to a bedroom set-up. This particular example shows how the sofa, complete with a full cushion seat and one lounge element can be converted into a double bed with a real mattress and bedframe. It’s a much more modern and useful take on the old Murphy bed concept.
Wittman’s Vuelta Lounge Sofa is just that — part sofa and part chaise longue. Designed by the well-known Jamie Hayon, this piece of furniture will make anyone stop to say “ooh” and “ahh.” Wide tufts combined with the generous and sinuous shape and a deep, rich color create a sofa that is like a siren song to come and sink in. The chaise section of the sofa can be incorporated at either the left or the right end and is perfect for solo lounging or for cozying up with family or friends for a great conversation.
A Showcase Bedroom
While the bedroom is a private space, the stunning Margareth bed from Misura Emme might drive you to show it off to friends and family. The modern and elegant design by Massimo Molteni combines an upholstered headboard and waif-thin platform base of solid wood, capped off with slim and seductive legs. Unlike the standard platform bed, the Margareth has a much lighter and ethereal look because it sits up off of the ground. Here, the bed is used in a gray color palette that creates a luxurious and serene but sophisticated bedroom.
Next, to the bed, the Milvian nightstand by Francesco Lucchese is a sophisticated fusion of materials and styles. Framed on the sides, the glass-topped stand is open in the front and the back, which adds to the versatility, as does the drawer, which appears to be a fixed section. It is part of a set that includes complementary pieces such as a dresser.
More than a Bench
Yes, it is a chaise longue, but the Aplomb from Ivano Redaelli is far more functional. The relaxed, casual look is achieved through the updated design that combines a textile surface and a sleek wooden frame in a piece that could pass for a modern spin on a bench. Ideal for a bedroom or dressing area, the high-end design is very attractive but not overwhelming thanks to its gracious profile. Used in place of a bench, it is more comfortable for extended periods of sitting or lounging.
Book lovers will rejoice over the BEAT modular bookcase from 4 Mariani designed by Umberto Asnago. Much, much different from the standard bookcase because of its unusually shaped units, the BEAT has a totally different look. More eclectic than the typical regimental outline, this design breaks all the rules of symmetry and adds a fun factor to space. Definitely meant for those who embrace being different, this bookcase will bring added interest to a contemporary space. The veneer finishes include bleached oak, oak dyed dark grey or oak dyed in dark brown and the back if the bookcase is covered in saddle leather as are the containers. are in saddle leather. In front of the shelving, the Giotto coffee table is actually composed of three oval sections set at varying heights. The tops are crafted from marble that has a half-toroid edge and the base is lacquered plywood.
Dark, Sculptural Coffee Table
Almost more of a sculpture than just a coffee table, the Tama from Walter Knoll is a two-tiered design that floats one expanse of marble over another. As a counterpoint, the rounded forms that serve as the base of the table are equally sculptural and are not a feature to be overlooked. Among coffee table designs. this is a unique look that still fits in with the current trend of using more than one table at the center in front of the sofa. The black marble is also super sophisticated, and adding a bit of a darker, moderating effect with a black coffee table is a good way to counteract softer colors like the mauve and muted pink accents.
Coffee Table Substitute
Not every room has the space for a large coffee table and, even if it does, it might not be handy enough. Instead, consider a small side table that can substitute for a coffee table, such as the Jok from Porada. It is a modest, round piece that features a pole support and round base, allowing it to be tucked tightly up against a chair or sofa, putting the table surface right next to the seated person. This little table is available with a pole of solid canaletta walnut, metal base and top crafted from wood, in glass or stone. This style of table could also work as a modern nightstand, especially in a bedroom where the look of heftier design would be unappealing.
Clear Dining Table
Hugely versatile because it’s clear, the Sir Gio by Philippe Starck for Kartell is another modern design using polycarbonate. The base is crafted in an innovative way, molded to a strength that can support a large glass top. For a little extra flair, the base can be done in a smoked version and the top can be produced in bronze, dusty pink, fumé, green or yellow. Even more, the base and top can be mixed and matched to create a distinctive table that fits the individual style.
Vitro showed some fabulous, colorful versions of iconic designs that will liven up a room. This large blue table is the Trapèze, originally designed by Jean Prouvé for the Cité Universitaire in Antony near Paris. Sheetmetal legs have a trapezoidal shape that inspired the table’s name. To go with it, the midcentury classic Plastic Chair by Charles and Ray Eames has a light silhouette thanks to its metal “Eiffel Tower” base and colorful molded seat. Or, for more drama, another option is the Heart Cone Chair by Verner Panton from 1958. Here, it’s shown in a vibrant fuschia color.
As the mid-century movement started to morph, Warren Platner created this Armchair for Knoll in 1966. His aim was to show the “decorative, gentle, graceful” shapes that becoming part of the modern furniture scene. His Arm Chair, shown here with a regal burgundy upholstered seat, is ideal for a dining chair or an occasional chair. The welded, curved steel rods are attached to circular and semi-circular frames, and each section is part and parcel of the artful whole.
A Chair with Legendary Style
The Barcelona chair, designed by the legendary Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929 has not gone out of style and likely never will. Knoll says that it is “one of the most recognized objects of the last century, and an icon of the modern movement.” As such, this design has the simple elegance that gives it limitless appeal. There is not a space in the world where this chair could not fit.
Poltrona Frau’s capitonné leather armchair design is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a remastered design of new dimensions and new proportions. The chair has endured for reasons of its design, superior look and quality, as well as because the chair and ottoman concept is forever popular. In collaboration with Roberto Lazzeroni, the design was modernized to be of proportions that fit the modern concept of comfort. Lazzeroni preserved the features that made it famous but redesigned various components to make it more comfortable. The supporting structure is made from solid seasoned beech and the seat cushion is filled with goose down and a stabilizing insert of polyurethane foam, among other internal improvements. The chair also comes with an optional rotating oval plate where you can place an electronic device, a book or other small personal item.
Another great bar cabinet design comes from Ceccotti Collezioni. The NeverFull features an exterior made of solid American walnut and veneered plywood, that has doors and sides covered with solid walnut strips. The pale maple interior contrasts elegantly with the darker wood highlights. The cabinet has six or eight shelves and the various components, such as drawers and glass racks, can be customized to suit any needs. The growing trend of bar units is a stylish one that secrets all the necessities of a cocktail party behind beautiful closed doors.
Adjustable Modern Ceiling Light
Also from Ceccotti Collezioni, this Folk ceiling light fixture displays the versatility that people are looking for today. The modern suspended fixture can be adjusted to direct light upward or downwards, depending on the type of lighting desired. This is unlike most pendant lights, which cast light only downward. By contrast chandeliers usually direct light upward. This modern fixture, crafted from solid American walnut, offers the best of both functions.
With increasing interest in sustainability, Nature Design’s bookshelves are part of the company’s collection made from old timbers. The size and look of each shelf vary because no two pieces of old wood are the same. The rustic, unfinished material takes on a more modern look with the addition of metal supports. Even at one end thanks to the metal support, the open end is left uncapped, allowing the irregular ends of the wood to be a design feature, which is a great shelving idea. This type of open shelf is also very suitable for use as a room divider not just because it forms an interesting barrier, but it allows the feature of the shelf to be more visible.
Mixed Material Style
Another bookcase that would work as a room divider is the Tripodio by Mario Mazzer for Bonaldo. the sturdy wooden shelves are linked with innovative metal supports at each end that also add a decorative element. Unlike the typical shelf support, these three-legged elements are inverted, adding a little something unexpected. The shelves themselves are available in different finishes and lacquers, and the metal also has finish options.
Fantasy Inspired Chair
Arketipo’s Overdrive Chair is the stuff of dreams. Inspired by fantasy movies, the tall, throne-like armchair is unlike any other thanks to its oversized dimensions. The basic lower part of the chair is topped off by a winged flourish that is upholstered in a complementary material. The metal base allows the chair to swivel and adds to the fantasy feeling.
Casual, Customizable Sofa
Night Fever by Giuseppe Viganó for Arketipo is all about comfort. The low, cushion-centered sofa design is meant to be an escape for the body and the mind. It’s a highly moldable form that lets each person snuggle in and find a favorite sport and position. It’s also a playful and interactive design because the cushions can be arranged any which way, especially those that form the backrest. Night Fever is a popular and modern sofa design that is, above all, casual and comfortable.
Stylish Console Table
A smart and stylish console table goes a long way in upgrading a space. The Terminal Keramik Premium designed by Paolo Cattelan for Cattelan Italia fits the bill, with its modern x-shaped titanium base and long, shaped top. The back side of the console is flat, allowing it to sit flush against — and anchored to — the wall. This type of console table adds a good deal of flair to a room, but is not overwhelming and goes well with accessories and a modern mirror.
Adding extra functionality to a side table is never a bad thing and this Magazine Table from Calligaris is a great design. The frame of the table is made from tubular metal and sports a wood or ceramic top. Underneath the top, a luxurious leather sling serves as a magazine pocket. The modern style, including the oval top, is sophisticated, on-trend and super functional. It’s more than just a magazine rack and could be used in any room of the house.
Colorful Kids’ Beds
The latest designs on show at Salone del Mobile included great ideas for teenagers too. Nidi showed a variety of single beds in both regular, platform and bunk styles that all make great teenage beds. The colorful components and substantial ladders will appeal to teenage girls and boys alike. In fact, these styles can easily grow with kids from their young years well into their teens. The furnishings are versatile enough that they can mix with almost any style of decor in a kids bedroom and fit whatever themes and interests they have.
New Shape for an Armchair
Amid all the different types of chairs, the Parabolica Armchair from Paolo Castelli has some unique features, particularly its shape. The luxury armchair has a delicate shape that fits well in any seating area, whether it’s a living room or bedroom. Named for its shape — a parabola — it sports a gorgeous metal frame finished in polished gold and custom upholstery. In addition, the golden armrests are padded for extra comfort.
Golden Clouds of Light
Long-standing traditions of Murano glass making are combined with new designs for this stunning Golden Cloud Chandelier, also from Paolo Castelli. Completely made by hand, each of the nearly two dozen clouds is made from Murano glass with a triple pass of gold leaf. They are formed in a hand-shaped mold, attached to the metal fitting that holds the LED source and anchored to a metal plate. Arranged in a staggered fashion, the blown glass pendants resemble clouds in the sky and can be made as rounds or ovals.
While designers say that matched sets of furniture are passé, there are exceptions to the rule and the Frame bedroom set from Georgetti is definitely one. The lines are simple but elegant and perfect from framing the minimalist bed and nightstands. The bed can be upholstered in a textile or in leather — or a mix of both. Leather is often the optimum choice because it is found throughout the collection. The style of the Frame bed is ideal for modern or bedroom designs and contributes to the serene feeling of the space.
Whether you keep it behind the sofa, against the wall or to the side, a sofa table is useful for a variety of different reasons. It gives you extra storage space for common things like books, magazines, the TV remote, a table lamp and so on but it can also act as a space divider, as a thing that delineates the sitting area from the rest of the floor plan which is useful in the case of a lot of open-space living rooms. With that in mind, let’s check out some sofa table designs and decor ideas. Some would make great DIY project ideas.
If you need a narrow table for that little space between the sofa and the wall, there’s really no need to go searching for one in stores since you’ll most likely have a hard time finding anything anyway. How about building your own sofa table instead? This one even has a built-in outlet so you can charge your devices right there and then.
A beautiful behind-the-sofa table can turn into a nice focal point for the living room, especially if you decorate it with all sorts of statement-making pieces. We suggest you pick a style and just go with it. How about a coastal-themed living room decor. You could use this stylish setup from adventuresindecorating1 as a source of inspiration.
Let’s check out some more DIY sofa table projects, like the one featured on cityfarmhouse for example. It’s easy to build and only requires a few basic tools and some supplies which could include reclaimed wood pieces and even pieces from old furniture items which you can repurpose. In any case, be sure to customize the table to match your own sofa and style.
Building your own sofa table is a great idea, especially since there aren’t that many styles or design options to choose from. Sure, you could just use a console but it wouldn’t be the same plus a simple and chic design like the one suggested on remodelaholic would look beautiful in any living room.
You can even build a sofa with things you already have around the house, like leftover materials from previous projects and things that you can repurpose. The easiest option would be to repurpose an existing piece of furniture such as a shelving unit and to give it a fresh new look and a new role. That’s exactly what happened here. Check out theweatheredfox for more details.
An old bench can become a cool-looking sofa table and the design changes required would be minimal. You could either stack two benches to make a taller unit which can act as a sofa table or you can give a bench a makeover and make it taller while also adding an extra shelf for additional storage. This idea comes from tommyandellie.
Even if your sofa can actually be pushed against the wall and you wouldn’t technically need a sofa table to fill the space, you can still have one. Perhaps a very slim sofa table like a shelf would look like in your living room. It would allow you to display a few items behind the sofa and even have a place to put a couple of table lamps and it would take up very little floor space. Check out alwaysneverdone for instructions.
Sofa tables are really great in living rooms with open floor plans where the sofa doesn’t sit against the wall. The table would act as a divider, a buffer between the sitting area and some other space and it would also provide useful storage space for all sorts of things, including decorations. Check out this cool tutorial on ana-white to find out how to build your own rustic sofa table.
A sofa table can help create a more intimate atmosphere in a living room that shares the floor plan with other areas. It can act as a barrier, a separator between two zones and it can even help create a more symmetrical and harmonious decor.
The sofa table is usually lower than the sofa. That allows it to remain non-intrusive and to maintain a low profile, quite literally. Also, it doesn’t have to be as long as the sofa. Any sort of combinations work given the right environment, style and characteristics.
If the sofa table is taller than the sofa then it can act as a bar. In fact, that’s a cool idea which works great for spaces such as basement rooms, man caves, home theater rooms and even just regular living rooms designed to make entertaining fun and easy.
Even though the sofa alone is enough to delineate the sitting area, a table behind the sofa would just make the whole setup even better. It can be a small and slender table with a thin metal frame, a wooden top and no extra shelves…so it can look lightweight and to maintain an airy feeling throughout the room.
A sofa table is the perfect piece of furniture for this living room. It fits between the sofa and the windows, creating a sort of visual separator and giving the sitting area a less exposed feeling. Its design is simple and versatile, just what a modern living room needs.
Of course, the sofa table doesn’t necessarily have to be an actual table. It’s important to look at the big picture and to assess whether or not a certain piece of furniture makes sense in that context. With that in mind, you can actually use a console, a small cabinet or even a shelving unit in the same way you would use a sofa table.
Consoles and sofa tables are actually pretty similar and can even be interchangeable in some cases. A lot of consoles have these really cool and sculptural designs which might look amazing in living rooms so go ahead and find a design that suits you can go with it. You could even add a side table to frame the lounge area and to give it more character.
When your significant other tells you that they need “space,” they’re not joking. Lighting brand Sofary recently surveyed 900 people about what it’s really like to live with their partners and it found that domestic bliss is as much about mutual respect and open communication as it is about square footage.
Most of the cohabitation revelations were reassuring, like the fact that nearly 74 percent of respondents said they moved in with their S.O. because they felt like they were ready (not because they thought they could save on living expenses or fix relationship issues). But when it came to making room for love, couples need a shocking amount of distance—1,800 square feet, to be exact.
After breaking down the numbers by generation, the study found that people who were satisfied with their relationship had an average of 12.8 percent more space than those who were dissatisfied with their relationship.For instance, baby boomers with at least 1,835 square feet of space were satisfied in their relationships, compared to the 1,733 square feet for unhappy couples in that age range. Similarly, millennials who had 1,810 square feet of space between them were a lot happier than those with 1,566 square feet. Lesson learned? As little as 100 square feet can be the difference between you and a breakup.
If your home falls on the unsatisfied side of the spectrum, don’t sign up for couples counseling just yet. Here are three tips for making the most of your space—so you can focus on making the most out of your relationship.
Use Room Dividers for Privacy
If you don’t have the luxury of a guest room or office, consider dividing up your space to create a retreat on your own. While a folding screen doesn’t provide the same satisfaction of shutting (or slamming) a door, it will provide enough privacy to keep you and your partner sane. Top it off with a chic sleeper sofa and you’ll have a proper place to seek solace when your S.O. snores.
Invest in Multifunction
Men and women had the same number one complaint: They think their partner is too messy. And, frankly, we aren’t surprised. When you’re tasked with tackling clutter for not one but two people, you have to get creative. Instead of splurging on small treasures and trinkets, spend your money on large pieces of furniture that can serve multiple functions, like a bench that doubles as shoe storage, a side table that’s also a magazine rack, or a pouf that’s also a side table.
Go Big on Mirrors
Oversize mirrors are one of the easiest ways to open up a teeny room by adding depth and reflecting light. Full-length floor mirrors are great for bedrooms and entryways, as they offer you a head-to-toe picture when you’re getting dressed or heading out the door. A large mirror with built-in shelving can work wonders in a living room or kitchen if you need a bonus spot for books.
Once the summer home of former Texas Governor Richard Coke, this 19th-century Greek revival mansion feels like stepping back in time. Built in 1866 by Lewis W. Carr, the Galveston, Texas, property—located a short 10 blocks from the temperate waters of the Seawall beaches—was restored and remodeled in 2018 by Austin-based interior designer Shannon Eddings. Now, the newly minted eight-bedroom B&B has an old-meets-new look and features sourced antiques, nautical prints, and a calming yet unexpected color palette that Eddings says makes the home visually enchanting.
From the street, the stark white mansion holds its own amid the coastal town’s historic district and is most often recognized by its ornate front staircase flanked by two white lions. “This woman knocked on the door during installation day and had a much older woman with her,” Eddings recalls. “The [elderly woman] had just flown in and drove straight to Galveston to look for the house she lived in during the 1950s. And while she hadn’t been back in 40 years and was now 88 years old, she recognized the [Carr Mansion] by the lions.”
In addition to its impressive exterior, the home is one of the rare survivors of the Great Storm of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in US history, which caused approximately $17 million in damages.“Galveston, back then, was this booming city, almost like an up-and-coming New York,” the designer says. “There are old Galveston prints throughout the house. With the design, I tried to honor that history by embracing the coastal colors, without going too beachy.”
Inside, Eddings aimed to juxtapose pieces original to the home and the time period with more modern finds. A multicolored Turkish rug greets guests in the entryway, while vintage Galveston postcards line the hallway along with a mirror original to the home, which has been there for decades.
In the parlor, Eddings’s favorite room of the house, she created many seating moments embracing the early 20th-century look with luxe leather chairs from a Belgian dealer, an antique recovered settee, a round marble table, and lighting from West Elm. Camel velvet curtains shade the room.
“When you walk into a lot of Galveston homes, they can be stereotypical with all beach decor, but I wanted to add in earthy [elements],” says the designer. “With [the parlor], I went for shades of blue and lots of velvet with historic prints since it’s such a rich fabric.”
While the parlor is painted a soft seafoam color, the pub, further back on the first floor, emotes an entirely different feel. Moody mahogany; dark countertops; an oversize, carved wooden mirror; and forest green walls are statement-making in a room Eddings swooned over upon first seeing the house. “Back in the day, the pub was where the men would [congregate], while the parlor was for women,” she says. “I love the color in that room too. The green was there to begin with, and we just gave it a new coat of paint.”
Upstairs, each of the rooms is named for someone who once called Carr Mansion home: from The Preacher and The Church Lady to The Grocer and The Newlyweds. The Preacher room and The Church Lady room, both at the top of the stairs, harken back to the home’s mid 20th–century history when a pastor and his wife, Shirley, lived upstairs while running a church out of the first floor.“I had a lot of fun with The Preacher room because it has so much beautiful, natural light,” she says.
The bed, original to the home, is draped with a vintage shipping flag purchased in Galveston, while a yellow West Elm bench provides a cozy spot to rest at the end of the day. Like with the color palette for the parlor, the designer added shades of blue but added in hints of both green and golden yellow. “Color is my thing,” Eddings says. Unexpected color combinations are what makes spaces unique. Even if you use a similar [design scheme] in a room, using color in a creative way will make it stand out.”
For The Church Lady room, on the other hand, Eddings played with a richer palette of navy and burgundy. Crisp white linens drape the four-poster queen bed, while an elegant painting of a woman on a beach hangs above and a navy settee rests in the corner. Like with the other artwork in the home, the nautical theme continues with a pink coral print near the fireplace.
The Grocer room, which was named for successful Galveston businessman Herman Marwitz, is the universal favorite of the rooms, Eddings says, with its array of natural light, a sunny sofa, and a plush bed. “In this room, I had a really organic design moment,” she says. “I found the painting above the mantel at the Austin Antique Mall. It was a castoff from the UT art school from a student who went there in the 1960s.”
When it came to the bed, Eddings chose a modern frame. While many of the rooms feature original pieces, the channel-backed bed makes the room stand out. “I also wanted to make sure I kept the bedding soothing with minimal pillows,” she says. “No one wants five million pillows that they are just going to have to throw on the ground.”
The Newlyweds room, which is the most secluded room in the house, has its own separate entrance and a private sitting room, plus some of Eddings’s favorite antiques in the home.“The side tables are vintage, and the busts were bought in Houston,” she says. “The red velvet chair in the corner is also antique and original to the house.”
In the sitting room, the designer continued to work in velvet pieces, including a chair from Austin antique store, Room Service Vintage. “For a while, it’s like I was buying anything velvet and all the nautical prints I could,” she says.
At 8,000 square feet, Galveston’s Carr mansion has many details for guests to uncover, and for Eddings, it was truly a passion project.“I had a good amount of time with this project and really put my heart into it,” she says. “In the end, it only took four days for the installation.”
Remember how brilliant BHS lighting was? It’s been a big loss to the high street, but it’s about to make a return of sorts! Brand new and bursting at the seams with statement lighting, Houseof is the new online homeware store, recently launched by Helen White and Michael Jones.
The founding duo were part of the former BHS team and decided to go it alone. But having worked for a number of high-street names between them, they know how to create lighting that is totally on trend. Beneath the designer good looks of the lighting ranges lie surprisingly affordable price tags.
The debut ranges include pendant, floor, table and wall lights that are contemporary and truly different. The best bit for us is that, if you see a light you love there’s more than one option of metallic finishes.
The brand explains the idea behind the colour spectrum of finishes on offer: ‘Playing with colour should be an extension of your personality. We aren’t saying you need to get a paintbrush out, it could be as simple as adding a coloured table lamp or statement floor lamp to your current scheme.’
Although there are gorgeous pieces to be found in every category, we think the statement ceiling lights stand out. They range from Art-Deco inspired globes to classic pleated pendants with a modern colour twist.
Don’t miss the Opal Disk or Horizontal Curve ceiling lights, the wide rather than hanging design makes them perfect for creating a focal point over a dining table. Or the Pill modern chandeliers, with a choice of three, five or eight branches.
It’s clear that Houseof designed the floor lamps with small spaces in mind. So the slim profiles are perfect for a tight corner. Bring in a vibrant hue with the Diffuser light or go for a glam accent with Ellipse floor lamp.
Hop over to the Houseof website and you’ll find plenty of table lamps, too. From the industrial Mesh and Ribbed lamps to the luxe Pink Marble lamp.
We’ve spied a small range of tables and accessories on the website. And we’ve heard that rugs and more occasional pieces are in the pipeline. Well they’ve absolutely nailed lighting, so we’re excited to see what’s next in store for Houseof.
Soft shades of blue and pink have been teamed up with shining gold and copper accents inside this modern apartment interior for a young family, located in Ukraine, Kyiv. Designed by Studio Dvordes, the 120 square metre home is beautifully balanced, effectively combining the relaxing hues and shiny finishes to exude chic and cosy comfort. High-end light installations and sleek storage furniture can be found alongside wood clad walls and a very special copper feature stripe in the hallway. See how to introduce blue accents into a neutral lounge, explore two pink bedrooms with their own home office areas, and find two bathrooms that present compact stylish solutions.
Nesting coffee tables bring two different shades of blue to the centre of a cosy modern living room. A blue area rug and colour coordinated scatter cushions join the colour theme too. An arrangement of living room ceiling lights, in the shape of gold halos, add sheen and luxe to interior design.
Wood grain brings gentle pattern to the tv wall decor. White LED strip lights highlight the edges of the timber panel. A trio of grey media cabinets form an undulating line of storage beneath the tv screen.
A long black planter holds a border of cacti beside the tv, which are planted in careful ascending height so that the greenery somewhat frames the screen. A pair of decorative vases hold floral displays on the largest blue coffee table, bringing a flash of living greenery into the centre of the lounge too.
One modern accent chair is upholstered in powder blue fabric, beside a sleek gold floor lamp. Modern wall art pulls the blue tones and metallics of the room design together in one piece.
The neutral sofa backs directly onto a timber breakfast bar, where diners can comfortably view the tv during meal times. A line of golden pendant lights hang low over the handy dining peninsula. Typographic chalkboard art decorates the wall beside the casual eating area, displaying a set of family rules.
A more formal dining spot is located through a set of glass doors. In this separate space, a set of four blue modern dining chairs encircle a white dining table. A small chaise rests at the other side of the small room, perfectly positioned to take in the wide reaching view through a set of floor to ceiling windows.
The grey kitchen is a modern design with slab front units, integrated appliances, and a handle-free finish. Plinth lights give the run of units a bright and clean looking trim.
A wood grain backsplash warms and texturises the finished look.
The blue SMEG toaster brings a little colour to the kitchen bench.
Hallway decor is predominantly neutral, save for a little wall art and a small navy blue pouf.
A divine copper accent panel stripes the hallway wall and ceiling, featuring geometric cuts and engraving.
The navy pouf is trimmed with copper to match the feature panel. Wooden cupboard doors share the same geo style patterning.
A copper frame trims a decorative wall mirror, which is mounted over a neat shelf with storage drawers by the door. Blue trinkets personalise the shelf.
The interior doors have been colour matched to the biscuit walls of the hallway.
Inside the first bedroom, copper bedroom pendant lights dangle two by two in front of a velvety blue headboard wall. Pink scatter cushions tie in with the warm tone of the copper lighting.
In the opposite corner by the window, a pink bedroom chair is dressed with a plush blue cushion.
A floral art print echoes the shade of pink on the bedroom chair. A floating media cabinet is set below the tv.
The second bedroom has a more dominant work space, where a desk chair sits at a long white desk.
The desk overlaps the media cabinet in this room, which runs straight up against a white wardrobe.
A lofted den is dressed with twinkling fairy lights. A pink curtain can be drawn across for extra cosiness.
Back down at floor level, a sofa bed faces the tv wall, so that the space can become a comfortable lounge area by day. A chunky knit pink throw and pink accent cushions liven up the taupe sofa upholstery. A shiny copper Grasshopper lamp stands between the sofa and a swing seat by the window.
The bathroom decor is a smooth combo of blue-grey and wood tone.
Glass bathroom vanity lights add a little sparkle to a compact nook.
The vanity mirror is a flat and frameless model, to allow unobstructed access to some practical recessed shelving.
Black frames give the shower enclosure definition.
Narrow cabinets maximise storage space.
A second bathroom has a lighter beige and white decor scheme.
The bathroom sink is integrated into the surface of a white wall mounted vanity unit. A chunky white shelf below the vanity provides a place to roll up some fresh towels.
White marble tiles clad the wet zone around the bath and over bath shower. Designer bathroom faucets shine in chrome along their gleaming surface.
A unique towel heater grows up one wall like a black tree branch.
It’s official, Kate Upton has won the “sister of the year” award. In the latest episode of Houzz’s My Houzz series,the model, actress, and new-mom teamed up with Motivo Home to secretly makeover her older sister, Christie’s, home in Melbourne, Florida. If gifting your sibling a personal oasis isn’t love, we don’t know what is.
“I think it’s an important time to do the renovation now because she keeps trying to do these little projects inside the house and none of them are for her,” Upton says in the episode. “I really wanted to prioritize her because I knew she wouldn’t.”
Upton’s primary focus was tackling the master suite, home office, and guest bathroom. With the help of Andrea Fava, one part of the duo behind Motivo Home, they transformed the dated abode into a beautiful and functional retreat for Christie, her husband, Chris, and their two little ones. Take a peek inside below.
The master bedroom was by no means in daunting condition before the makeover, but the wall-to-wall carpeting and lack of natural light wasn’t doing the dwelling any justice. In order to bring a little dimension to the space, Fava added hardwood floors, a four-poster bed, and a lounge-worthy nook. A soothing blue chevron wallpaper tied the new design together.
“I think wallpaper is the perfect opportunity to play around with pattern because it isn’t a long term commitment and for this project, I was really looking for something that would add that ‘boutique hotel by the sea feel,’” explains Fava. “I know Kate was so excited to give her sister her own space to unwind every day after taking care of two small kids and working.”
Suffice it to say, the existing vanity layout in the master bathroom was less than ideal for two people. Fava and Upton’s main goal in redesigning the outdated space was to improve the room’s function.
“Even though it has two sinks, it’s not really functional for them,” shares Upton in the episode. “When they’re both standing there, they’re bumping into each other. They can’t both use it at the same time.”
The designer was able to expand the square footage in the bathroom by taking out the hall closet and wet bar on the other side of the wall and removing the linen closet. “These changes allowed for more open space in the center of the bathroom and a longer undisturbed wall to add the new and improved custom vanity,” says Fava.
For the equally dreary guest bathroom, the pair committed to a tiled accent wall. They completed the spa-like scene with a walk-in shower and free-standing tub.
Surprisingly enough, Fava’s main challenge with this project wasn’t knocking down walls or installing new built-ins—it was designing a home for someone that she’d never met. “Luckily, Kate knows her sister so well and was really able to give great feedback on the designs as to what she thought her sister would like or dislike,” shares the designer.
That confidence came in handy when carving out a functioning office for Christie, who runs an organization which helps veterans with PTSD. Partly situated in a hallway, Christie and her husband had previously used the space as a storage area. Without compromising their need for extra storage, Fava opted for a spacious built-in with enough room for a desk, extra shelving, and discreet storage.
“We used a pantry cabinet with roll-out trays for the printer and filing drawers for document organization, but since storage was so important, we also made sure we didn’t waste any valuable space,” says Fava. “We custom designed the built-in window bench so that it had a hinged top with tons of storage inside.”
Upton isn’t the first celebrity to embrace their inner interior designer with My Houzz. Ashton Kutcher, Kristen Bell, and Oliva Munn have also surprised loved ones with head-to-toe makeovers. We know, we know: You can’t change your family. But if we could, we definitely wouldn’t mind joining the Upton clan.