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Hold On… White Appliances Are Now the New Alternative?

I’m sitting here suddenly wondering what’s in everyone else’s kitchen and if I missed some kind of style memo, because according to Apartment Therapy, white’s the new stainless. Or the new black, or something. This is the sentence that struck me: “Like most people these days, we have stainless steel appliances in our kitchen.” Really? I’ve had white for as long as I can remember, and when shopping for a new range a while back, white appliances definitely dominated on the showroom floor. But the author of the post went to far as to say: “When I think of white appliances I picture my 20-something rental studios and various 80s kitchens from my childhood. Not a pretty picture.”

My guess is that stainless steel will go the way of avocado and almond

Again, really? I always thought that stainless steel appliances were the trendy alternative that will probably look dated in another ten years or so, with white appliances being classic and, furthermore, blending in so as not to make one’s kitchen look like an operating theater. Oh, and no gross fingerprints. Maybe not with dark wood cabinets, but I say bleah to dark wood cabinets, anyway. But maybe I’m totally in the wrong here – what’s your take on the kitchen appliance color debate? First, take the poll:

Then give us the lowdown… did you opt for stainless steel appliances or white or what, and why? Is white a trend, or is stainless the trend?

Quick Change In the Kitchen

Looking for a way to update your kitchen without spending a lot or having to get your demo on? One thing you might try – though I’m always hesitant to mention the W-word, i.e., wallpaper – is the wallpaper backsplash. A wallpapered backsplash can really make a splash, and when you brush a few coats of poly over it or have glass custom cut to fit, you can even splash all you please without worrying about stains. It’s an idea that I’ve considered for my own little kitchen’s decor, but thus far there have been so many other house to-dos that actually taking the time to apply a wallpaper backsplash has been at the bottom of the list. I do, however, really love the results some people achieved by including a wallpaper backsplash in their kitchen decor.

A beautiful example of a wallpapered backsplash from Apartment Therapy

So cute, I don't even mind the wonky edge

One technique, so many possibilities

Here’s a video from HGTV explaining how to DIY a wallpaper backsplash in less than half a day and on a budget:

What do you think? Would a wallpaper backsplash be an easy fix for your kitchen decor woes or just not classy enough for you to consider?

Defying Gravity, Saving H2O

Boskke Sky Planters, which recently won a 2011 Red Dot award in the product design category, may change how you take care of houseplants. Especially if, like me, you have any kind of pets in your home with a serious lust for greens (or kids with a thing for dirt). Currently, we can only keep plants in the bedroom, which is a no cats allowed zone, so I have some Sky Planters on order. I know for a fact that as crafty as my animals are, they cannot jump as high as hanging plants. Problem, research, solution, and here we are:

Chance of over-watering = slight.

Counter space, available.

Rethink how you decorate with plants.

Beautiful with an orchid, but perhaps even better with basil!

Designed by New Zealand designer Patrick Morris.

Two Touches of the Turq

Turquoise is on its way out – or possible already gone among the early adopters concerned with color – but still pops up as a notable, usable hue. I like the turq like I like my pink, in small doses (again, this doesn’t hold true in nurseries or children’s rooms but that hardly counts), and here are two great examples of how one strong turquoise accent can play a starring role in an otherwise less intense space. I heart the impact of colored furniture!

As seen on Apartment Therapy

As seen on Educate Your Sofa

Daybeds By Chic Cham

As I’ve mentioned before, I do so love daybeds for their versatility. Bed for a single guest? Check. Proper seating? Check? I comfy spot to curl up and read? Check and check. As a tot, I was desperate for one – and truth be told, the ones I lusted after were most definitely girlish and juvenile. But daybeds aren’t just for little chicks, as these two daybeds by Chic Cham certainly prove.

Amazing what a cushion, some feet, and a platform can become

Daybeds can be so many things, especially when gorgeous

Chic Cham uses natural materials to create beautiful things for the home that are handmade in India by people who earn a proper wage, no less. Isn’t that fantastic? Have a peek at their promo video to see some of their employees making rugs and cushions and curtains and so on. Basically, all things textile.

There are more collections to come, so keep an eye out. If you’re in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe, that is, since I believe that’s the limit of their delivery area. Ah, well. Still, it’s fun to look and be inspired!

Spring by Wildspirit

The Spring tabouret created by Dutch designer Erik Jansen for Wildspirit is a simple and elegant seating piece that is most definitely eye-catching.

The Spring tabouret, has the shape of a beautiful flower and is made out of bamboo stripes that have been cut and bowed in a very special way. This nice experiment results in an extremely flexible and functional sitting pouf decorating your kitchen, lounge bar, living room,…

The Spring stool is a flower, made out of a bamboo strain, cut in a new way. It is a nice experience to be carried by this flexible and comfortable stool. When looking to the “Spring”, you always get an optimistic and sunny feeling.

In my house, Spring would look lovely in the living room in those spaces that are too big to stay empty but too small for something like a table or armchair. But is Spring comfortable, as Wildspirit claims? Have a look and decide for yourself. My guess is probably not as comfortable as they’d like you to believe.

Check the unique interplay between the classic table and modern chairs

Spring: Durable bamboo in a beautiful and unique shape

In conclusion: I love the look, but would still rather have one of these.

Inspiration: Old School Cameras!

28 Camera Drawings by Christine Berrie

Cute vintage 35mm Kodak Film canisters

Camera coasters from Etsy's mediumcontrol

Cameras themselves, as art

Or the image of cameras and camera accessories as art

Salt and pepper shakers from Chiado Design - possible DIY?

I can’t even remember the last time I bought a roll of film, can you? Have you ever used a film camera or is digital all you’ve ever known? (Goodness, even asking that question makes me feel ancient.)

P.S. – Darlings, did you know Manolo for the Home is on Facebook? Like it!

File This Under ‘Things I Probably Shouldn’t Fall In Love With’

I shouldn't want this as badly as I do.

I know I really shouldn't want this. Really.

Gimme gimme gimme!

Smoking rabbit stool. Known as: Black Labbit Stool. Seen in the wild at Kidrobot. Made of fiberglass. And absolutely maddeningly delicious.

Big Into Basics: Toy Boats

There’s nothing like having a baby, toddler, or child to make one long for extremely simple and basic. It seems like no matter how dedicated is to the notion of buying plain wooden toys hand carved by old men in the Netherlands out of sustainable, non-toxic wood using patterns hundreds of years old blah blah blah, for the infant or the child, cheap plastic crap with thousands of breakable parts keeps being vomited into one’s house.

Maybe that’s why I’m absolutely in love with these simple cork toy boats designed by the Swiss-French-Belgian designer trio BIG-GAME?

Toy boats for mama?

Two pieces, not much to lose

Supposedly the Portuguese company Materia released these in April, but I have not seen them for sale as of yet. Boooo. Do you have a favorite simple toy that you loved as a child and maybe even still love to this day?

Inspiration: Pianos!

A piano is a useful item all on its own, but the size of the instrument almost necessitates it becoming another piece of furniture. At least, I’ve never seen a piano in someone’s home that wasn’t sporting something on top – from stacks of books to framed pictures to lamps and vases and so on. And it’s difficult to decorate around a piano, especially when it’s a large piano in a small space. Often, a piano becomes the centerpiece of a room, but if you do the right things, it can become the STAR of a room. Here are some piano decorating ideas that are making me want to go out and buy one right this second:

Make your piano a focal point of the room by keeping it bare and decorating around it

A boring piano becomes exciting with a simple coat of paint

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