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Loft Love!

Those who love sweetness and light could do worse than to take inspiration from this very lovely Williamsburg Brooklyn loft. There’s not much not to like about it! It’s simple and pretty, but in a grownup way, and I think my favorite thing about it is that it doesn’t look like the lair of Hipsterus Americanus. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that look – it’s just not my thing.)

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Wish I Still Had One of These…

…or, you know, the space for one of these. I’m not sure how it happened, but when I moved from an apartment into an actually house, I lost bathroom space. The old apartment didn’t have much going for it, but it sure did have a sizable bathroom, and a sweet free-standing clawfoot tub to soak in.

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Industrial Grade Good Looks

Industrial chic can mean so many things, from the upscale repurposed factory loft with a trend-conscious price tag to a simple bed with plenty of storage. Exposed brick? Recycled pipe furniture? Lots of metal? Or maybe the original lino floors and metal cabinets. Whatever it means, it’s good to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And this girl’s eye has spied some fun industrial chic things for the home on her recent travels… things like:

A low, locker-like metal sideboard – in a gorgeous red, zow – seen in Marie Claire Maison and elsewhere.

Factory-friendly pendant lamps in cool colors from West Elm.

And the Travail Quatre Office Organizer by Aidan Gray – it’s made of weathered, recycled sheet metal for a broken in, well-used look.

Speaking of this girl, she likes the industrial look best when it’s softened with stuff that doesn’t fit that aesthetic. In other words, I don’t want to live in a factory; I just want a few pieces of the factory (useful ones, especially) giving my space a bit of spark. What’s your favorite distopian indulgence? A brushed metal step-stool flecked with paint? A worn metal cabinet in your craft room?

Office Inspiration from Turquoise

The home office can be an afterthought for a lot of people – that is, if you have the space to devote an entire room to working. This is especially the case among those who don’t work at home and would honestly rather not feel compelled to give up precious square footage to work-related gear. But since I work from home, I tend to empathize with those who do, too, and would probably like somewhere sweet to sit as they endure the daily grind. I used to have a nice home office, until I gave it up during the renovations, and now I fear that I’ll never again work from anywhere but the kitchen table. I’d prefer to be working in here, though:

Seeing this oh-so-inviting space designed by Turquoise makes me long for my old office. Oh, we’ll have another home office someday, but it will be shared and that means it will be at least halfway to messy most of the time. But a girl can dream, right? I’d love to know what your home office sitch is. Do you have one? Is it grand? Would you love to have one, but the space just isn’t there? Or are you content to leave work at work where it belongs so that extra room can stay a den/guest room/nursery/gaming space?

Image: Turquoise

5 Ways to Create Calmer Interiors

Creating calmer interiors – and I’m talking about your home’s interior and your interior – doesn’t have to mean sending the kids to boarding school or firing your SO and moving to a house or apartment that will actually contain the detritus of day-to-day living. Not that those things won’t necessarily help, but I prefer to think of them as last resorts. Steps better taken after trying things like decluttering your living room and creating more space through trickery. Not that there’s anything wrong with a frenetic interior, of course, or a shabby one, if that’s what you’re into. But for some people – particularly people whose lives are filled with stress and chaos – home needs to be an oasis.

1. Choose calming colors for every room in your home, including your home office if you have one. Color affects mood, so stay away from colors that make you feel awake and energized, but don’t make the opposite mistake and go for those that make you feel sluggish or depressed. You could look at a color therapy chart to find the most calming hues, but only you know what colors make you feel serene, relaxed, and happy. For some, that might mean a bright turquoise or lemon, while for others, it could mean a darkish sea foam green. This is where those sample tins of paint come in handy. Put a square of your favorite by your bed – how does seeing it in the morning make you feel? How about at night?

2. Make every room of your home inviting to promote feelings of calm. Ever notice that people at parties will often congregate in the kitchen? It’s because people feel comfortable and nurtured where the food is. How can you make the rest of your home as inviting as the kitchen? First, choose comfortable furniture that looks good but doesn’t put out a ‘no touching’ vibe. Furniture should be touchable – and while it might be unseemly to throw oneself onto a couch or chair, the most calming furniture is the kind you can relax into. Second, give yourself something aesthetically pleasing to admire. Do you have a painting or accessory that you find peaceful? Or an heirloom that brings to mind happy thoughts of your favorite relatives? Display them where you need hard-hitting mood elevators.

3. Go all-natural, with materials and textiles that Mother Nature created – especially in the bathroom and in the bedroom. There’s just something about the real stuff that is conducive to letting go of stress. Things that come to mind are a durable seagrass rug or a rush ottoman, lovely linen curtains or pillows, lots of natural wood or wicker, and hey, maybe even plenty of windows that give you views of actual nature if you’re lucky enough to have some right outside of your front door. In the bathroom, a bamboo bath mat is so much nicer underfoot than your standard fuzzy one.

4. Keep surfaces clutter free, because seeing clutter all around you is guaranteed to interfere with your ability to achieve serenity. That’s not to say you have to keep all of your surfaces free of everything except for lamps and whatever book you’re reading at the moment. Just make sure that everything that’s on top of your night stand, dressers, side tables, coffee table, etc. is either beautiful to look at or something you want easy access to in the immediate future or all the time. In other words, no letting papers build up or dumping the contents of your pockets onto the kitchen counter every day after work (unless you clean it up before bedtime).

5. Think simple! A lot of people are put off by the idea of minimalism, since most of us feel much more comfortable when we’ve built ourselves cocoons of *stuff*. And voluntary simplicity still sounds so fadish, even though it’s completely mainstream by this point. I’m not suggesting that you throw out all your stuff save for your bed and one chair and a desk, but rather that you shouldn’t feel compelled to fill every last inch of your home with furniture and carpets and decorative items just because you feel like it’s the right thing to do. If you love that look – think a controlled chaos of comfort – then fabu. But more people than not find it’s hard to feel calm in a space when there’s just too much going on in it.

An Antidote to That Boring Ceiling Fan

Yesterday’s post about patterned ceilings apparently did not satisfy my enthusiasm for interesting ceilings. Why this new obsession? Turns out, our bedroom renovation is done, and now it’s time for me to paint and decorate, and I’m considering all kinds of interesting ceiling stuff. Today, I happened to spot some sweet decorated ceiling fans that prove that your ceiling fan doesn’t have to be boring. (And that having an eye-catching ceiling fan doesn’t have to mean choosing one with blades that look like leaves.)

Aren’t these ceiling fans fun? Most ceiling fans have removable blades, so you can get as creative as you want to with paint and stencils or Mod Podge and craft paper of fabric. And whipping up a DIY project like this is super easy and super fast – maybe even one of the fastest things you can do to spruce up your bedroom!

Images via Dittle Dattle; In My Own Style; The Mother Huddle (all with tutorials or links to tutorials)

Dressing Up a Ceiling With Patterns

Ceilings can be pretty boring. More often than not, they are your basic white, regardless of how colorful the rest of the space may be, and even bold decorators who have no qualms about painting with super bright or extra dark colors fear doing anything to the ceiling outside of putting a funky light fixture thereon. Painted ceilings are, in my experience, something one encounters only now and then, and usually only in pictures. As for decorated ceilings, those are even rarer outside of certain old churches and palaces. And it really is a shame.

Think you can’t rock a patterned ceiling because your house doesn’t feature large soaring ceilings plus lots and lots of space? Think again! Standard height ceilings in smaller rooms actually look better with a pattern than standard height ceilings in very large rooms. For example, how lovely is the room above, designed by David Cafiero and seen in Lonny? And while one’s first instinct – that patterned ceilings look best on high ceilings – a basic pattern like stripes or a dark border can look totally sweet on just about any ceiling when you use the right colors and coordinate with the right decor.

Not that there’s anything wrong with your basic white ceiling. In fact, if you’re planning on moving soon, I’d recommend waiting to experiment with patterned ceilings simply because renters or buyers may not want to tackle the job of painting over your experiment. While is still the most popular ceiling option, and doing the ceiling is the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to painting.

Sometimes You Need a Little Reminder

So as first posts of the new year go, yesterdays was a little tongue-in-cheek. Not that I have anything against New Year’s resolutions… but as it turns out, science has determined that people who fail to meet their new year goals are no less happy than those who succeed. My resolution? To keep finding beautiful and fun furniture and accessories to share here, along with some lifestyle tips and the occasional oddity. But since I was so snarky yesterday, I thought I’d make it up by offering up something a little sweeter from various shops around the net.


via Barn Owl Primitives

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