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Do Carpets and Food Mix in Your Home?

Here’s an interesting fact about my home: While I love little rugs and carpets, I have exactly zero in my own house. It’s wood flooring all the way, with wood-look laminate in the kitchen because that is what we could afford at the time. Carpets are cute but with smooth wood or woodesque floors, I can sweep and swiff without having to drag a bulky vacuum up from the basement. We did have a number of throw rugs once upon a time, but with five cats and a mobile toddler, I was vac’ing every day. Not cool.

And exactly how long will that stay looking nice?

You can imagine, then, how squicked out carpets in kitchens and carpets in dining rooms make me. Built-ins are one thing, because there’s not much you can do about that until you’re ready to refloor, but to take a kitchen or dining room with a perfectly good wood floor and then put a throw rug precisely where food is doomed to fall… that just makes me scratch my head. You tell me: Is there some benefit to carpets in dining rooms and carpets in kitchens that I am missing? Saving food for later perhaps? Because I simply cannot wrap my brain around the practical reason for putting a what is essentially a crumb catcher under food prep and food consumption zones.

Inspiration: Buffets and Sideboards of the Modern Variety

Ever wondered what the difference between a sideboard and a buffet is? Me, too. The thing is, we needn’t have bothered ourselves about it. A sideboard and a buffet are basically the same piece of furniture serving the same purpose. Some people consider the buffet to be simply a smaller version of the sideboard, but in terms of functionality? No difference.

Others assign a name to this particular piece of furniture based on the room in which it resides – in the dining room, it’s a buffet, while in the living room, it’s a sideboard.

Sideboards and buffets have both traditionally been used as a place to store dishware and silverware (and sometimes linens) while food was displayed and then served on top. But today, a sideboard or buffet might be used for almost anything. And even back in the day, my grandparents’ beautiful buffet held not only linens and napkin rings, but also records.

Whatever you call them, sideboards are buffets can be very useful pieces of furniture, especially if you are the sort of person who has a vast collection of cloth napkins and pretty tablecloths and themed table runners for every season and holiday. Why? I’ve found that unless you have a great big linen closet, those sorts of things end up sadly tossed in a basket in pantry or tucked into a kitchen drawer without much thought to how wrinkled they’ll become.

But whatever you keep in your sideboard or buffet, here are some pictures of modern furniture buffets and sideboards that would look great in just about any room of the house. Enjoy!

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For the First Time Ever, Loving the Mess!

Hate to see a messy table? You just might like this one. AZE Design‘s “MESSY” project brings back the idea of really spending time at the table as a social event. For many of us, meals are taken on the go, alone or in the car – the Messy tablecloth wants to remind us that a meal is an opportunity to spend time together. For breakfast or for dinner, MESSY is a reminder that meals are best shared, even if that means things get a bit messy in the process.

Finally, a spill I don't have to worry about

Messy breaky, yum

AZE Design is a polish design studio established in 2006 by Anna Kotowicz and Artur Puszkarewicz, with a focus on combining traditional handicraft techniques – hello, embroidery! – with contemporary materials and processes. Kotowicz and Puszkarewicz practice what they call MINDMADE design, which aims to transform everyday situations into usable art. In this case, I’d say they’ve succeeded beautifully!

Yet Another Thing to Mis-Match: Plates!

Once upon a time, I had a plan to build up a full service of awesome mismatched plates. As this was a world before Etsy, my plans were foiled by the local Goodwill not having a strong supply of very interesting plates. I could have had a set of mismatched plates that was meh, but isn’t the whole point of mismatched plates having them all be kind of fun, kind of cool?

Who needs a full matching service?

It’s still a look I love, even though my current dining set is a matching set of plates and things. It’s very nice – and of very good quality – so I can’t very well justify ditching it to go collecting. But as things break, and break they will for I have a child, perhaps I will replace my set with mismatched plates and bowls. Maybe even plates and bowls I’ve made myself!

What do you think about the mismatched plates look? Cool? Cute? Good for the young, but not past, say, 35? Too silly? Just plain dumb?

I'll take one of these...

and one of these...

and one of these!

A Mix of Modern and Traditional by Vicente Wolf

I am loving the big chunky farmer’s table smack dab in the middle of this otherwise very modern dining room by designer Vicente Wolf! Sometimes I look at my own house and realize that you couldn’t call it modern or traditional or cute or any other thing, really. My house is a mishmash of new and old things I’ve acquired and made over time, and things I’d love to replace but can’t afford to, and I do my best to make everything look nice together. I like how it’s turned out so far, though I’m always changing this or that. So if you’ve ever wondered why I love contrast so much, part of it is that I have to or I’d go crazy!

Contrast = Cool

What do you think about mixing old and new and modern and traditional and maybe something bright and shiny and expensive paired with something awesome you found on the side of the road? Because I love it. To me, a space full of awesome mixed treasures – arranged and chosen with some care, of course – is so much more fun and inviting than a perfectly coordinated and homogeneous space.

More Mismatched Dining Room Chairs!

So as it turns out, I wasn’t quite finished with the subject when I posted about mismatched dining chairs a few weeks back. Problem was I had lots more images of great dining room “sets” featuring a varied selection of chairs. Sometimes it’s the color that’s different, sometimes it’s the pattern of the seat upholstery, and sometimes it’s just a great mix of chairs that have absolutely nothing in common. Anything goes when you’re picking out your dining room furniture – have fun with it!

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Mismatched Dining Chairs Take the Blah Out of Budgeting

When outfitting the kitchen or the dining room with somewhere to sit, don’t feel like you have to buy four or six or eight matching chairs – especially if buying eight of the chairs you love is way impossible within the confines of your budget! Mismatched dining chairs can be a lot of fun when you make the effort to have fun with them. Let’s say you can get ONE of those chairs you love. Why not source the rest of thrift or consignment shops or Craigslist? Look for interesting shapes that complement that favorite chair – but don’t worry too much about color, because paint and glaze can go a long way toward achieving a unified look. See?

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Not Necessarily My Style, But I’m Still In Lust

I don’t know the story behind this table – I found it on my wanderings and a Tineye search yielded nothing – but I’m finding it really, really inspirational. Normally, I lean toward Saarinen’s beautiful Tulip table when I think of how I’d like to outfit my kitchen. But there’s something about invading my rather artificial and absurdly colorful cooking and eating space with natural, unfinished wood that makes me feel a little giddy.

Does anyone else get a kick out of doing that – of taking something ridiculously out of place and making it the focal point of a room that’s decorated in a completely different style?