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The kitchen | Manolo for the Home - Part 4
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For When You Feel Like…

Some mornings are just plain crap. Now you can have a teacup that reflects the crappy mood that was caused by a crappy morning that is probably foreshadowing a crappy day.

And if a crap teacup isn’t making you feel any better, perhaps a teacup featuring a rather snarky haiku that illustrates perfectly just how much selflessness you’re willing to exhibit today. Tea makes a man mean? Sometimes!

HINT: DIY it with a pretty tea cup and ceramic markers

Great Ideas for Monday Morning: Breakfast For One

Breakfast for one with a mod Saarinen Tulip table and an Emeco Navy chair, that is. Add to that one bowl, two plates, and three wine glasses. Don’t you judge my breakfast!

Ready and Willing to Serve With a Smile

I have no clue how or wear to buy these – other than ‘in Thailand’ and ‘using Thailand money’ or here – but the whole collection is just too cute not to share. It’s Propaganda’s Use Me line, featuring dishware, laundry stuff, bags, and other odds and ends that are ready to do your bidding with a smile.

Adorable! I’m in love!

Modern Kitchens: Too Stark or Just Right?

Not one, but two blogs I love (Kitchenisms and emmas designblogg) featured this very modern kitchen that calls the Swedish town of Eskilstuna home. How would I describe this space? It’s a bit industrial and very clean, but also a tad countryish, if only because it reminds me somewhat of the kind of working kitchens you find in farm houses. But those bright green chairs certainly cut through the sanitized look, which is a good thing.

Speaking of sanitization, however, is anyone else a little meh when it comes to the floor to ceiling white tiles? I’m sure the warm wood floors help keep the abattoir feeling to a minimum, yet I can’t shake the idea that I’d start seeing myself inside a slaughterhouse (or maybe just a train station restroom) the longer I spent in the confines of this kitchen.

But back to those green chairs! I’d love to recreate that look in my own kitchen, maybe with these lime green chairs from Umbra:

lime green chair

Animal Magnetism

Would of, could of, should of… Had I only known about these amazing animal trays from Ibride while they were still available at Velocity!

The word ‘ibride’ is a play on words in French meaning ‘hybrid’, and many of the pieces combine several forms and several functions.

The animal trays are themselves hybrids – should they be used at teatime or hung as art on a wall? Ibride’s animal trays are indeed water-resistant and dent-resistant, but imagine the looks you might get if you served coffee on one.

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The Kitchen Dump

Ever notice how people congregate in the kitchen during parties, even if all the food is in the dining room and you’ve set up a darling little bar on a side table right by the front door? Science has yet to discover why guests will stand for hours in the kitchen while all the chairs (moved into other rooms for just this reason) sit lonely in the living area, but there must be something magnetic about kitchens because it’s not just people who cluster there.

Things mysteriously find themselves in the kitchen, even when the front door is nowhere nearby. I myself am writing this at a kitchen table that has an embarrassing amount of stuff on it – a diaper bag, class notes, a decorative plate my MIL gave us as an engagement gift, craft paper scraps, an non-working cell phone, and a copy of will making software The Beard and I have yet to open.

Can you feel the waves of shame emanating from this post? All I can say for myself is that I’m usually quite the neat freak!

The kitchen dump, you might call it. Rare is the house that does not have an area where mail gets left and keys are tossed, and for whatever reason, this spot is frequently in the kitchen. (Note: If your dump is not in the kitchen, the following advice still stands.) What’s nice about the kitchen dump is that all of those envelopes and your purse and whatever end up in the same place, so if you can’t find the water bill or your wallet is missing there is a good chance it’s there in the dump.

What’s not so nice about the kitchen dump is that it usually looks messy. If you have an unexpected visitor, the contents of the kitchen dump gets crammed into a drawer, leading to further disorganization. And finally, the kitchen dump can become so psychologically overwhelming that cleaning it up it seems impossible.

I’m not suggesting you do away with the kitchen dump, since it serves a purpose, i.e., having a kitchen dump means you don’t have to focus on cleaning and organizing the second you get home. I am suggesting you prettify your kitchen dump. Get some pretty baskets and spray paint them some dynamic color. Put up a few hooks for your keys and even your bags if you have the room. Easy, particularly if you have the space to hide it away in a cabinet.

Hidden or not, make sure you have space for your mail and your briefcase and all the other stuff you typically have in your hands when you walk through the door on a normal evening. If you have the space, you can even set up what one blogger calls a kitchen command center, which is basically a workspace right there in your kitchen.

Have I mentioned I am now working in my kitchen until some renovations get underway? No one needs a kitchen command center more than I do right now.

Finally A Way to Roll Through All Those Plastic Grocery Bags

How adorably clever is DCI‘s clothespin trashcan? It appears to be available in Europe, but not ’round here which is probably a good thing as I don’t actually need another trashcan.

But you have to admit it’s a rather good buy (if you can find it for the U.S. price of $16 instead of the 20EUR price) when you consider it can accommodate not only plastic totes, but also paper bags and re-usable canvas or cloth sacks. You can even use the bag that the Clothespin Trashcan comes in as your first garbage receptacle!

Interestingly, the clothespin trashcan pictured isn’t DCI’s, but rather the work of Hung Ming Chen. Either that can looks a lot like DCI’s or DCI’s looks a lot like that one, or we have a case of parallel evolution on our hands. Which is entirely possible.

Bright, Paper-Inspired, Preppy

Dabney Lee Woglom isn’t afraid to own up to her preppiness, and she makes no secret of her love of luxurious trinkets for the home. And I guess I love her? She’s got that eye for colors and patterns that I envy. Bad news: I can’t steal her flair. Good news: I (and you) can buy her stuff.

Woglom’s line of bold and bright accessories for house and apartment can be found at Dabney Lee at Home, her monogram-o-rific online shop. No, really – if what floats your boat involves lucite, sweet patterns, or paper, then she’s the lady you need to look into.

Lucite is a big part of her wares, mainly because you can use it like a window for displaying colorful paper and photographs. It’s also cool and very modern, not to mention the fact that you can easily work lucite accessories into pretty much any decor.

Woglom’s line of bold and bright accessories for house and apartment can be found at Dabney Lee at Home, her monogram-o-rific online shop. No, really – if what floats your boat involves lucite, sweet patterns, or paper, then she’s the lady you need to look into.

Oh, and here’s the best part: Pretty much everything sold in Dabney Lee at Home is customizable with different colors, patterns, and nameplates. Whether you like simple colors or funky patterns, you’re probably going to see something you like! (I did; I got the salt and pepper shakers, if you were curious.)

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