ren·o·ven·tion \ˈre-nə-ven(t)-shən\
To restore to life, vigor, or a former better state using ingenuity and imagination.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Finds - Etsy Chandeliers

I love Etsy. I could spend hours browsing through all of the wonderful handmade and vintage items and my daily "etsy finds" is always a treasure trove. It's wonderful that home businesses and small scale independent designers can use the site to market their goods around the world. You could literally furnish an entire apartment only with Etsy items if you so desired.

Today's Etsy Finds email had a "shop chandeliers" link and I couldn't help myself. Take a look at some of these wonderful finds. The name of the item and seller (exactly as their store name is written on Etsy) for each are noted in the caption of the image. Enjoy!

Ella Plastic Bottle Chandelier - SarahTurnerEcoDesign
Wood Pallet Chandelier 12 Bulb by typewriterboneyard
Brass Chandelier by moolights
Aluminum Leafed Pendant Bubble Chandelier by PELLEshop
24k Gold X-Large Bubble Chandelier by PELLEshop
Continued Small Chandelier by ReMainDesigns
Claylight Cluster by lightexture
5 Chunk Modern Pendant Chandelier by dylangrey
Custom Upcycled industrial pipe chandelier by hammersheels
Vinyl Record Chandelier by TheLightStore
Steamlight Quartet by lightexture
Industrial Chic Chandelier by urbanchandy
Cervantes wine barrel Chandelier by StilNovoDesign
Orbits Urban Chandelier by StilNovoDesign
Summer's Glow by BootsNGus

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Space for Mish - Design Crew response for Desire to Inspire

One of my absolute favorite blogs Desire to Inspire has a reoccurring feature they call "Design Crew" where a reader will write in asking for design advice. They will post photos and a description of the problem the reader is having and then ask everyone to take a crack at fixing it up.

This week Mish wrote in asking for an update for her home. She is bored of her space and says she loves modern, hates try hard and suburban. Her home already has great bones, an amazing view, high ceilings and beautiful architectural beams. Now it just needs a style update.

The biggest problem I see in this space is that the cabinets and floor blend together. I think Mish would lose value by painting those cabinets so rather than changing them, I would change the flooring and wall color. I would flip that great charcoal color currently on her walls (or even a darker grey or black) onto the floor either by painting or tiling it. Kim from Desire to Inspire did a great post on black floors so if your having reservations check it out here: Desire to Inspire - Black Floors Post

 Here are some additional examples of kitchens with dark floors and light wood cabinets.

Union Square West Kitchen via Decor Fellow
By Kitchen Distributors
Additional shot of previous kitchen - by Kitchen Distributors

Similar to the above photo, I would paint either a very light grey or white on the walls. That will help the architectural beams and cabinetry to stand out. I would also consider tiling the little wall area behind the espresso maker - that small amount of tile would be inexpensive and it would create a nice focal point to draw your eye on that back wall. Here are a few options that would look nice with either white or grey walls.

Daltile - Wedge Polished Contempo White
Daltile - Oval Polished Contempo White
Daltile - Basketweave Honed Contempo White
Tileshop - Hampton Carrara 1 x 1 in Hex

The dining table and chairs are great but I would change the pendant lights in that area. I like the modern style of the current light but the shape and scale make it very heavy. I would do something a little more fun or funky with some negative space in it's design to add some movement and pop to that area. Depending on Mish's personal taste something like the Ten Tales, Asparagus, or Opuim pendant lights would add huge impact. I look at lighting as the jewelry of a house so I tend to go for statement lighting that has some pizazz. If these are too much for Mish, she can stick to finding something that is more simple but still has an open design.

Ten Tales Suspension Lamp via
Asparagus Pendant via

Opium Pendant via

In the living area Mish has some nice accent pieces but most of the larger elements in the space are very boxy. Since she said she wants to throw some money at this project I would suggest a new couch and two non-matching side chairs for the seating area. The chairs she has now look super comfortable but they are traditional in style and I think she would be happier with something that has clean lines. Here are some options for seating:

Carmichael Sofa by Gus via

Sabine Sofa by Room and Board

Luna Sofa by TrueModern via

Below are some chair options. I would get two different chairs (non-matching) for each side of the sofa. When there is a lot of clean lined furniture I think this adds a more homey feel, like the pieces have been collected or salvaged over the years. A non-symmetrical/non-matching grouping will also add visual interest and draw more attention to the seating area.

Larsen Chair by Room and Board
Ryder Rocking Chair - West Elm
GT Rocker - Gus via 2Modern
Bliss Chair-and-a-Half by West Elm

Then I would add a new rug, colorful pillows, and a throw for the couch. In my experience rug selection can be polarizing and depends a lot on personal taste. So here are some modern options to mix and match with.

Istanbul Rug by West Elm
Griffith Park by Thom Filicia
Beckett Rug by Lauren RL
I almost didn't include this one. Ikat is really in right now but Mish said she doesn't like anything trying too hard so trendy might not be her thing. I decided to add it because the colors are wonderful (especially for her space) and I like the movement in the pattern. The rug is called Ikat Blue Oushak via Horchow

Here are some pillow ideas for the couch and chairs. Bold, graphic, and geometric.

Pillows via the Square Feathers Geometric collection from Horchow
Since When Pillow by Inhabit via 2Modern

Whole Baby Fish Pillow by Emma at Home via 2Modern
Analog Nights Pillow by Aimee Wilder

Yellow and Gray pillow collection via Horchow

She might also want to get some felt baskets or similar storage solution to put in the open spaces of the entertainment/shelving unit. For a modern space it's especially important to keep clutter to a minimum and there are some great options for storage bins.

Example of boxes used as a storage solution from CB2
Format Storage Box in Smoke by CB2 (seen in previous photo also in red)
Felt File Box by CB2

 Lastly, for the bedroom I would recommend updating her linens. There are a lot of great options available. Below is one collection by West Elm that I think integrates well with the rest of the apartment. Its simple, clean, and relaxing.

Dark Luxe Linen collection by West Elm

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finding Inspiration - Secret Spaces

After the broken pipe debacle my husband quickly lost his enthusiasm for renovating. The water damage significantly expanded the scope of our job and we both felt overwhelmed. While I was seeing new possibilities, he was envisioning a slippery slope of cost and hassle.

Fortunately, while channel surfing one day he found a special on HGTV called Secret Spaces. It featured the designs of "Creative Home Engineering" a company that specializes in secret passages and hidden doors. Below is a sampling of their work.
You can find their website at 

There were a lot of "oohs and ahhs" over the hidden doors and their various means of entry. One was opened via radio frequency transmission when certain chess pieces were aligned on a chess board. Others had a simple hidden latch or like the staircase above a simple key fob. My favorite has always been the bookcase that opens when you pull down a certain book.

Suddenly my husband was excited about the project again. The brainstorming began on where we could add a room that would be concealed enough to be a "secret". It was important to him that a stranger walking through the house would not be able to tell where the hidden door and room were. After all, that's what makes the whole thing so intriguing right? Eventually we did work out the details to make his inspiration a reality in our home. You'll have to wait to see it until it's fully executed -  no use ruining the surprise before then!

So I guess the moral of this story is that inspiration can come unexpectedly. It's easy to lose perspective on any problem by focusing in on it too closely. If your feeling burned out or are stuck with your project just take some mental time away from it.  When you have had a chance to put your own concerns aside you may just find the solution you were lacking.