The Chandelier Refresh: Giving Your Space New Life with a New Light

When Katey and Paul took on designing their house, they put off the master bedroom for last. For many, the master bedroom is a challenge, as both people want to feel like it is totally their room and want to feel really comfortable in it. This might mean striking a balance not only between each other’s tastes but conventionally masculine and feminine aspects. (We did a whole post on this subject here, if you’re interested.) Their idea was to ground the space with the masculine hues of dark brown with the wooden floorboards and a “chocolate-velvet” bed, then contrast these with airy and glamorous feminine accents.

It was a great idea, but the first attempt didn’t quite work

Then, working with interior designer Maddie Hughes, they swapped out the leopard print for white pillows and a lucite bench with angora throw, placed a beautiful rug that tied into the established palette under the bed, added a very tasteful window treatment, exchanged the white art triptych above the bed for one with earthy tones and gilded frames, and selected a new chandelier: Cielo by Corbett Lighting. In Katey’s words, the effect of this chandelier and these textiles on the room was “transformative.”

Below is the outcome. Get the whole scoop from Katey in her blog post on her site, Chronicles of Frivolity.

Photo by Madison Katlin | Design by Maddie Hughes | Home by Katey and Paul of Chronicles of Frivolity

If you’re thinking it’s time to revitalize your space, giving it a powerful refresh with a few decisive changes, you may want to start with the chandelier.

Selecting a piece that has presence gives the center of a space definition and gravity; when matched to colors and accents throughout the space, it pulls the room together.

Banishing the drab and ushering in the drama, the physicality of Corbett chandeliers redefine the spaces they occupy. 

Below, our Charisma, with three layers of handmade glass accented with gold-leaf finished metal on top and bottom makes a decorative impact, refreshing two dining rooms and a bedroom.

Design: Ryan Saghian
Taryn Newton
Design: Laura U Interior Design

Laura U shows us how it’s done in this amazing space. Obviously, the incredible work on the ceiling is a major part in this room’s transformation. If you look at the header image up top, from the same room, you will see how hints of gold and silver thread their way through the ceiling and the window treatment, amplifying the polished stainless steel rod and gold-leaf accents along the trifurcated crystal in the Charisma chandelier. The proximity of these elements intensifies their connection.

The chairs, too, contribute to this design unity, immediately striking. White and gold, with contrasting organic curves and hard angles, they complement the chandelier beautifully while also subtly connecting to the artwork in its golden square frame in the background. As daylight hits three ringed layers of suspended crystal in the chandelier, they reflect white light, strengthening the impression of this gold, white, silver, grey, and blue palette. 

There are almost more beautiful components to this space than one can enumerate, but clearly, the chandelier commands attention immediately and serves as a unifying force for the many elegant elements that come together for this gorgeous dining area.

This is Kelly GoLightly’s living room after selecting a Pulse chandelier from Corbett to complete the space. As she mentions in her useful blog post about picking out a chandelier, she had a great template to build on because the room had been designed for the Traditional Home Modernism Week Showhouse by Barclay Butera. True to the week’s theme, Butera outfitted the room with immaculate taste in a style leaning heavy on mid-century modern. 

Kelly kept some of his ideas and added her own furniture and lighting. Favoring bold, white, chrome, and glamour with slightly bohemian touches, Kelly needed a new light fixture that was going to work with those elements and define the space. As you can see, the difference setting a statement-maker piece like Pulse in the space makes is profound. 

You can read the story in Kelly’s words and see many more pictures here.

The room in its original form for Modernism Week 
The room after Kelly’s transformation

Meet Our Crew: Kyle Cordova

I am a part of the Commercial team here at Springhaus, where I specialize in corporate and office interiors. I hail from the beautiful Island of Oahu, Hawaii.  For over the last 10 years I have called Colorado my home, essentially trading my Surfboard in for a Snowboard.   When I am not working with clients to create amazing office spaces, I am spending time with my Wife and 4 children.  We enjoy seeing live music, watching the Broncos, and visiting local brewery’s. As a Rotarian am very passionate about philanthropy which I show trough my community involvement with local charities and nonprofits.  Here at Springhaus we are not only dedicated to designing breathtaking spaces we are equally dedicated to making our community a better place to live, and that is why I am blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of people.

Spring Refresh: In With the Bright and Light

Spring is here! At last. Will there be a last snowstorm next month? It’s possible. Is that going to stop us from hitting the refresh button on our home NOW? No.

The place can get drab through the winter months. Join us as we take a gander at these spring-ready spaces and get inspired to shake things up. 

Design: Holly Hollingsworth Phillips | Light: Leigh by Mitzi

Let’s start with the mudroom shall we? As we all know, spring is a muddy season. This is a transitional space, so it’s a great place to experiment with taking risks. And hey, speaking of risks, bring in the color!

An easy place to start is with accents, decorative items you can place on shelves and sidetables. This might also include the accent light layer, with a wall sconce like Leigh in a fun pop color. The yellow and brass combo here sure puts a smile on our face. The white on white on white here with walls, mouldings, and ceilings feels fresh—it also provides a great blank canvas against which all the color in the space can POP. This way, the space doesn’t become too overwhelming.

Not that the mudroom is the only space for such adventures. The bathroom or the powder room is a great place to refresh. People go into a powder room to freshen up.

These blue and yellow tones are so refreshing. Rather than make the Leigh lantern truly pop here, this room ties it together with art with yellows in matching hues. Many of the first flowers to appear in the spring are yellow: daffodils, crocuses, winter aconites, and forsythia. Maybe that’s why this combo is giving us all the spring feels. Yellow like crocus, blue like cloudless skies. 

Another thing that makes this powder room by Pencil Shavings so refreshing is something you don’t notice right away: the mixed metals. This gives it a feeling of confidence. A bronze-toned doorknob, nickel handles on the vanity, and subdued brass everywhere else looks awesome. Also, who doesn’t love a big round mirror? The blue leather ribbon with tassels used to mount it here gives it a little something extra. Adding mirrors is a great way to maximize the natural light with the longer days come springtime.

Obviously, wallpaper is a bit of a commitment, but oh, the difference it makes! Whether it’s the natural imagery or the colors used in the pattern, wallpaper changes a room, and definitely may bring the spring in to a stale space. This is true even when it’s used in a small accent wall space. Which is also a great way to test it out and see how it feels to live with it.

A new rug with soft colors and textures to match breathes a lot of new life into a room. It’s a game-changer. Pillows and plants freshen things up considerably.

This space suggests another idea to freshen things up: Create an intimate conversational space, then have friends over to enjoy it and reward yourself. If you’ve got the nook, we’ve got the look. Here, our Paige flush mount fits the style of the space perfectly, ready to help with the ambience.

A sectional couch, a large area rug with soothing hues, some version of Paige, some plants and things from the outdoors—this space continues a lot of spring-ready elements we saw in the previous room, but it widens out into something different. We love the big pillow to sit on, the hanging chair, the use of art throughout the space. The pastels by the window and the mix of fresh flowers and potted plants gives us a “We’re ready for spring!” feel. 

Another great take-away from this relaxed boho space is on the ceiling. Adding a medallion around a chandelier or pendant is a smart and easy way to elevate the space. We’ve been seeing more and more of these medallions around Mitzi installs, and there’s something about their baroque filigree next to our clean, contemporary lines that makes such a cool contrast.

Spring comes in soft and gentle, and this space seems to speak to that. Keeping it neutral, architectural features like wall paneling and soft textures like those on the blush curtains and curved chairs stand out more. Even details like the wooden frame around the beautiful black-and-white photograph go a long way with the tasteful restraint here. Natural forms possess such grace in this setting, and even our Carrie chandelier seems to reflect this organic branching quality.  

Kenzie
Mitzi®
Willa
Mitzi®
Scarlett
Mitzi®
Margot
Mitzi®

New Mitzi fixtures like Kenzie, Willa, Scarlett, and Margot are sure to help in scheming and dreaming for your refresh. Bringing spring into your space is easy with the colors, shapes, and textures in these fresh creations. Scarlett comes in a few spring hues and classic colors, so it blends into a range of styles. Great for apartment dwellers or renters, Margot comes in a portable plug-in version with two small canopies and a long woven cord for you to attach to your ceiling and hang in any way you see fit. Perfect for creating that conversation corner. 

With a little help from your Mitzi friends, it’s easy-breezy to keep things in your home au courant au printemps. 

Meet Our Crew: Melissa Clow

I am a Colorado native pursuing my passion for Interior Design and Architecture while specializing in the Kitchen and Bath department here at Springhaus! My love for the outdoors brought me to Gunnison, Colorado where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Western State Colorado University. While living in Gunnison, I was able to indulge in the great outdoors by becoming a raft guide, hiking, and skiing at Crested Butte all year long. During this time, I became highly interested in International Education which proposed an opportunity to travel to multiple countries. So far, I have made it to 25 countries, and I hope to continue the opportunity to see the rest of the world. During my experiences through multiple different countries, their cultures, and the design history that presented itself, I found myself fascinated with the Architecture and Interior Design community. This circumstance opened up a new outlet to lead me straight to Fort Collins, Colorado where I graduated from Front Range Community College with my Associates of Applied Science in Interior Design, a Certificate in Kitchen & Bath, and an Architecture Drafting Certificate. 
I have been with Springhaus since the beginning, and it has been incredible to see how much we have grown and all of the relationships that I have gained over the past few years. I love working for Springhaus because I’m encouraged to try new things and be innovative with endless types of design. There is nothing better than seeing the finished product and helping your clients vision come to life!

Meet Our Crew: Erin Miller

Growing up I was always surrounded by different types of design, all the way from landscapes to interiors.  I am a Colorado native and living so close to the Rocky Mountains I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by some very beautiful and unique designs. I graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Interior Design and was then able to turn my passion into a profession! I started at Springhaus in 2017 as one of the Designers and have now moved into the role of the company Buyer as well as working in Accounting!  I developed a passion for Interior Design at a young age and have been very blessed to expand my role into the business side of the design world as well!  

There are many things I love about working at Springhaus but one of those is that we can help anyone with their design needs and have the most amazing team to assist with that! Springhaus really is “Everything Amazing”.

House Tour: Brit Arnesen Deco, Boho-glam, and MCM Vibes in a Revitalized Ranch

Maybe you’ve seen Brit Arnesen’s cool, relaxed, and elegant home, inspired by a contemporary mix of Art Deco, boho-glam, and mid-century Modern influences run through her personal filter? There was that Apartment Therapy article, and that feature on her bathroom transformation on Clare’s paint blog. Or maybe you’re one of her 33 thousand Instagram followers?

Brit bought the very same house she used to ride by on her bike as an 8-year old, not fantasizing about living in it someday but thinking to herself that it must be the world’s ugliest home. A ranch-style built in 1962, with the bare minimum done for almost 50 years and then abandoned for nearly 5, Brit must’ve surprised herself then, when she and her husband, Derek, bought it about 5 years ago, thinking they would fix it and flip it. But as they invested all their time, dreams, and energy into it, they became really attached. We would, too, if we’d made such a beautiful place for ourselves, and worked so hard in the process. Along the way, Brit, formerly a model, an elementary school teacher, a world traveler, and a graduate scholar, reinvented herself.

With two children, two dogs, one cat, and one hardworking husband (with freshly renewed vows!), she had her work cut out for her: How was she to craft a space out of the existing structure that lived up to her design dreams but was practical for the loves of her life? Knocking down walls, making the most of natural light, she created an open floor plan where living room, dining area, and kitchen all flow together, their styles complementing each other seamlessly. Through trial and error, an autodidact’s passion for teaching herself interior design, and a great community of likeminded folks online, she made this amazing, liveable space. Brit carved out a little time from her busy life to answer a few questions from us. Read on below!

Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Image: Wendy Swanson Photography
Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Image: Wendy Swanson Photography
Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design

How would you describe your style?

I feel like my style is actually pretty eclectic. I’d describe it as Art Deco-inspired boho-glam with some MCM thrown in.

Where did you look for inspiration when designing this space?

I have a pretty decent collection of interior design books that I looked at for inspiration. I also went to design blogs as well as Pinterest and Instagram, of course! The interior design community on Instagram is actually pretty close-knit and some of the interior designer friends I’ve made were also a huge help, especially when it came to sources.

What is the main impression or vibe you hope this space makes on someone coming to it?

I hope it comes across as stylish, yet relaxed. This area of the house gets a lot of use and I want it to be a place where my family wants to be. I think the mix of high and low design helps to accomplish this. The swing helps, too! 

What role does lighting play in this space?

It’s the focal point for sure. I wanted something bold and elegant to really make a statement and help me nail down that Hollywood Regency vibe. The Estee chandelier with the Milo pendants and Ellis flush mountdo just that. 

Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Image: Wendy Swanson Photography

Can you tell us more about that dramatic ceiling medallion in black around Estee’s canopy? Where’d you get the idea? Did you customize it? 

As far as the medallion goes, it was actually my friend Emily’s (@gildedhearth) idea. We met and became friends through Instagram. She’s an interior designer in LA. We chit-chat a lot and I asked her opinion when I was figuring out what I wanted to do in the dining room. I’d been contemplating painting an area on the ceiling around the light when she sent me a link to the medallion and said to paint it black. I’m so glad I did! The combo is perfection!

What advice would you give to someone looking to expand their design horizons?

I would say to look for inspiration on either PinterestInstagram, or the many interior design blogs out there and then just go for it. I feel like design is trial and error, or at least it has been for me. I tend to change things up frequently in my home not only because I enjoy having a project to work on, but also because I’m trying to home in on what I really like and create a space that I can feel comfortable and content in. I feel like every project I do, I get closer and closer to knowing my style. You have to start somewhere and just keep going. 

Fun question: What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?

Definitely Law & Order: SVU, although Breaking Bad is a close second.

Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Image: Wendy Swanson Photography
Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Image: Wendy Swanson Photography

Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Image: Wendy Swanson Photography

The story continues! Check out the amazing transformations pulled off with a little Mitzi-love along the way in her bathroom and bedroom

Design: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design
Homeowner and Design: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design 

Meet Our Crew: Matt Brunk

Although a Californian by birth, I have called Colorado home for nearly 20 years now and proud to say that I love it here. After attending College at the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s in Marketing, I moved back to Fort Collins and haven’t wanted to leave since. I first was introduced to the commercial world 10 years ago with a moving and installation company that continued to expand on ways we could help clients with their spaces, by adding furniture, walls, and flooring to our capabilities. After helping open the Colorado headquarters and Nebraska Branch, I joined Springhaus to help build something even bigger. Now I get the opportunity to provide everything for a client for not just their office, but for their entire building. The sense of pride when driving around Northern Colorado knowing that I was part of that building is what drives me to continue to grow our business and capabilities. 
Married to my amazing wife Jessica and blessed by our two boys Hudson (4 years old) and Ryker (1-year-old), my time outside of work is dedicated to enjoying their laughs, smiles, and amazing hearts. We love going to the pool in the summer, watching football during the winter, and dance parties in the living room to get all that energy out. Other hobbies include a deep passion for golf, fishing, and waterfowl hunting. I also am a member of the Northern Colorado United for Youth and a huge advocate for fundraising events to support the kids and veterans of Northern Colorado. 

One of the many reasons why I love working at Springhaus is the ability to truly create a full tenant finish package and really helping a client from start to finish of their business. While helping offices, restaurants, beauty salons, and much more we get to provide the wide breadth of products, looks, and feels to our clients and make every project something unique and special. Springhaus has allowed me to expand my capabilities with my relationships to be even more involved in their projects and hold even more pride in the finished project. 

Meet Our Crew: Deseray Mann

I am one of Springhaus’s Kitchen and Bath Designers that specializes in everything within that space and it’s surrounding elements. I’m originally from Alaska, though grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado with a high interest of outdoor activities as that’s where you’ll typically find me when not indulging in design. I graduated from Front Range Community College with an Associate of Arts and Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) focused in Interior Design along with a Kitchen and Bath (NKBA Accredited) certificate, Drafting Fundamentals certificate, and Design Communication certificate. In January 2018, I was nominated and awarded as first place kitchen design through the Nation Kitchen and Bath Association Student Design Competition as well as Way Point Living Spaces. Having an outdoorsy background, I am usually spending my off time: kayaking, hiking, camping, fishing, snowshoeing, and gallivanting on the funny farm with the dogs and goats!   

Working with Springhaus has been a completely different evolving design experience that has opened up so many different relationships, connections, and collaborative events between clients, peers, vendors, builders, and installers. Being able to be a part of this larger, local firm has truly been an eye opening experience that just keeps evolving everyday. I can’t wait to experience it with you all!

Wallpapers That Make You Say “Woah”: Pairing Creative Wallcoverings with Bold Light Fixtures

January 10, 2019

img

It’s been great seeing the creativity infusing the wallpaper world with new zest. Timorous Beasties, Abnormals Anonymous, Cole & Son, Anthropologie, Ashley Woodson Bailey, Hygge & West, Lulu & Georgia—just to name a few—have been absolutely killing it. (Emily Henderson did a nice round-up here.) From single image pieces to updates on toile to things that have textural appearance to geometrical to symmetrical to asymmetrical to chinoiserie to huge sensuous flowers on dark backgrounds to soft natural tones to glinting golden lines to animals, there are so many options out there now. (I’m out of breath just writing that.)  

For a long time, wallpaper was used by those inclined to do so, but it wasn’t a popular choice, and there might even have been an attitude that it was somehow inferior to paint. But now, wallcoverings have become re-energized with new ideas that are setting spaces apart. An arty sensibility and a playful boldness have banished any connotation of boringness or backgroundness it might have had. 

Looking to breathe new life into a room and give it a whole new look? The combination of a contemporary wallpaper and a wow-worthy light fixture could do just the trick. 

Design and Photo: Rebecca Propes of Make and Do Studio | Light fixture: Mitzi Asime
Design and Photo: Rebecca Propes of Make and Do Studio | Light fixture: Mitzi Asime 

There are contradicting opinions. On the one side, you have notions like ‘Make sure you love the wallpaper. Replacing it is hard.’ On the other, you’ve got, ‘Well, not really. Replacing it is easier these days, depending on what options you go with.’ Some designers suggest that the key to using wallpaper is restraint: ‘Do one or two rooms before committing to more than that.’ Others say ‘Go big or go home!’ Similarly, some suggest an accent wall while others say ‘H-E-doublehockeysticks no.’ (Accent walls, as we’ve covered, can be a divisive subject). The question is no longer ‘Will I still love this in 10 years?’ but ,’Is this going to be great for 5 years?’ Let’s face it: There’s no way of knowing. Just jump in.

Interior designer Betsy Helmuth says, “Go the distance. You want to make a statement, make a statement,” arguing that using wallpaper for an entire room is era-appropriate. “The way you do paper is you do a whole room.”

Design: Michelle Gage | Chandeliers: HVL Dunkirk | Sconce: HVL Julien
Design: Erin Lepperd of Style Me Pretty Living | Chandelier: HVL Washington | Sconce: HVL Garden City

Are you considering doing a wallpaper refresh? A few things to consider before plunging in. 

First off, hire a pro installer. Get it right the first time; get the best look; avoid waste; prevent buying an outrageous yardage. 

Second, prep the surface it’s going to go on. The wall may require considerable sanding, spackling, and evening out. 

Thirdly, consider angles in your placement. Is it an old room where planes don’t meet at a sharp perpendicular angle? This can create a bad look. Wallpaper works best when everything meets neatly and every situation has been prepared for, including where the repeats in the pattern happen and where windows and doors will interrupt it.

This article from the Washington Post covers a lot of the practical advice stuff pretty well. 

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016 | Design: Matthew Quinn | Light fixture: Troy Andromeda

Let’s say you do want to start small, try it out as an experiment. Powder rooms are one of the best places for wallpaper. The small area to cover makes it an inexpensive lark with the possibility of an aesthetic payoff that is big.

It’s also a place where you indulge yourself in something whimsical, something dramatic. Since a powder room is not really a space you livein, spending a lot of time, it’s a safe space to lean into your wilder proclivities. At its best, it’s a refreshing oasis for a guest, a place to step away from it all for a moment.

Design: Erin Kestenbaum | Light fixture: Troy Ace

Another brilliant way to apply wallpaper (and a way to use it so that it’s not the whole room) is to combine it with wainscoting. Wallpaper used this way, offset by crown moulding and half-wall wainscoting, makes for an enduringly elegant combination. It also offer possibilities for engaging color combinations. You could tie the color of the wainscoting and moulding into the wallpaper or even match it completely, making a beautiful complement, as in the room above, or you could use it as a chance to make a bold contrast, as in the energizing scenario pictured in our header image to this post.

Design: Curtis Elmy of Atmosphere Interior Design | Pendant: HVL Glendale

But just because it’s called wallpaper doesn’t mean it has to have to go on the wall. 

Using wallpaper on the ceiling creates an unexpected element that lifts your head as well as elevates the whole space. Often barely considered when putting a room together, giving the ceiling attention may prove transformative, as seen here. 

In this space by Curtis Elmy of Atmosphere ID, the grey, brass, black, and white scheme is lifted by the stunner of the ceiling with our eye-catching two-tone Glendale in the center.

The right combination of a bold wallpaper and a bold light fixture which complement each other is a sure-fire way to energize a room with a needed dose of the unexpected. 

Design: Michelle Gage | Sconce: HVL Julien
Design: Erin Lepperd of Style Me Pretty Living | Sconce: HVL Garden City

20 Modern Farmhouse Design Ideas That Are Irresistibly Chic

By Christin Perry – 

A balanced blend of rustic and refined, the modern farmhouse style continues to be a rising trend. We break down our favorite modern farmhouse looks—inside and out.

Modern Farmhouse Exteriors

A modern farmhouse exterior is often a perfect blend of modern and traditional elements. Whether it’s a fabulous farm porch or siding made with reclaimed wood, homes that hearken back to simpler times can be expertly styled with an of-the-moment feel.

Modern Touches to a Traditional Farmhouse Exterior

This gorgeous, peaceful home in rural North Carolina seamlessly combines both traditional and modern elements. The wrap-around porch is an undeniable vestige of days of old, when rocking chairs and lemonade dominated a family’s free time. But the ample windows and open floor plan (along with the entire interior decor of the home) incorporate elements that easily bring this home to the modern day.

“Our goal was to strike a good balance between traditional and modern in a way that did not result in simply a traditional exterior and modern interior,” says architect Erin Sterling Lewis. A pressure-treated wood deck extends from the property under a stained pine, V-groove ceiling. Steel and wood comprise the columns.

“The main volume presents a traditional front and is wrapped on the west and south by a deep porch,” says architect Erin Sterling Lewis. “Living and dining spaces access the porch.” A standing seam metal roof with a Kynar finish and HardiPlank Lap Siding cover the exterior of this 3,000-square-foot home.

Sizeable and Chic in Vermont’s White Mountains

A winter vacation retreat for a private client in Vermont, this four-bedroom home sits nested on a hill facing north toward the White Mountains. On this modern farmhouse exterior, vernacular materials such as HardiPlank siding, sheet metal, board-formed concrete and timber framing are reinterpreted with a modern focus.

Tall windows are strategically placed around interior spaces to provide optimal views out toward the mountain ranges in the distance and provide natural light to key living areas. The house also allows for strong ties to its surrounding landscapes with a bridge that connects its users to a network of paths leading up through the mountains.

A Stately Farmhouse in Upstate New York

Inspired by hilltop views and traditional New England farm and barn structures, Marvin Architect’s Challenge winner Michael Waters of LDa Architecture & Interiors set out to strike the perfect balance between time-tested tradition and sophisticated, clean lines.

The ultimate goal was to create a home that would have an authentic presence in the surrounding agricultural landscape and strong visual and physical connections to the site.

The design incorporates an existing colonial residence, re-situated on the site and preserved along with contemporary additions on three sides. The resulting home strikes a perfect balance between traditional farmhouse architecture and sophisticated contemporary living.

Inspired by hilltop views and traditional New England farm and barn structures, Marvin Architect’s Challenge-winner Michael Waters of LDa Architecture & Interiors set out to strike the perfect balance between time-tested tradition and sophisticated, clean lines. The site includes a farmhouse-inspired residence along with a timber-framed barn and attached greenhouse, adjacent to an enclosed garden area and surrounded by a beautiful orchard.

 A Maine Farmhouse Built With Salvaged Materials

Caleb Johnson Studio combined materials recovered from a vintage farmstead, as well as a midcentury modern teardown, to create the ultimate modern farmhouse. By incorporating such materials into the new home’s design, they were able to create a modern farmhouse with soul. Large Marvin windows and an unpainted galvalume-coated steel roof complete the modern farmhouse exterior.

A Kennebunk family needed their forever home, and the old farmhouse and barn that stood on their property wasn’t going to cut it. The architects at Caleb Johnson Studio started the process by salvaging everything they could from the old buildings, including the timber roof structure, interior wood cladding, and interior doors. Additionally, the architects also claimed cabinetry and fixtures from a midcentury home that was being torn down in Weston, Massachusetts. By incorporating such materials into the new home’s design, they were able to create a modern farmhouse with soul.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchens

A kitchen designed in a modern farmhouse style is functional, free of clutter, and always chic. Scroll to read about some of our favorite modern farmhouse kitchen designs.

A Baker’s Rustic, Industrial Kitchen 

When beginning construction, Austin–based contractor Royce Flournoy hoped that the simple, gabled structure of the farmhouse-style home he now shares with his partner would blend seamlessly into the urban space around it.

The result? A simple, modern layout with ample light thanks to the open floor plan. In keeping with that, their modern farmhouse kitchen is a marriage of rustic warmth and industrial simplicity, with open shelving and a sleek marble countertop.

The marble countertop functions as both indoor and outdoor space in this unique modern farmhouse kitchen.Flournoy’s partner is a baker, and was given free reign to develop a modern farmhouse kitchen that met his needs. The space combines black, Shaker-style cabinets, white subway tiles, Carrera marble countertops, and wooden floors to create a balance between rustic warmth and industrial simplicity.

A Stunning Farmhouse Kitchen on a Wooded Property in Colorado 

Inspired by historic American farmhouses, this modern dwelling is sited at the base of the Rocky Mountain Foothills in West Boulder, Colorado. Designed by Boulder–based firm Surround Architecture, the 6,800-square-foot property features a modern farmhouse kitchen with a unique feature: a countertop that extends beyond the home’s four walls to create an outdoor bar area.

At the heart of the main level is the stunning kitchen, which expertly incorporates both light and dark elements for added visual interest. And expansive windows draw the eye (and the counter!) outside to a peaceful gathering place.

The marble countertop functions as both indoor and outdoor space in this unique modern farmhouse kitchen.

A Simple but Colorful Kitchen Sits at the Heart of This Wisconsin Farmhouse

Dotted with barns aplenty, the agricultural stronghold of Door County, Wisconsin, was the perfect place for Beth and her husband’s vision of a modern farmhouse. Enlisting the help of Minnesota–based Salmela Architect, the clients worked closely together with principal architect David Salmela, as well as project architect Malini Srivastava to craft a custom rural home inspired by the local weathered barns.

The couple chose a minimalist design approach for their home, due to both budget constraints and desired outcome. The style is mirrored in the diminutive modern farmhouse kitchen, which makes use of deep blue tiling set apart by stainless steel appliances.

The open kitchen is fitted with black granite counters, a ceramic backsplash, and melamine cabinets.

A Fully Renovated, Monochromatic Kitchen in Poland

When a dilapidated farmhouse went up for sale in Jacek Kolasiński’s dream neighborhood in Szczecin, Poland, he didn’t hesitate to buy it. “”I had been looking for a place here for a very long time,” the interior designer explains of the urban area, which retains the countryside charm it had before World War II. “I’ve liked it since I was a child.”

He brought the 1,500-square-foot structure back to life by tearing down light-blocking walls and cramped ceilings and salvaging unique features like columns and old brickwork. Its reconstructed bones were then bathed in white in true modern farmhouse style.

In the kitchen, an exposed brick wall stands out against the milky smoothness of the marble tile floors. “I wanted the house to be raw and interesting,” Kolasiński explains.

Cut firewood, ready for the cooler months, sits in custom-made cutouts.In this modern farmhouse kitchen, an exposed brick wall stands out against the milky smoothness of the marble tile floors. “I wanted the house to be raw and interesting,” Kolasiński explains. The large cupboard was designed by his company. Appliances are by Smeg and the stove hood is by Elica.

Modern Farmhouse Decor

When choosing decor in the modern farmhouse style, keep in mind that simplicity and functionality were at the heart of the farmhouses of old. It’s about carefully choosing pieces that speak to you, and fit beautifully into your space.

Colorado Farmhouse Employs Unique Firewood Storage

The interior areas flow toward the outdoors in all directions, and thanks to the use of bi-fold Dutch doors, as well as movable glass walls in the living room, the home is able to maximize its connection to nature.

In keeping with this, sizable cutouts provide ample indoor storage for firewood. It’s an attractive but functional use of natural decor, which will come in handy during the cold Colorado winter.

Cut firewood, ready for the cooler months, sits in custom-made cutouts.

Simple but Colorful Furnishings Pop in This Wisconsin Farmhouse

Here, a small farmhouse employs simple yet effective decor in keeping with the homeowner’s original vision. “Our client, Beth, loves the open farm fields of the area, and this project was in many ways her vision,” note the architects, who named the project House for Beth.

Too much furniture would obscure the sweeping view of the fields. Instead, simplistic pieces were used, many of which offered just the right amount of color to keep things interesting, like this dining table with red chairs from IKEA.

Red dining chairs provide a touch of color in this modern farmhouse in Wisconsin.

Exposed Beams and Wide Open Spaces

In this stately modern farmhouse, the client was interested in a clean look with large windows and lots of light. The spacious structure is supported by wooden beams, while floor-to-ceiling windows take full advantage of the natural light. Reclaimed materials are perfectly in place in this gorgeous home, which combines a number of styles from minimalism to elements of industrial chic to contemporary.

Furniture is sparse, and employs elements that blend nicely with its surroundings, so as to draw the eye neatly from one space to the next.

Modern farmhouse decor is on display throughout this stunning home. Here, you can see common elements like wide-plank wood floors, simple yet elegant furniture, and a sleek double-sided fireplace.

Photo: Arcbazar.com

A Refurbished Modern Farmhouse in Poland Employs a Monochromatic Palette

White paint with just a hint of gray dominates this modern farmhouse decor, reflecting the owner’s love of bright spaces. The pine wooden floors were also enameled in a white oil imported from Denmark. Even possessions have been placed mindfully so as not to interfere with the dwelling’s clean look.

White paint with just a hint of gray dominates the farmhouse, reflecting Kolasiński’s love of bright spaces. The pine wooden floors were also enameled in a white oil imported from Denmark.

Modern Farmhouse Living Rooms

A modern farmhouse living room can be styled in a variety of ways as you’ll see in the photos below. However, regardless of the modern farmhouse decor you choose for your living room, it should always be comfortable and inviting.

Light-Filled Family Home in Copenhagen

White wood-plank floors blend into the walls and ceilings in this diminutive living room in Copenhagen. The family chose to employ a monochromatic color palette to add light and create the illusion of space. A sleek dark grey sofa sits in juxtaposition with the rest of the room’s decor.

French doors in this modern farmhouse living room let light into the kitchen and open onto a lovely garden.

Striking Angular Cottage in Connecticut

Working with project architect Kyle Bradley, the homeowners, along with architects Lisa Gray and Alan Organschi, started with the simplest of designs—a shed-type structure with a steeply canted single-pitch roof—and, as Organschi puts it, “started blowing it open and filling it with large areas of glass.”

And there’s no want of it in this stunningly simple modern farmhouse living room, where an obvious connection to nature takes center stage.

Entire walls of floor to ceiling windows make it difficult to tell where the house ends and the outside begins in this modern farmhouse living room. The Kelleys furnished the cottage with help from Suzanne’s daughter Betsy Burbank of Betsy Burbank Interiors. Classic modernist icons, such as a Saarinen Womb chair for Knoll, a Herman Miller Eames lounge chair, and an Eileen Grey E1027 side table look at home alongside present-day pieces such as an Encore sofa (which handily folds down into a sleeping surface) from Room & Board and a Doka rug designed and produced by Stephanie Odegard.

A Retiree’s Chic but Effective Modern Farmhouse Living Room

The versatile living room is the focal point of this narrow but stately Virginia home. After the client bought a one-acre plot in a close-knit community, Wiedemann and project architect Felix Gonzalez designed her a house there that embraces the community spirit as well as the country scenery.

Expansive windows on both sides of the open living area bring the outside in. Marvin doors, the Ultimate Swinging French door, flank the mahogany-wrapped fireplace and provide easy access to the screened porch.

In this modern farmhouse living room, expansive windows on both sides of the open living area bring the outside in. Marvin doors, the Ultimate Swinging French door, flank the mahogany-wrapped fireplace and provide easy access to the screened porch.

Striking Slatted Wood and Glass Home in San Francisco

Teaming up with architect Craig Steely, an industrial designer and a mechanical engineer find just the right design for a striking home on a San Francisco hill. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room allow for a sweeping view of the city, while a 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsoe hangs tough on the only opaque wall. Russell-Clarke and Moolsintong designed the coffee table, and Marcel Wanders gets credit for the Bottoni sofa for Moooi.

A 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsoe hangs tough on the only opaque wall of the living room. Russell-Clarke and Moolsintong designed the coffee table, and Marcel Wanders gets credit for the Bottoni sofa for Moooi.

Modern Farmhouse Lighting

Modern farmhouse lighting serves to illuminate the space without drawing too much attention. Whether it’s a suspended pendant light or understated recessed lights, the lighting you choose should make sense with your space. Take a look at some examples below.

Texas Homeowners Curate Unique Modern Farmhouse Lighting

No detail was overlooked on this modern farmhouse in Texas. The owner’s favorite aspect of the design is that “every space in the house is used and appreciated.” This light-filled hallway overlooking the staircase connects the home’s two bedrooms to an upstairs living space.

Flournoy’s favorite aspect of the design is that “every space in the house is used and appreciated.” This light-filled hallway overlooking the staircase connects the home’s two bedrooms to an upstairs living space, and provides the ideal spot for another bookcase. Flournoy and his partner found the hall chandelier, along with the salvaged mill table that they repurposed as their kitchen island, on a trip to Chicago.

Perfectly Understated Lights in an Open Corridor 

In this stunning Colorado home, lighting is an integral part of the modern farmhouse interior. A fully glazed corridor with recessed lighting allows the owner to enjoy the autumn foliage outdoors.

Simplistic recessed modern farmhouse lighting provides just the right touch of illumination in this open corridor, allowing the owner to  enjoy the autumn foliage outdoors.

Simple Home With Farmhouse-Style Lighting 

In keeping with this farmhouse’s simplistic style, two gently glowing orb lights in white provide the living space with soft light. Here, it was critical to have lights suspended from above so as not to interfere with the view of the surrounding fields.

Understated modern farmhouse lighting is the right touch in this simple living space.

This Farmhouse Design Is a Modern-Day Fairytale

In this stunning home, the owner desired a modern farmhouse style that was clean and uncluttered, and full of light rather than dark and gothic. In keeping with that, this modern farmhouse lighting was chosen.

As simple and unobtrusive as they come, these sleek, silver lights are suspended from dramatically long cables in the master bedroom.

Unique modern farmhouse lighting in the form of these simple silver cylinders makes a great choice for this sleek master bedroom.

Modern Farmhouse Bathrooms

Similar to a modern farmhouse living room, your modern farmhouse bathroom can be just about anything you want it to be. Incorporating natural elements alongside more classic, modern pieces is a great way to pull off a bathroom retreat you’ll never want to leave.

A Black and White Modern Farmhouse Bathroom in Texas

The juxtaposition of black and white is perhaps the most notable detail of this home’s interiors, and this element is mirrored in the guest bathroom as well. Here, black and white tiles provide visual interest alongside the freestanding tub, which was painted black on the exterior.

The juxtaposition of black and white is perhaps the most notable detail of the home’s interiors. In the guest bathroom, black and white tiles provide visual interest.

An Elegantly Styled Modern Farmhouse Bathroom

This modern farmhouse bathroom in the same Texas home employs noticeably softer tones, where a gray marble double vanity gives way to a matching floor. An area rug incorporates gentle yellow tones, which are mirrored in the decor as well.

White walls, a luxurious marble double-sink, and an area rug give this bathroom an inviting atmosphere. “The natural light, open spaces, and light color palette make it a great place to wake up in the morning,” Flournoy says of his home. The sink is from Restoration Hardware and the rug is from West Elm.

A Pedestal Sink Provides a Rustic Touch

A classic ceramic pedestal sink brings a touch of heritage design to this otherwise modern farmhouse bathroom. It’s an appropriate design element for a traditional, heritage home with modern design details. Seen here with Malaga cement tiles from Town and Country Surfaces and a salvaged antique clawfoot bathtub, this particular pedestal sink was sourced from Waterworks.

A salvaged antique tub stands beside a sink by Waterworks. Town and Country Surfaces supplied the Malaga cement tiles that color the floor.

Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Employs Open Storage With a Console Vanity

In this modern farmhouse bathroom, the storage the owner has incorporated is similar in structure to a freestanding cabinet unit but has exposed shelves rather than closed-door cupboards. A console vanity creates a light and elegant look, while still providing ample storage space for towels or toiletry baskets.

Form meets function in this stylish modern farmhouse bathroom, where the console vanity creates a light and elegant look.

Source: https://www.dwell.com/article/modern-farmhouses-a9bf6970

Kohler’s New Components Collection Offers Mixing and Matching Elements for Personalization

Posted by Kelly Beall

The following post is brought to you by Kohler. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.

If you’ve ever thrown up your hands at the lack of compatible faucet elements during a bathroom build or redesign, have a look at Kohler’s new Componentscollection that allows you to personalize faucets, handles, and finish in a range of modern and minimal options. Components interchangeable range is the epitome of forward thinking design that also offers a bit of technology with gentle precision of flow and temperature control with a hidden aerator that creates an organic waterflow.

Kohler has made it easy to create a look that suits your own design needs with this pared down, yet refined line. To create a luxuriously chic personalized faucet configuration with the Components line there’s a simple three-step process to follow.

First, choose your spout for the sink or bath. The three design options include Row, a modern design with crisp angles; Ribbon, thin with with the appearance of their namesake; and Tube, a timeless cylindrical style.

Second, choose your handle. If sink space is at a premium, a single-control Rocker handle will do it all. For widespread sink configurations and baths, choose from an Oyl handle, inspired by precision-tooled gauges and dials; an Industrial handle influenced by machine valves and factory pipes; or a Rocker handle featuring a unique back-and-forth movement and smooth control.

Third and last, choose your finish. Currently available are options in Polished Chrome, Vibrant Brushed Nickel, Vibrant Brushed Modern Brass, Vibrant Titanium, and Matte Black. Once you’ve created your ideal configuration you can finish bringing the room together with the accompanying Components line of shower designs and accessories.

We think you’ll agree that the Components collection speaks to contemporary bathroom design as well as the many facets of modern design in and of itself. Every faucet, handle, and finish is designed to feel like a minimalist piece of modern sculpture that invites you to explore your own personal aesthetic and design the space you’ve been dreaming about.

4 Smart Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value When You Renovate

During your next home renovation, choose changes that aren’t just about picking the hottest paint color; instead, add true value to your home. These four smart, strategic home upgrades will last well beyond the latest trend.

1. Be Bold With the Bathroom

When it comes to improving your lifestyle and your home’s value the bathroom edges out the kitchen as today’s best choice for a remodel. It can be more cost-effective (according to this cost versus value report), plus is an opportunity to add long-term value by installing an elegant, walk-in shower. Super on-trend now, highly useful in your (or a future homeowner’s) golden years.

During a remodel, look to add stylish, low-flow fixtures to save money today and help you sell to the eco-conscious homeowner tomorrow. Change outdated countertops and cabinets for space-saving, floating vanities. Remove unflattering lighting fixtures in favor of diffuse LED lighting. Add some smarts and have those lights adapt instantly to your mood—bright and cheerful for the morning, calm and relaxing during your Sunday evening soak. You can’t put a price on wellbeing.

This Los Altos Hills, California bathroom remodel added diffuse LED backlighting, a floating vanity and an accessible, walk-in shower, stylish yet practical additions that improve the value to both homeowner and potential buyer.

Photo: Agnieszka Jakubowicz

2. Switch to Smart Lighting

Take control of your lighting by installing smart switches. While smart bulbs can change color, smart switches can change the way you live in your home. Perfect for rooms with multiple fixtures, lights, and switches, a smart lighting system like NOON Home replaces your current light switches and gives you instant control over every light in the room with one touch, or remotely through a smartphone or voice assistant.

Switch from ‘Cooking’ (above) to ‘Dining’ (below) with one touch using NOON’s innovative Room Director—an OLED screen embedded into a switch that lets you select scenes.

Photo by Noon Home

“Noon eliminates the need to turn on and adjust all these switches by coordinating them wirelessly to create scenes that align with activities you do in the room,” says Aurora Chun of NOON. “For example, selecting a ‘Cooking’ scene on the Room Director would move all the light into the kitchen while dimming the dining and living space. While a ‘Dining’ scene would turn off all the lights in the kitchen and have a moodier dimmed light in the dining room.”

This ‘Dining’ scene can be turned on using a smart switch, or with a voice assistant, like Google or Alexa.

Photo by Noon

To get the most out of smart lighting, carefully consider the fixtures you install during a remodel. Many homeowners choose fixtures just on style but, according to Lightology – a contemporary lighting showroom and e-retailer based in Chicago, lighting is 30% style and 70% function.

“You need a fixture that provides ample lighting – direct or indirect – based on where it’s installed and how it will be used. For example, a hyper-focused task lamp makes sense in an office, but might not make sense in a living room where you want soft, ambient lighting,” says Ashley Rutter, an ALA Lighting Specialist at Lightology.

Think about how the fixture will be used before looking at style, color and finish, and always incorporate multiple lights in each room.

“There’s a common misconception that one light is enough for a space,” says Rutter. “Every room in your home should be layered in lighting: recessed downlights, chandeliers and pendants, floor and table lamps – all work together to make your space truly shine.”

“Put recessed downlights where you need to zone off large open spaces, monorail and recessed lighting to highlight artwork and architectural features, use chandeliers and pendants to add style and personality, and bring in wall sconces, floor and table lamps where you need to fill gaps or facilitate specific tasks, like reading or homework,” says Rutter.

Then connect them all with a smart lighting controls like NOON Home, and create personalized scenes that can be controlled with one touch, or remotely. “Tap the ‘Morning’ setting on NOON to turn on your LED lit bathroom mirror, tell your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant ‘Movie Night’ and watch the overhead lights dim while the toe kick in the kitchen dials up,” says Rutter.

You’ll be thrilled with how easy it is to instantly change the mood in your home, and potential buyers will be impressed by the combination of high tech, style and simplicity.

3. Embrace Radiant Heating

Anytime you replace flooring during a remodel, installing radiant heating before putting that tile or wood down should be a top priority. A cost-effective heating system that adds significant value while improving comfort, radiant heating is an excellent upgrade, especially in a bathroom.

This home in Missouri features radiant heating throughout: a must in a state where temperatures dip into the low 20s, but a great addition to almost any home.

Photo: Mike Sinclair

More energy-efficient than most other heating forms, it can save around 15 percent on heating bills. Plus, it increases the design aesthetic of your home by doing away with radiators or floor vents; instead you just have clean lines and minimal maintenance.

4. Install Smart Door Fixtures

A landscaping facelift used to be the go-to option for increasing curb appeal, but how useful is that really? On the other hand, re-designing your home’s entrance not only ups that curb appeal, but it increases the security of your family and the convenience of everyday life.

Smart door locks, bells, and lights provide security and convenience, and give your home’s entrance a high-tech facelift that’s sure to impress.

Installing high-end lighting fixtures cast an elegant glow and illuminate your porch for and safety. The Kuna smart security light hides a cameras, to discreetly monitor your home’s main egress and exit.

A smart door lock such as the Nest X Yale lock boasts an elegant, high-tech look that’s sure to impress, while adding the convenience of being able to ditch your keys, of knowing who has entered your home, and giving out (and taking away) electronic keys from your smartphone. Pair it with a smart doorbell like Nest’s Hello and be able to see, talk to, and even let visitors in when you’re not home.

Soft Bohemian – Bringing Those Boho Vibes to Your Living Space

You know it when you see it—and you see it everywhere these days. Eclectic but not to the point of confusion. Neither minimalist nor maximalist (okay, sometimes rather maximalist). It’s calm, cozy, and inviting. It’s familiar yet fresh.

Like so many things in décor, it started in fashion. “Soft Boho” was a look—is a look, still, quite decidedly—that itself was a comeback of a look that never entirely goes away, even if it’s driven underground from time to time by the changing tastes of couture. It stormed up out of the UK in the early aughts. Kate Moss. Sienna Miller. Mischa Barton. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took it and ran with it (and ran, and ran, and ran, like their eyeliner). By the end of the decade, Florence and her machine delivered a beautiful, darker strain of it.

But mostly it was Sienna Miller.

Sienna Miller, Faerie Queen of Boho Chic, at Glastonbury Festival 2013

Laura Demasi, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald in October of 2002, put it best: “It was gypsy girl meets peasant princess with a hippie edge alright.”

While it was divisive in the pages of the fashion press as it rose to prominence in the first decade of our new century, it had its advocates. As Demasi writes in her piece, “Jane Roarty, fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar, believes the boho look is all about freedom and that is why there will always be people who love it. ‘In my way of thinking, it means borrowing from every area you can find and putting it together in a creative way, connecting pieces, whether they be market finds or vintage finds, with other pieces in your wardrobe,’ she says.”

Likewise, as an interior style it allows the everywoman to creatively express herself in the decoration of her home, connecting and collecting. One-of-a-kind pieces from travels remembered and markets scoured mix with fresh-off-the-factory-floor items.

Today’s soft boho interior is not the ubiquitous fashion concept from the early-aughts draped over a living room. The word bohemian and its shortened version, “boho,” have shifted in meaning over the years, like all words do to some extent or another. Today’s soft boho has more to do with the singer-songwriter hippies of Laurel Canyon in the early seventies than the tragic sylphs and drowned Ophelias of the Pre-Raphaelite Painters, the gothy vamps of early cinema like Theda Bara, the consumptive primadonnas of Paris at the turn of the century, or the ex-pat writers of Morocco in the fifties, or even Marianne Faithfull singing in the sixties near her beau Mick Jagger—all referents of “bohemia.”

It’s about desert tones, blush and sage and grey and brass, Moroccan elements like a pouf or a Marrakech market rug. It’s about rattan and baskets and soft throws and authentic textiles with multiethnic patterns.  It’s soft blankets and hard furniture. Do you feel a bullet-point list coming on?

Identifying factors of soft boho decor:

  • Earthy colours
  • Wooden furniture
  • Plants, lots of plants
  • Multicultural with emphasis on African, Arabian, and Native American patterns, rugs, pillows, and textiles
  • Soft textures contrasted with hard woodsy ones
  • Hanging chairs and hammocks
  • Throws and blankets galore
  • Did we mention pillows?

Image and Room by Amy Peters | Astrid chandelier by Mitzi

Design: Bethany of the Posh Home | Photograhy: Jacqueline Trevino | Lights: Carrie sconces by Mitzi & Wellington pendant by Hudson Valley Lighting

Design and Photo: Margaret Wright | Piper flush mount by Mitzi

These achingly gorgeous contemporary rooms featuring Mitzi and Hudson Valley Lighting fixtures demonstrate the sensibility of soft boho now. Combining handmade textures and hard-edged new home products, they create a space to dream, to relax, to collect oneself and start anew. The fashion-savviness of the city-minded early detractor of the boho chic revival has been answered, with cool, gleaming new items that show an awareness of today’s trends mixed with things that are old-fashioned, warm, and authentic.

As we mentioned earlier, there are so many things that tie into the evolution of the bohemian look. So many artistic streams and cultural forces from across the world pour in like tributaries. This is partly why a defining aspect of the look is its worldliness, whether the person behind the scenes is well-traveled or not. (Paul Bowles’s main decorating ingredient seemed to have been suitcases. The rest was books and pillows and plants.) A careful carelessness that is at the same time aesthetically pleasing suggests the carefree freedom we romantically imagine the style-defining hippies, beats, gypsy vagabonds, ex-patriates, and singer-songwriters to have had.

Top 5 Homes of the Week With Sensational Fireplaces

Whether they’re decorative or functional, these fireplaces and stoves crank up the heat on modern design. Take a peek at some of our editor’s favorite homes from the Dwell community that make getting cozy look cool.

Featured homes were submitted by members of the Dwell community through our Add a Home feature. Add your home to Dwell.com/homes today.

1. Ruvigny Gardens

Architect: Syte Architects and Oliver Barsoum, Location: England, United Kingdom

From the architect: “The brief was to create comfortable, warm space for living, and to avoid a cold, clinical aesthetic. This was achieved by carefully choosing a complementary palette of materials, such as brick, glass, and timber.”

Photo by James Morris

2. Zen Light

Architect: Barrett Studio Architects, Location: Boulder, Colorado

From the architect: “Zen Light is a home that reflects the balance of the individuals who inhabit it. Yin and yang counter-folded gestures are repeated at different scales throughout—notice the roofline, the kitchen island, and the fireplace as examples. It is a house that balances warm and cool tones, metal and wood, architecture and landscape.”

Photo by Anthony Rich Photography

3. Caney Fork Cabin

Architect: Ryan Thewes Architect, Location: Lancaster, Tennessee

From the architect: “This modern weekend cabin was designed for a couple along the Caney Fork River in Tennessee. By raising the living area slightly higher, we were able to capture views of the river. The clients were very interested in green design and off-grid living. The house utilizes many reclaimed materials, such as the metal siding, some interior wood features, and repurposed insulation in the walls.” In addition to the living room, the home’s screened porch also has a suspended fireplace.

Photo by Nick McGinn

4. Brightwood Cabin

Architect: Scott | Edwards Architecture, Location: Mount Hood Village, Oregon

From the architect: “In form, this cabin is a simple bar of cedar and glass running along the length of an old logging road. Anchored into the hillside, a sweeping concrete wall serves as the main organizing spine to the home, holding back the earth. The public and private spaces are separated by a double-sided, board-formed concrete fireplace. The client’s love for the ritual of making campfires for warmth and gathering is expressed in three unique locations: the main hearth, a small wood stove, and an exterior fire pit surrounded by the forested landscape.”

Photo by Pete Eckert

5. Columbine Residence

Architect: BLDG.Collective Architecture + Design, Location: Denver, Colorado

From the builder: “A remodel of an 1890s Victorian in Denver creates an open plan with a new kitchen that combines a fresh, modern palette with an ode to the richness and beauty of the older architecture.”

Photo: Astula

 

A Milanese Apartment Is Restored and Given a Contemporary Feel

This 150-square-meter apartment in Milan is the result of a collaboration between architect Andrea Del Pedro Pera, of ANDEarchitettura, and interior designer Gian Paolo Venier, who took inspiration from the 20th century building’s original character and incorporated it into final design. The private apartment is owned by a young professional who was in need of a major renovation to transform the original layout. Instead of three bedrooms, a sitting room, and a studio, the new design offers a bedroom, large lounge area, and a studio/guest room that better suit the owner’s lifestyle.

Along with the layout change, many original details were restored, like the wood parquet floors in the main living space. The moldings and ceiling adornments were kept and given a fresh coat of white paint, which pops next to the peacock blue walls.

Vintage lamps were used helping to connect the space to its original time frame.

Terrazzo alla veneziana floors, spanning from the entrance to the kitchen, feature brass inlays which complements the brass furnishings throughout.

Photography by Alberto Strada.

 

23 Kitchen Countertops That Serve Up Good Design

Posted By Samantha Daly

Whether made of granite, wood, or quartzite, these intriguing modern kitchen countertops will inspire your next home improvement project.

Of the many components that make up a kitchen renovation, the countertops definitely get the most use. Take a peek at these conversation-starting variations of traditional kitchen countertops and islands.

1. An Architect Couple Give an 18th-Century Townhouse a Sumptuous Refresh in London, England

Lush plants and cool shades of blue and green bring a little nature into this chic, urban home.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Sinclair

The husband-and-wife duo behind London–based architecture and design/build practice Chan + Eayrs, Zoe Chan Eayrs and Merlin Eayrs, only work on one project at a time. The evocative details found throughout the renovation of The Weavers House are a testament to their focused approach. Wood and veined Arabescato marble, used throughout the home, create contrasting warm and cool elements.

2. La Casa Pequeña in Oaxaca, Mexico

The concrete countertops, walls, and staircase echo the home’s refined aesthetic.

Photo: BoutiqueHomes

“Raw, unadulterated and entirely at one with nature, we love how two distinct themes can environmentally coexist here,” says BoutiqueHomes. “Inspired by Thoreau’s call of the wild, this beach house rental along the Oaxacan coast is a modern homage to simple living that will inspire you to unplug and reconnect with nature.”

3. A Minimal Home Recreates Nature in the Heart of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The kitchen island is made of oak with a thin, black stone countertop.

Photo Courtesy of Ewout Huibers

Amsterdam’s de Pijp neighborhood, which means “the pipe,” gets its name from the low, narrow homes that dot the area. When architect Jaspar Jansen and his colleagues at i29 Interior Architects were commissioned to renovate a former garage in the central part of town, he sought to bring the outdoors in with natural finishes and colors. The kitchen features custom cabinetry and a large sliding door, both made from oak, that provides recessed storage space.

4. Private Residence 4 in San Francisco, California

The crisp white kitchen features appliances built into the cabinetry and marble countertops.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

“An airy apartment in San Francisco by Garcia Tamjidi Architecture Design is a study in clean lines and visual lushness,” says Eva Hagberg Fisher. “High up on the twelfth floor of an apartment building, this two-bedroom three-bathroom apartment, designed for a finance executive who lives most of the time in Marin but wanted a pied-à-terre in the city for those late nights at the office, was created to almost—but not quite—disappear into the background.”

5. A Renovated Midcentury Home Doubles Square Footage in Austin, Texas

The architects went with a bold, orange hue for the kitchen countertops. Past the front door and a short hallway lies an expansive living, dining, and kitchen space.

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Calo

The architects of Austin-based Webber + Studio were asked by a recent divorcee, seeking a home for her three daughters and dog, to renovate a 1968 A. D. Stenger home and double its size by adding 1,500 square feet. The architects emulated the home’s Japanese-inspired elements and referenced other Stenger houses in the area to produce a tasteful homage to a classic modern style.

6. Palm Beach House in Sydney, Australia

The monochromatic kitchen of the holiday villa evokes a calming mood.

Photo by Felix Forest

Says interior designer Alexander & Co., “The house is focused upon the ‘hand made.’ Fittings, finishes, lighting and claddings all express an artisan reference point. The paired back interiors, subdued palette, and hand made quality creates a ‘lived in’ atmosphere for the client, an important element for them to experience a sense of place and history.”

7. A Converted Warehouse for Sale in London, England

The kitchen area is full of charm, with cabinets made from reclaimed Iroko wood, incandescent lightbulb-style pendant lights hanging above the units, and a collection of potted house plants.

Photo Courtesy of The Modern House

Located on a industrial estate in East London, this 2,200-square-foot, one-bedroom home was built as a warehouse, and its original open layout remains the same. Created for the current owners, a photographer/filmmaker and a musician, this home echoes the rustic aesthetic of loft homes in during the mid-20th century. Featuring an exposed structure with steel beams and bare walls, its rooms are decorated with salvaged timber and one-off vintage pieces.

8. A Family Home With a Striking Wooden Ceiling in New Zealand

Resident Jes Wood leans against the glimmering onyx kitchen island while her daughter Ruby hangs out.

Photo: Emily Andrews

In this home’s kitchen, the showstopping ceiling’s herringbone pattern is echoed by the terra-cotta tiles on the floor. Architect Michael O’Sullivan, who designed the steel-and-glass kitchen cabinets, the table, and the pendant lights (made by Lava Glass), further amped up the richness of the room by specifying an onyx kitchen island. Interior designer Yvette Jay, a collaborator and classmate of O’Sullivan, kept her material palette “tight and limited. I had to restrict myself so that everything here ties in with the architecture.”

9. A Penthouse Is Flooded With Dreamy Shades of Blue in London, England

The multi-hued cabinets complement the apartment’s cool gray terrazzo worktop.

Photo Courtesy of Michelle Young Photography

Eryk Ulanowski of local firm Studio Ulanowski has transformed a 1,450-square-foot penthouse into a gorgeous modern apartment for a jewelry designer who splits her time between London and Hong Kong. “The challenging part of the project was the lengthy research and development of all the be bespoke items. But with a great team and lots of determination, the project turned out beautifully,” says Ulanowski.

10. A Dark Home Finds Light With a Unifying Expansion in Sydney, Australia

Large windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors have been integrated into the living space, providing an abundance of natural light, as well as easy access to the outdoor garden space. The perforated black walls are juxtaposed against warm wooden details like the countertop and pendant lights.

Photo: Brett Boardman

After being tasked to add another level onto a single-story cottage, local architecture firm Carter Williamson quickly realized the home was also in dire need for two things: natural light and a better connected layout. The team of architects not only checked off all three of these boxes during the renovation, but also strengthened the level of privacy and security within the home.By excavating and lowering the backyard, the team employed a bespoke black metal screen around the periphery of the garden—a detail which then led to the property’s name, the Screen House.

11. A Neglected Chapel Is Reborn as an Artist’s Live/Work Space in London, England

A birch plywood skin wraps the mezzanine structure, linking spaces and functions. Quartzite counters add a textural richness to the renovated kitchen, mirroring the metallic backsplash.

Photo Courtesy of NIKJOO

When London architect Alex Nikjoo, of the UK–based firm NIKJOO, was tasked with repurposing an old Victorian chapel that had fallen into disrepair, he immediately became inspired by the historic structure. With the help of his talented team, Nikjoo stripped the building down to its original form and carefully injected a rich, yet minimalist material palette into the volume’s existing fabric.

12. An Old Fortress Breathes New Life as a Charming B&B in Belgium

The contemporary guest kitchen has been designed and built by Danish brand VIPP, complete with concrete counters to match the rest of the space.

Photo Courtesy of VIPP/Tim Van de Velde

When a client acquired Fortress Hazegras in Belgium, many of the enclosed structures were at the brink of crumbling. Yet thanks to the strategic design of Brugge–based firm Govaert & Vanhoutte Architects, the historic site has been beautifully reborn into a contemporary complex that features a single-family house, along with a bed and breakfast business called The Bunkers.

13. A Lush Wallcovering Brings the Feeling of Nature Into A Tiny Apartment in New York City

Because both Dale and Dan love to cook, and were intent on taking advantage of nearby Chelsea Market, the architect opened and significantly expanded the kitchen, adding a large counter topped by Calacatta Gold marble and installing a terrazzo tile floor with marble pieces that match the counter’s creamy tone. He designed millwork to conceal and contain heating and cooling equipment along the window wall.

Photo by David Mitchell

Stadt Architecture’s Christopher Kitterman transformed a generic studio in Chelsea into a bright one-bedroom apartment for Vancouver couple Dale Steele and Dan Nguyen. They had seen Kitterman’s own crisp, space-saving 450-square-foot apartment on dwell.com, and they told him they wanted something very similar. But Kitterman believed he could do even better. “My apartment is nice, but I was on a limited budget and had to value engineer things,” he says. “With theirs, we were able to do more bells and whistles.”

14. A Historic Apartment Is Treated to a Dramatic New Look in Rome, Italy

Crittall-style windows encase the sleek and modern kitchen. In this room, deep veined marble has been used for the counters and backsplash.

Photo Courtesy of Serena Eller

Studio Strato has recently renovated the top floor of an iconic Roman-style building, transforming it into a texturally interesting and atmospheric home for a growing family with two young children. At 1,615 square feet, the space features a beautifully dramatic color palette. By carefully selecting the finishes and details, and weaving luxurious materials like marble and brass elements into their design concept, the local firm has created an abode that marries classical aesthetics with relaxed, contemporary elegance.

15. Three Connected Pavilions Form This Airy Beach Retreat in Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia

The streamlined kitchen is defined by its white cabinetry against the surrounding cedar walls, Ash wood floors, and wooden countertops.

Photo: Shannon McGrath

Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, who led the project, explains, “The clients were seeking a house that would integrate effortlessly with the existing streetscape whilst acknowledging the changing character of the town.” To that end, the architects designed the new house as three clustered, pitched-roof pavilions, whose forms subtly reference nearby single-story cottages. By breaking down the house into separate structures, the architects were mindful of how the new program would blend in with the scale of the smaller cottages in the neighborhood.

16. Two Art World Veterans Live in This Mind-Bending Metal Home in Reno, Nevada

The glossy black and speckled gray counters of the kitchen mirror the rest of the home’s incorporation of concrete and steel.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

After considering several high-profile firms, Peter and Turkey Stremmelkept coming back to San Francisco–based OPA for their hyper-angular home. “They were more enthusiastic than the others,” notes Peter. “A new firm with new ideas.” For the Stremmels, the architects had an especially attractive, but risky, notion. They wanted to build a structure that was the antithesis of its neighborhood, an upscale community of manicured lawns, ranch houses, and tennis courts. Not only would the residence be decidedly modern, itself a unique work of art, but it would embrace Reno’s landscape.

17. An Old Row House Is Elegantly Modernized With a Southern Twist in Charleston, South Carolina

The house features a circular, marble-topped wet bar with Lawson Fenning Orsini stools.

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Williams

Robert Highsmith and his wife, Stefanie Brechbuehler—co-founders of the design studio Workstead—split their time between Brooklyn, New York, and Charleston, South Carolina. Last year, after repurposing the Mendel Rivers Federal Building in Charleston as the Dewberry Hotel, they began exploring a style they’ve since identified as “Southern modernism.” Recently, their research and experimentation have culminated thanks to a meticulously restored 1853 Italianate Victorian row house, which they’ve named Workstead House. In partnership with a New York City–based investor, Workstead House now serves as a pied-à-terre for its owner, and doubles up as an event space for Highsmith and Brechbuehler.

18. Five Modular Cabins Form a Sculptural Abode in the Catskills

The entire home is fitted with materials that celebrate nature. The color palette of the kitchen brings the look and feel of a rustic cabin into an elegant, contemporary home.

Photo Courtesy of Konrad Steffensen

Corpus Studio, a Paris–based architecture firm, has designed this striking home in the Catskill region of Upstate New York to consist of five cabinsthat come together to create a unique cross-shaped floor plan. The open layout is composed of five sections. The kitchen is located in the middle of the cross, and each of the four wings house different functional areas—a bedroom, a bathroom, a dining area, and the living lounge.

19. Vintage and Industrial Elements Combine in an Updated Apartment in New Taipet City, Taiwan

In the open kitchen, wood-paneled sliding doors conceal dark cabinetry, and together with a sleek, dark counter, and a shiny bronze-clad island with a sink, the kitchen becomes part of the overall design rather than simply an area of utility.

Photo Courtesy of Hey!Cheese

When a Taiwanese expat couple with a two-year old child returned home to Taiwan, they decided to settle down in the district of Xindian in Taiwan’s New Taipei City, where the husband had spend most of his childhood. The couple purchased a 1,352-square-foot apartment near the river and reached out to Taipei–based interior design firm KC Design Studio to help them turn it into a stylish, modern home where industrial elements like steel, brick, and exposed concrete harmonize with vintage accents. The architects decided to apply the concept of deconstruction, allowing them to use the girders as “ceiling lines” that demarcate the different functional zones in the open-plan living, kitchen, and dining area.

20. A Furniture Collector’s Renovated Flat in Paris, France

Homeowner Aumas designed the kitchen island, which is covered in marble tiles from Carrelages du Marais—the geometric floor tiles are from the same place—and strung the matrix of lights up above it.

Photo: Christian Schaulin

Jean-Christophe Aumas’ multihued Paris apartment houses both the highly sought artistic director and the stunning assemblage of furniture he’s brought back from his travels. Though Aumas’s kaleidoscopic 1,023-square-foot apartment may lack the scale of his professional projects, the surprising unity of the space’s design and decor, done entirely by Aumas himself, reveals a master’s hand—and the blurring of his professional and personal design pursuits.

21. A Pair of Design Professionals Carefully Update an Architectural Masterpiece in Phoenix, Arizona

An elegant palette of materials defines the open kitchen. The rear counter is sanded stainless steel; the island counter is Purpleheart (an exotic hardwood) with a range by Dacor.

Photo: Daniel Hennessy

The House of Earth + Light had been featured in the pages of the New York Times and on the cover of Dwell’s premiere issue, so the couple knew it was something special when they saw it for the first time. But as soon as they stepped inside, homeowner Lisa Sette says, they fell in love. The exquisite house is composed of three minimalist boxes fused into a single structure—two poured-earth “bookends” connected by a steel-and-glass bridge that spans the desert wash bisecting the lot. It sits at the foot of one of the steep, craggy hills that pop up at regular intervals from Phoenix’s otherwise-level grid in a neighborhood dotted with houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, Will Bruder, and Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

22. Godson St in London, England

The shiny metallic ribbon lining the kitchens counters and cabinets make the space unique.

Photo by Jack Hobhouse

“Godson Street is a Community Joint Venture project,” says Leibal. “The three partner groups, led by Jake Edgley, Chris Joannou and James Engel were neighbors of the vacant site, and formed a JV partnership to buy and develop the scheme. The brief was to create a mixed-use building which would meet the varying needs of the JV partners; expressing the individuality of stakeholders while bringing this ‘difference’ together in a harmonious overall scheme. Five mixed use buildings are created, with commercial space to ground and basement and residential apartments above, and a townhouse to the north.”

23. A Cottage Gets a Japanese-Inspired Makeover and a New Home Office in Melbourne, Australia

he kitchen cabinetry was fabricated using 100-year-old timber salvaged from Yarraville’s sugar mills. The stainless-steel and timber island maximizes space with a secret hatch that opens to add extra surface area for food prep.

Photo by Tess Kelly

When your office is also your home, it can be a challenge to separate work from play. But in this contemporary cottage located in Melbourne, Australia, Austin Maynard Architects struck the perfect balance, creating both a domestic sanctuary and functional workspace for a couple and their three cats. To accommodate cooking and large gatherings, the homeowners also requested a high-functioning kitchen with custom-designed storage and top-of-the-line appliances like double ovens, Zip HydroTaps, and sous vide cookers.

Transitional Essentials – Mixing Modern and Traditional Elements

You know it when you see it. In fact, it’s suggested that over half the images one sees online when searching interior design / decor images are this style. Houzz has 4021 “Stories” under this descriptor at last search. Beige or greige or off-white or otherwise neutral walls, a calming feeling. A sense of restraint and everything in its right place.

It’s so ubiquitous it might seem odd there’s even a name for it. That name is “transitional” and today we’re going to break it down for you. Essentials meaning both the core things that define the style and some lighting options that epitomize the essence of transitional elegance.

It’s an odd sort of word to apply to a home, a place associated with constancy and not as much with change (though we all stave off stagnation by changing things up once in a while).

So what is it we mean when we say transitional about a home?

On the way to where from where? Put this way, transitional is located on the way from classic and traditional into the contemporary. It generally resists feeling dated as it’s a constant sought-after style and doesn’t chase trends. It follows certain rules struck upon through experience and careful study by professionals in interior design.

After you’re done learning about it, explore our transitional essentials here.   Let’s get started!

Design: Signature Interior Design

Neutral color palette

An immediately identifying feature of transitional spaces is the color—or more precisely, the lack of it. Beige, grey, greige, any and all manner of white, off-white, cream: these are the sorts of hues used on the walls and ceilings. They continue onto backsplashes, tiling, and floors. Dark wood might dominate a floor in some spaces, but a large area rug which softens the mood and features these sorts of neutral hues will often cover much of it.

Transitional spaces aim to please. They seek to relax those who enter their confines. They create a sense of calm.

Rarely is a bold color seen to pop or accent the space; never does one drench the room in mood. This neutrality means other elements will add drama. Or at least, transitional’s version of drama, which might be, like, politely assertive.

Design: Saltbox Collective

Curved furniture contrasted with straight edges  

Where there is no contrast, there is no design. Transitional interiors implement contrast mostly in the form of a curved vs. hard-edged dichotomy. Furniture with soft curves plays against straight lines and perpendicular angles in lighting, mirrors, artwork, and side- or coffee- tables.

The hard lacquered line of a mantel is an easy example of  an edged surface to balance a curvy couch. Moldings or millwork (not too fanciful) may continue this theme. Lacquered architectural features provide another soft contrast, this time the low-gloss luster of paint finishes on the walls.

A chandelier might integrate both the angles and curves, harmoniously tying this thematic element of the space together right in its scenter. Transitional essentials like our Chelsea embody this dynamic.

Design: Robin Nadel | Image: Ted Yarwood Photography

Masculine and feminine balance

Some refer to transitional style as a diplomatic one. Why is that?

Well, it’s because it feels crisp and tailored without dripping with one person’s vision or personality.

As we discussed in our post on cohabitating, decorating a space so that the masculine and feminine aspects of two people’s tastes are balanced in a harmonious whole is a challenge. The well-appointed room done in transitional styling has this balance built into it. See also: designer as diplomat.

Furniture choices, fresh flowers, perhaps a subtle textural element such as in an area rug, might represent the feminine, while color choices and tables and woods used express the masculine. Art and lighting are two areas where it can swing either way. The shape or color of some of our table lamps, for example, can provide accents that set the balance.

Design: House of Jade Interiors | Photo: Travis J Photography

A Little Texture

The goal of a transitional space is to feel relaxed. The room you’re in is really put together, so you can feel put together, too. Pretty much every element in the space is aimed toward this. While certain other styles may also have a similar end in mind, transitional sets itself apart by lacking the curatorial, the trendy, and the clearly expensive. (Not that it avoids having quality items that come with an appropriate and consequent cost, but that they don’t ostentatiously announce themselves as such.) It’s unaffected. There is nothing pretentious or fetishistic about it.

To add a little pop to the space, and punch up the flat demeanor, use textures instead of color. Don’t go overboard, though. Think of materials like rattan, chenille, quilted fabrics. Look for opportunities for subtle contrasts between textures and these neutral colors. For example, on a bed, that could be creamy off-white sheets folded over a grey or tan matelassé blanket.

Artwork

As with any approach to decor, art is an essential piece.

The selection and consideration of art changes with the mood your space is meant to evoke and your own passions. While in other styles, art may play a central, vital role, here it is more of an accent. Things like a matching series of prints, like a triptych, is a good idea. Again, strong, attention-grabbing colors are best avoided.

This doesn’t mean washes of watercolor or hotel art are the only option; handsomely framed linocuts or woodblock prints or even pencil sketches are all excellent choices.

Framing should be minimal and matted. Baroque, gilt scrolling is verboten. These clear, clean lines and hard angles provide that orderly contrast to the space’s more curvaceous elements.

Design: Property Brothers

Window treatments

No window dressings leaves a transitional room feeling naked. In a stark way, not a sexy way. The answer to this is to ease up on the window treatments. As with everything else in the cool, calm, and balanced style, don’t overdo it, but don’t neglect it all together either.

Keep it crisp and trim with bamboo or Roman shades and unfussy beige floor-length fabric mounted hoop-on-rod. The rod you hang the curtains from provides another opportunity to infuse rooted earthy quality or a sense of warmth through an accent of dark metal in the room.

Design: Lauren Muse of Muse Interiors | Photography: John Bessler Photography

We hope you found that helpful. Hard to categorize, easy to spot, transitional style sets the scene for relaxed entertainment and daily recharge at home.

Using a neutral color palette, a subtle use of textures, and an elegant contrast between curved surfaces and hard-edged lines, the transitional style results in calming and sophisticated spaces.

Finding light fixtures that tie into this scheme is essential. Many of ours fit right in, presenting refined, edited, and bold variations of transitional elegance. Additionally, they’re built to last; their quality of construction is immediately apparent. You can browse through them here.

 

A Gleaming Residence in Colorado Asks $4.99M

Gracefully set within a mature stand of shimmering Aspen trees, this newly completed custom residence is seamlessly located slope-side along the groomed Sundance Trail.

See the listing here

Sotheby’s International Realty uploaded A Gleaming Residence in Colorado Asks $4.99M through Add A Home.
Add your own project for the chance to be featured in Editor’s Picks.

Photo: Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo: Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

How an Instagram-Worthy Kitchen Renovation Comes Alive with the Right Surfaces

Posted By Lucy Wang

A designer with a passion for surface materials explains why she chose Caesarstone quartz for her latest kitchen renovation.

New countertops are one of the most exciting additions to any kitchen remodel. Yet for Los Angeles–based designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, the reasons behind the Caesarstone surface choices in her most recent renovation include much more than just their transformative good looks.

A close up of Caesarstone’s ‘White Attica,’ a polished marble-like slab with delicate gray veining.

Stylin Homes- Allison Clark Photography

Her clients Eden and Zan Passante own a quaint California ranch home that needed a modern refresh for a brighter feel. A beautiful new kitchen was of particular importance to Eden, who not only enjoys having people over, but also sees entertaining as a serious business—her lifestyle blog, Sugar and Charm, relies heavily on engaging photos for her hosting tips, recipes and more.

“Since she has the blog, the kitchen had to be very photogenic and aesthetically pleasing,” Sarah notes. “Eden also wanted beautiful surfaces to shoot on, especially because top-down photos on countertops are so important in the blogging and Instagram world.”

Caesarstone was the obvious countertop choice. Highly durable and reliable, Caesarstone quartz is renowned for its nonporous and antimicrobial qualities, which translates to minimal maintenance. This makes life easier for Eden, who doesn’t need to worry about scrubbing out stains or resealing the countertop before a photo shoot. A quick wipe down with warm soapy water is all she needs to bring the surface back to a photogenic shine.

Caesarstone’s seamless qualities makes the material a leading choice for dramatic waterfall kitchen countertops. Pictured here is ‘Topus Concrete’.

Boutique Homes Victoria / Riva 26 Display Home

As a designer, Sarah is also drawn to Caesarstone for its wide variety of color options and ease of use. “They just have so many beautiful colors,” Sarah explains. “They’re always in my back pocket. I can always spec or at least propose some Caesarstone in most of my projects.” She adds that while kitchen countertops are her go-to choice for Caesarstone, she’s also played around with using the quartz surfaces in bathrooms, from shower benches to a sleek floating vanity.

Caesarstone comes in a wide variety of finishes, including a low-reflective ‘rough’ finish with a matte look for the ‘Cloudburst Concrete’ surface.

Hudson Ridge Builders

Caesarstone’s ‘Cloudburst Concrete’ can be used in many settings, from industrial chic bathrooms to minimalist modern kitchens.

Hudson Ridge Builders

It’s easy to see why Sarah is drawn to the versatility of Caesarstone given her background in surface and product design. Her expertise in combining colors and patterns has gained her a steady following and partnerships with major brands.

When asked about her love for surface design, Sarah said: “Surface materials can really make a space. You don’t really think about it when you enter a space, but you feel it. You feel the surroundings by what the surfaces look like. For instance, you don’t have to touch a velvet pillow to know that it’s soft. Your brain takes it all in and translates it into a feeling. I always find it fascinating how a room can make you feel anxious or happy just by the different textures and surfaces that are there.

‘White Attica’ complements the cool tones of this modern kitchen.

Hotondo Homes

The neutral marble-like finish of Caesarstone in ‘Noble Grey’ balances out the varied textures and patterns in this kitchen.

Aimee Song

“You’re probably not even aware that you’re perceiving these surfaces, but you are. I think it’s really interesting how your surroundings affect your mood so much, and that’s why they’re so important. And I think for functional spaces, like the kitchen and bathroom, they’re even more important for your well-being because you want beautiful surfaces that are also clean and sanitary.”

Bringing that design thinking to Eden and Zan’s kitchen renovation, Sarah sought to create a space that was warm, modern and inviting. “I’d describe my design style as relaxed but edited, and it matches with Eden’s style too, which is modern with a touch of rustic. Still, I’m also always pushing for something a little unexpected. So even though the kitchen is warm and modern, the design isn’t without character.”

The one-inch slab height gives Eden and Zan’s countertops a more modern appearance.

Zan Passante / Madcitizen

Caesarstone in Calacatta Nuvo fit that description to a T. “It has that old-world charm but with modern technology,” Sarah explains. The marble-inspired surface features elegant gray veining on a luminous white base. Unlike marble, however, the quartz surface is resistant to cracks, scratches and stains—giving Eden all the visual advantages of marble without the high-maintenance headache.

The creamy white Calcatta Nuvo countertop offers a neutral base that complements any color scheme.

Zan Passante / Madcitizen

“I wanted something durable and low-maintenance, with a little variation,” Eden enthuses on her blog. “I had honed before and it was too much upkeep. This polished Caesarstone has been an absolute dream in the kitchen, with zero stains and it cleans up perfectly. We actually used it in our master bath too! I love the look of the waterfall edge!”

3 Best Ways to Bring Natural Elements into Your Home

Ideas & Inspiration

Adding natural elements to your home’s interiors is nothing new in the design world and is definitely not a trend but a must! If it’s good enough for Mother Nature, it’s good enough for our homes! Bringing nature inside introduces an organic and calming feeling into a space. Natural stone, brick, seagrass, and plants are all elements that are easily incorporated into a home. Whatever you choose and how you choose to incorporate it should speak to your style and not compete against your preferred design style. All types of interiors can have a natural element introduced and it work well with the rest of the space.

Leading Element vs. Supporting Accent

Elements such as brick and stone can be used in a large expanse or in a small amount, just enough to stand out. It’s important to decide how you want the space to look overall with the introduction of one of those materials.

Everyone loves the look of an industrial style loft with the large brick wall as the main focal point but it can have the same effect in a traditional home with a small amount of brick surrounding the fireplace. Different design style, same element, and it all works!

Wood is Always Welcome

Wood is one of the most popular natural elements in interior design.  So many things in the home are constructed of wood…. cabinets, flooring, furniture, decorative accents, the list goes on!  In recent years, many homeowners have introduced wood in a more rustic manner with the addition to wood beams to the ceiling. The raw nature of the wood beams paired with a modern farmhouse style is the one of the most sought-after design trends today.  Of course, wood flooring is classic and depending on the stain and the species, can lend itself to every design style. We suggest leaving the wood stained and not painted to maintain the organic feel of the material.

Add a little Greenery

One of the easiest ways to add nature to the interior of your home is plants. No construction required! An easy low maintenance plant such as a succulent or cactus would be perfect for those lacking a green thumb. For those who are pretty comfortable with their gardening skills and also want to be on trend with all the design magazines, track down a fiddle leaf fig! They do require a little more sunshine and love but totally worth it! Even a small flower arrangement from the grocery store can bring a warmth to a space.

Build a Better Bathroom: 6 Bathroom Upgrades Worth the Money

Kitchens are usually seen as the heart of the home, but bathrooms are the muscle. A poorly planned bathroom could affect the way you feel about your home for years to come. What’s more, it’s one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. If you’re building your own home, it’s important to get the bathroom right the first time. Your builder should have a list of standard options and upgrades, but how do you know which bathroom upgrades will add to your home’s value?

Repeat after us: Bathrooms should be the most functional rooms in the home. Choosing the right bathroom upgrades means you’ll love your bathroom for years to come — no matter what. Invest in these bathroom upgrades to get the most value for your money.

A master bathroom is a major selling point. Image: Clay Construction

Master bathroom

If your chosen floorplan offers the master bathroom as an option, take it. Master bathrooms are one of the most desirable features for resale value. If your current home layout doesn’t include a master bath, it might be worth your money to have your architect design one for you. As one of the most used rooms in the entire home, a master bathroom is a must. It gives adults a place to relax, separate themselves from the kids and stay sane. It’s one of the more expensive bathroom upgrades, but anything you spend on a master bathroom will pay you back tenfold in functionality and investment.

Save money by plumbing your basement bathroom now. Image: Classic Homeworks

Basement plumbing

Adding basement plumbing during the build process is cheap and easy, so pay your builder to have it done before you move in. Sure, it’s not the most exciting upgrade. Still, opting for plumbing in your basement — even if it’s not finished — makes sense. You’ll likely finish your basement sometime in the future, and having the plumbing installed during the building process saves you money. When you’re ready to finish it out, you won’t have to break up concrete or rip out walls to install plumbing. Instead, you can hook right into the existing plumbing and skip ahead to framing and drywall.

Invest in better tile for a lasting look. Image: Broad & Turner

Tile and flooring

Ask anyone who’s lived with bad pink tile for 10 years: Tile is hard to replace. It requires a major demolition, and, in most cases, you’ll put it off or learn to live with tile you hate. Don’t settle for standard tile if it’s not something you love, because trying to replace it down the road is costly and time-consuming. Upgraded surfaces enhance the look of your bathroom so it’s something special. Follow the same principle with flooring, choosing long-lasting materials that you find attractive. You can always change paint color and fixtures, but tile and flooring will be there for a while.

Bathroom storage is worth its weight in gold. Image: Mark Williams Design Associates

Extra storage

If one of your options for bathroom upgrades is increased storage, your answer should be yes. Bathroom storage is one of the features you may not think about initially but can make huge improvements in your lifestyle. Extra cabinets, built-in shelving and organizers make the difference between a cluttered cave and a serene retreat. Opt for upgrades that build out the space you have and help you keep your bathrooms totally organized.

Upgrade your lighting package if you don’t have natural light. Image: Larsen Development

Better lighting

Builder-grade lighting is rarely inspiring. It’s usually standard over-the-mirror lights that are cheap to buy and install. You can upgrade your lighting package on your own by procuring better fixtures and even planning for can lights. While natural lighting is always best, windows aren’t always feasible in a bathroom. Make up for a lack of light with upgraded fixtures that are outfitted with bright LED lights that’ll last.

A separate tub and shower gives a spa feel. Image: Two Hawks Design & Development

Separate tub and shower

One of the simplest bathroom upgrades with which to get a return on your buck is a separate tub and shower. Separate spaces increase your home’s worth and offer more functionality — particularly in the master bath. A standard tub and shower combo might do the trick, but it doesn’t have a wow factor. A separate tub and shower isn’t exactly a weekend renovation, so if it’s something you want, upgrade during the building process instead. You’ll thank yourself later.

Kitchens might sell homes, but any homeowner can tell you that a comfortable, functional bathroom is just as important. Function and style should come together to create spaces that keep your family organized, so look for upgrades that are compatible with the way you live. In most cases, spending a little more on thought-out bathroom upgrades can increase your home’s resale value — and your family’s satisfaction.

Have you made any of these bathroom upgrades in your own home? Do you have any more to add?

Everyday Modern Quotidian Corbett

Elegance. Poise. Sophistication. A slight touch of luxury here and there. We all want these things, right?

Everyday modern is a style that’s also a state of mind. It’s great design enhancing the day-to-day spaces we live and love and work and cook and eat and talk and dream. It’s using a few carefully chosen items to define a space in a way that feels crisp and cool and relaxing.

The goal, as the Irish singer with the permanent sunglasses said, is elevation.

Elevate the home with artfully constructed lighting in restrained, neutral settings. Infuse a sense of harmony with statement pieces that are textural and geometric.

This style doesn’t draw through roots firmly established in any specific period or place. Using fine materials and elegant layering, everyday modern brings presence and impact into spaces where a sense of restraint allows them to pop.

Photo by Madison Katlin | Design by Maddie Hughes with Katey McFarlan

Everyday spaces are those rooms of your home you are in every day, that form the texture of your life. Modern suggests Modernist and mid-century influences—lasting sources of design inspiration a century later—as well the sense of being contemporary, of the now.

Katey McFarlan of Chronicles of Frivolity put our Cielo to work in her bedroom, demonstrating this concept. There are few spaces more “everyday” than the bedroom—it’s where we begin and finish every day.

McFarlan was striving for a masculine-feminine balance, and kept it modern with touches like the acrylic bench at the foot of the bed, the art above the headboard, and elements of Cielo.

Cielo has some classical structure, with an almost postmodern use of glass ornamentation surrounding the silver-leaf-finished frame, giving it a sense of fantasy and high-brow whimsy. The glass is handmade Venetian with 24K gold inside it, taking a modernized version of a traditional form and giving it a unique layering of luxury. As the final unexpected touch that pulls this beauty out of the mirrored halls of old Paris and into the gleaming present, aircraft cable suspension wires suspend from its canopy, holding it aloft.

McFarlan writes, “I think this room is proof that lighting and textiles can transform a room without having to buy furniture, no?!”

We couldn’t agree more, Katey.

Dierdre Renee Sanders Designs | Rachel Sanders Photography

These other bedrooms using Corbett ceiling fixtures in the “Everyday Modern”  style category provide further testament to the winning qualities of this look. The neutral palettes, the carefully chosen and few items, the calming textiles all create a revitalizing oasis of an everyday space, while also exuding an irresistible allure of assured confidence.

In each of these spaces, the use of symmetry, of relaxing hues, and of decorative restraint create an environment where the Corbett chandelier brings in a sense of tasteful luxury and timeless style.

Dierdre Renee Sanders Designs | Rachel Sanders Photography | Vixen chandelier

Dierdre Renee Sanders Designs | Rachel Sanders Photography | Vixen chandelier

Design: Studio M Interiors | Photograph: Scott Amundson

Katey McFarlan | Cielo

Another everyday space where a modern chandelier can make a beautiful statement and pull the energy of the room into a taut sense of completion is the dining area.

Nexus

Tango

Haiku

The idea of haiku, as practiced in the poetic form, is to use limits and discipline to create something transcendent, or that it least points the way toward transcendence.

And that’s just what we did with this new fixture, Haiku.

Establishing a mathematical pattern, we built on it until it reached epic size and grandeur. The repeated, nested motif in polished stainless steel and white aluminum has an entrancing effect; it looks like a modern metal version of something found in nature. As is our custom, we designed it with thought to how it looks from every angle. So, for those seated beneath chandelier, they’ll see something like this.

 

Top 8 Ceiling Fans Under $250

Our favorite fans will beat the summer heat—without going over budget.

Everyone knows that a hardworking ceiling fan is crucial this time of year. We’ve rounded up our favorite modern ceiling fans that will keep your home cool and comfortable through the heat wave.

Monte Carlo Fans Colony II Ceiling Fan

YLiving

$129

Small yet mighty. Add a comforting breeze to a small space with the Colony II Ceiling Fan. Available in four finishes that let you match your decor.

Craftmade Fans Helios Ceiling Fan

YLiving

$219.99

The Helios Ceiling Fan by Craftmade Fans features smooth and clean lines and incorporates 5 reversible fan blades and an integrated LED light kit. Ambient light is evenly and smoothly diffused by the Frosted Glass diffuser to surrounding space.

Minka Aire Wave Ceiling Fan

Lumens

$239.95

Inspired by the graceful, repeating form of rolling ocean waves. In addition to its creatively contemporary design, the Minka Aire Wave Ceiling Fan features a 52″ blade span and includes a handheld remote and a 6″ downrod.

Monte Carlo Fans Studio Ceiling Fan

YLighting

$189

The Studio Ceiling Fan was designed with lofts and high-ceilinged environments in mind. This high-tech looking fan is both sleek and functional with its clean looks and Energy Star rating. With five finish options to choose form Studio is perfect for any space.

Fanimation Embrace Ceiling Fan

YLiving

$249.98

The Embrace Ceiling Fan by Fanimation is a sleek and understated fan with a completely adaptable form.  Fanimation is air apparent, focusing on producing creative and functional ceiling fans, wall fans, and portable fans.

Minka Aire Roto Ceiling Fan

YLighting

$189.95

The Roto Ceiling Fan spins classic industrial into sleek, streamlined modern design with an impeccable and well edited minimalist silhouette.

Minka Aire Spacesaver Ceiling Fan

YLiving

$195.95

Keep cool in small spaces with the Spacesaver Ceiling Fan from Minka Aire. The compact 3-blade design is perfectly sized for small kitchens, baths, hallways, laundry rooms and walk-in closets. It’s a good fit for low ceilings or tiny homes too.

Casa Vieja Arcus Brushed Nickel LED Ceiling Fan

Amazon

$199.95

Add sleek, modern style to your interiors with this brushed nickel finish ceiling fan from the Arcus collection by Casa Vieja. The fan includes three thick brushed nickel finish metal blades and an energy-efficient frosted glass LED light. A hand-held remote control is included for ease of use.

5 Artisan Tile Companies That Can Elevate Your Home

Posted By Michele Koh Morollo

One-of-a-kind tiles bring color and dynamism to your home—and have the power to transform spaces.

Instead of using generic, store-bought tiles, you may want to look to these artisan retailers for extraordinary, handcrafted tiles that add loads of personality to your kitchens and bathrooms. Some of these tiles are so eye-catching, you might even be inspired to use them in a feature wall or for the floor and walls of your pool. Here are five handcrafted tile retailers you’ll want to consider for your new home or renovation.

1. Filmore Clark

Courtesy of Filmore Clark

Filmore Clark carries US-made tiles from a variety of brands, in a wide range of materials.

Courtesy of Filmore Clark

Look here for encaustic stoneware tiles by KK Patterson that are full of antique charm; intricate, hand-painted tile by Kibak Tile; or colorful, Moorish-style ceramic tiles.

2. Tiles of Ezra

Courtesy of Tiles of Ezra

One hundred-percent handmade in Morocco by local artisans who have learned the art of tile making from their fathers and grandfathers, Tiles of Ezra specializes in ornate Moroccan Zellige, natural-glazed clay tiles.

Courtesy of Tiles of Ezra

Zellige tiles are traditionally used in Islamic architecture for floors, pools, tables, ceilings, fountains, and ornamental walls, and can certainly add much character to your indoor and outdoor spaces.

3. Clayhaus Modern Tile

Courtesy of Clayhaus Modern Tile

Jason and Megan Coleman, the founders of Portland, Oregon–based Clayhaus Modern Tile, are big fans of the pop art movement, which began in the mid-1950s.

Courtesy of Clayhaus Modern Tile

The duo consider themselves midcentury modern enthusiasts and count Andy Warhol and Victor Vasarely as two of their favorite artists, so it’s no surprise that their handcrafted, made-to-order tiles have strong midcentury aesthetics that work well in minimalist contemporary homes or midcentury renovations.

4. Metolius Ridge

Courtesy of Metolius Ridge

At their studio in Bend, Oregon, Metolius Ridge have modified an age-old technique called Cuerda Seca (Dry Line), mixed their own glazes, and painted each tile by hand. Their new Grafik collection, inspired by 1960s Vogue photographs of artist Cy Twombly’s apartment in Rome, offer designs that are perfect for contemporary homes.

Courtesy of Metolius Ridge

“I was drawn to the juxtaposition of something very graphic on the floor set in a classic Italian environment,” explains the company’s founder Justyn Livingston. “His floors were a focal point; it was all about the floors and his paintings in those photographs.”

5. Popham Design

Courtesy of Popham Design

Marrakesh–headquartered Popham Design is all about bright, bold, and colorful tiles that can transform your floors, walls, and backsplashes into works of art.

Courtesy of Popham Design

Each Popham Design tile is handmade with locally sourced material, and rather that baked in a kiln, they are set in a hydraulic press—and therefore more sustainable.