Tuesday, January 25, 2011

10 Bold Kitchens Designs

Kitchens are usually designed to be more functional than aesthetic. Although functionality is important, the two should go hand in hand. Many times, people want to play it safe when it comes to their kitchens, mainly because they are afraid of what would happen when they decide to resell their house. However, if you were spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new or remodeled kitchen, wouldn't you want it to reflect you and your personality? Have character? Be original?
Here are 10 examples of kitchens where designers definitely did not play it safe and still achieved a well-designed, functional kitchen.

1) Floor to ceiling rectangular wall tiles in three different color bands, make this kitchen a magnificent space. The ceiling's architectural detail add even more character to this small space.

2) This kitchen screams glamour! The island's unusual decorative legs make this space such an interesting one. The choice of these over-the-top chandeliers and over-sized flower arrangement draw you in and make you feel like you are in a Hollywood escape.

3) This old barn-like kitchen could not be more original and true to it's owner. The designer made sure that the kitchen countertops, cabinets, and appliances all stay true to the nature of the space. Nothing stands out or seems out of place.

4) In this kitchen, the designer went completely out of the norm and chose these graphic cabinets. To add even more visual interest to it, the designer chose to install the flooring in a herringbone pattern.

5) One cannot be bolder than choosing yellow kitchen cabinets. But, in this case, it works.

6) This kitchen is so individualistic in its pastel color splashes everywhere. The person who live there really put their print on it.

7) Mid Continent Cabinetry is soon going to be able to paint any cabinets you order with any color that your heart desires. So, why not go wild? This designer certainly did, and it looks great.

8) Another way to be bold in your kitchen design is to use exotic styles, such as moroccan. This kitchen shows moroccan style wall openings, lanterns, and backsplash tile.  It doesn't necessarily have to revolve around the cabinets' style and color only.

9) This kitchen shows a bold multicolored backsplash mosaic tile paired with a striking red quartz countertop.

10) And finally, a those staggering purple walls paired with black cabinets and splashes of white cabinets on the wall give this kitchen a feeling of luxury and glamour. It is definitely not your typical kitchen. the crystal chandelier is brilliantly placed over the dining area to complete this look.

Do you have any other kitchen ideas that break the rules and grab your eye?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 New Products to Die For

This week, I wanted to take a look at 10 new awesome products that have great design, which mean that they are both functional and esthetic in their form. These products are also innovative, interesting, and just plain cool.

1. Colombo Construction Corp - Fire Cage

This Fire Cage is in curved stainless-steel rods with steel orbs by Colombo Construction Corp., firefeatures.com, ($13,500).

2. Mannington Commercial - Earthly Elements

Earthly Elements engineered oak and hickory wood in ebony and pearl by Mannington Commercial. This hardwood offers the chance to mix and match color palettes in unique layouts and create multiple design options. It is available in both 12"x12" and 12"x24" sizes. manningtoncommercial.com.

3. Resource Furniture - Tartan Letto

Ferruccio Laviani's Tartan Letto bed in tinted oak by Resource Furniture, resourcefurniture.com.

4. Kartell - Front Page

Front Page magazine holder in red polymethyl methacrylate by Kartell. It is also available in white, black, crystal, yellow, and smoke grey. kartell.it.

5. Gary Cruz - Flower Power Gold

Flower Power Gold wool and silk rug by Gary Cruz. It is hand-knotted 80% Tibetan Wool and 20% Chinese Silk and comes in many sizes. It is also available in Red. garycruzstudio.com.

6. Gala & Gino - Eye

Hand crafted and hand painted Eye quartz ceramic with Swarovski crystal by Turkish company Gaia & Gino, gaiagino.com

7. Philip Nimmo Ironworks - Ellittico

Ellittico cocktail table in glass and hand-wrought iron in white-gold-leaf by Philip Nimmo Ironworks. Also available in matte black, dark bronze, aged bronze, gold, white gold, antique gold, and antique silver. Custom finishes and sizes are available with an up charge. philipnimmoironworks.com.

8. Hästens - Excelsior II

Excelsior II bed in layers of cotton, wool, and  horsehair with pine legs and cotton upholstery in iconic blue-and-white check by Hästens, hastens.com.

9. Du Verre the Hardware Co. - Offset

Erin Adams's Offset cabinet knobs and pulls in recycled aluminum with antique brass oil rubbed bronze and matte black finishes by Du Verre the Hardware Co., duverre.com.

10. Poliform - Wallace
Designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, Wallace armchair in iron painted matte white, flexible molded polyurethane, and leather by Poliform, poliformusa.com.

Are there any other new products that you would die for?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Make Your New Year's Resolution to Get Organized

First of all, Happy New Year!

Many of you have probably made a list of your resolutions for the new year. Many of which, you have listed the year before but abandoned on the January 5, 2010. One of the most listed resolutions is to be more organized in your home.

The reason this is a tough resolution to abide by might be because many people do not know where to start. No worries though, I am here to help you carry on this resolution though out the whole year and beyond.

Many people treat their closet space as a place where you can hide your clutter. We've all had these moments where someone was coming over and we just shoved all the clothes we wore that week that were laying on the bedroom floor into that 2'x4' closet. However, a closet should be treated differently; think of it as an organizational tool. Ever if it is the smallest closet on earth, you should make every inch in it count. How, you might ask...

Well, if your closet consists of a space with one shelf and a rod that runs from one end to the other like the picture on left, that is not maximizing the use of your closet. The picture under is a great example of how this closet can be transformed into an organizational tool.

This "John Louis Home Standard Closet Shelving System" is a great closet organization system can be bought on Amazon or Target without breaking the bank. As you can see, the shelves go all the way up to the ceiling, thus maximizing the use to the space. Even though this is a small closet space, you can see that it fits a lot.

Use double rods to make extra room for short hanging clothes. Use boxes or baskets to store away smaller items such as socks and underwear. Baskets are also a great way to store handbags and flat or house shoes.

Here are some more examples of greatly organized closets:

 Make sure that everything you own has a space to store it. Try to think about that when you are buying a new item, "Do I have somewhere to put it?" Try to only keep out the clothes and shoes you use most and store away the ones you don't use that often. 

 If you have the space and budget, I encourage you to invest in a good custom closet. It will make your life easier and keep the stress of clutter off your mind. 

 Do keep shoes of the floor. This means taking better care of your shoes and maximizing their life span. Also, label your boxes and baskets, it does make your life easier and just looks so much better. 

 It is not a big deal if your closet doesn't have doors. It would force you to keep things organized and would be an esthetic element in the room if done right. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why Gift Wrapping is Important

It is that time of the year when people are rushing to the mall to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. Although the gift itself is important, the way you present it is just as essential. And since you are probably going to place those gift under the tree, it makes them act as a part of your home decor. That is why it is important to pay attention to the way you wrap your gifts. Here are some suggestions:
Going Green:
Try to go green this holiday and reuse those Trader Joe's paper bags to wrap your presents. You can also try using old newspaper or old maps that you might have lying around your house. Instead of buying ribbons, try using cuts of an old sweater.

The comic section of the newspaper sure does make an interesting gift wrapper.

When reusing old newspapers to wrap presents, try to pay attention to what sections are actually being exposed. 

 Old music sheets have some charm to them as well. 

 Using Yarn As Ribbon
Using yarn that you might already have in your craft room is a fun way to make a wrapped present unique. Try using some buttons to spice it up as well.

Depending on your skill levels with crafts and free time, try to go even more creative with making some colorful flowers out of yarn.

Don't be afraid to go simple. Simple is good when done the right way.

Use Nature As Accessories
 Use flowers, herbs, or small dried tree branches for a beautifully smelling present. 

Nature is always elegant. It doesn't cost you anything and makes for great accessories.

Be Bold, Be Funky
Use bold colors and some funky items to decorate your wrapping. It's always fun.

Try using some of your tree decorations in the wrapping. Coordinate colors but also mix and match.

Use unexpected items in your wrapping. People will appreciate it. 

Lastly, have fun with it. Your efforts will pay off and your friends and family will be impressed and love their gifts even more.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Week in Hot TV Set Designs: Dexter


Dexter is one of the shows that stand out at you. It is totally different from any other show in terms of content, mood, and setting. It is the first show that dares make a serial killer look like a good citizen or a hero even. Dexter follows the life of Dexter Morgan who, according to Showtime website, is a Miami Metro Police Department blood spatter analyst, has a double life. When he's not helping the Homicide division solve murders, he spends his time hunting and killing bad guys who slip through the justice system. The Showtime Original Series Dexter ended Season Four with a huge dramatic twist. This season, Dexter goes from happily married husband to guilt-ridden single dad. Could America's Favorite serial killer be experiencing real human emotion? And how will it affect his ability to maintain an average-guy facade while satisfying his need to kill? As Dexter's secret life and new responsibilities threaten to overwhelm him, his ability to remain focused — and undetected — are being tested like never before.

Production designer Brandy Alexander has been successfully bringing the interior of many scenes come to life. I am particularly fond of the interior design of Dexter's 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment which captures Dexter's character perfectly. Take a look:

In Dexter's apartment everything has it's place, following his serial killer characteristics of being a perfectionist. The style is modern and sleek with some mid-century inspired furniture. The perfect serial killer (only bad guys) bachelor pad.

It looks live a normal lived in apartment, where nobody would suspect of Dexter's extra curricular activities.

Could the kitchen be any more perfect or masculine? It's pretty much on point.

The designer was very successful in bringing this space to life and in making the audience believe that this is where their favorite serial killer lives.

Now moving on to Rita's house, Dexter's late wife who was murdered by one of the serial killers Dexter was trying to hunt down in the season 4 finale. Dexter's relationship with her was human, unlike his secret life which is monster-like. Dexter was able to feel a sense of family and love for the first time. He adopted her two children and had a third child of his own with her. Take a look at how the designer was able to portray that in the design of Rita's house, a busy mother who has dedicated all of her time to her children.

In Rita's house the designer used warm colors and mismatched furniture to give a sense of warm homey feel.

In the house, everything is outdated, where a mother of three has no time to be thinking about decor.

Catch Dexter tonight, Sunday for the season 5 finale on Showtime at 9pm et/pt. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Make Your Guests Feel At Home This Holiday

Holiday season means that many people are either visiting friends and family or they have friends and family visiting them. It is important to have your guests feel as comfortable as possible and I am here to tell you how. Here are 10 tips on how to make your guests feel at home this holiday season:

 1. If possible, use two twin beds instead of a queen or a king bed giving your guests the option to sleep separately. The twins can be pushed together to make a king bed for couples.

2. Provide your guests with extra sheets for more comfort, they always have the choice to add or remove sheets to their preference.

3. Provide your guests with extra towels, fresh and fluffy, they will certainly appreciate it.

4. Always leave extra pillows on the bed. Don't wait for your guests to ask for them. They always have the option to take some off if they don't want to use all of them.

5. Leave an alarm clock in your guests bedroom, chances are they are jet-lagged and need something to wake them up.

6. Leave your guests some candles and relaxing bath salt to unwind after a long flight or after some uncomfortable family interactions.

7. give your guest some nice toiletries such as lotions, soaps, shampoos, and perfume. Also, don't forget an extra toothbrush and toothpaste. 

8. Leave some fresh flowers in your guests bedroom and bathroom, it will make them feel even more at home.

9. Have some ready clothes hangers, slippers, and a robe for your guest to use, or not, but at least they will have that option. Chances are they did not bother to pack these things in their weekend bag.

10. Leave your guests some light reading books or some magazines. If they have trouble sleeping in a strange bed this might entertain them until they fall asleep.

Follow these tips and your guests will definitely leave your home feeling great about staying there. A good idea is to make your guests a nice little kit that includes all of these things listed. Think of your guest comfort as your own. Wouldn't you like all these things available to you if you were visiting friends or family?