Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Best Storage Beds

Your closets not big enough? (Whose are?) Under the bed can be a great solution. Here are my favorite storage beds….

This weathered driftwood is very cottage chic, but the upholstered back looks comfy to lean against. While a lot of storage beds look clunky and unfinished, the drawers at the bottom actually look like a charming touch. $1150 for a queen on Wayfair.

I like the regular geometry of the Magnussen Lauren Storage Bed, $1099 for a queen.

The Swami bed from Calligaris looks like a typical platform bed, but opens for storage underneath. $1643 for a queen from inMod (in white or brown).

The Sandy Beach storage bed from Coaster is a cute economical option, $765 at (also comes in black).

The Hudson storage bed from Room & Board has drawers on either side. Queen for $2399 (shown here in maple, comes in multiple colors).

The Vintage Fir bed has six cubbies and three eco-friendly finishes. $2650 from VivaTerra.

Pottery Barn and PBTeen both have storage bed options. The upper photo is the Pottery Barn Cynthia bed, which has an upholstered inset. $1999 for a queen. The lower is PBTeen’s slightly more economical, non-upholstered Hampton bed for $1699. I don’t care for the fact that the Hampton has those open shelves on the ends, and I like an upholstered back to lean against when I’m reading, so I’d spend the extra $300. Both come in white or brown.

The Klaussner Danbury bed makes a grand statement, $1079.

My only fear with these is that doing away with your box spring would affect the comfort of your mattress. Anyone have experience with this? Comment and let us know!


Bottom Line at the Architectural Digest Home Show: Lighting as the New Artwork

So… the bad news was, a lot of the furniture at the AD Home Show was a total snooze. Beige ruled the day, and there was nothing that was all that new or interesting to look at.

THE GOOD NEWS, however, was that the lighting was OUT OF THIS WORLD incredible. It was visually interesting, incorporated new materials and technology, and frankly carried the day as far as I was concerned. I am not even editing down here, I am going to show you every darn light that I liked at the show. Here goes…

This eye-catching piece, situated right at the entrance to the show, was causing quite a logjam. From Karkula.

LOVE Philippine designer and Pratt grad Kenneth Cobonpue, who I’ve been following since design school. One of my favorite exhibitors at the show. This float-y, organic pendant caught my eye.

Indirect lighting creates a soft glow, and the angular shape looks like an interesting balance act at DIFFA’s Dining by Design exhibit.

Industrial meets glamour with crystal-embellished pipes at Michael McHale Designs.

Funky modern desk lamp is actually made of wood. From Matter.

Incredible chandelier from DesignLush looks like a set of prehistoric pots dug up from an archaeological site.

The metal disc at the top of this wall sconce from O’Lampia can be raised and lowered to allow just the right amount of ambient light.

Supercreative light at the Cocobolo Design booth is a torn fiberglass sphere — and look at the awesome shadow it creates on the wall behind it.

Awesome, environmentally-friendly branch chandeliers from CP Lighting.

This angular pendant would modernize even the most blah of spaces, and utilizes replaceable LED bulbs (which are energy-efficient and last forever). From Bec Brittain.

With all these great things happening every time I looked up, I started to wonder, what is going on here? Are people starting to see lighting as hanging sculptures? Are we substituting them for art? Or do we consider them art? And why do they seem so much more interesting than what’s going on below? Are we willing to take risks in our lighting fixtures that we wouldn’t take with our furniture choices, and if so, why? Maybe it’s just become accepted wisdom that traditional furniture + cool modern lighting = awesome eclectic look?

So many questions, don’t know the answers! What do you think?


Great Design: Cool Folding Chair at the Architectural Digest Home Show

Thus begins my coverage of the Architectural Digest Home Show on Pier 94 in NYC… with this awesome space saving folding chair.

Incredible folding chair, folds down to an envelope only 2 inches thick! From Netherlands company Flux.

Cute $12 DIY garden lighting idea

I wanted to do one more post about the Philadelphia Flower Show… I saw these adorable garden lights, and I thought this would be a really cute and easy DIY for a backyard or garden. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that they’re actually perforated metal buckets…

All you would need to do is punch the holes and put in a regular socket. I think at night they would look like twinkly little stars, with the light shining through all the holes. I like how they hung them randomly and at uneven heights.

Here’s a shot of the underside…

Galvanized pails are easy to find online, I found these for as little as $6…

from GalvinizedPails, and a basic socket cord is also $6 at Amazon.

That’s all you would need! Wish I had a backyard so I could do this myself…. if anyone gives it a shot, please post photos!

Green Walls at the Philadelphia Flower Show

I attended the Hawaii-themed & (thus) orchid-strewn Philadelphia International Flower Show recently… and I have to say, among all those brilliant orchids, what really caught my attention were the many and varied green walls on display throughout the show. Green walls offer visual beauty of plants, can have other environmental benefits besides just fresh O2 (like keeping things cool in the summer, warm in the winter), plus make the most of scarce gardening space. Check these out:

Beautiful vertical gardens at the Subaru pavilion… love the creative pattern and variety of colors and leaves.

Glorious green wall from EcoWalls. Love the variety of plantings. A Flower Show volunteer told me that these systems are really high tech, they actually have tiny watering tubes implanted in the back of them so you never have to water them. The system comes complete and you basically just attach it to your wall. Needless to say I totally want one.

This clever wall is comprised of seven different types of… you’ll never guess… lettuce! Rabbit food never looked so good. Sadly, a volunteer at the show told me this is only for display purposes, because the bottoms of the pots are basically just nailed to the wall, so when they water it, the water can’t get to the roots of the plant and all the dirt falls on the floor. Definitely a problem I hadn’t thought of!

Imagine this sweet little box hanging on your outside wall!

Love these steps of greenery.

I am very, very interested in how one can implement a garden, veggie farm or herb box in one’s own backyard/terrace/balcony/fire escape. Here’s some options I found:

The little flower box above was from Sage Botanic Media.

This device was on display by one of the flower vendors at the show. It’s tilted to solve the watering issue, and check out that awesome variety of plantings. I found out that it’s from a company called Green Living Technologies, which sells green walls or freestanding vertical gardens. Don’t have a backyard? It also has a section on urban farming, including this photo from its website:

So there you go, having a backyard made of concrete is no longer an excuse for not having space to garden! Some other options:

You can build your own green wall with felt pockets, like these from woollypocket or florafelt.

Another option is this tilted planter which you can nail to the wall. Love that it’s tilted for easy watering. Available at Amazon.

Ok so I know it’s not exactly a green wall, but how adorable is this idea? This was actually by the Chester County Art Association, who took home Second Prize in the Store Windows category. I just think it’s so clever. OH, and there are your obligatory orchids. ūüôā

Another way to fake it… these hanging bags will grow strawberries… or anything. (I asked.) 10 for $10 here.

A cool DIY from myurbangarden.

And last but not least, for those of you who are really short on space, I thought this almost-screen of air plants was a clever idea for infusing a bit of green.

Bamboo for Everyone…

Bamboo has become more than a short-lived trend in interior design.  In recent years, the use of bamboo has expanded, and it is easier than ever to incorporate this renewable product into your own decor.  Here are some examples:

Kengo Kuma and Associates used bamboo throughout the design of this residence.  The linear bamboo wall is the main feature of the house, representing the cultural exchange and respect between Japan and China.

The Becca stool from Modern Bamboo has Eastern styling with multifunctionality.  Use this as a seat, side table or shelf to add a touch of eco-friendly modernism to your room.

Also from Modern Bamboo, this table is an ideal combination of nature and industrial design.  I love the elegance and simplicity of the lines, which allows the material to really stand out.  This can be customized and delivered in 4-6 weeks!

 I love the sexy lines of this side table by Sachiko Segawa.  A simple glass top lets the form of the bamboo show through.

Why not use bamboo in your lighting as well?  I found these great pendant lights on Eco-Logic Bamboo Boards.  A  beautiful and simple way to bring in some nature to your space.

I really think the bamboo mosaic tile is stunning.   You can get these from Glass Tile Trend for only $14.99 a square foot.  Create a focal point in a room or a unique backsplash in a kitchen.

Designed by Block Cocinas, this kitchen quickly made it my favorites.  The bamboo flows seamlessly into the other materials creating perfect harmony within the space.

Here is a great collection from West Elm.  The lighter color bamboo will match a variety of bathroom decors.  Each piece ranges from $16-$19, so you can infuse natural beauty without breaking your budget.

An area rug is a more traditional use of bamboo.  The one above is available on Asana Organic from ranging in price from $90 Р$130.

Bamboo is a great material for window treatments as well.  These shades will filter light and add texture.  Order any standard or custom size from Blinds Chalet.


2012 Rug Trends (Ikat, Chevrons, and more!)

So, I just got back from covering the New York Home Fashions trade show for Rug News andDesign magazine, so I can now report back on all the latest in rug design! Here’s what I saw:

1) IKAT is absolutely #1. Literally EVERYONE is showing ikat. It’s taken a few years, but it¬†has finally trickled from the fashion world through to fabrics and on down to rugs, and I have to say, I’m pretty thrilled about it. Ikat is so antique-y and boho, and it just looks very natural on the floor.
Ikat options from Amazon, Rugs USA, and ABC Carpet.

2) HAND CARVING is getting bigger and bigger. In this technique, after the rug is made, carvers go in by hand and remove some of the pile in order to create outlines around the pattern to give it even more definition and a high-low texture, like on this rug:

You can see the slight shadows around the design where the carving was done to give it even more of a pop. This rug is by Amy Butler.

3) SPHAGHETTI/FETTUCINE SHAGS were everywhere, called thusly because of the resemblance of their yarns to flat or round noodles, which gives textural interest to neutral or monochromatic rugs. Another trend, seen below on the right, involves interspersing these thicker yarns with various thinner yarns… pretty cool.

From Home Elementz and Levitz.

4)¬†NON-UGLY GEL CHEFS’ MATS… finally. We all want the resilience and easy-on-the-knees comfort of gel mats, but without putting a giant plastic-looking square on our kitchen floors. Here you go.

$45 at Amazon.

5) CHEVRONS are up and coming pattern trend. I saw them in a variety of colors and patterns, like this one:

From Home Decorator’s Collection.

6)¬†MEMORY FOAM BATH MATS… sure to be the hot 2013 Christmas present for those relatives you have no idea what to get. I had no idea how 20th century my bathmat was until I saw this. I’m showing solid colors here, but believe me they will be out in every pattern imaginable by the end of the year.

Via Kohl’s.

7) OVERTUFTING/RAISED DESIGNS create additional texture over a typical pile rug.

A David Easton Rug from Zinc Door.

So there you have it!  Please comment and let me know what you think!