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  • 08/05/10--11:12: A Topiary Safari
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    topiary safariGarden designer Dawn Imlach trims the life-sized elephant topiary. Photo: Solent News, Rex USA


    An English garden takes a walk on the wild side.

    Garden designer Dawn Imlach has always wanted her gardens to be one of the most popular attractions at Paulton's Park, a theme park located in Hampshire on England's southern coast. She longed for the children to appreciate the color, shape and power of plants. But in a popular family theme park, it's hard to compete with the roller coaster and Ferris wheel.

    She brainstormed about how to get her plants more attention and came up with an idea: create an oversized snake out of plants, inspired by the popular board game, Snakes and Ladders (or Chutes and Ladders). It seemed perfect for park-goers, since they seem to crave a little fear and excitement with their fun. The idea was accepted and Dawn's new Snakes and Ladders garden featured a 32-foot snake made out of 5600 plants.


    topiary safariThis oversized snake topiary was the impetus for the new Jungle Falls garden at Paulton's Park. Photo: Solent News, Rex USA


    "The Snakes and Ladders garden proved very popular right from the start. The success of this led to the idea of having an animal topiary," Dawn explains. And Dawn didn't want just any topiary. She wanted the animals to be as close to life-sized as possible for a zoo-like effect. But how was she to get life-sized animal-shaped topiary? She called on a local nursery who connected her with a garden artist in Italy named Luigi Drosini, who designed the topiaries.

    The topiaries, which were grown in Italy, arrived on a large truck about four months later. There were three animals in total: an elephant, a giraffe and a crocodile. Each was made of Privet, or Ligustrum Jonandrum -- a hardy evergreen plant used in topiary sculpting -- that was 5 to 20 years old. The plant is a hardy one; it can often survive year round in well-drained soil. In harsh winters, it can yellow slightly and lose a few leaves, but quickly grow back as temperatures rise. Weekly trimming helps maintain growth. Dawn recalls that the truck driver "felt quite the celebrity, with many people stopping in there tracks to stare at our new attractions."


    topiary safariThe topiary safari arrives on an oversized trailer. Photo: Paulton's Park


    A large barren area of the park where trees had been removed was the perfect location for this "living" safari, now called "Jungle Falls." Herding the zoo animals into place was no easy task. Each gigantic pot weighed over a ton. From the truck, each animal was lifted by an all-terrain forklift. The elephant is about 6' high by over 9' wide. The giraffe is about 9' tall and the crocodile stretches to just about 8.5' in length. "We needed to take great care as the topiary animals weighed almost as much as the real ones...when they were at last in there resting place, I felt it was quite an achievement," says Dawn.

    topiary safariThe garden is a hit with children. Photo: Solent News, Rex USA


    Once in place, Dawn realized that these animals were "alive" and needed to "eat," so she came up with a theatrical design that includes a waterfall that flows into a winding stream lined with pebbles. "It flows down through the colorful exotics and ends at the crocodiles watering hole where he waits for his next child victim," she joyfully explains. This stream leads to a boardwalk walkway over the stream for photo opps with each animal. Dawn says she hopes to add a misting spray and animal noises to complete the experience. They hope to begin work on a new section of the garden next year with a picnic area and more animals -- bears and rhinos, maybe?

    I'm sure that whatever animals they decide on, they're sure to be a hit. Says Dawn: "I am quite proud to say that the gardens have never been this popular with the children, which has been my goal all along."

    For a look at another unique garden idea, check out our story on Whiskey Barrel Gardening.

     

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  • 08/05/10--12:12: Exclusive: The New Veranda
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    The September 2010 cover and a few pages from the inside. Photos: Courtesy of Veranda.


    The 23-year-old magazine has a fresh look thanks to new editor -- and former Domino-ite -- Dara Caponigro. It's not on newsstands until next Tuesday but ShelterPop has an exclusive first look.

    Photos: Courtesy of Veranda.



    There's a lot of change coming to a newsstand near you -- as we reported back in April, former Domino editor Dara Caponigro was tapped to take over Hearst's glamorous, if not snooty, guide to stylish living at the same time that Stephen Drucker took over Town & Country and Newell Turner rose to Editor of House Beautiful. Now, with rumors that ELLE DECOR's Margaret Russell is days away from accepting the top spot at Architectural Digest (leaving, of course, a new opening at the head of ED!) our heads are spinning with all the switcharoos. But this first look at Caponigro's Veranda is all we need to keep calm and carry on.

    Often overlooked on the newsstand by a crowd that prefers the accessibility of House Beautiful or the fashion-influence of ELLE DECOR, Veranda is positioned to take readers by surprise with revamped sections, snappier captions (a Hallmark, of course, of Domino) and some new faces, like Laura Vinroot Poole, owner of the Charlotte, NC clothing boutique Capitol. There's also 10 wish-list ottomans (starting at $695) and their new section "New and Noteworthy" spotlights decidedly non-stuffy items like gold-leafed stools that looks like tree trunks and snappy lacquered boxes in bright orange.

    Want more? Check back in on Monday for our interview with Dara! And check your local newsstand on Tuesday the 10th to see those glossy pages in person!



    Photos: Courtesy of Veranda.

     

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    Which ones are from Paris and which are from eBay? Photos: Amy Flurry; eBay


    You don't need to travel to Paris to get a taste of the great antique finds there -- one writer returns from a trip and recreates her shopping experience...on eBay!


    Amy Flurry, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBay's online style magazine, visited a Paris flea market and then took to eBay to find similar pieces. For the full article -- and part two! --
    see The Inside Source!

    Paris brocantes, outdoor markets selling second-hand goods, are a far cry from the weekend markets of my Georgia youth, where small reptiles and bunnies could be purchased alongside tables of socks, rusty garden tools and teakettles. Some brocantes are run by associations with professional exhibitors selling antiques and period objects, while others resemble a large neighborhood tag sale with collectors and amateurs offering delightful curios and household items. Naturally, these citywide street fairs are a great place to pick up an interesting gift or souvenir.

    Among the larger, more well-known markets-listed in all of the city guides-is the Puces de Saint-Ouen along the Avenue Porte de Clignancourt, the outskirts of Northeastern Paris, but easily accessible by Métro. You'll have to brave the pushy street vendors (among them many unlicensed merchants), selling everything from Marlboros to soccer jerseys and other bric-a-brac, before hitting the market proper, a maze of stalls, many permanent, organized into sections according to goods.

    Supposedly the largest outdoor market in the world, the Clignancourt has a vibe that is really more antique store spilling into the street. In my experience, prices were three times those of the smaller marchés aux puces (though it took little more than a raised eyebrow before vendors proposed a substantially lower price).

    I spent a cool weekend here and managed to cover only half of the grounds, armed with my map of the stalls. And while the period furniture, tapestries and lighting may be in better condition than what you might pick up at the smaller street sales, the whole experience left me feeling that shopping the Clignancourt was best left to professionals (who also have access to containers for their haul).

    It did get me thinking, however, that I might have better luck-and a more comfortable weekend-shopping eBay from my own home.

    To find out which pieces are straight from Paris and which are eBay gems, check out the full story.

    Amy Flurry; eBay

    ...And check out our past collaborations with The Inside Source.

    The Inside Source, eBay's online style magazine, brings you the hottest goods and the latest trends, tips and shopping stories from leaders in home and garden, fashion and more.

     

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    Sure they can sit in chairs... but can they design them? Photo: Michael Buckner, Getty Images.


    Kim, Khloe and Kourtney are collaborating on a home line -- we imagine their conversation about the new venture.

    When we heard that the sisters Kardashian were planning to launch a line of home goods in 2011, we were a bit disappointed with the only quote in the press release: "We are excited to work with Bruno Schiavi in developing our first brand together. His expert design sensibilities, his amazing creativity and his genuine understanding of female consumers everywhere make him the ideal partner."

    So we let our imagination run wild and dreamt up this chat. While we can't be a fly on the Kardashians' wall, we sure can pretend.

    Kourtney: I'm really excited to be designing this line with you guys. I feel like we never spend time together anymore.

    Kim: I know! I'm just so tired when I get home because I've been working sooo much. But I'm super excited to do a home line. We should design pillows!

    Kourtney: Uhh we should deeeeefinitely do pillows. Everyone loves pillows. In fact I used two pillows last night. One to sleep on and one to keep Scott away from me.

    Khloe: What should we call the line?

    Kim: Kim Kardashian KHOME?

    Kourtney: HOMEdashian?

    Khloe: KardashiHOME?

    Kourtney: We can sell it at Kmart!

    Kim: Do we own that?

    Khloe: Uh, I don't think so. But guys, I definitely think we should take our time with this project. You know how I hate to rush in to things.

    Kourtney: ...

    Khloe: ...Yeah, right. Well hey, you know, Beyonce has a home line, she works on it with her mother.

    Kim: Well our mom arranged for us to work with, like, a super famous designer to the stars.

    Khloe: Ryan Seacrest?!

    Kim: No, it's this guy Bruno Schiavi.

    Kourtney: Who?!

    Kim: He's a designer guy who does a lot of lines with TV stuff.

    Khloe: What TV stuff?

    Kim: Um, The Biggest Loser.

    Kourtney: What's that? Is that on E!?

    Kim: No it's a show about weight loss that's not sponsored by Quick Trim. Oh my god, you guys! You know how the Quick Trim bottle is designed to look like my body?

    Kourtney: Yeah Kim, we know, it's all about you.

    Kim: What if we designed furniture to look like my body?

    Khloe: Well... there would definitely be a lot of room in the back.

    Kim: ...Or we could do a chair with cup holders in them for your cocktail, Khloe.

    Khloe: They would need to have really big seats to hold your butt, Kim.

    Kourtney: Come on guys, stop fighting. I feel like I'm the only one really working here.

    Kim: I don't know what you're talking about. I'm ALWAYS working.

    Khloe: Ooh, we should totally do cribs!

    Kourtney: Oh that's perfect! Kim aren't you pregnant? I think I saw that in Life & Style.

    Kim: Um, no. I meant for you, since you just had Mason.

    Kourtney: Oh yeah. Everything's changing! Maybe we should go on vacation together to reconnect.

    Kim: That's a great idea. And a great excuse to design luggage.


    OK, we had our fun, but now we're serious: We're curious about what kind of things the gals -- and Bruno Shiavi, of course -- will come up with for this line. Stay tuned in 2011!

     

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  • 08/06/10--19:12: What Women Want In a Home
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    home designed for womenBuilt to attract women buyers, this home in Columbia, Missouri has details women prefer, at least that's what its builders, Kliethermes Homes & Remodeling, think. Photo: Jarrad Henderson


    Home builders are trying to capitalize on why women are drawn to some houses -- and not others.


    When Brandi Hach and her husband were looking for a new home, they swore that new home construction was not for them. She was eight months pregnant at the time and in no mood to deal with the frantic building process she saw her friends go through. Then the Hachs happened to drive by an open house held by Fargo, North Dakota-based Heritage Homes, and in they went. "I was blown away," says Hach. As soon as she walked through the front door, she was drawn to the enormous living area next to the kitchen, and then she spotted the rear entry lockers offering a counter and a place for everything.

    Hach's response was exactly what Heritage Homes hoped for. They'd built the model house hoping to impress female buyers.

    It's called woman-centric building, and some of today's savvy home builders are trying to woo more women by adding details that they think they'll appreciate. The increase in woman-centric home design has come about because more single women are buying houses, according to The Wall Street Journal. As a result, builders are aggressively adding more details and architectural features women will love, like "killer" walk-in closets (for obvious reasons) and gas fireplaces (easier to light and maintain).

    Design Basics, a home plan design firm, is pioneering the movement. They work with sixty builders around the country who are designated Woman-Centric Matters members. More women seem to be signing on the dotted line: Heritage Homes, who opened their first woman-centric home in the fall of 2009, says that they are doing exceedingly well, even in an anemic housing market, thanks to the Woman-Centric Matters program.

    The most popular feature of Heritage's Woman-Centric Matters homes seems to be the "drop zone" or rear foyer full of kid-friendly lockers. "Don't call it a mud room," says Paul Foresman, the mastermind behind the Woman-Centric Matters division of Design Basics. "Women don't like the perception of mud all over the home."
    And don't expect to see a living room in a Woman-Centric Matters' home -- just a nice big great room so women can interact with their families while they're in the kitchen.

    "Men have always been more simple than women when it comes to wants and needs in a home," says Paula Miller, a seasoned realtor with Coldwell Banker in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors. "Women always want the bells and whistles -- their own walk-in closet, granite counters, and newer homes that are maintenance free."

    Now that she's all moved in to a Heritage woman-centric home, Hach says her favorite feature is the automatic light in the rear foyer. "How many times do moms have groceries in one hand and a child in the other, and we're walking into a dark house?" she says. "It may sound silly, but here we built this beautiful house and I'm in love with the simple features, such as the cookie sheet cabinet in the kitchen and the automatic pantry light." She also admits to loving the way the kitchen island faces the living area because in her old house Hach felt she was missing out on life when isolated in the kitchen.

    drop zone rear entryThe most popular feature of Heritage's Woman-Centric Matters homes seems to be the "drop zone" or rear foyer full of kid-friendly lockers. Photo: Heritage Homes

    It takes more than installing a light to attract women to a home. Design Basics' Woman-Centric Matters program is an extensively researched idea that launched in 2003. To reach home buyers -- 91 percent of which are women, according to Design Basics' research -- the program encourages participating builders to throw targeted events. "We recently had a Women's Day Out at one of our builder's homes in Columbus, Ohio," says Foresman. "We had wine, crab cakes, and more, and over 200 women came through the model home. Another hundred ladies came to a jewelry design party held in a Warwick, Rhode Island Woman-Centric Matters home and four contracts were written."

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that women are drawn to these homes. Since adopting the program in 2008, Hugh Fisher, president of Deer Brook Development in Rhode Island, has increased the number of homes he's sold from an average of 20 per year to over 149 Woman-Centric Matters houses alone since 2008.

    Virginia Homes, a certified Woman-Centric Matters builder, was thrilled when a large group of women showed up for a recent open house. Photo: Virginia Homes


    In fact, Heritage's business has gone up about 40 percent from where it was in 2009, thanks to the addition of the Woman-Centric Matters program. Though much of the advertising is word of mouth, Tyrone Leslie, president and chief operating officer of Heritage Homes, says that the local media has taken an interest and covered Woman-Centric Matters events. (For a clip, check out this CNBC feature.)

    Now that Hach has lived in her woman-centric home for over a month, we had to ask: How does her husband feel about living in a home designed for a woman? "He loves the features," she says, "and he doesn't analyze the fact that it's a Woman-Centric Matters design."

    How would a house built for a man differ? We'd venture a guess that there'd be much more attention paid to technology. Coldwell Banker's Miller says that men want to see lots of storage space for their tools.

    Still, Hach is impressed with how comfortable she is in her new home. She's even had to deflect envy from female friends who come to visit, especially when they walk through the back foyer and spot the nifty automatic light.

    Victoria model floorplanThere's no living room in a Woman-Centric Matters home--just a nice big great room. Photo: Heritage Homes

    Want more "womanly" homes? See some of our favorites.
    10 Fashion Designer Hotels and Interiors
    Meg Ryan Rents Out Her Bel Air Mansion -- Only $40,000 a Month!
    A Woman-Shaped Vase!
    ...and some news about designing women: The Kardashians are working on a home line.

     

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    What is The Donald up to now? Photo: Noel Vasquez, Getty Images

    The home and design news for the week of Aug. 2 to 6.

    Reality TV stars are making waves throughout the home. Plus, there's a first for Martha in this week's home news.

    You'll be able to keep up with the Kardashians throughout your home as sisters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney get set to launch a line of products for the house. How, you may ask, did this come about? We concocted the play-by-play.

    Dog Fancy magazine is going to be celebrating an anniversary, too, and the cover girl on the special issue is someone you know.

    Also in the magazine world, ShelterPop (that's us!) gives you a first look at Veranda under new Editor-in-Chief Dara Caponigro, formerly of the Domino empire.

    We also caught up with Angela Adams to talk about her new line for Anthropologie.

    Former supermodel-turned-home guru Kathy Ireland teams up with Bush Furniture on a new line of office furniture.

    OXO marks 20 years of home product design with a commemorative take on its Y peeler.

    The Las Vegas Market kicked off this week and buyers were ready to place their bets on a big show.

    The Donald is helping some unlikely candidates find jobs in a collabo with Serta, the company that makes his brand of mattresses.

    Shaw Living is coordinating its efforts to match broadloom products with area rugs in its new Woven Expressions line.

    Want to know how the companies that make all the stuff in your home are doing? HFN has put its State of the Industry report online.

    Leggett & Platt is playing the name game
    by giving new monikers to its consumer lines and adjustable beds.

    It's going to get a lot tougher to buy something from a Jennifer Convertibles store as dozens of units are being liquidated.

    Luxury interior designer Lina Quintero has launched the Lina Collection of fabric, which covers a wide range of design styles.

     

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    Why remodel your kitchen when you can add on an entirely new space? Remodelista tours an add-on that's filled with light.

    Ageometrically perfect kitchen addition to a traditional 1920 Tudor house in Short Hills, New Jersey, from New York-based Messana O'Rorke Architects. The double-height space is flooded with natural light and is joined to the rest of the house with a band of glass; a wall of cabinetry containing the refrigerator is flanked by two marble counters; one containing double sinks facing a ten-foot-tall window.




    Want to see more photos? Check out the full post on Remodelista.

     

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  • 08/06/10--19:12: Weekly Link Love
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    Jonathan Adler books, a rustic shop in Tokyo and extreme decluttering...what we're lusting over in the blogosphere this week.

    Casa has a sneak peek of the glamorous Upper East Side apartments (and blasé kids) from the movie Twelve. Yes, the families look dysfunctional, but we still want to move in. [CasaSugar]

    Crystal stands up for white walls everywhere. "Stand confidently behind your white walls and remember that it's decidedly deliberate and far from just a default," she writes. Aching for more? Check out her side project: the WHITE file. Sing it, sister! [Plush Palate]

    A pairing as perfect as bright colors and chevron print: Nick Olsen is writing and trending for Design*Sponge! [Design*Sponge]

    We get a little too excited when we see the words "pillow library"....and that's only one of the perks at mother-daughter shop Boxwood Home & Interiors. [Style Beat]

    Over at The Stir they're talking about the Extreme Decluttering Challenge. Getting rid of one thing a day sounds easy enough, right? We're in. [The Stir]

    The title of this post says it all: "Crying real bitter tears that only poor people like myself cry when they STILL can't afford an awesome deal". Jenny's talking about vanity fixtures, but we've felt this way over everything from sofas to doormats. [My Favorite and My Best]

    Suze got a peek at the new Jonathan Adler books and judging by her reaction (and the photos of the ping pong table!) we're going to take her advice and pre-order. [Dwellers Without Decorators]

    When we think Tokyo, we don't necessarily think "rustic". But Roséline's glimpse of Cinq Design has us dreaming of lazy summer days and casual-chic tabletops. [This is Glamorous]

    Technically this is not from last week but we're so bummed we missed it last month that we're making an exception: This time-saving toaster is too adorable and too good at multi-tasking. Eggs and toast at the same time? It's practically a portable kitchen. [The Frisky]

     

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    With a little bit of elbow grease this dresser went from so-so to so chic. Photos: Copyright CICO Books, 2010

    A ho-hum chest of drawers becomes a stunning piece with a quick paint makeover.

    As soon as we laid eyes on decorative painter Annie Sloan's new book Quick and Easy Paint Transformations, we had visions of repainting our furniture -- all of it! The book is filled with inspiration for home makeovers that anyone who's handy with a paintbrush can pull off. The look and feel of most of the projects falls on the country side of the spectrum, but the techniques could easily be translated to more modern interiors as well.

    While Quick and Easy Paint Transformations is billed as a collection of 50 projects, Sloan's book can be used as a general resource for all types of painting techniques including textured surfaces, printing effects and decoupage. Here's one of our favorite projects from the book: A stunning dresser makeover.

    Sloan suggests the following materials for a similar makeover:

    o. Medium-grit sandpaper
    o. 3-inch flat paintbrushes for applying paint
    o. Tin of clear wax
    o. 1-inch brush or cloth for applying wax
    o. Cloth for removing excess wax and polishing
    o. Glass handles
    o. Paint

    Sand, then paint your surfaces. Photos: Copyright CICO Books, 2010

    Step 1. Remove existing handles and pulls. Lightly sand the piece with your medium-grit sandpaper, paying extra attention to corners and edges. Wipe off dust with a soft cloth.

    Step 2.
    Sloan used a paint that doesn't require primer, but if yours does, start by priming the surface. Next, paint the dresser, applying paint with your 3-inch brush in the direction of the wood's natural grain. Let it dry according to the paint's instructions and apply a second coat if necessary. Allow to dry overnight.

    The secret to the glossy finish: Clear wax. Photos: Copyright CICO Books, 2010

    Step 3. Apply a thin layer of your wax to the dresser with a cloth, although Sloan notes, "A brush is best when there is intricate molding because the bristles get into the niches more easily."

    Step 4. With a fresh cloth, wipe off the excess wax. As you remove wax, polish all of the surfaces.
    Tip: For a high shine, Sloan suggests you polish the dresser next day with a fresh cloth.

    To finish the piece, Sloan added clear, crystal knobs to the dresser using the existing holes. If you want to rehab your existing hardware, consider spray painting it in a complimentary color.

    Love the color of this dresser? So do we. If you live in the United Kingdom, you can purchase Annie Sloan's Chalk Paints, in 24 historical shades, including the "Provence" color seen here. Sadly, everyone else will just have to try to match Sloan's perfect turquoise hue.

    BONUS: Dying to see the rest of the book?
    We're giving away a copy of Annie Sloan's Quick and Easy Paint Transformations to one lucky ShelterPop reader. To enter to win, leave a comment below telling us what piece of furniture in your home most needs a makeover.

    All images courtesy of Quick and Easy Paint Transformations by Annie Sloan. CICO Books, $19.95, 2010.

    * To enter, leave a confirmed comment below telling us what piece of furniture in your home most needs a makeover.
    * The comment must be left before 5pm EST on August 13, 2010.
    * You may enter only once.
    * One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
    * One winner will receive a copy of Annie Sloan's Quick and Easy Paint Transformations (valued at $19.95.)
    * Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
    * Click here for complete Official Rules. Winners will be notified by email, so be sure to provide a valid email address!

    Have painting on the brain?
    How Much Do You Know About Paint?
    Or check out ShelterPop's archives of all things paint!

     

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    The exterior of the SAS Royal Hotel by Arne Jacobsen. Photo: Radisson

    The birthplace of Arne Jacobsen's 'Egg' and 'Swan' chairs celebrates a half century.

    Today, Arne Jacobsen is a design legend. But in 1956, he was a 54-year-old architect and designer about to embark on a project that would change his career: A new hotel for the Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS), an airline company based in Copenhagan. The project, which was completed in 1960, has been called the "first designer hotel".

    Fifty years later, Jacobsen's design for the SAS Royal Hotel (now known as the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel) still feels fresh.

    The lobby of the SAS Royal Hotel. Photo: Radisson

    Some of the furnishings designed for the hotel, including the Egg chair (seen above in the lobby) and Jacobsen's Swan chair, have gone on to become iconic examples of mid-century design (currently manufactured by Fritz Hansen). But the rest of the pieces never went into production so it takes a visit to the hotel to get a true taste of Jacobsen's soup-to-nuts designs -- from the building itself (he was, first and foremost, an architect), right down to the ashtrays in the rooms.

    Room 606 remains untouched from its original 1960 design. Photo: Radisson

    While most of the hotel has been brought up to the modern standards, Room 606 has been left just as Jacobsen designed it in 1960 -- Egg Chair and all. You may recognize it from countless photo shoots that have taken place in the room over the years.

    Jacobsen designed every element of the hotel -- even the ashtrays! Photo: Radisson

    The updated rooms also feature Jacobsen's designs, along with contemporary pieces that are in the spirit of his signature, mid-century style.

    An example of the hotel's updated room, with Jacobsen's Swan chairs. Photo: Radisson

    Interior Design reports that a replica of famed Room 606 was created in Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport for the SAS Business Lounge thanks to a collaboration with Fritz Hansen.

    Both the replica and the original versions of Room 606 show why Jacobsen is remembered and celebrated today, 50 years after the SAS Royal Hotel opened its doors.

    Another tribute to Jacobsen -- his egg chair got a makeover!

     

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    Here's another use for French Market baskets: decor.

    Canvas totes have all but replaced plastic grocery bags in most cities, and while being eco-friendly is always a great look, there is a slightly more refined option for a permanent carryall.

    I discovered French Market baskets through my friend Jessica, who recently moved to Amsterdam and reports European women use the classic bag/basket hybrids for everyday schleps around town. Woven with palm leaves and trimmed with leather straps and handles, the French Market basket has been an essential accessory in Provence for years.

    Because they're light, sturdy, and have an elegant, neutral hue, the bags are a simple and stylish way to carry produce and flowers from the farmer's market, books from the library, or snacks and towels to the beach.

    But it got us thinking about how to use the bags at home as decor, and suddenly, we were envisioning these simple baskets in every room in the house. One could function as a small laundry hamper in the closet or magazine storage next to your bed. You could use one in the garden as a chic little tool bag or as a catch-all for weeding. In the bathroom, why not stuff some toilet paper rolls or towels inside? You could do something similar in the dining room, keeping an assortment of cloth napkins or tea towels inside. Two more ideas: Store dog or kid toys in them, or use one as a junk mail receptacle.

    We're a fan of Brook Farm General Store's version for $40 (shown above), and the simple Medina Baskets French Market baskets for $42 each.

    I use mine for carrying groceries and work files during the week, then as a weekend bag for short trips upstate in summer. For authenticity's sake, I might carry a fresh baguette and a wheel of Brie wherever I go.

    We've got a question: What would you do with a French Market basket? If you have an idea, tell us about it.

     

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    Whether you're a fan of the 60s or not, it's hard to ignore the futuristic, bold colors of a mod, retro pattern. And with the surge of the 60s-inspired show Mad Men, our ShelterPop designers are craving a retro look of their own. When it comes to mod, who better to consult with than design star and shop maven Lisa Perry? In this video, hear why Lisa has an inspired love for 60s style:



    Want to infuse a bit of 60s in your home? A few tips from Lisa:
    1. "Just have fun with it." Not sure if that plastic tulip table will match your traditional wooden chairs? Give it a go! Chances are, if you love it, you'll find a place for it in your home.
    2. Start with a few pieces. Forget all or nothing -- start with a few 60's inspired accessories and go from there. No need to go overboard on any trend; just stick with a couple of accents.
    3. Go with what makes you happy. Decor should make you feel energized, so try some warm, happy colors from the mod palette: red, orange and yellow work well.

    Want to score some 60s pieces of your own? Visit Lisa Perry's online shop for fabulous home goods and fashion apparel, or check out 1st Dibs, eBay and specialty shops like Rusty Zipper. Happy shopping!

    Our experts Maria Greenlaw and Suzanne Caldwell are partners in Design House, a personalized design service that's been a feature in Southampton, New York for over 23 years. Maria is a Cornell University graduate with a BS in Interior and Product Design, and Suzanne, an Allied Member of ASID, has a design degree from Harrington Institute in Chicago.

     

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  • 08/10/10--09:13: Trend Watch: Learn the Ropes
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    Anthropologie is all in knots for the rope trend. Photos: Anthropologie

    Natural rope has invaded the lighting market. Buy or try the trend at home.

    Lately, everywhere we look lighting seems to feature natural rope. The rustic, rope look first appeared on our radar at the New York International Gift Fair earlier this year, and it's been growing ever since. If you like the look of natural rope, here are ways to buy or make the look in your own home:

    Above: Anthropologie has rope accents throughout its collection of homewares this summer. We're particularly drawn to the Bimini Pendant Lamp ($398) and the even more stunning Dock Glow Chandelier ($798), both of which are crafted form natural jute rope.


    This chandelier would be at home in a classic or a contemporary setting. Photo: Pottery Barn



    Photo: Pottery Barn

    Pottery Barn's Rope Chandelier (regularly $299, current sale price $250) takes a classic chandelier shape and wraps it from top to bottom with natural fiber jute rope. The end result is a refreshing twist on the expected.

    DIY It: Martha Stewart was far ahead of the trend when she featured a do-it-yourself rope wrapped lamp in the magazine back in June/July 1994. To make your own roped lighting, Martha recommends using a hot glue gun and lots and lots of 3-ply rope made of manila, jute, or sisal from a hardware store; use the full directions on MarthaStewart.com to try the rope-wrapped look yourself.

    If you don't have an existing fixture you'd like to wrap, Lamps Plus's Iron Arm Six Light Candelabra Style Chandelier ($149) has a similar shade to Pottery Barn's model. For inspiration, this detail of Pottery Barn's Rope Chandelier (left) shows how rope should be wrapped.








    Burlap + rope = one rustic lamp. Photo: Restoration Hardware


    The rustically chic Burlap Dome Chandelier ($595 to $695) from Restoration Hardware pairs burlap with rope-like twine stitching; the light's cord is concealed within a 6-foot hemp rope.

    DIY It:
    Look for a dome shade at flea markets and craft a new cover from burlap. No need to be an expert seamstress; the irregular whip stitching is part of this light's charm.


    For your medieval castle or your SoHo loft, a rope-hung chandelier. Photo: Terrain


    Terrain says it drew the inspiration for this natural fiber-supported Rope Chandelier ($1,548) from "old-world French and Mediterranean architecture."

    DIY It:
    If you have a hanging chandelier in this style, you could replace the existing chains or other supports with bunches of rope similar to the ones shown above

     

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    Photos courtesy of Target.


    A new collection from one of our favorite lust-worthy brands is always exciting. But one for Target, that starts at $1.99? Beyond.

    There are two camps of John Derian fans -- the collectors and the gazers. Collectors have coffee tables filled with his thought-provoking trays and walls adorned with the vintage-style decoupage. Gazers? They just enjoy seeing his wares on magazine pages and in store windows.

    But when John Derian for Target launched in 2008, the game changed: Suddenly the gazers were able to scoop up pieces (multiple pieces!) of the line and display them proudly. And upon the launch of this year's collection for Target, we have a first look at the goods. They're bold, sophisticated, full of surprises and each piece rings in at under $25 -- or, in terms of John Derian prices, one glass coaster. We're hoping your second look will be on the shelves of your local Target on September 5, where you can snap some up for your own personal third look: In your own home.

    The collection has 100 pieces, but we're spotlighting 13 of our favorites. Take a look and start plotting your shopping list early!

    Photos courtesy of Target.

    Clockwise from top left: Wood Frame in Geranium Leaves, $10; Storage Box in Dotted Marble, $13; Trays in Good Intentions; House-Mouse; Phrenology, $13 each; Three-Tier Tray in Dahlia, $15.



    Photos courtesy of Target.

    Clockwise from top left: Stationery Set, $10; Appetizer Plates in Ladybug; Clover; Butterfly; Dragonfly, $2 each; Storage Crate in Marble, $10; Small Square Tray in Flatware, $2;

     

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  • 08/10/10--12:13: Burst of Sunshine
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    diy summer paper lanternsYou can make these for your next backyard event! Photo: Megan Reardon


    Dress up the deck for your next summer party with these colorful paper lanterns.


    Megan Reardon of Not Martha is one of those ladies who always comes up with clever ideas, the kind of ideas you wish you came up with. From recipes to technology to crafts, she doesn't miss a beat, and she's been at it almost a decade!

    We spotted her party lantern project on Make Grow Gather, another blog that we adore. Megan agreed to share her crafty wisdom here on ShelterPop and show us how to make our very own colorful paper party lanterns, just in time for those August barbecues. We love these little bursts of color; they're easy-to-make, decorative and they ensure that your party will have light late into the night.

    For this project, Megan used paper lanterns that she had left over from her wedding reception, but you can get them at any craft store or party store.

    Here's what you'll need:

    - Glue sticks (or a glue gun)
    - Colored tissue paper, your choice of colors
    - Three objects with round, flat ends that range from 2 to 1 inch in diameter such as a large knitting needle, tube of mascara and pill bottles or votive holders
    - As many paper lanterns as you wish (Megan used 8-inch diameter lanterns) Tip: Don't forget to check to make sure your lanterns all work before decorating them.

    Now, it's time to get started -- This project is as easy as 1-2-3!

    diy summer paper lanternsStart with the largest diameter item. Photo: Megan Reardon

    1. Cut your sheets of tissue paper into about 6-inch squares. You can choose how many colors you'd like to use for your lanterns. As a reference point, Megan used three colors and about four sheets of each color (twelve sheets of tissue paper for each lantern).

    2. Wrap a square of the base color over your widest object to shape it, apply glue to the end, then stick to your lantern, just like you used to do as a kid when you wrapped it over a pencil eraser. Repeat this, spacing each one about an inch apart.

    diy summer paper lanternsYou can choose a series of coordinating colors instead of one solid color for more depth. Photo: Megan Reardon

    3. As you place the next layer, use the middle-sized object to glue the color #2 tissue paper into the center of color #1 (which is already on the lantern). Next, do the same with color #3 using your smallest object, placing it in the center of color #2. Repeat this until you've covered the lantern.

    For Megan's instructions and tips in their entirety, see the full post on Make Grow Gather.

     

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    Veranda


    Last week we got an exclusive look at the new Veranda under editor Dara Camponigro. Now we've heard from her on what to expect in the coming issues.

    We've already swooned at the new look of Veranda, so we were anxious to hear what the woman in charge had to say. We spoke with Dara Caponigro about her first experience with Veranda, how products get into the magazine and her guilty pleasure.

    SP: Tell us about some of the big changes coming to Veranda.

    DC: Our front of the book is changing, it's going to be a little more newsy -- we have the New & Noteworthy section now -- it's a collection of really beautiful things out in the marketplace.

    We saw! We're kind of in love with a few of the pieces that you featured.

    DC: I love everything on those pages, too. Our editors are so good and we only show things we'd like to have ourselves -- every product has been vetted and we'd be happy to have them in our homes.

    What won't be changing?

    DC: Veranda will continue to have a very gracious approach and a sense of refinement. And for one thing, we have unbelievable paper [stock] -- the best paper in the industry -- and that makes us stand apart. We also have beautiful photography and that's certainly not changing.

    So many
    Domino fans are excited about you taking on a new magazine. What will they recognize?

    DC: They'll see that we stand behind everything we put in the magazine -- for example, we have a story coming up on men's watches that women would like to wear. Yesterday, I talked to the story's editor and told her "I want you to put on every one of those watches." That's very similar to Domino. I see my role as editor as a role of an educator to a degree, so there will be stories on why things are important, why we're featuring them.

    Part of Domino's popularity was based on their accessibility -- but the least expensive ottoman in a 10-piece story was $695. What kind of price points will we see in Veranda?

    DC: Price point is not what makes us decide whether something is in the magazine or not. It's not about that, it's about asking: Is this beautiful? Can we stand behind it? Luxury is a state of mind -- we want to give people that sense of luxury when they're reading Veranda.

    What's your personal history with the magazine?


    DC: My apartment was actually in Veranda in October 2006 -- it was sort of a funny situation. It was photographed when I was in-between jobs. Then when I went to Domino, Lisa Newsom [the previous editor of Veranda] who is lovely and gracious and everything Veranda embodies, asked me if it was still OK. And it was this wonderful thing where everyone was just fine with it. I was really honored to be in the issue. Now I work with a lot of the people who worked on that story -- it's all come full circle.

    Dara's living room, as featured in the October 2006 issue of Veranda. Photo: Veranda.


    Last question: What's your guilty pleasure?

    DC: I probably have more dishes then anyone I know. I used to be the tabletop editor at House Beautiful and so I'm addicted to tabletop. I have china and silver and glasses... more than I can use. I switch things up but my all-time favorite is the Georg Jensen Beaded Silver pattern.

    More of Dara's home from the October 2006 issue. Photos: Veranda.


    Thanks Dara! We're looking forward to flipping through those spectacular pages. Check out our first look to get a glimpse of the September issue, or grab it on stands today.

     

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    Veranda


    Last week we got an exclusive look at the new Veranda under editor Dara Caponigro. Now we've heard from her on what to expect in the coming issues.

    We've already swooned at the new look of Veranda, so we were anxious to hear what the woman in charge had to say. We spoke with Dara Caponigro about her first experience with Veranda, how products get into the magazine and her guilty pleasure.

    SP: Tell us about some of the big changes coming to Veranda.

    DC: Our front of the book is changing, it's going to be a little more newsy -- we have the New & Noteworthy section now -- it's a collection of really beautiful things out in the marketplace.

    We saw! We're kind of in love with a few of the pieces that you featured.

    DC: I love everything on those pages, too. Our editors are so good and we only show things we'd like to have ourselves -- every product has been vetted and we'd be happy to have them in our homes.

    What won't be changing?

    DC: Veranda will continue to have a very gracious approach and a sense of refinement. And for one thing, we have unbelievable paper [stock] -- the best paper in the industry -- and that makes us stand apart. We also have beautiful photography and that's certainly not changing.

    So many
    Domino fans are excited about you taking on a new magazine. What will they recognize?

    DC: They'll see that we stand behind everything we put in the magazine -- for example, we have a story coming up on men's watches that women would like to wear. Yesterday, I talked to the story's editor and told her "I want you to put on every one of those watches." That's very similar to Domino. I see my role as editor as a role of an educator to a degree, so there will be stories on why things are important, why we're featuring them.

    Part of Domino's popularity was based on their accessibility -- but the least expensive ottoman in a 10-piece story was $695. What kind of price points will we see in Veranda?

    DC: Price point is not what makes us decide whether something is in the magazine or not. It's not about that, it's about asking: Is this beautiful? Can we stand behind it? Luxury is a state of mind -- we want to give people that sense of luxury when they're reading Veranda.

    What's your personal history with the magazine?


    DC: My apartment was actually in Veranda in October 2006 -- it was sort of a funny situation. It was photographed when I was in-between jobs. Then when I went to Domino, Lisa Newsom [the previous editor of Veranda] who is lovely and gracious and everything Veranda embodies, asked me if it was still OK. And it was this wonderful thing where everyone was just fine with it. I was really honored to be in the issue. Now I work with a lot of the people who worked on that story -- it's all come full circle.

    Dara's living room, as featured in the October 2006 issue of Veranda. Photo: Veranda.


    Last question: What's your guilty pleasure?

    DC: I probably have more dishes then anyone I know. I used to be the tabletop editor at House Beautiful and so I'm addicted to tabletop. I have china and silver and glasses... more than I can use. I switch things up but my all-time favorite is the Georg Jensen Beaded Silver pattern.

    More of Dara's home from the October 2006 issue. Photos: Veranda.


    Thanks Dara! We're looking forward to flipping through those spectacular pages. Check out our first look to get a glimpse of the September issue, or grab it on stands today.

     

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    Robert Crum, FlickrThe mood of this photo made me want to decorate. Photo: Robert Crum, Flickr

    Notes and snippets for people who love decorating with color. Today, we design a room around the mood captured in a picture.

    If you're like me, you are often inspired by things you see in your travels or in nature. Inspiration can be found anywhere -- and we're not alone in thinking so. ShelterPop design experts Maria Greenlaw and Suzanne Caldwell produced an entire video series around this very concept. Many of my personal wardrobe pieces, artwork or home furnishings are in a color palette that I've spotted while on vacation or on a walk. Being able to capture that inspiration in a photograph is the ultimate way to keep that memory with you always.

    I went on a virtual journey recently and found this image on Flickr. It's a photograph of a wall and window in Antigua, a city in Guatemala that was taken by Robert Crum, a photographer whose travel photographs are inspiring to say the least. I was instantly drawn to the warmth of the color palette, the texture of the chipping paint and the cool contrast of the metal bars. I wanted to try to capture this in a living room.

    These yellow and orange hues of the wall remind me of fall, and it's been so hot here in the Northeast lately, that I feel ready to move on. In the fall, I anticipate the winter, but I still hold on to the cummer -- it's a time of transition, of change. This photograph reminds me of a sunset, which is the transition between day and night. I wanted it to reflect the sense of transitioning, so I mixed warm tones, woods, and free-flowing patterns with cold metals, clean lines and graphic art. The style is, in effect, transitional, a harmonious mix of modern and traditional.

    Did I get it right? You be the judge.

    living room inspired by guatemala


    From the top left, clockwise:
    I began with a simple, neutral couch in a brown color to represent the wood on the window: Holden Sofa with Chaise, $2,900, Room and Board. Underfoot, I chose a modern artistic rug with a neutral background and some splashes of yellow and orange: Marimba Rug, $299 to 599, CB2. A rustic coffee table also helps ground the space and reminds me of the dark window panes and rustic worn wood in the photograph: Hyde Coffee Table, $399, Pottery Barn. To represent the bluish green paint that is peeking through, I found this great painterly pillow that resembles a sunset. I like how the painterly lines resemble the texture of the wall: Contemporary Blue Pillow, $50, Target.

    To pick up on the gold and the window bars, I chose this splurge of a lamp: Padma's Plantation Lina Teardrop Lamp, $690, Furniture Find. On one side of the sofa, I would place a Garvey Armchair in Light Cinnabar Linen, $130 to $520, West Elm and a Platner Side Table, $692, YLiving. The side table also reminds me of the window bars. As a backdrop for the whole room, I chose a simple yet slightly textured drape: Saja Ivory Curtain Panel, $60 to $80, Crate & Barrel. And on the other side of the couch, I would place a more traditional piece: Canary Print Slipper Chair, $299, Target (it's out of stock, but it fits perfectly!) complemented by a modern side table: Martini Side Table, $129, West Elm.

    Tell us! What inspires you? Share your comments below or with us on ShelterPop's Facebook page.

     

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  • 08/11/10--11:13: New Apartment, New Life
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    Courtesy of Brooke Berman.


    Despite moving 39 times in 20 years, one woman admits that the process is a tough one, requiring patience and time to get your new home 'just right'.

    I am moving into my forty-second apartment. My memoir No Place Like Home describes the 20-year period in which I lived -- and moved in and out of -- 39 apartments. And here we are, three apartments later. What makes this move particularly significant, however, is that it's the first time I'm not doing it alone. Somewhere in between 39 and 40 -- both in apartment chronology as well as my age -- I fell in love. And in the forty-first apartment, I got engaged. And then, before we could tie the knot, I got pregnant. (When you're 40, it's hard to prescribe an order to these things; they happen when they happen.) And so now, I am moving to the 42nd domicile to start a family. This is very new.

    For over 20 years, I answered to no one. In decorating, as well as life choices. I moved in and out of places following my artistic muse; I furnished my home with thrift store treasures and hand-me-downs. But now, there is a man in my life. And a little money from my book. And while the man claims to not have opinions as to the color of our towels (I chose amethyst) or the kind of nightstands I buy (second-hand IKEA off of Craigslist. We plan to paint them blue); the fact is as a former graphic designer (turned writer) he actually has a great eye and a lot of opinions. And I can afford to buy a few things new. So we are doing it together.

    The place was his first choice. I preferred another, roughly the same size, in the same neighborhood, but set on a hill. I liked the way the air smelled and the big, spacious outdoor area. My fiancé, Gordon, reasoned that as expat New Yorkers -- and me an expectant mother -- being able to walk to the local drugstore/coffee shop/pizzeria/etc. would be invaluable. He was right. We moved here on July 1 and promptly started "walking to town" (which means, the block and a half to Sunset Boulevard). And immediately, this became my favorite ritual.

    The porch of home #42. Photo: Courtesy of Brooke Berman.

    Our new apartment is spacious and light. It has old world moldings and little antique knobs on the built-in cabinets. I love the tile floor in the kitchen and the antique built-in desk in the living room. This is some place I want to come home to. Gordon said, "It's the nicest place I've ever lived." And an extra perk -- a separate enclosed room, almost like a garage, in which the washer/dryer are housed. Gordon has taken this as his office -- we call it "The Studio". The dining room table I bought on Craigslist works beautifully as his desk, while the four chairs that accompanied it work beautifully with my (smaller) kitchen table from New York.

    The author's old furniture, re-purposed. Photo: Courtesy of Brooke Berman.

    The rest of our stuff from New York -- a dresser that I've had since I was 22, an armoire (from the now-defunct Waldorf Hysteria on Avenue B), my mother's dishes (blue and white, service for 12!) and Gordon's grandmother's kidney-shaped coffee tables and "cut-glass lamp" -- arrived the day after we did. We spent Fourth of July weekend unpacking -- and sleeping on an air mattress.

    And then I started to shop. A process that I am still engaged in -- I am admittedly obsessed with finding the right bathmat. Have I mentioned the IKEA Fourth of July sale? (Or, "Survival of the Fittest in Burbank"). Oh yes, there have been two trips to IKEA -- the sale and just after the sale to return and re-purchase -- three trips to Target (the amethyst towels, the ice trays, a blender) and I'm on my second Macy's run. I finally bought the Anthropologie duvet cover I've been cutting out of the catalog for months. And I'm doing the rest secondhand, scouring flea markets, thrift stores and Craigslist for book cases, nightstands (I think I found the right ones) and a TV/stereo table. It amazes me that even after writing a book chronicling the "moving in" process -- and claiming some level of expertise on getting settled -- I am still overwhelmed. I am still making peace with the process, how long it takes to find just the right things and to feel fully at peace. I forget my own history. I want things set up and comfortable immediately. I am forced to remember (and re-learn), it takes time.

    A peek at the not-yet-furnished living room. Photo: Courtesy of Brooke Berman.

    But we have time. I've taken the summer off -- to re-dream and journal and settle into the house. And we have four months until the baby comes.

    Speaking of the baby, the other really remarkable feature is that there is a second bedroom -- right now, it's my office, but in four months it will morph into "the baby's room". I unpacked books from my own childhood, saved by my late mother, who somehow knew I'd want them: The Story of Babar, The Real Mother Goose, The Giving Tree. They're all on my old yellow bookcase in the baby's room holding the space for what the room will ultimately become. Gordon is superstitious -- wishing to hold off buying gear for as long as possible, wary of anything "for the baby" entering the house before the baby does. But we've compromised-- nothing now, but in November, I will have a shower. And perhaps then, a plan for setting up the nursery. Right now, we're setting up a beautiful and loving home. And when the baby comes, s/he will show us what's next.

    The author's office. Photo: Courtesy of Brooke Berman.

    In settling into this apartment, I am entering unknown territory, sharing my life with a man and our child. This is the "Wife and Mother" apartment. My first. And yet, it is also -- as in the past -- a place to dream, to love and to write. As I sit in the "baby's room" -- my office until January -- I tell myself to fill the space with as much writing and creativity as possible, hoping the growing baby will feed off the energy and grow spiritually rich as s/he grows inside of me.

    The process of moving in takes time, yes - but how exciting to imagine that as the process unfolds, so too unfolds our potential, who we will each become in this space. There are so many unknowns, so many questions and so much to learn together.


    Random House


    Learn more of Brooke Berman's terrific story (through all 39 apartments!) in her book, No Place Like Home.

    Got new homes on the brain? We're wishing we could move into these jaw-dropping spaces:
    CasaSugar's Favorites of the Week
    10 Fabulous Celebrity Homes
    Ashely Campbell's Show & Tell Tour
    Or check out ShelterPop's archives of gorgeous house tours!

     

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  • 08/11/10--12:14: Making the Most Of A Corner
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    Corners get such a bad reputation as space-wasters -- we say embrace them with these six clever ideas.

    Every home has them: The empty corners that could be put to good use -- if only you knew how. It's tricky to furnish and decorate those corners in a way that's both smart and stylish, but it's certainly not impossible. Determined to make the most of the place where two walls meet, your ShelterPop editors looked high and low for inspiring corners. And here's what we found:

    Boring corner? Just add art. Photos: KWID

    One of our all-time favorite interior designers, Kelly Wearstler, shared two corners from her Malibu beach house with us. Instead of treating corners like an afterthought, Wearstler turned these spaces into focal points with unusual pieces of art. In the photograph above at left, Wearstler says she opted for a large sculpture. "It replaces a table and makes a more dramatic statement." In the corner at right, she chose "large art for height, [which] makes space and feels more layered and dramatic." The results are museum-worthy.


    A corner home office: Now you see it, now you don't. Photos: Jordan Ferney/Oh Happy Day!

    Oh Happy Day! blogger and mother of two, Jordan Ferney, has managed to fit her family and her work into a one-bedroom apartment in style. A recent living room redo with the help of decorator Jenny Komenda (of Little Green Notebook), took one of Jordan's corners and turned it into a high-functioning home office.

    Ferney transformed a humdrum ALVE corner workstation from IKEA (bought on craigslist for $100) with a coat of Benjamin Moore's Casco Bay paint and new brass hardware. The finished cabinet creates a home office that's hidden in plain site. Says Ferney of the new workspace, "[My husband] and I both spend a lot of time at the computer. It is so nice to be able to close it up when we entertain or when we want to prevent grubby two-year-old hands from getting into all our stuff."


    A living room corner becomes a corner office. Photos: Kara Kurth

    When we reached out to the Twitterverse for corner maximizing ideas, we received another corner office solution: Blogger Kara Kurth has used a corner of her living room to create a mini mid-century-inspired office for her husband. The desk was a roadside find, refinished by her husband and the chair was from IKEA's as-is section. A tall, open, metal bookcase cleverly separates the office from the rest of the room without blocking daylight. And the rest of the furnishings take up little visual space -- a lucite chair practically disappears, while a wire-legged desk and a wire magazine rack are neat and narrow. The end product is a functional area that doesn't cramp the rest of the room's style.



    Even bathroom corners can be put to use: Photos: Organize It!/Filipacchi Publishing; Home Decorators Collection

    In his book, Organize It!: How to Declutter Every Nook and Cranny in and Outside Your Home (Filipacchi Publishing) Mervyn Kaufman offers several clever ways to make the most of a corner. In a bathroom, a corner cabinet makes maximum use of the space between the sink and the door. While the cabinet shown above at left is a built-in, you can get the look with a ready-made cabinet like the Hampton Bay Corner Linen Cabinet I ($229, Home Decorators Collection), at right.

    A corner under the eaves becomes a bed nook. Photo: Organize It!/Filipacchi Publishing

    Another idea from Organize It! takes advantage of a corner in a child's bedroom, where a bed has been built in beneath the house's eaves -- complete with space maximizing under-bed drawers (above). A generously-sized closet fills the remaining space.

    A cute, curtained corner adds much-needed storage. Photo: Mark Scott for Living with Light/CICO Books 2010

    In her book Living with Light: Decorating the Scandinavian Way (CICO Books, $12), Gail Abbott shows how an awkward corner can be put to good use without calling in a contractor. Above, a curtained shelf turns a dead corner into handy storage space in an entrance hall. To create a similar curtain, use Berta Rand fabric ($9/yard, IKEA).

    What about you? Do you have any clever ideas for making the most of a corner?

     

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