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    Photo: Alex Williams

    One blogger helps another redecorate her New York City apartment and the results are picture-perfect.

    The phrase "a cup of joe" means a cup of coffee to most folks, but to thousands of blog readers those words immediately calls to mind the wildly popular blog, A Cup of Jo, written by Joanna Goddard. Readers (like myself) have been following Goddard's internet musings for years and have tracked her life from single girl in the city to blushing bride to new mom.

    Earlier this year, Goddard enlisted the help of a fellow blogger to makeover her West Village apartment in anticipation of the birth of her son. Goddard asked decorator Jenny Komenda, of the blog Little Green Notebook for help, and Komenda was happy to oblige.

    Seeing the results of these two women's decorating collaboration is like a blog dream come true. Komenda didn't completely redecorate Goddard's apartment, she rejiggered and fine-tuned it. Ultimately, she created a space that was pure Goddard, but even better. "I fell in love with Jenny's blog, Little Green Notebook, and was just waiting for an excuse to work with her," says Goddard. "So, when we found out that we were expecting, I was thrilled to call her up!"

    ShelterPop caught up with Goddard to learn more about the makeover and to take a peek at the finished results:

    cup of jo joanna goddard apartmentPhotos: Karen Mordechai

    In the living room, Komenda added cozy touches and dashes of color. A new rug and curtains added to the warm and homey feel, but Goddard admits that she wasn't sure about the new window treatments. "I couldn't picture what they were going to look like, and I wanted to hold onto our lame white curtains," says Goddard. "But I knew I should trust her vision, and of course she was right. Now the curtains are one of my favorite things in the apartment."

    cup of jo joanna goddard apartmentPhoto: Karen Mordechai

    Another addition to the room is the vintage brass bar cart scored by Komenda off Craigslist. More than a pretty prop, Goddard says, "My husband Alex is obsessed with old-school cocktails. He makes a signature cocktail pretty much every time friends come over. His current favorite is called 'The Texun Special' (yes, Texun with a 'u')." Goddard says that her hubby even made her coconut water "mocktails" during her pregnancy -- how sweet is that?

    Goddard works from home, so Komenda helped her find both the vintage, campaign-style desk and the desk chair, which she painted blue. Seeing the bare desktop, we wondered if Goddard was always this neat or if it was just styled for the photograph. However, Goddard insists that she tidies up her space and puts her laptop in the drawer every night so she doesn't feel like she's "at the office" after-hours. Plus, Goddard adds, "I don't have that many papers anyway, since everything's on my laptop!"

    Throughout the apartment, Goddard and her husband have many photographs. The space feels gallery-like. "We both adore photography, and I love supporting emerging photographers by buying their work directly from them," she says. "I'm so happy to have work by Matthew Porter, Anne Hall, Gemma Ingalls, Anna Brown and other young photographers in our home."

    cup of jo joanna goddard apartmentPhoto: Karen Mordechai

    Goddard's bedroom is small, but the simple design is cozy. "I love white for bedrooms -- so clean and fresh!" says Goddard. She notes that she and her husband try to keep it calm and peaceful, as they both tend towards insomnia.

    cup of jo joanna goddard apartmentPhoto: Karen Mordechai

    In the nursery, Komenda went DIY crazy with custom touches like two re-painted dressers, a hand-painted window shade with white fluffy clouds and a homemade headboard. Lucky Goddard had the ever-crafty Komenda to help her create a gallery wall for the wall. For those of us who have to try it ourselves, Komenda shared some advice for how to get this tricky look just-right on her own blog.

    cup of jo joanna goddard apartmentPhoto: Karen Mordechai

    The red and white changing table next to the bed in the nursery was a vintage dresser, and they gave it a makeover with bright, glossy paint. "The main thing I learned from Jenny is that you shouldn't be afraid to paint," says Goddard. "She painted our dressers, tables, many pieces. And it really gave them new, fresh personalities."

    Want to see other bloggers at home? Check out these posts:
    - Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge's Favorite Room
    - Home Tour: Making It Lovely in Chicago

    Or if you want to see celebs at home, check out our sister site's show Cambio Goes Home! (We love the tour of Matthew Morrison's house)


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    "Room for Children" author Susanna Salk shares kids' room decorating ideas and explains how to make decor choices that last.

    Author Susanna Salk says that the idea for her latest book "Room for Children: Stylish Spaces to Sleep and Play" came to her from being a mom. Salk says that she rarely saw beautiful kids' rooms featured in magazines or books, but she knew they were out there. "I saw adorable kids with their chic parents in magazines, but not their rooms," says Salk. So, she called up her designer and photographer friends and asked them to dig up the children's rooms they had designed and shot.

    kids decorating ideasA room should have personality -- not a theme. Photo:"Room for Children"

    It turns out that Salk's hunch was dead-on: She has compiled a book full of children's rooms that are inspirational. However, these are more than just picture-perfect spaces,. They are a lesson in smart, chic design for children. We caught up with Salk to talk about how to design a child's room that will grow with your child:

    Never make the room too age-specific. Children change and grow quickly, so avoid choosing anything that will feel too young or too specific to a particular age. For example, a cartoonish wallpaper or border chosen for a toddler will need to be changed when your 8-year-old decides it's too "babyish."

    Don't dumb down design. "Children deserve to have beautiful things," says Salk. A child's room should relate to the rest of your home and should be a place that you love.

    kids decorating ideasA sophisticated chaise and crisp window treatments won't be outgrown any time soon. Photo: "Room for Children"

    Accept that it will evolve. "Rooms change and grow," says Salk, a parent of two boys herself. She recommends that parents accept that a room will need to adapt as a child's needs change.

    Invest in the things that won't change.
    "A great rug can last all the way through a child's years in the room," says Salk. Light fixtures and draperies, if wisely chosen, can also endure for years and act as the foundation for a room that grows with your child.

    kids decorating ideasA mirrored chest of drawers acts as a changing table now but can be used for years to come. Photo: "Room for Children"

    Skip many of the usual nursery must-haves. Instead of one of those "ugly rocking chairs," Salk recommends investing in a great chaise that could be used for many years. Likewise, Salk says to skip the changing table and simply place a terry-covered changing pad on top of a great dresser (you'll want to use some sort of adhesive so it doesn't shift around) that can be used as a more grown-up piece later.

    Avoid theme rooms at all costs. Trust Salk -- No matter how much your child loves Dora the Explorer or Star Wars today, it'll be something else a year from now. Instead of costly theme decor, let your child choose one or two accessories for the space, like a single vintage Star Wars poster.

    kids decorating ideasWho says you can't paint a nursery black? Photo: "Room for Children"

    Be serious about design, but not too serious. Salk points to the nursery Jenna Lyons designed for her son (shown above). With black walls and sleek furnishings, it is a sophisticated room, but it's also whimsical. "It doesn't take itself too seriously," notes Salk.

    Pay attention to your child's preferences. "If you find yourself rearranging in your child's room again and again, something's wrong," says Salk. Instead, observe how your child uses the space and plan accordingly. "It's not a show room, it's your child's room," cautions Salk.

    kids decorating ideasLet your child have some say in his room: A tie dye bedspread is okay, but a full-on Grateful Dead theme, not so much. Photo: "Room for Children"

    Learn to compromise. As your child gets older, he will have opinions about his room - use these as a lesson in compromise. For example, Salk says that when her teenage son wanted to put up movie posters, they chose some together and then framed them nicely. Remind your child that while his room is his own space, it's also part of the house as a whole.

    Cut the clutter.
    The biggest mistake that Salk sees parents make with children's rooms - of all ages -- is not letting go of stuff. "Order and display only the things you love and donate the things you don't have room for," says Salk, noting that it's a great lesson for kids to learn early on. "Get kids used to the idea: What is seen is what is used, is what is cherished."

    Want more inspiration for kids' rooms? Read on:
    - Kids Room, Nothing Kid-Like About It
    - Seriously Stylish Nurseries

    And if you've got kids on the brain, check out our sister site ParentDish!


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  • 11/10/10--11:25: Decorating With Crates
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    The lowly wood crate is no longer just for storage. It reaches new heights as it's repurposed into a nightstand, a bookshelf and other fun decorating ideas.

    Check out this great story from our friends at CasaSugar!

    Sometimes, great design comes from the humblest of origins. Such is the case with wine and apple crates, which can be repurposed to serve a pretty purpose in every room in your house. Check out some of my favorite examples!

    decorating-with-cratesvia CasaSugar

    Go super simple and stack crates along the bathroom floor for some additional storage. Or add four wheels to a crate and use it for easily transportable recycling in the kitchen. Plus, it's so much prettier than the average plastic recycling bin!

    decorating-with-cratesvia CasaSugar

    The Wood-Be Side Tables by Rabih Hage were created for his 2009 "Roughed Up" collection. The wonky positioning of the three crates gives it a cartoonish feel. Or, stack crates inside of each other for a table display. I like the idea of using cup hooks, as shown here, but hanging necklaces from the hooks instead. Stack chunky bracelets along the top of the interior crate.

    decorating-with-cratesvia CasaSugar

    Use wine crates to create an easy and inexpensive bookshelf, like design consultant Frances Weiss did in her apartment.

    decorating-with-cratesvia CasaSugar

    Take the bottoms out of crates and mount them as open shelving in a kitchen. An eclectic selection of tableware will help to add life to the look.

    See the rest of the ideas back at CasaSugar!

    Want more CasaSugar goodies?
    Get the Look: Chic Norwegian Cabin
    Artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga Discusses Chandeliers, Victoriana, and Berlin Flea Markets


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    Celebrating the beauty and elegance of the teapot through design.

    What is our fascination with all things teacups, teapots and tea? Tea has been a part of our global fabric since its discovery in China 5,000 years ago, and it continues to be celebrated around the world: The Japanese tea ceremony is an art form, the English sit down to high tea daily. In the U.S., we sip it as the weather turns cool, and celebrate it in home decor.

    An iconic symbol of tradition, the teapot's simple silhouette is used in wallpaper, fabric, stationery and light fixtures. Many of us collect tea pots and cups from all periods and in all sizes and colors at flea markets, and then we might even use them to make lamp bases or candleholders.

    "Teacups are nostalgic," says Chilean artist Mariana Torcornal. "The idea of sitting and having afternoon tea seems like something from another era."

    tea design Teapot pendant light fixtures from BTC England.
    Original BTC hand-cast bone china lights are made in Stoke, England. The translucent teapots are hand-casted by the region's craftpeople, who have mastered bone china for over 300 years. $45-$64. Photo: Original BTC.

    There is a strong sentimental value attached to tea settings, especially sterling ones, which are often passed down through generations. But even the simplest of teapots is often cherished, since making tea requires a certain level of ceremony; you pull out your favorite pot, boil the water, let the tea steep, relax and wait.

    "Whether having a cup privately, hosting a small intimate gathering at home or taking part in an elaborate high tea at the Waldorf-Astoria, it is all about the ritual," says Keith Winkler, director of product marketing and business development of Replacements, Ltd,, a company that helps consumers find missing china pieces.

    It isn't unusual to see teapots in a variety of forms -- I've seen teapots shaped to look like birdhouses, watering cans, vegetables. "They are often thought of as art or sculptures," says Winkler. "Teapots are very unique -- there really isn't one standard shape for them."

    Thanks to Original BTC, you can pick up hand-cast bone china lights shaped like teapots and cups for $288 per piece (see above) at Anthropologie. They're a playful take on the timeless silhouette.

    tea design Framed paintings of teacups by Spicher and Company.
    Left: Stationery from Felix Doolittle; Right: Artist Kolene Spicher offers an entire line of framed teacup paintings to fill an empty wall, $50 each. Photos: Felix Doolittle; Spicher and Company.

    A cup of tea speaks to a simpler time, and that's certainly the feeling invoked by the Felix Doolittle stationery and Kolene Spicher framed teacup paintings (above) that we spotted.

    It also awakens the senses, says Miriam Novalle, founder and CEO of T Salon, who runs tea shops in New York and Los Angeles. "It is the sound of the water bubbling to a boil, the transformation that happens when water hits the leaves, and the steam of the aroma that rises to our noses that eases us into our day," she says.

    A few days ago, Novalle witnessed something touching in her shop. Two blind women walked into the tea shop with their seeing-eye dogs. They proceeded to pick teas based on the smell. It speaks to why tea is so special to us -- it can transport you around the world with a deep inhale.

    tea design Teapots and teacup patterns on wallpaper from Thibaut.
    Left: Also available in fabric, sweet classic teacups adorn "Chartier" wallpaper from the Thibaut Classics Collection (#TC7243 in cream), $67/single roll. Right: Thibaut wallpaper, "Meissen" from The Gazebo Collection (#T7475 in black) is a study of teapots silhouetted against a black background, $64/single roll. Photos: Thibaut.

    The tea cup is the subject of endless home goods, like the wallpapers shown above -- and endless art.

    Chilean artist Mariana Torcornal investigates our emotional attachment to objects. She designs teacups made from 100 percent beeswax (shown below), calling them Beecups. While they cannot be used in the conventional way, their ubiquitous form challenges us to interact with the teacup in a way you normally would not. She says that people have used them as vases and as containers for jewelry or other small objects. Others have melted them or cut them.

    But it's the simple silhouette that still inspires Torcornal to sit down with a cup of tea. Says Torcornal: "For me there is a sense of time, place and memory that is triggered by a porcelain teacup. It's so delicate, ornate, fragile. They evoke thoughts of Alice in Wonderland, grandmothers and old traditions that are slowly being replaced by time-efficient lifestyles."

    tea design Beescup by Mariana Torconal made from beeswax.
    "Teacups are nostalgic. The idea of sitting and having afternoon tea seems like something from another era for the generation of paper cups and mugs," says Chilean artist Mariana Torcornal. Beecups are available at Edgewater Gallery, $35 each. Photo: Mariana Torcornal.

    For more great decorating ideas, don't miss:
    -The Beauty of Mason Jars
    -Unusual Uses for Velcro
    -How to Use Wicker in Winter

    If this is making you crave tea, check out our tea recipes from KitchenDaily!


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  • 11/11/10--13:21: Say Yes to Fake Plants
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    Faux plants have graduated from the dusty designs at grandma's house to full-fledged fabulous fakes. (Try to say that three times fast!)

    For years, fake house plants and flowers have gotten a bad rap. Known to look waxy and gaudy while collecting loads of dust, these faux alternatives to the real thing have long been synonymous with "downright ugly." In short, a major home-design no-no.

    Fake plantsCarmen Zuniga, Flickr

    But in recent years, many furniture manufacturers, like Z Gallerie and Pier 1 Imports, have added increasingly real-looking fake plants to their collections, bringing attractive options into the mix. You actually have to touch most of them to tell if they're real or not, and best of all, they're maintenance-free. "I'm still warming up to the idea of fake plants -- I just don't think they're a replacement for the real thing," says Sara Ransick, designer and manager at Ethan Allen in Arlington, Virginia. "But I have to admit, when you can't always take care of a houseplant, a smattering of good looking fake plants can be a great alternative."

    The key to incorporating faux plants into your home: Don't overdo it. For potted greenery, many designers suggest placing one or two plants up high, so they're not the focal point of the room but more like fillers for empty space. Fake flowers (Ransick recommends small arrangements in "water" in glass containers) can be set on side tables or on a decorated bookshelf for a pop of color. As for larger plants, like fake trees, think about placing them in a corner or behind larger furniture pieces to carry the height and weight, says Ransick.

    Fake plantsPhoto: Sara Brown

    So what are the most real-looking options for fake plants and flowers? Your best bet is to stick with species boasting petals and leaves in shades that actually occur in nature; in other words, skip the hot pink carnations with neon green stems. Orchids, tulips, hydrangeas and small bouquets of pastel roses are tasteful choices. For plants, bushy ficus trees and palms are popular picks, as well as potted grasses, overflowing ivy and bonsai bushes. Many homeowners are also opting for faux topiaries to add interest to their home's entrance or to flank an interior space like a fireplace.

    You can find faux plants almost anywhere these days, from Michael's and IKEA to high-end retailers, depending on the price you want to pay. Natural Decorations, the nation's largest wholesaler of high-end fake plants, trees and flowers, also has a great selection, but remember that they're strictly wholesale, which means that you won't be able to buy direct but you will see a list of retail outlets.

    Not sure about going faux? Why not test out the look with paper blooms? Click here for inspiration. And check out this story about fake aquarium plants from DIY Life!


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    Bye-bye grime, hello clean shower curtains -- follow these tips for spic-and-span tub drapery.

    Remember that shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"? Think that's scary? The amount of mold and mildew built up on a neglected shower curtain can be much more frightening.

    Americans spend about $200 million on shower cleaners each year, according to Nielsen research group. But can they hold up to a scum-mold-mildew-covered shower curtain? Let's find out! In our next installment of testing old versus new cleaning techniques, we tackle the task of moldy shower curtains.

    Clean shower curtainKeep rubber ducky's abode squeaky clean by ridding it of shower mold and mildew. Photo: Getty Images.

    The Problem: You're in the shower lathering your hair with sweet smelling shampoo when you catch a glimpse of your shower curtain -- it's black and grimy. Ick!

    Old Solution: I used to try to clean my shower curtain simply by soaking it in the bathtub with a bit of bleach. That did the trick, but my small bathroom reeked of the potent chemical for days. That can't be good for the lungs.

    My friend's grandmother recommended a different approach: She suggested that I throw my liner in with the towels the next time I washed them. She told me to add a half cup of bleach to warm water (luckily my towels are white, so this was OK) and a quarter cup of laundry detergent. Then run your washer for a few minutes before loading. When the cycle is complete, toss them in the dryer on the lowest temp setting for about 10 minutes before hanging to fully dry.

    This worked like a charm for my shower curtain -- though my friend said the trick fails with cheaper liners, which tend to tear too easily when put through a wash cycle.

    New Solution: X-14 Mildew Stain Remover
    The brand's maker claims that this powerful spray cleaner "removes tough soap scum" without scrubbing. Being that I prefer my cleaning to be as low-maintenance as possible, I jumped on this product pretty quickly.

    Sadly, though, my laissez-faire attitude toward cleaning left far too tough of a job for X-14 to tackle. Alas, there I was scrub, scrub, scrubbing. Perhaps with fewer layers of grime to remove, the X-14 could stand up to the test better.

    The Verdict:
    Opt for the bleach solution, but be sure to invest in a good shower liner that can stand to be a bit beat up through a washing-machine cycle. You have to wash your bath towels anyway, so why not make it easy on you and toss the liner in with it. No need for spray and scrubbing.

    Get your place spic and span! Here, other cleaning methods are put to the test:
    Scuff mark removers
    Unclog dirty drains
    Your biggest cleaning problems solved!


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    Need to change your life? Or just an emotional overhaul? Pick up a hammer or grab some sandpaper. These homeowners did, and it worked wonders.

    We always joke that knocking down a wall or doing demolition is therapeutic, but could it really be true?

    After seeing this inspiring video story by Guidepost's home expert Kelee Katillac about how a furniture makeover changed her life, I went searching for folks whose lives were different or better because of a home-related project, whether a full renovation or just a simple weekend DIY. I found some incredible stories. Whether it's coping with stress or cleaning out some internal cobwebs, these folks have used home projects to heal.

    change-your-lifeLindsay and Chris (left) and Lindsay's coffee-table-turned-bench (right). Photos: Lindsay Wilkins

    Sanding Away the
    Lindsay Wilkins is a Navy wife, so her husband Chris is often away for days, weeks and even months on end. Last October, her husband left for a 10-day deployment right after they moved to Oahu. Knowing that she would be alone in a new place, Wilkins felt lost. On her way home from the airport, she spotted an old coffee table sitting on the side of the road, and on a whim, she hoisted it into her car.

    While her husband was away, she sanded, primed and painted the old table making it into an entryway bench for her new home. By the time Chris returned, Wilkins had finished the project and realized that the time had flown by.

    When her husband leaves, Wilkins knows that she'll be OK if she keeps busy with fun projects -- it has become the perfect "therapy" for her to deal with stressful deployments. She's even taken up painting. "The bench is a constant reminder that I'll be just fine when my husband leaves again," she says. "He's away again this week so I have several fun projects lined up, including some custom paintings."

    change-your-lifeStacy and her sister Ellen (left) and Ellen's redecorated bedroom (right). Photos: Stacy Weiss

    Design That Heals
    When Stacy Weiss' sister, Ellen, had to undergo chemotherapy for a blood disorder, it was hard to figure out how she could help. Being the owner of a furniture and home goods retail store and the fact that her sister was spending so much time in her unfinished bedroom, Weiss suggested that they spend some time together to redo it. "The environment is so important to the healing process," Weiss said.

    They spent three months designing and selecting high-end furnishings from Weiss's store to create a luxurious and comfortable environment for Ellen as she was healing. Since she had to spend most of her time in the bedroom, Weiss was proud that the room made her sister more comfortable. "Redoing the room took her mind off the illness and gave her something to look forward to," Weiss says.

    We all know that no room renovation is going to cure a disease (and anyone who has serious psychiatric problems should get professional help), but being able to escape from a harsh reality and painful situation can be a tremendous relief.

    change-your-lifeAlexis (left) and the kitchen that started it all (and her stellar backsplash!). Photos: Alexis A. Moore

    Clean Your Kitchen, Clean Out Your Internal Cobwebs
    For a decade Alexis A. Moore was the victim of mental, emotional and physical abuse as well as cyber-stalking. She was on medication, went to therapists, psychiatrists, shelters and the police, many of which did nothing to help or heal her. Then she met her current boyfriend, they moved in together, and she finally felt like she found a home.

    They bought a suburban short sale rancher that was a fixer upper. Alexis got into decorating the house, but over time she realized that it became more than just a house. She says that it became a shining beacon of hope for her future and a physical representation of her emotional state. In cleaning out the kitchen cabinets one day, she realized that, "I was kind of cleaning out the cupboards in my own life, realizing that there was a lot going on upstairs and in my head that I didn't even know about."

    There was a lot of crying into paper towels and dust rags, but soon Alexis realized how fortunate she was just to be alive -- to be there cleaning the cabinets and the floors in her very own house. "You don't realize what a little elbow grease can do. Putting your heart and soul into something could be so healing and rewarding in the end. It was very empowering for me to say 'look what I did,'" she says.

    Has a renovation project ever changed your life or help you deal with a difficult time? Let us know in the comments!

    More stories about how design relates with life:
    - What designer Martin Amado learned after 500 home makeovers
    - How to think like an interior designer
    - Getting over house envy

    Ready for your own remodel? Check out how to tackle some of the bigger projects over on DIY Life.


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  • 11/12/10--16:32: Weekly Link Love
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    Glow-in-the-dark posters, "The Joy of Cooking" visualized and a questionable calendar...what we're lusting over in the blogosphere this week.

    Dining rooms look more balanced when the tables and chairs don't match. Photos: Courtesy of The Stir.

    Don't be afraid -- break out of that matchy matchy state of mind! Dining tables do not, we repeat, do not have to match their chairs. Everything looks much more interesting and fun when surrounded by a rag tag gang of friends -- err, seating. [The Stir]

    We love photographer Rachel Bee Porter's happy, messy play on a classic cookbook, "The Joy of Cooking". [Lemondrop]

    Would you hang this calender on your wall? The answer -- we hope -- is a resounding yes. Who doesn't love cats in tailored suits? Adorable! [The Frisky]

    Get inspired by the Elle Decor show house in San Francisco. Nearly a dozen local designers took part in creating a home that's a real feast for the eyes. [Casa Sugar]

    We've all heard of central air, but what's a central vac? And is it worth installing one in your home? Read on for the investigation. [DIY Life]

    These mirror makeovers are truly stunning. Anyone who can take a cheesy smiley-face sun and turn it into something that should be in Roger Sterling's office should really wear a cape. Super-DIYer! [Design*Sponge]

    Down under designer Nicola Cerini wows us with her new line of beautifully patterned fabrics and rugs. [decor8]

    Leslie's photos have us convinced: Rose paired with neutrals has got to be the most romantic, elegant yet unstuffy color combo out there. [A Creative Mint]


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    The 18-year-old star recently bought a new house for her and her family. But is the new Sherman Oaks house an improvement from her last home in Toluca Lake? Take a look at the photos and tell us what you think!

    Disney darling Demi Lovato has had a rough time lately. Not only did she endure a very public break up with squeaky-clean Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, but the teenage actor and singer recently and surprisingly checked into rehab.

    Early reports revealed that her stint in rehab has to do with longstanding emotional and physical issues that include self-mutilation and an eating disorder. More recent reports allege that fresh-faced Lovato may also have some troubles -- or at least familiarity -- with alcohol and cocaine.

    The good news for Lovato is that she's a very successful and professionally in-demand young woman with the enviable financial power to buy her family a multi-million dollar compound in the suburban Los Angeles community of Sherman Oaks. Hopefully the new house (shown above), purchased by the 18-year-old for the very grown up sum of $2,250,000, will provide some much needed peace, quiet and privacy from her currently topsy-turvy life.

    For the last few years the Lovato clan has been shacked up in a six bedroom Mediterranean-style mini mansion (shown above) in Toluca Lake, an upscale Los Angeles enclave where a disproportionate number of tweenage Disney stars live or have lived including Hilary Duff, Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus. Property records indicate the boxy and formal residence stood at over 5,000 square feet on a tight lot with not much in the way of a backyard. It was leased, rather than owned, by Lovato and her parents, and it's currently on the market with an asking price of $1,799,000.

    Property records show that Lovato's new crib, a Spanish-style compound from 1928 with a tussled, lived-in look and thick, lush and somewhat wild landscaping, occupies a private hillside lot. The back of the property tumbles down the hillside with numerous terraces, a heated swimming pool and spa, sport court and a couple patches of grass. A detached guesthouse that sits atop a three-car garage works perfectly as Miss Lovato's private quarters.

    Now, not every 18-year-old has the buying power to move their family from one house to the next, so we had to have some fun with this one. Use the slider tool to compare the rooms in Lovato's old home to the new one -- the photos you see below are from her old home, but as you pull the blue slider to the right, you'll see her new digs!

    You need the Flash Player to view this. Click here to install.

    While the old living room lacked in charm, it made up for it with gracious proportions, pristine hardwood floors and a warm fireplace. The new living room has a Spanish authenticity with worn hardwood floors, a fireplace with antique tile surround and hearth, an arched window with city lights view and a vaulted ceiling with exposed trusses. Who wins here, old or new? It's a toss up.

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    The new dining room has heavy rustic beams that run across the high ceiling and a scenic view of a brightly tiled fountain in the slim courtyard in front of the house. The old dining room was a much more old-fashioned affair with low ceilings and a traditional crystal chandelier. We definitely prefer the new dining room!

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    Even though the kitchen at Lovato's new house is significantly smaller, both are equipped with loads of cabinets and professional-grade stainless steel appliances. But the winner is the new home, thanks to the clean look of the white tile.

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    The family room at Lovato's old house has a fireplace, hardwood floors, double-height ceilings and sliding glass doors that open into the petite backyard. The new family room is a more cozy affair with a corner fireplace and Saltillo tile floors. And just out of the photo: a very 1970s-style sunken wet bar, even though Lovato is not old enough to drink liquor legally. We prefer the old family room here -- sorry, Lovato! It could just be the décor choices, which she'll surely overhaul soon enough.

    Which home would you prefer? Tell us what you think in the comments!

    Take a tour of more celebrity homes:
    - Julia Roberts Buys Second NYC Apartment
    - How We'd Redecorate Val Kilmer's Ranch
    - Kelly Wearstler Puts Her House on the Market


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    Pink decor moves out of the nursery and into the rest of the house.

    If there is any one color to be associated with femininity and girlishness, pink is it. We all know that today in western culture there is a commonly held belief that pink is for girls -- hello Barbie, fairy princesses and ballet! -- and blue is for boys. Interestingly enough, pink was actually associated with boys from the 1920s to the 1940s.

    pink decor pink bedding pink roomsCourtesy of Serena & Lily / courtesy of Virgin Media

    According to a Ladies' Home Journal article from the 1920s, "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." Wow. Times definitely have changed! In the 1940s, these gender specific color assignments inverted and took on the familiar role they play today.

    Today, the color has taken on a more versatile role, especially in decor. Sure, many expectant parents still get excited about painting a baby girl's room pink, but the color has moved into other areas of the home.

    "Pink can definitely be versatile and work in many types of decor," says Serena Dugan of Serena & Lily. "The more subdued pinks can act as neutrals and blend with many environments. A nice, neutral pink can even work beautifully in a living room."

    But not just any pink. As far as Dugan is concerned, "The key is finding a shade that looks like it came from nature, not from a factory. One of the most beautiful pinks around is the inside of a conch shell."

    Traditionally, pink has been paired with softer beiges and whites to maintain a pretty, feminine look. But it is possible to make the color more edgy and gender neutral, although it might be hard to break through the strong girly associations. "As a result of our youth, the color pink has been conditionally hardened into our brains with feminine associations," says Shayna Kulik, trend forecaster and editor of Pattern Pulp. "Whenever we try to make it edgy, or try to sell it to a male consumer, the feeling is immediately rebellious, as it goes mostly against the grain of the traditional American upbringing."

    A perfect example of this is a painting of 24 gridded squares Kulik did to fill dead space above her TV. "Three shades of pink made it into the compilation. Interestingly, my boyfriend is not a fan of three pink squares -- he immediately asked me to repaint them!" Well, we can't win 'em all.

    But there are several colors that when added to pink make a cooler, edgier palette. "Finding a less common pink is a way to edge it up," says Dugan. "The standard carnation pink will never be edgy, but a deep vibrant coral paired with khaki is less predictable but really appealing." For a more sophisticated pink palette, Dugan also loves pairing pink with neutrals like camel brown or French grey. One of Kulik's picks include combining strong and soft shades of pink with gold, as seen in the collage above. Personally, I love soft, powdery pinks paired with pops of bright, shocking red.

    pink decor pink frameCourtesy of Laura Eckstein

    As far as we're concerned here at ShelterPop, pink can work anywhere in the house. I was recently inspired to paint my bedroom a pale, pale pink, and love the flattering glow it gives off. Much better than harsh white! Pink can act as a soft neutral, or take on a feisty, bold role in the form of a bright accessory. Check out all of the great pink options for your home below.

    Our pink product picks, clockwise from the top left:

    Damsel Wallpaper, $78 for 11 yards, Urban Outfitters

    Senegalese Storage Baskets, $68-$290, Serena & Lily

    Perferated Airgo Chair, $179 Pottery Barn Teen

    Robert Abbey Pink Ceramic and Bronze Table Lamp, $157, Lamps Plus

    Reed Pillow in Rose, $52, Unison Home

    Light Wheel Rug, $50-$300, Anthropologie

    Pink Roses Pillow, $40, Plover Organic

    Pink Morrocan Pouf, $285, John Derian

    Daisy Finials, $38 for two, Anthropologie

    Bodum Chambord Thermal Mug, $20, Crate & Barrel


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    Repurposing maps as art and decor adds a sense of adventure and whimsy to any home.

    I've always been fascinated with maps and globes. Ever since childhood, I remember being drawn to the sense of adventure, travel and mystery conveyed by maps. My sister and I would take turns spinning the globe, shutting our eyes and planting a finger on a spot -- that was to be our next trip.
    But one map stood out above all, and it resided at my great aunt and uncle's home in New Jersey. As travel agents, they had been all over the world, and they displayed their accomplishments in the form of a huge, stately map stuck with hundreds of pins; each one marked a visit to a particular place. China had about 12 pins, Spain had 10, even places as far off as Papua New Guinea were marked more than once!

    Laura Eckstein

    Maps and globes still offer that lovely sense of adventure, even when I'm stuck at home in my Brooklyn apartment. So the question arises, why not use them as decor?

    Maps are inexpensive (or free), have a range of colors and shapes, look fantastic on the wall and work well to update a bland piece of furniture or accessory. In addition, repurposing maps as artwork is a green choice. Since my main form of exploration these days is on my bike, I decided to use a New York City bike map -- free at any bike shop -- to cover a boring white tray (shown above).

    But maps are even better when used as wall art. Here are some interesting ideas I found around the web.

    Courtesy of did a fantastic slideshow of affordable artwork using maps. One of my favorites was this simple idea -- enhance a large vintage map with globes in a variety of sizes and colors. The blue and black tones all manage to work together. Since leopard print is the new neutral in fashion, could map print be the new neutral in home decor?

    A whole wall of map art. Photo: Courtesy of Elle Decor.

    Another great idea from the Elle Decor story -- use maps as wallpaper. Actress Julianne Moore chose this world-map mural by Hammacher Schlemmer to cover a wall in her son Caleb's bedroom. Paired with the lion and bicycle, we can only imagine the type of adventurer he's destined to become!

    Courtesy of Nibs.

    Martha B., author of the blog Nibs, gathered a plethora of really creative map-decor ideas. I've always yearned for a vintage pull-down map, like the ones we all had in class years ago. Why not use a few as a clever alternative to window shades? Daydreaming would be possible with the shades open, or closed.

    Courtesy of Pure Green.

    Another smart idea from Pure Green -- adding maps to the back of a glass paneled door. Not only does this add privacy to an office or guest room, but it makes the door infinitely more interesting!

    We love maps. If you do too, don't miss:
    - Map-Inspired Home Decor
    - Mapping Out Good Decor: Rooms That Inspire
    - Maps in the Dining Room

    And of course if you're now anxious to travel, check out AOL Travel!


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    Forget the Ritz. If you're looking for an unforgettable place to stay in Paris, the Seven Hotel is it.

    Paris is known for exuding Old World charm -- cathedrals, cafes, cobblestone streets. History reigns and modern glam is mostly reserved for art and fashion movements in this French city.

    The Seven Hotel, located near the Latin Quarter, is a total exception.

    Seven Hotel ParisThe unassuming exterior of this ultra-cool Paris hotel. Photo: Seven Hotel

    The 28-room designer hotel has seven sexed-up suites -- and we are still deciding which one we would book! You've got serene palettes in the "On/Off" and "Sublime" suites, and sultry ones in the "007" and "Black Diamond" ones. In the "Marie Antoinette" and "Alice" suites, childlike fantasies are played out in the decor.

    Here, we take a look inside a few of our favorites. Where would you prefer to bunk after gazing at art inside the Louvre or sipping a demitasse of cafe in front of a charming little cafe?

    007 Suite

    After a leisurely romantic dinner at a restaurant in the Montmartre neighborhood, take your man to this clever space. With purple walls, curvy trim and a television showing all of the films in the 007 series, this suite is a place to play. While 007 himself didn't have an iPod docking station or an espresso machine, you will.

    And when you're ready to retire -- James Bond style -- go the mid-century modern lounge across the room from the sleep space. Check out pics below. We love the revolver turned lampbase, and the bathroom, which has a chair in the glass shower -- how risque!

    Seven Hotel ParisThe sleeping area inside the 007 suite. Photo: Seven Hotel

    Seven Hotel Paris Inside the 007 suite is a little corner to kick back and discuss the next plot -- to explore Paris, silly! Photo: Seven Hotel

    Seven Hotel Paris Check out the revolver-turned-lamp-base! And the bathroom is quite risque, no? Photo: Seven Hotel

    Alice Suite

    What makes this suite spectacular is that you get a choice of 10 lighting schemes. Feeling green? Switch on the pretty green lights. Want to be extra girly? Then turn on the pink. A play on the Alice in Wonderland tale, the room is filled with off-beat decorative elements like a stuffed rabbit protruding from one wall and a collection of various sized clocks hanging on another wall.

    It won't be hard to feel like a kid again when staying in this room. Yet this time you have access to the mini-bar!

    Seven Hotel ParisInside the Alice Suite, where whimsy and color meet in a fun design by Paul Mathieu. Photo: Seven Hotel

    In the Alice Suite, you can play chess while on the loo. Although the game may go on forever since there are only so many bathroom breaks in a day.

    Seven Hotel ParisFan of chess? It would be a treat to play a game on this luxurious chessboard! Photo: Seven Hotel

    Marie Antoinette Suite

    We can't help but recall slumber parties when we see the many plush pillows -- in bright shiny fabrics -- and dreamy drapes inside this room. It supposedly mimics the style of Marie Antoinette, the Austrian-born queen of France, later executed by guillotine towards the end of the 18th century.

    There is a four-poster bed and clawfoot tub. Now all you need are a wedge of fromage, a few Dom Perignon knock-offs -- and ding! You've got a slumber party for the ladies.

    Seven Hotel Paris Gab with your best girlfriends on this swank couch. Photo: Seven Hotel

    Lovez-Vous Suite

    An ethanol fireplace, Jacuzzi designed for two and a terrace. What's not to like? This is a suite designed for lovers. There are even two televisions, putting an end to fighting over which show to watch.

    We love the funky soaking tub, which is covered in cowhide, best.

    Seven Hotel ParisThe funky soaking tub inside the Lovez-Vous suite, designed by Virginie Cauet. Photo: Seven Hotel

    Sublime Suite

    This might be a good suite for the solo traveler, one who wants to feel cozy and not cooped up inside a hotel room. At night, simply pull the drapes around the circular mattress and slip into slumber. The neutral palette is calming and soothing and will erase any travel-related jitters. You might even say this suite has good "chi."

    Hotel Seven ParisLounging area inside the Sublime suite, which Agence Bastie designed as a calming retreat. Photo: Seven Hotel

    Don't miss these Design Drools:
    -Inside Lotta Jansdotter's Inspiring Brooklyn Studio
    -Arabian Delights


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    Even big girls dream of sleeping in a fairytale bed. Here are a few of our favorite grown-up styles.

    We're bringing drama back -- in the form of four-poster beds, that is. Originally designed with draping curtains or canopies to keep out drafts and insects (as well as a touch of over-the-top flair), four-poster beds now come in a wide variety of designs and price ranges, and they look great in any space.

    We went searching for the perfect four-poster bed to suit every style and budget. (We even included a few that are way over-the-top -- a $62,000 bed!!?) Here are a few of our favorite finds:

    The Style: Romantic
    Available in both metal and wooden (covered in "Venetian silver leaf with antiqued mirrored panels") designs, these three styles are timeless and elegant, and actually look like something straight out of a 19th-century Jane Austen-esque European manor. What's not to love?

    Contour Bed, $310.99, Target
    Italian Campaign Canopy Bed, $1250 to $1898, Anthropologie
    Valois Canopy Bed, $19,330, Niermann Weeks

    The Style: No-Fuss
    Simple and sleek (and more-than-reasonably priced), these no-fuss designs bring a more masculine feel to the bedroom. Choose from steel or wood frames before creating a minimalistic look with crisp white bedding, or add some softness and charm with patterned linens.

    Edland Four-Posted Bed, $299, IKEA
    Architecture Bed, $799 to $1199, Room & Board
    Soho Dark Cherry Canopy Bed, $1445, Eco-Furniture

    The Style: Light & Airy
    White flowing canopies, black bamboo headboards -- nothing says "tropical vacation" like a light and airy canopy bed. And who doesn't want their bedroom to feel like their own personal getaway?

    Campaign Canopy Bed, $999 to 1699, Charles P. Rodgers
    Antonia Canopy Bed, $1299 to $1499, Pottery Barn
    Otto Canopy Bed, Call for pricing, Sipure Design

    The Style: Contemporary Chic
    Sure, these designs are probably a bit over the top for most people's tastes, but who doesn't love a little futuristic eye candy?

    Celeste Bed, Call for pricing, Creme Fresh Design
    High Fidelity Canopy Bed, $62,349 (yikes!), Edoardo Carlino
    Blossom Canopy Bed, Call for pricing, i29

    Looking for more bedroom inspiration? Check out a few of our Shelterpop favorites:
    A Fabric Headboard -- Cheap and Stylish
    A Stunning Bedroom Makeover
    Ingredients for the Coziest Bedroom Ever


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    It's back to the warehouse for this new design trend -- find out how to achieve the industrial modern look.

    Styles are always (and likely will forever be) recycled. Rarely do we see something that's 100 percent brand new (or unique) without having derived any inspiration from the past. But that's a fun part of design (at least for us design lovers) -- to sit around waiting eagerly to find out how the looks of the past will morph into something new and exciting.

    industrial modern interior designInterior Designer Michael Del Piero achieved an industrial modern look for this Chicago residence. Photo: Michael Del Piero

    The latest industrial trend is one such look. Perhaps it comes from our need to decompress from the glitz and glam styles that have been dominating as of late -- or perhaps it comes from a desire to go back to the basics, but an industrial aesthetic that is still cozy and warm is a favorite style of ours. Previously found almost exclusively within the walls of old abandoned warehouses, the simplistic style now translates into even the most upscale of modern interiors. But you don't need to be upscale in order to achieve the basics of the industrial aesthetic.

    Here are some general rules of thumb to follow when seeking out the industrial modern look:

    Colors: Stick with "rocky" neutrals as your foundation. Grays, black -- any hue that you'd expect to see in a dusty warehouse. But don't be wary of these harsh, cold colors -- this look can be just as soothing and warm as other neutrals. If you're planning to paint, select color samples on the warmer side, such as mushroom-like grays. Choose the one that best complements your home's lighting plan (the right gray for Person A can be all wrong when viewed through the light of Person B's home). For general furnishings, stick to stone neutrals and grays with natural wood as the occasional accent.

    Furnishings: This look is modern, so go with clean lines and no-fuss furnishings. A little curve is OK, but keep it minimal with a single accent chair or with rounded light fixtures.

    Accents: Anything metal fits the industrial style well. Opt for metal light fixtures, especially those with a unique (seemingly aged) patina. It's OK to mix shiny and matte metals, but limit yourself on the amount of shine; the new industrial isn't about glam, it's about getting back to the basics.

    Elements: Clearly when you think of the typical industrial warehouse, you envision concrete, wood and metal. Play with those primary elements when decorating in this style. Opt for aged-looking metals and rough-hewn or more natural-finished woods. And, by all means, whenever possible, use salvaged and recycled materials. That is, after all, the true industrialist way to do things.

    For classic industrial styles, Restoration Hardware has the look. But they also carry tons of unique products that can help achieve a more modern industrial aesthetic. We especially love their seemingly one-of-a-kind accessories.

    Clockwise from top left:
    Eye Glass Molds on Stands
    , $299, Restoration Hardware
    Fishing Weights, $99, Restoration Hardware
    Industrial Chain Pulley, $145, Restoration Hardware
    Cast Iron Bookpress, $195, Restoration Hardware

    industrial modern lightingPhoto: Rejuvenation

    For lighting fixtures, there are a handful of sources, but Rejuvenation is one of the best. Thanks to their Industrial Collection, you can find fixtures inspired from 1890 to 1930. You're bound to find the perfect style to fit seamlessly in any modern interior.

    From left to right:
    Rockwell Two-Arm Chandelier, $520, Rejuvenation
    Halfway, $227, Rejuvenation
    Wiley, $162, Rejuvenation
    McCoy, $140, Rejuvenation
    Willis, $177, Rejuvenation

    Photo: Anthropologie

    Even Anthropologie is on the industrial bandwagon, adding these light fixtures to their otherwise-typically whimsical offerings.

    From left to right:
    Menlo Lamp, $148, Anthropologie
    Mechanic's Beacon Light, $148, Anthropologie

    Photos: Ballard Designs, Design With Reach, CB2

    Leave no stone unturned -- every item, down to the last detail, should fit the industrial look for a true industrial modern style. Any of these metal accessories would help accomplish that.

    Clockwise from top left:
    PE Collection Double Wall Pocket, $49, Ballard Designs
    Cavaillon Mirror with Chain, $79-$119, Ballard Designs
    Heavy Weight Tape Dispenser, $60, Design Within Reach
    Gear Candleholder Gift Set, $23.80, CB2

    Photos: Wisteria, Crate & Barrel

    A hefty table made of metal or wood (or, better yet, a combination of the two) just screams industrial. Opt for something along the lines of any of these beauties.

    Clockwise from top left:
    Industrial Iron Coffee Table
    , $699, Wisteria
    Fulton Media Console, $999, Crate & Barrel
    Hendricks Desk, $1,299, Crate & Barrel
    French Industrial Coffee Table, $599, Wisteria

    Want more decorating inspiration?
    Is industrial not at all your style? How about decorating with pastels?
    Or brighten up with rainbow-colored decor.
    Not sure what you want? Let top designers and fashionistas inspire you.


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    "The light from my kitchen bleeds into the living room. I need something that only lights up small areas and still looks sleek." -- Dakin Parker

    Dakin Parker

    As the first stop in his tiny apartment, Parker's kitchen also doubles as his entryway. You know what they say about first impressions, so the design choices he makes here are going to set the tone for the entire space. We've already addressed his storage dilemmas but his choice of lighting (or lack of) is turning out to be another problem.

    For starters, Parker's not a fan of the stark overhead lighting (and we don't blame him). His fix, however, a spotlight he rigged up underneath the cabinets, is just as much of an eyesore. Yikes!

    Meet designer Bob Richter, our makeover master. He's giving Dakin a much sleeker alternative to the spotlight -- a trio of Grundtal countertop lights. Installed on the underside of the cabinets, these tracks illuminate the entire length of the counter and give the kitchen a cozier feel.

    But Richter didn't stop there. To make the space even more welcoming, and cohesive with the rest of the apartment, he replaced Parker's generic ceiling light with a Manljus Pendant lamp. Bob finished off the apartment's contemporary theme with a framed print that he says will really help the new fixtures shine.

    Parker's kitchen-entryway is warm and inviting thanks to ambient lighting and an updated piece overhead.


    To see what IKEA products were used, scroll over the pieces in the video!


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    "I love cooking and inviting people over but I don't have enough counter space and storage to make things comfortable." -- Dakin Parker

    Dakin Parker

    For an avid entertainer like Parker, the kitchen is the heart of the home. But a lack of counter space and unsightly storage solutions aren't very inviting to guests or conducive to his frequent cooking.

    Meet makeover master Bob Richter. His first order of business is to give everyday items (that would otherwise take up residence on the countertop) a home. Ikea's Grundtal Papertowel holder and rail are easy to mount under the cabinets, streamlining the space and putting paper towels and cooking utensils in arm's reach. The matching dish drainer also frees up space on the counter and gives Parker ample room to prep his ingredients.

    Next, Richter tackles the lack of storage by replacing paper bins with collapsible Skubb storage cases. They house seldom used items and stow neatly above the kitchen cabinets. These bins also feel less temporary than the paper kind and wipe off easily since they're vinyl.

    Lastly, Parker's all-white palette gets a pop of color with shiny blue cookware and potholders hung from the same Grundtal S-hooks used to display his utensils.

    Parker's got a recipe for good times -- a kitchen that's short on space but big on smart, space-saving solutions.

    To see what IKEA products were used, scroll over the pieces in the video!


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    From Donna Karan to Cynthia Rowley, a new book takes us inside the homes of America's biggest fashion designers.

    Ever wonder what Ralph Lauren's house looks like? Well, now you can take a look around, thanks to the Council of Fashion Designers of America's new book: "American Fashion Designers at Home."

    The glossy tome looks into more than 100 homes of members of the CFDA, from big names like Cynthia Rowley and Carolina Herrera to lesser-known (but no less important) designers like Ben-Amun's Isaac Manevitz.

    While some designers homes are the interior embodiment of their signature style, like Donna Karan's Turks and Caicos home, which oozes her zen-like style, or Ralph Lauren's ranch, which looks like a RL store without the clothes. However, there are other designers who have homes that surprise in how different they are from a designer's fashion line.

    We spoke with author Rima Suqi about some of the homes that stood out and why:

    fashion-designers-homeThis room is so minimalist, it's practically a gallery space for this art collection. Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Gary Wolkowitz...for his ultra minimalist living.
    You may not recognize Wolkowitz's name, but we can almost guarantee you know his company: HotSox. Suqi says she was pleasantly surprised to discover that the man responsible for some rather daring footwear hired Michael Gabellini, who is known for his uber-minimalist interiors (he's responsible for all the Jill Sanders boutiques). However, Wolkowitz didn't just hire a decorator, he was actively involved in the design process; in fact, when he saw the side chairs pictured above in a Tokyo hotel, he managed to convince the hotel to ship a couple of their custom-designed seats back to him in New York!

    fashion-designers-homeJulian Schnabel's portrait of Eva Chow hangs above the fireplace -- in it she wears a Vivienne Westwood gown. Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Eva Chow... for her wow-worthy collection of art.
    Not every couple has huge portraits of themselves in their home - let alone ones by Julian Schnabel (above left) and Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, as Suqi notes, Michael and Eva Chow's over-the-top, 30,000-square-foot Los Angeles home is not your average house: It has real gold leaf on the walls. The Chows also have a museum-worthy collection of art including the Basquiat, the Schnabel, a John Chamberlain sculpture and sofa and chairs by Pierre Chareau (both above). A major furniture and art collector, it is rumored that Michael Chow would sometimes trade meals for art from some artists at his famed restaurant Mr. Chow.

    fashion-designers-homeA daring, young fashion designer has an eclectic collection and style of hanging art. Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Johnson Hartig...for having a lot going on and making it work beautifully.
    "When people can put a lot of pattern together and make it work, that's a skill," says Suqi. In this room of Libertine's Johnson Hartig's home, with its gigantic Damien Hirst spin art painting and other artworks, most of the pattern is on the walls. However, Suqi notes, Hartig left the base of the room to black and white, pulling together the different styles of the furnishings and acting as a neutral base for the eclectic art collection. "Libertine, in my opinion, is not for the shy," says Suqi. "They're always going to be some sort of pushing the envelope to it and in a way this [room] does nod to that."

    fashion-designers-homeThis contemporary home embraces the view and the outdoors. Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Randolph Duke... for his great example of indoor-outdoor living.
    Best known for his couture evening gowns, Randolph Duke isn't exactly the rustic, outdoors-y type, but there's no better place to embrace the outdoors than the hills of Los Angeles. Duke's architect embraced the view 10-foot high retracting glass walls. "The whole thing can open up," says Suqi. She notes that open to nature doesn't mean of a lack of glamor, in fact, the space is reminiscent to Duke's designs for Hollywood starlets, "It's understandable, it's glamorous, the materials are pretty first rate... and it's a little bit naughty."

    fashion-designers-homeThis wacky looking sofa is a seriously collectible piece of Memphis Furniture. Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Isaac Manevitz...for his surprise collection of rare Memphis Furniture.
    Isaac Manevitz, the designer for Ben-Amun, does not live in an architecturally significant house. However, the minute Suqi spied shots of it she was almost certain he had a collection of very significant furnishings. The 1980s settee above is one of Manevitz's ten pieces of Memphis Furniture, a Milan-based collective whose furniture designs in the post-modernist style shot up the design world in 1981. Memphis isn't Manevitz's only collection; he also has a collection of mid-century Roseville pottery. "His collections are completely disparate," says Suqi. "But he loves them all and he is very passionate."

    fashion-designers-homeA lap pool in New York City? Yes, please! Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Cynthia Rowley... for having a lap pool. In her back yard. In the West Village.
    Cynthia Rowley's home itself is gorgeous, but the presence of a swimming pool behind a Greenwich Village townhouse is what really stood out for Suqi. As Suqi writes in American Fashion Designers at Home, a backyard in NYC is a luxury, a water feature (usually a fountain) is considered glamorous, but a lap pool, like the one Rowley added, is a rarity. Plus, the pool is a reflection of Rowley's signature happy-go-lucky vibe. "There's always an element of play in both her fashion and her home," says Suqi.

    fashion-designers-homeZang Toi's Parisian-chic apartment is just as luxurious as his couture gowns. Photo: "American Fashion Designers at Home"/Assouline

    Zang Toi...for what he did with a small space.
    Most designers featured in the book have 5,000-square-foot homes, whole townhouses or homes plural. In less than 1,500 square feet, Zang Toi has carved out a stylish and luxurious home of which Marie Antoinette would have approved. "This is a person who is Paris-obsessed," says Suqi of the France-influenced space, "The space has one theme, maxed out to an extreme, but it's very well done." Touches of luxury like a cashmere-covered sofa trimmed with mink harkens back to his fashion. "He's not afraid of a little fur or a sequin now and then," says Suqi.

    Each home was unique in its own way, however the thing that stood out the most for Suqi was the people's personal back-stories. For example, Eli Tahari moved [to New York] from Israel with $300 in his pocket and spent a few nights sleeping in Central Park - a true rags-to-riches success story.

    "There are quite a few American dream stories in [the book]. That in some ways is more inspiring to me," but she notes, "A lot doesn't make it into the book, as we are focusing on décor." Maybe the CFDA should consider another book? "American Fashion and the American Dream" has a nice ring to it., no?

    For more on the intersection between home and fashion, don't miss:

    -Rooms Inspired By Fashion
    -Fashion Week Comes Home: We Go Inside Designers' Closets
    -The House That Fashion Built


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    Dress up your Thanksgiving table with a cornucopia of corn.

    Indian corn is a treasured, iconic element of Thanksgiving, so what better material to use to create festive tabletop decorations for the holiday! Whether you play up its golden husks or vibrant kernels, Indian corn centerpieces are sure to bring smiles to your holiday table.

    Here, we've rounded up five crafty creations from magazines and blogs that make use of this modest material in a charming way.

    thanksgiving corn craftsPhoto by Lisa Hubbard, from

    Gloriously Gilded

    We love how lifestyle blogger Eddie Ross gave a modern lift to Indian corn in the current issue of Woman's Day. He gives the corn a festive shine by spray painting the ears gold. Lined up around a simple hurricane, they make the perfect table lantern. A luxe velvet ribbon keeps everything in place!

    thanksgiving corn craftsPhoto from

    Rustic Chic

    For a simplified version, take a look at this centerpiece from Ross' blog. He actually used this project as inspiration for the project above. We love the varying colors of the Indian corn husks and the rustic look of the twine that keeps the corn standing upright.

    thanksgiving corn craftsPhoto from

    Maize Masterpiece

    For this casual centerpiece featured in Better Homes & Gardens, an assortment of colorful Indian corn is nestled on top of a bed of wheat. Placed inside a shallow bowl filled with floral foam, this table topper is at the perfect height for guests catching up during their holiday feast.

    thanksgiving corn craftsPhoto:

    Solo Sensation

    Sometimes a simple decoration can make all the difference to a table setting such as this adorable place card idea. The gang at placed single mini cobs of Indian corn on the center of a place setting, tying a guest's placecard to the center using twine. So elegant.

    thanksgiving corn craftsPhoto: Better Homes & Gardens

    Vintage Vignette

    If crafting is not your thing, get inspired by this clever display, also featured in Better Homes & Gardens. We love the idea of mixing together treasured vintage finds, like a stunning blue glass ball jar, ribbon and a silver mold, with harvest-ready accents such as the Indian corn on the bottom left-hand corner.

    thanksgiving corn craftsPhoto from Create!

    Cozy Crochet

    Just for fun, we had to include these adorable crocheted Indian corn we found on the blog Create!.Blogger Alicia Kachmar did a fantastic job, using colorful yarn to complete her ode to Indian corn. We'd love to see these on our Thanksgiving table, nestled in a cornucopia filled with other autumnal goodies such as dried leaves and acorns.

    Check out the rest of ShelterPop's Thanksgiving coverage!

    Or if you're looking for more corn crafts,
    our sister site Holidash has a fantastic video on corn table crafts!

    And of course no Thanksgiving is complete without KitchenDaily's amazing Thanksgiving recipes.


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  • 11/25/10--20:03: Dream Home Upgrades
  • Filed under: , ,

    If money was no object, what would you do to your home? ShelterPop staffers share their dream upgrades.

    When you live in the land of rentals, like myself, it's easy to find yourself daydreaming about the perks of homeownership. Just imagine: No more landlords, no more rent checks -- not to mention you can do absolutely anything you want with the space. Sick of your old carpet? Rip it out and install hardwood floors. Thinking about a new color scheme? Paint to your heart's content. And if it's more open space that you crave, just knock out a few walls. No biggie.

    dream home upgradeGetty Images

    Ok, ok, so maybe it's not all easy being a homeowner, but a girl can dream, can't she? In fact, I spend quite a bit of time thinking about my fantasy home upgrade. More spefically, the kitchen.

    That's right, for a girl who calls grilled cheese a gourmet meal, I sure do spend a lot of time drooling over pictures of wide open kitchens with clean, white, glass-front cabinets, stocked with colorful bowls and glassware. Sprawling soapstone counters would top off an oversized island (perfect for slicing cheese for those fancy grilled cheese sandwiches) with oversized industrial-style pendant lights hanging overhead. And for the walls, a backsplash of simple white subway tiles. French music would play softly in the background and overflowing arrangements of periwinkle hydrangeas would always add a pop of color to the otherwise two-toned space.


    And all of this daydreaming got me to thinking: What do other people crave about for their home's? Lucky for me, I have access to a few of the most creative home design minds in the business. When asked what one upgrade they would add to their home, the staff members at Shelterpop seemed to stick to two common themes: luxury bathrooms and high-end amenities, like pools. Here's what they had to say on the subject:

    dream home upgradeKohler

    Brooke Lea Foster, Editor
    "My ultimate upgrade is to have a freestanding cast iron tub in my extra large bathroom. I particularly love the more modern interpretations of the classic clawfoot tubs. To me, the bathtub is the main event in the bathroom -- it's where I want my eye to go as I walk in, and the sight of it alone makes me long for a good long soak.

    I imagine that you feel really beautiful soaking in one of these tubs, even if you're having one of those I-feel-ugly days. I'd also position the tub under a large picture window overlooking the ocean. Then I could take a bath, stare out the window at the waves crashing below and relax. I decorate my home pretty conservatively, but I'd love to go luxe in the bathroom: I'd even love to hang a really elegant crystal chandelier over the tub."

    dream home upgradeThe azure blue indoor pool at Hearst Castle. Photo: Stuck in Customs, Flickr

    Amy Preiser, Associate Editor
    "Living in NYC, the list of things I covet can get very boring: A foyer, a hallway, a dishwasher -- the list goes on. But my true dream upgrade is much more glamorous: A swimming pool! Of course, since I'm dreaming, it would be indoor, tiled with rainbow-colored glass mosaic tiles (Bisazza, please) and lined with lush greenery.

    Of course, I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning it because someone very handsome would do that every morning, right before I'd go for a rejuvenating wake-up-swim. I'm sorry, did I say pool? I meant pool room. I'd like there to be lots of luxurious chairs to sit in and read design mags. And shiny modern tables to hold my seltzer and snacks."

    dream home upgradeGetty Images

    Mark David, Celeb Reporter
    "Besides solar panels, my dream upgrade would be to do-over my guest bathroom. Since the bathroom is all but windowless, I'd rip everything out including, especially the old-school tub/shower combo and plain white square ceramic tiles and turn it into a wet room completely tiled in either a ludicrously vibrant color like tangerine or or shimmery gradient pattern."

    Laura Fenton, Writer
    "Short of more space (which we could really use!), what I'd really love to do is gut our bathroom and start over. Seriously, down to the studs. New sheetrock would be a welcome change from our tired walls and ceiling, and it would be such a luxury to install heating beneath the floor tiles! I am giddy at the thought! In terms of style, I'd opt for classic, neutral tiles, sink, toilet and tub. It both suits my taste and is a smart choice since we don't plan to be in our apartment forever -- think classic, white subway tile and timeless chrome fixtures. I also love the black penny round tiles with black grout that Anna Dorfman used in her bathroom renovation."

    dream home upgrade Getty Images

    Jaime Derringer, Writer
    "I would love to have a modern saltwater pool -- rectangular, long and inviting. I also want a good lawn. I've always wanted a lush, bright green lawn -- the kind that makes you want to lay down and do snow angels (minus the snow)."

    What is your dream upgrade? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.

    Dreaming of your own upgrades? Consider these:
    - Why Pink Is the New Black
    - The New Canopy Bed
    - Demi Lovato Trades Up


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    Test your knowledge: Are you ready for the holiday season -- and all the stains that come along with it?

    It's nearly time to deck those halls with boughs of holly -- but if past holidays prove anything, you should know that your first priority should be decking your cupboards with cleaning products. Stains are inevitable this time of year. From cranberry to eggnog to gravy and even the post-holiday cleanup of tree sap, there's always a trick to remove the stain. But do you know how? Test your knowledge and see how ready you are for this holiday season.

    Be Stain-Free During the Holidays

    When crazy Aunt Gertrude knocks back a few glasses of red wine -- and one of them ends up on your freshly cleaned ivory carpet, what's the first thing you should do?

    • Scrub at the stain with a clean towel.
    • Spray on spot cleaner.
    • Douse the stain with club soda or cold water.
    • Blot as much liquid as possible.

    The holidays are the best excuse to ditch your diet, but as delicious as butter tastes it's far from fabric friendly. So when you reach for a warm biscuit and little drops of butter cover your tablecloth, what should you do?

    • Call the party off, send guests home and get to work with your best stain-removal techniques.
    • Cover the stain with a spare plate and hope a good laundering the next evening will do the trick.
    • Sprinkle some salt onto your mashed potatoes, and then onto the stain.
    • Calmly remove the cloth from the table -- only a brief interruption of the meal -- and throw it in the laundry with a half cup of bleach.

    For many, it's customary to offer guests a cup of coffee post meals. The thought of coffee spills on your upholstery can be frightening, but not for you! You know that all a coffee spill needs is:

    • A little bit of water dabbed on the spill.
    • A quick spray of upholstery cleaner and a light scrub.
    • A nice throw blanket to cover the spot.
    • A store-bought spot-removing pen.

    The following holiday stains are impossible to remove:

    • Cranberry sauce on a white, linen tablecloth.
    • Turkey grease on cotton table linens.
    • Both of the above.
    • None of the above.

    A basic bar of soap with water can often be a great pre-treatment when dabbed onto many water-based stains (wine, coffee and fruit sauces for instance). In which classic holiday movie does the lead find himself briefly


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