Articles on this Page
- 12/30/10--22:52: _Love a Vanilla-Scen...
- 01/01/11--20:52: _Alarm Clocks We Love
- 01/01/11--20:52: _New Year's Decor Th...
- 01/03/11--22:58: _Why My E-Reader Wil...
- 01/03/11--22:58: _Posh Tots Alert! Lu...
- 01/03/11--22:58: _Quiz: Is Your Home ...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Cleaning Tips for P...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Lindsay Lohan's Pos...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Striped Tablecloths...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Beautiful Bathrooms...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Sneak Peek: J. Lo's...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Wallpaper Trends 20...
- 01/06/11--00:32: _Decorating Styles 1...
- 01/07/11--22:22: _IKEA EXPEDIT, 5 Dif...
- 01/07/11--22:22: _Living in the Other...
- 01/07/11--22:22: _California Closets ...
- 01/07/11--22:22: _ShelterPop Predicts...
- 01/07/11--22:22: _On the Hunt: Eco-Fr...
- 01/07/11--22:22: _Live From CES: What...
- 01/10/11--20:23: _How to Hide Wires: ...
- 12/30/10--22:52: Love a Vanilla-Scented Home? You're Not Alone
- 01/01/11--20:52: Alarm Clocks We Love
- 01/01/11--20:52: New Year's Decor That's As Easy As 3, 2, 1...
- 01/03/11--22:58: Why My E-Reader Will Never Replace My Bookshelf
- 01/03/11--22:58: Posh Tots Alert! Luxury Beds for Kids
- 01/03/11--22:58: Quiz: Is Your Home Decor From Another Era?
- 01/06/11--00:32: Cleaning Tips for People Living With Disabilities
- 01/06/11--00:32: Lindsay Lohan's Post-Rehab House: Next Door to Samantha Ronson
- 01/06/11--00:32: Striped Tablecloths: Decorate Like the Fockers
- 01/06/11--00:32: Beautiful Bathrooms: From a Gilded Powder Room to a Lofted Bath
- 01/06/11--00:32: Sneak Peek: J. Lo's Elegant Home
- 01/06/11--00:32: Wallpaper Trends 2011: New, Fresh and Fun Designs
- 01/06/11--00:32: Decorating Styles 101: Preppy Home
- 01/07/11--22:22: IKEA EXPEDIT, 5 Different Ways
- 01/07/11--22:22: Living in the Other Woman's House
- 01/07/11--22:22: California Closets and Peter Walsh's Mega-Makeover
- 01/07/11--22:22: ShelterPop Predicts 2011 Pattern of the Year: Honeycomb
- 01/07/11--22:22: On the Hunt: Eco-Friendly Lighting
- 01/07/11--22:22: Live From CES: What's New in Home Tech
- 01/10/11--20:23: How to Hide Wires: Shopping Guide
According to Mintel Research News, 44% of air freshener users say they choose vanilla-scented air fresheners most of the time, making it the most popular fragrance choice for the home. But why? We hit up the usual -- and some unusual -- suspects to get the scoop.
Tammy Hanratty, Corbis
And Caitlin Creer of Caitlin Creer Interiors in Salt Lake City, Utah, agrees. "Vanilla makes me think of the holidays and baking cookies as a child," says Creer, who typically leans toward grapefruit or pine, but opts for vanilla when the holidays roll around. "Everyone loves to come home to the smell of vanilla. It definitely completes the ambiance of a warm home with a roaring fire."
Self-proclaimed vanilla purists can't convince everyone to jump on the sweet-smelling bandwagon. "You can't deny the popularity of vanilla," say Gretchen Hollingsworth, the owner of Paddywax Candle Company. "It definitely appeals to a wide audience, but we don't offer it because it's already available from so many other candle companies. We're kind of known for our imaginative blends, so we're constantly challenging ourselves to come up with unexpected ideas, and vanilla is already a home-scent staple."
And personally, Hollingsworth isn't even a fan. "I'm probably one of the few people who's not that into vanilla," she says. "It's too sweet and I prefer crisp, greener fragrances. To me, it's just, well, vanilla."
As for this writer, I'm a devoted member of the Church of Vanilla, and I'd gladly cover every inch of my home with vanilla frosting if it wasn't so darn sticky! Like Snow, who admits that she avoids burning vanilla candles when she's hungry for fear she might actually start lapping up the burning wax, I can't resist the sweet icing-inspired goodness of a vanilla candle or air freshener. My cousin Charlie Flynn, 11, understands where I'm coming from.
"If I could eat one thing forever it would be a big bowl of sugar," Charlie admits. "Hot fudge, whip cream, rainbow sprinkles -- all on top of vanilla ice cream. It's my favorite food. It's pretty much the most awesome thing ever."
I couldn't have said it better myself. Yep, with vanilla on top. We're living in one sweet world.
Not sold on sweet? Check out the Top 5 Serene Bedroom Scents or learn how to create your own personal scent blend.
It's not news that cell phones may be bad for you. There's the risk of brain cancer from holding the device up to your ear, the threat of "thermal injury" that comes with placing it in your pocket, and now a similar worry, that sleeping with a cell next to your bed or worse, under your pillow, could have a dangerous effect on your well being.
Many of us aren't sleeping as good. Sleep deprivation is said to be caused by the light coming off of your phone (especially blue ones) or from the interactivity involved in using it. Both can delay our natural sleep time and throw off our body's circadian rhythm, researchers say. That in turn leads to morning grogginess, not being able to remember certain things and possibly even gaining weight. Yikes!
What's tricky is that for every cautionary tale we hear about the effect our cell phone has on our sleep, there are five more cases for how awesomely convenient they are. True as it may be, nothing beats a good night's sleep. That's why we're giving our cell phones some time to rest. Instead, try waking up to one of these good old-fashioned alarm clocks.
Here are a few that are sure to bring you sweeter dreams. Night night!
Clockwise from top left:
The vintage-looking Moonbeam clock, $39.50, L.L. Bean, was designed in the 50s, but it's been updated with an LED light instead of the traditional bell sound. Getting the buzzer on this Laser Target alarm clock to stop blaring, $13.75, Amazon, requires a sharp eye, a little concentration and a straight shot at the target on top. Instead of hitting "snooze" on Rock Pedro Gomes' "Sleepy" clock, price not listed, Yanko Design, spin it on the nightstand. What's old is new again with the Bomba alarm clock, $72, Little Clock Shop, which features retro flipping numbers inside a clear modern shell. If you need more than a little coaxing to get you up, the Sonic Bomb clock, $38.95, Sonic Alert, has a bed-shaking attachment that you can slip under your pillow. While the Back In Time clocks, $40, High Fashion Home, won't give you another eight hours of beauty rest, they do offer a glimpse of a bygone era. Mornings are complicated enough without a super technical alarm clock. Keep it simple with this media edition Alba clock, $148, Furni. Behind the domed lens of Newgate's Bubble clock, $40, Burke Decor, is a classic way to rise and shine.
For more old-fashioned inspiration, check out these ShelterPop stories:
A Kitchen Makeover That Recalls the Past
Home Economics: The Modern Day Joys of Old School Homemaking
Design Drool: A Return to Don Draper
Yes, Christmas decorations are still up, and maybe even that DIY centerpiece you spent hours making for Thanksgiving, but New Year's Eve deserves a little something special.
We scoured our favorite magazines and websites for ideas and found gleaming, New-Year's Eve inspiration at every turn. Most of them require little more than a quick update of your existing holiday decor, so it's easy to get in on the festivities, even if you aren't playing host.
Photo: Feather Love Photography for Rue Magazine
confetti the way Martha Stewart did here, right, or leave it to the pros, like the duo at ConfettiSystem, whose hand-cut assortment is stuffed inside their made-to-order piñatas, left. As if those weren't enough to make us drool, ConfettiSystem can whip up matching blindfolds out of silk charmeuse and metallic leather, too.
Photo: Fresh Home
I could tell you that I chose my e-reader based on its screen quality or the extra-long battery life. But I'd be lying.I made my decision to buy Barnes & Noble's Nook over Amazon's Kindle based on one thing: Possible covers. The Nook is sold alongside Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade covers that look like old-fashioned book cloth.
The author's Nook on her bookshelf. Which of these things is not like the other? Photo: Amy Preiser
The author's bookshelf (and chair of unshelved books). Photo: Amy Preiser
We stacked our books together in the new shelf in a totally democratic way -- by color. But the bookshelf took on a life of its own as we started to get more comfortable in the apartment. Books were taken out and put back in new places, new books found their way in via generous friends and boxes on the street marked "Take me!" The shelf filled up with vertical filing and then horizontal stacking began. And know what? It looked better than it did when everything was neat. It looked like people lived here, people who used the bookshelf as something other than a display case.
Because each spine, whether it's neatly tucked away or haphazardly stacked on a chair, also stands for a story aside from the one inside. The autographed Salman Rushdie novel, my boyfriend's beloved collection of bright blue, dog-eared travel books, my father's favorite book about American History that I still haven't returned after six years of borrowing (and still, not reading). They're all there. They all remind me of accomplishments. Each urges me to do new things and nags me about unfinished business.
But the bookshelf doesn't just serve as my own well of sentimentality, it's a point of connection. It's the spot that people are drawn to upon entering the apartment. We all call teapots and chandeliers "conversation pieces," but the bookshelf is the real deal. When my new neighbors moved to the building, we sparked a friendship based on the fact that we had a dozen books in common. Party guests have made fun of my collection of "The Babysitters Club" books (What? They're sentimental). When a friend tells me they're itching to rearrange their living room, I'm quick to hand them "The Comfortable Home"; if they're looking to shake up their repertoire of recipes, I'll hand them "A Homemade Life." Feeling like they have the most dysfunctional family on earth? Try "This is Where I Leave You." In a way, my bookshelf is also my own little pharmacy. Though like a shady pharmacist I do hoard the best things for myself: There's no way I'm giving out my new, cherished copy of Maira Kalman's "And the Pursuit of Happiness."
The author and her e-reader in the Jonathan Adler Peace/Love case.
In a piece for Slate, Mark Oppenheimer makes a case against the e-reader because of this disconnect, citing the sentimentality of the paperbacks that he and his wife traded early on and the old girlfriend who was seduced by his bookshelf. I have another thing to add to his list: Books have the unique characteristic of being both journey and prize: Once you make it through a novel, you have the object to file on your bookshelf as a sort of trophy. E-books just don't lend the same fanfare. When you get to page 1,400 of the hardcover version of "War and Peace," you get to slam the heavy thing shut and celebrate. With the e-book, it takes you to the "About the Author page" and then you aren't able to click ahead anymore. Hardly very satisfying.
Then again, anyone who's ever carried the hardcover "War and Peace" in their backpack can attest to the e-book's advantage. Not to mention the fact that the e-book of War and Peace costs nine dollars less than the paper version. On the Nook, if you're trying to remember a specific quote from the book you can use the "Search" feature and find it within minutes. There's also a button to look up words in a dictionary that I'll admit is responsible for the fact that I now know the definition of "eminently." These advantages have surely contributed to the fact that e-reader users buy and read more books. Amazon says over three times as many and my personal reading frequency has increased four-fold. As a true book lover, shouldn't I care more about the amount of books read than the aesthetics of those books on my bookshelf?
Yes, yes, I do. But don't tell my bookshelf. Because I swear that things aren't over between the two of us.
The last two e-books I read were by authors that were already well-represented on my bookshelf. And know what? Neither of the stories were as good as the ones that are still filed away by color. So I'm putting down my e-reader for a few days to revisit "Don't Get Too Comfortable" and "Then We All Came to an End." Once I finish them, I'll place them back on the bookshelf, near the front, so people can comment on them, ask to borrow them or just admire or insult my taste.
I don't mind being judged by my covers. In fact, sometimes that's exactly what I want.
What do you think? Do you love the convenience of the e-reader? Hate the whole idea? Sound off on our facebook page!
Don't miss these great stories on ShelterPop:
Living Naked at Home for a Week
When Mom Steps Down as Holiday Host
Fixing Grandma's Mixer Changed My Life
Many of us dreamed of the perfect childhood bedroom -- toys, color, magic. But very few ever imagined being able to climb into an intergalactic battleship or get beauty sleep in a fashion show runway bed! My nine-year-old daughter, Sadie, took a look at some of the most elaborate fantasy beds available at Posh Tots and she could not believe her eyes. So we asked Sadie to kindly play guest columnist and give us a kid's take on these over the top beds. She thought it would be cool to walk the catwalk to sleep in the Fashionista bed and giddyup on into a Lone Star bed like a cowgirl. She voted the English Tudor Cottage bed "best for sleepovers."
No $47K fantasy bed for Sadie -- instead, a more modest all-IKEA loft bed and decor. Photo: Jolie Novak, AOL
Fantasy Themed Beds for Posh Tots!
modern design or a predictor of what's to come.
I never gave much thought to housecleaning when I was younger. I cleaned my room (sometimes) and that was about it. But with adulthood comes new adult responsibilities, and on the top of most people's "adult responsibility" list is cleaning. The house, car, garage...you name it. The cleaning, like pesky grocery lists, can go on and on and on. And if you're physically disabled, a simple household task can seem overwhelming. But as I've learned first-hand -- I was born with Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a bone and muscular disorder -- it doesn't need to be. I consulted the experts and combed the best products to make things a bit easier:
The author cleaning her home. Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Blake.
The first step is making sure your home is fit for you. When my family moved into a new house in 2003, we made sure it was fully accessible. We had two ramps installed: One off the patio and one off the garage. We made sure the island in the kitchen was at a height that I could reach. And we "road tested" all the corners and room entryways to make sure I could maneuver my wheelchair easily.
The same goes for housecleaning, says Kelly Rouba, author of "Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide," who also suffers from the chronic condition. "If one can get around better and reach things more easily, that will make it easier and faster to clean!" This could involve lower countertops, more easily accessible appliances or wider doors.
Use the Right Tools
There are cleaning tools that can make house cleaning easier. Years ago, a family friend gave us a gripper and I've found it to be a lifesaver ever since. Whenever I drop something, all I have to do is use the little claws of my gripper to pick it up. Also, I've outfitted my wheelchair with a basket. This makes it easy to carry items around the house. For example, when I'm doing the laundry, I can put all the clothes in my basket, which saves making multiple trips back and forth. It helps to have everything in one place. Also, make sure you use items with long, extended arms or swivel heads that keep you from having to bend over.
Swiffer makes a Wet Jet that allows you to clean your floor without the hassle of a bucket or a mop. And iRobot makes the Roomba robot vacuum, which does all the vacuuming for you.
Teresa Ward, owner of a Long Island cleaning service, emphasizes thinking of how cleaning supplies can be used in a unique way to make things easier. A sponge mop isn't just for floors, she says. You can use it to wipe down your shower walls and even clean windows. The kitchen sink can substitute as a mop bucket, so you don't have to bend down to rinse out the mop or pick up a heavy bucket filled with water. Baby wipes can be used to wipe up sticky, dirty counters and are easier to remove from their containers than traditional kitchen wipes.
Take It Easy
Make sure you pace yourself, is one thing all the experts advise. Do housework in small doses. Pick one room, say the kitchen, and just focus on that one for a day. The next day, you can move on to another room, say the bathroom. So it may take longer (things always take me a bit longer), but remember that it's not a race. It's OK to do what feels right for you. Ward recommends doing the most important items first and working down the list from there. "You know your limits," says Ward. "Make adjustments to your surroundings to make your home more manageable to clean at your own pace."
Ask for Help
No, this doesn't mean you're a weak person. It means you're a wise person who knows when you need help. Even if it's only a little help, friends and family will be more than willing to pitch in. If not, consider hiring a professional organizer who can provide tips for making this process easier based on your specific needs. They come to your home and help you develop an individualized plan of attack that is suited just for you.
And remember that making adjustments to your daily living can be stressful. Just do what you can and try not to overdo it. So whatever your plan of attack, always remember that you're the best judge of you.
Lindsay Lohan checks out of rehab; into new Venice, CA loft home. Reportedly, her ex/next door neighbor is not happy.
Just yesterday Lindsay Lohan tweeted "Today is the first day of the rest of my life," as she left the Betty Ford rehab center. And now, she's got the real estate to prove it. Lohan is renting a $7,100 a month loft home in the more low-key than luxe area of Venice Beach.
Photo: Amy Graves, WireImage / Courtesy photo
Think $7,100 in rent sounds like a lot? Consider this: A month of inpatient treatment at Betty Ford can run over $27,000, and Lohan has been there for over three months. So the $7,100 in rent for a 3,100 square foot home could feel like a bargain.
An added bonus (or maybe it's bad news?) Lohan is right next door to ex-girlfriend Samantha Ronson. While Ronson visited Lohan in jail, there have been no reports of any contact since. According to Perez Hilton, Ronson isn't exactly thrilled about the move. The DJ was seen shaking her head and saying "Trust me, this wasn't planned!"
Lindsey Lohan's New Venice Beach Pad
Check out this great story from our friends at CasaSugar!
There's no doubt that Little Fockers is bringing cheer to theaters around the country, but what's brightening my day in the film is the vibrantly striped tablecloth at the Focker dinner party!
IMDB via CasaSugar
Unica, Macys, Pottery Barn.
Clockwise from top left:
Karl tabletop collection by Missoni Home, $41-$225, Unica.
Rainbow Burst table linens by Fiesta, $22-$50, Macys.
Dhurrie Stripe table runner, $30, Pottery Barn.
Unica, Velocity, Crate & Barrel, World Market, Neiman Marcus.
Clockwise from top left:
Ian placemats and napkins by Missoni Home, $90-$109, Unica.
Wood Planks placemat by Paper Cloud, $24, Velocity.
Set of 4 Holiday Stripe Napkins,$6 Crate & Barrel.
Monterey Stripe Runner, $12-$25, World Market.
Border Stripe table linens, $28-$100, Neiman Marcus.
Want to see more great CasaSugar content? Check out these stories:
How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
Would You Ever Try a Mail-Order Decorating Service?
We've inspired you with beautiful staircases and helped you overcome your fear of black walls. Now it's time to grab a glass of wine, draw up a hot bath and sink deep into these inspirational, odd -- and sometimes wacky -- bathrooms. These powder rooms are the kind that you either love or hate, so unusual that you can't stop looking at them.
Pod living taken to the extreme. Photos: FitzSimmons Architects
There are no secrets in this house. Photos: aat+ Architects
This multi-story apartment in Tokyo by aat+ Architects is perfect for the voyeur. What's even more unique than the glass walls is the fact that the bathroom is suspended above living space like a loft.
Photos: Grey Crawford (left) and Lonny (right)
On the right: Featured in Lonny's December/January issue, this bathroom by Jenna Lyons of J.Crew reiterates the same point I just mentioned: taking one element and just exaggerating it makes a big impact. By stretching the stripe from ceiling to floor and even over shelves and moldings, this bathroom is bangin'.
I can't imagine getting out of this tub is much fun... Photo: Hooked on Houses
A little texture never hurt anyone. Photos: Design to Inspire
Expose yourself to nature. Photo: Kanner Architects
Enjoy a true back-to-nature experience. Photos: Mary Jane's Farm
Photos: Robert Pelletier for Canadian House & Home (left) and Colleen Duffley for Elle Decor (right)
On the left: Designed by Ana Borallo and Jean-Michel Gavreau, this bathroom is part-nightclub part-aquarium. From the futuristic pod-like shower ("beam me up, Scotty") and the lighted sink and counter, I almost expect fish to start swimming by.
On the right: Designed by Barry Dixon, this bathroom feels almost like you've crawled inside of a sea creature. Cavern-like and full of texture and color, it reminds me of souvenirs you find in beach towns, such as shell-covered lamps or vases.
Look up! Photos: Oorbee Roy
Oorbee Roy of OM Home's tiny bathroom was redesigned to fit their needs. Incorporating Indian folk art Alpona, Oorbee created an artistic space that takes all the focus off the washer/dryer and small quarters. By drawing the focus to an unexpected element -- in this case a patterned mural in a surprising place -- you can retrain the eye and mind to focus on the positive aspects of a space.
We're happy to report that Veranda magazine, now overseen by the ever-talented Dara Caponigro, keeps getting better and better. Case in point: Veranda shared a sneak peek of their January/February issue with ShelterPop and boy, were we wowed. The issue's coverline "American Glamour Now!" is a nod to all the homes in the issue, but the highlight is the stunning story on Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's California home.
J. Lo's glam style doesn't stop on the red carpet; Veranda magazine tours her home in their Jan./Feb. issue. Photos: Veranda (left), Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage (right)
While J. Lo's personal style often errs towards the sparkling and synthetic, her home is an oasis of low-key, natural charm -- with a few hints of sparkle. Designed by interior designer Michelle Workman, the space is sophisticated and glamorous without being showy.
"It's sort of Jennifer in a nutshell," says Workman. "She has a romantic streak. Jennifer wanted to go modern and streamlined but retain the sophistication and stylishness. It's tastefully glamorous, like Jennifer herself."
Here's a peek at some of what you'll find in Veranda:
This polished space is a glamorous spot for J. Lo to entertain. Photo: Laura Resen/Veranda
This corner of Jennifer Lopez's kitchen is as elegant as her living room. Photo: Laura Resen/Veranda
Jennifer Lopez's bedroom is a sweet retreat. Photo: Laura Resen/Veranda
Want to see more of this gorgeous home? Pick up a copy of the Jan/Feb issue of Veranda, which features additional photos of J.Lo's home.
Go inside more celebrity homes:
- Bristol Palin's Arizona home
- Celebrity Bedrooms Have Us Drooling
- Cheap Chic Ideas From Gwyneth's House
We all know that wallpaper can add instant glamour and warmth to any room, but homeowners used it timidly in 2010. Expect that to change in 2011. "People are finally moving away from just a feature wall and are once again wallpapering two, three and four walls in a room," says David Klaus at Graham & Brown wallpaper company.
Fewer accent walls and more fully papered rooms are cropping up in homes and magazine spreads as of late, along with a handful of "mini trends" in wallpaper design that we've rounded up here. While we started to see some of these trends at the end of 2010, experts bet they'll pick up even more steam in the months to come.
Here, a look at wallpaper trends to inspire you.
Photos: Grandin Road; Graham & Brown
It's the perfect hybrid between painting a wall and wallpapering it, and for the non-commital decorators among us, more brands are turning out the totally customizable, textured designs. Graham & Brown, for instance, recently launched a collection called "Jana", right, a geometric print that can be both painted and washed (hello, sophisticated kid's room). Grandin Road's "Beadboard Paintable Wallpaper," left, gives the illusion of beadboard trim, minus the costly woodworking.
These clever wallcoverings aren't just the work of high-end wallpaper designers either. Big box stores like Target and Home Depot, who carries over thirty designs including Martha Stewart's collection, stock them.
Photos: Ferm Living
If 2010 was the year of large scale patterns, a wide range of colors and quirky, highly individualized designs (like Beware the Moon's Ostrich collection), then 2011 is definitely dialing it back a bit, says Christiana Coop, co-owner of Hygge & West and the U.S. rep for Ferm Living.
Think subtly bold designs, such as the textured, paintable ones we mentioned earlier, as well as tone-on-tone patterns and shiny metallics, above. Hygge & West has a great example in the works by Pattern People, slated to debut in February. It features enameled black-on-black with a metallic finish and comes in three designs -- Forest Floor, Flower Chains and Underwater World.
Photos: Graham & Brown
Maybe it's a result of the slow home movement or the overall affinity for handmade design that we've seen in recent years, but the trends in wallpaper are following suit. Graham & Brown's new Elixir collection is hand-drawn and features more classic patterns than modern ones, like florals and geometrics, above. All Hygge & West papers are made using a traditional screen printed technique, for example, rendering a more hand-painted feel. "I think the quality of the design with screen printing is higher than digital printing, plus it creates texture and feels warmer," Coop says.
Our current, albeit made-in-2010 obsession? This Petal Pusher design by Oh Joy!
Photos: House Beautiful
This is a trend I picked up on while perusing the first glossies of the new year. Interior designer Windsor Smith used Bennison's Roses wallpaper and then covered the home's dining chairs in an identical fabric, in a feature for House Beautiful magazine, above. Interiors magazine's January 2011 issue features the same technique by designers Silvia Oliveira and Daniela Martins who matched window treatments with wallpaper in a bedroom they outfitted in Brazil.
"Looking, acting and ultimately being Prep is not restricted to an elite minority lucky enough to attend prestigious private schools, just because an ancestor or two happened to arrive on the Mayflower." - The Official Preppy Handbook
In the three decades since The Official Preppy Handbook was published a lot has changed, but the hallmarks of prep style are as appealing today as they were in 1980. In fact, the preppy look is undergoing a bit of a revival, and one of the original authors of the Preppy Handbook has just released a new tome, True Prep: It's A Whole New Old World. With the boarding school aesthetic back in vogue, ShelterPop decided to examine decorating in a preppy style.
You can't get much preppier than plaid on plain. Photo: Laura Fenton
Being preppy is more than just a sartorial statement, it's a way of life. However, you don't have to join the country club to co-opt a preppy vibe for your home. Prep decor is based on classic, timeless pieces - think Chesterfield sofas and club chairs. It's also about a specific set of cultural references that relate to the proverbial "old boy network."
Preppy style often relies on inherited family heirlooms and other vintage or antique furnishings -- the best preppy interiors evolve over time. However, you can create a prep space from scratch. Case in point: Interior designer Jack Levy created prep-tastic rooms for the American Fashion: Designers At The Aldyn show house last year. The rooms (above and below) featured plaid, a staple of preppy decor.
Photo: Laura Fenton
Both rooms by Levy employ a red, pine green and royal blue palette -- three colors that are crisp and classic preppy staples. You'll also note a stack of vintage trucks in lieu of a coffee table. Wall-mounted antlers would be at home in many preppy homes, while the brass light fixtures in the hall and behind the sofa are pitch perfect examples of preppy style.
Get the look for your own home with these Andover-worthy pieces:
Photos: Restoration Hardware (left), Jonathan Adler (top right), Pottery Barn (bottom right)
Kensington Leather Sofas, $3180 to $9995, Restoration Hardware
Talitha Needlepoint Pillow, $165, Jonathan Adler
Vintage Found Kilim Rugs, $799.00 - $3,299.00, Pottery Barn
Photos: Ralph Lauren (left), Tiffany & Co. (top right), Kate Spade (bottom right)
Leather-and-Crystal Decanter, $395, Ralph Lauren
Tiffany playing cards, $30, Tiffany & Co.
Gin Rummy Glasses, $100, Kate Spade
Photos (clockwise from top left): Woolrich, Zappos, L.L. Bean, New Yorker, eBay
Hudson's Bay Multi Wool 6 Point Queen, $349, Woolrich
Hunter Original, $125, Zappos.com
Boat and Tote Bags, $18 to $31, L.L. Bean
One-year subscription, $40, The New Yorker
Vintage sports memorabilia, eBay.com
Read on for more of ShelterPop's Decorating Styles 101 series:
- Decorating Styles 101: The New Industrial Design
- Decorating Styles 101: A Comfy and Casual Home
Last year, we took a look at IKEA's most popular bookcase -- the Billy -- and were amazed at the cool designs created from that simple white shelving unit. Now, we're going to explore the EXPEDIT - the squarely symmetrical bookcase that always seems to pop up in arty rooms, from record collectors to crafters.
Add some flair behind the scenes. Photo: Yvestown
Nothing dresses up a bookshelf like a pop of color or pattern behind all those books. Who wants to look at your boring old wall, anyway? Yvonne of Yvestown wanted her EXPEDIT to be a bit more exciting, so she pinned some retro wallpaper behind the backless shelving unit for an instant pimp-out. Any wallpaper or fabric will work in this instance.
If you want to paint behind it, you can trace around the bookcase and paint about a half-inch inside your tracing. When the bookcase is against the wall, the color will show through.
Can you spot the EXPEDIT? Photo: IKEA Fans
Turn the bookshelf on its side. Photo: Kevin Mercer
Kevin Mercer of Largemammal created a desk out of his EXPEDIT bookcase and a VIKA FURUSKOG table top. He needed a decent-sized work space that also contained storage. Hacking the two pieces together created an instant desk with the necessary storage he needed, all for about $110.
"I didn't want to spend much because it was going to live in my basement print studio," says Mercer. "It's hard to make something look nice when it sits next to a furnace and water heater, but this does the job nicely. I don't feel bad putting daily wear and tear on it, and it provides a little order amongst the chaos of a screen printing studio."
Ah, drink in the versatility! Photos: IKEA Hacker
No room for a wine cart or a bar? No problem! If you're big on entertaining but not big on space -- this is the solution for you. Think like an urban planner and go vertical. Two IKEA Hacker fans turn the EXPEDIT into a fancy wine bar! Adding wine glass holders and even a divider to hold wine bottles, the skinny EXPEDIT can be turned into a space-saving beverage station.
A beautiful -- and functional -- "after." Photo: Tess and Patrick, Flickr
Also, check out this post about adding legs to your IKEA EXPEDIT.
Got IKEA fever?
- If You Love IKEA, You'll Love...
- My Love Affair with IKEA
Each morning I wake up in a bungalow my boyfriend bought with another woman.
I won't lie: I'm a jealous person, and living in this house has made me even more jealous. At times, it actually got kind of ugly.
After moving in two years ago, I became obsessed with the idea that his first love - a woman I had never met and who he was no longer in contact with - had shared this space too. She had slept in my bedroom, parked her car in the garage and prepared dinner for my boyfriend, Tony, in the same kitchen.
The writer and her boyfriend in the backyard of their home. Photo: Courtesy of Kristine Hansen
Even though she moved out 10 years ago, there are reminders of her everywhere: I'd find junk mail addressed to her in our mailbox. Sometimes I even imagined their lives together in the house -- If I closed my eyes, I could see them walking into the house for the first time (it was during an Open House, where Tony says he knew right then and there, like love at first sight, it was the house). Later, they might have toasted flutes of sparkling wine after ripping up the carpeting and finding gleaming hardwood underneath. It got to the point where I couldn't even take a bubble bath without thinking about how she had once relaxed in that tub too.
When Tony asked me to move in with him a couple of years ago, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of living in a house that he'd shared with his ex-wife. But I was living in a one bedroom apartment with a strict no dogs policy; Tony had a 14 -year-old Golden Retriever/Border Collie mix named Augie. Plus, I worked at home. Even if the dog wasn't an issue, where would I fit a home office space?
Then there was the simple fact that I loved Tony's bungalow. It was south of downtown Milwaukee in walking distance to coffee shops and restaurants, Lake Michigan and parks. It had a nice-sized backyard and a basement to store my wine collection. I loved the living room's piano windows with leaded glass and the dining room's built-in buffet. The house had charm and character. Except for this one nagging ex-wife problem, it was perfect.
A view of the writer's happy home. Photo: Courtesy of Kristine Hansen
And so over Memorial Day 2009, we moved my clothes, books, furnishings and more into the house. But the more I arranged my belongings in the house, the more reminders of her I unearthed. While shelving my cookbooks in the pantry next to Tony's cookbooks, a piece of paper slipped out of one of his cookbooks; she had written a dinner menu. On the front page of another cookbook she had inscribed a love letter to Tony. I asked him to remove that page. (He did.) Every morning we used her ibrik (Turkish coffee pot) to boil our water for coffee.
To be fair, I had brought my own reminders of failed relationships into the house. Two cookbooks that were birthday presents from an ex, a cobalt-blue vase that another ex's step-mother had given to me, CDs purchased at concerts I had been to with other men, and shoe boxes containing photos of these past loves. But this was different -- I was moving into a house with my boyfriend's past.
Friends told me that over time the house would begin to feel like mine and Tony's, and I worked on letting go of her memory. Some of the asymmetrical pottery urns and mugs she left behind in a dark corner of the basement I considered taking to Goodwill, but in the end decided not to. Over many months, I realized that I didn't have to erase the memory of Tony's ex-wife to feel good about living there. Instead, we needed to fill the home with memories of our own.
Two years later, Tony and I are settled in, and while I am reminded of his ex at times, I shrug her memory away. I see the house for what it is today: our happy home. And we've decorated it so it reflects our life today.
We have a Scandinavian basket that we picked up in an antique shop on the way home from a camping trip in our living room. A vintage pewter vase is front and center inside the buffet, the result of our wasting away an hour at another antique store. There are framed photos of us on our vacations and at my brother's wedding. Trinkets from my travels are throughout, from the handmade dolls I bought from an artist in Belize to a framed tile of a ship that I purchased in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While on vacation in Mexico last year, Tony and I bought a piece of folk art (a cat) made in Chiapas. In the bedroom is a lawyer's bookcase left behind by his ex; we painted over it in a shade of light-green.
Recently an ex-boyfriend contacted me out of the blue to offer me first dibs on his espresso machine and coffee-bean grinder. He was moving to a new apartment and didn't want to lug items he no longer used. Remembering that I have a penchant for good coffee and don't mind tinkering around in the kitchen to make a cappuccino (after all, he and I co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea!), he offered it to me. I decided to buy it. Never mind that we once used them together in the mornings at his house years ago. Tony didn't blink when I told him. He's just excited that we can move beyond French press coffee.
Maybe it's because we're in love. Maybe it's because we just love coffee and old houses and spending time together. Either way, our relationship is based on trust, and evidence of our past relationships aren't a threat -- they're just a part of our past now.
There are always going to be reminders of past relationships in our homes. But what I've learned is that they're just reminders. After all, what matters most is who we are in love with today.
For more great stories on ShelterPop, don't miss:
Naked at Home For a Week
The Case Against Cleaning
Always the Writer, Never the Client
When Pat Murphy of San Francisco won the grand prize in California Closets "Organize This!" contest, she had only two words: "Totally thrilled!" And we don't blame her: In addition to receiving a fabulous new $20,000 built-in, custom storage system Murphy was also treated to a visit from Peter Walsh, host of the new "Enough Already!" show on the Oprah Winfrey Network and author of "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?". (You also might remember his great tips for ShelterPop readers on the no-nag way get your family to clean up!)
Pat Murphy and Peter Walsh celebrating after a job well done. Photo: California Closets
California Closets ,she made sure her cats were considered.
Murphy, a writer and book editor, works from home and while she is used to having papers, files and old manuscripts around, lately her piles of paper have expanded to include her mother's medical bills and documents pertaining to her father's estate. "Everything ended up in my home office, which also shares space with our guest room," says Murphy. "It was all in one spot. Plus, with the bed eating up most of the guest room, my closets were bursting." After trying to organize her home over the last year and a half, Murphy knew this contest could be the solution she was looking for.
Use the slider tool to slide up and down to compare the before and after!
"Steve and the team at California Closets were just great," says Murphy. "No request was too strange for them to take on and that really impressed me. They built planks for the cats to walk on, as well as an organizational unit above my desk, which the cats love to lounge on top of."
Use the slider tool to slide up and down to compare the before and after!
file drawers in the company's Lago Umbrian Oak finish. For her desk area, they constructed a fusion slot-wall, typically used in garages, so that she can swap in and out photos and other bits of inspiration for the various projects she's working on. They also installed a Murphy-style bed that was built into the wall to free up space in the guest room and free up the closets too! "Now when I open up those closets, which hold my wardrobe, I can quickly and easily put together an outfit, rather than struggling to find something to wear," Murphy says. After the storage system installation, Peter Walsh stepped in and worked with Murphy to go through her files, teaching her a few hard lessons on what to keep and what to toss! (She called him a "sweet drill sergeant!") The result is a more manageable system for her mail and paperwork. "When the mail used to come in, I would just plop it into a large basket and let it pile up," says Murphy. "Peter taught me one of his mantras, that cutter is a decision deferred. So now, as soon as the mail comes in, I act on it, separating out what needs to be paid or filed."
Purging her unwanted stuff also provided Murphy with a sense of community and charity. "This experience forced me to not only decide what I need and don't need, but I was also able to pass along my unwanted items to someone more in need of them," explains Murphy. "For example, through the website Freecycle.org, I sent a cat tree to a family with a disabled cat and I also recently donated some of my old science fiction manuscripts -- which take up a lot of space -- to a museum."
Use the slider tool to slide up and down to compare the before and after!
Of course, once the project was complete, Murphy was a bit anxious about keeping it all organized. "California Closets designed a beautiful system for me and Peter was enormously helpful, but at first I was terrified to turn my home back to what it used to be -- cluttered," recalls Murphy. "But now I've learned how valuable space really is. Clearing away the clutter has allowed me to not only stay organized but to be more productive and more creative."
Big, bold patterns reigned in 2010. Everything from wallpaper to bedding to upholstery fabric got a dose of color and some large, graphic print, like my personal favorite, chevron. Among them, one pattern did stand out above the rest and staked its claim as 2010's most popular -- ikat.
The global-inspired pattern is still going strong -- Diane von Fursterburg's incorporated ikat into her new line of fabrics for the home while other designers are featuring it in their ready-to-wear resort collections. But we've been on the lookout for 2011's defining design, and we think another pattern is ready to take the top spot: honeycomb.
We've had enough honeycomb sightings in catalogs and magazine spreads in recent months to go out on a limb and deem this well-established pattern the one to watch in the new year.
We first spotted the pattern on Elle Decor's December 2010/January 2011 "What's Hot!" pages, which feature this hand embroidered Grand Prisme cushion by Vanderhurd. They liken it to the motifs prevalent during the Ottoman empire; we especially love the pink and lime version called Grand Prisme 6.
Photos: West Elm
Photo: Heath Ceramics
Perhaps it was a predictor of things to come when this bookshelf won the Coup de Coeur award at the 2009 Maison & Objet show in Paris and hit CB2 catalogs in 2010. The Hive Storage Unit let's you build your nest from the floor up with its three honeycomb-shaped shelves that stack on top of one another and stretch as wide as you see fit.
Want more of-the-moment home decor ideas?
Designer Rugs: Look Who's Making Them Now
Decor That Says Something
Wallpaper Trends 2011: What's New, Fresh and Fun
Earlier this year IKEA announced it would stop selling traditional incandescent light bulbs by the end of 2010, and new federal mandates that require light bulbs to use 30% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs do by 2014. At the start of a new year, we wondered about lighting design in 2011 and beyond.
Will the bulbs of the past become all but extinct? Will designers need to design for the newer, more energy-efficient styles of bulbs like compact flourescent, halogen and LED. Will it change lighting design completely? Yes, and no. Whatever the new law's impact, we're already seeing great promise in the world of eco-friendly lighting design -- in a range of styles. These LED task lamps are prime examples of products that both look good and are energy efficient.
Photos: (left) IKEA, (right) West Elm
Just because there's new technology doesn't mean hat designs can't harken back to the past. Both IKEA's clamp spotlight and West Elm's student-designed task lamp would look right at home with your collection of mid-century modern furnishings.
Left: JANSJÖ Clamp spotlight, $30, IKEA
Right: Pratt LED Table Lamp, $129, West Elm
Photos: (left) Stacks & Stacks, (right) LightingDirect.com
One of the beauties of LED bulbs is that they are so small. As a result, designers can create lights that are more slender and sleeker than ever before. Case in point: These two stunners from Adesso and Z-Bar.
Left: Z-Bar High Power LED Desk Lamp, $165, StacksandStacks.com
Right: Adesso Modern Radar Desk Lamp, $105, LightingDirect.com
Photos: (left) JCPenney, (right) CB2
You can stop worrying that all the latest lighting is going to be space-age or contemporary cool: Using the latest LED technology doesn't preclude a more traditional design. Both JCPenney and CB2 are showcasing more traditional looking lamps with LED bulbs.
Left: Linden Street Task LED Table Lamp, $75 (on sale), JCPenney
Right: Crane Grellow Desk Lamp, $100, CB2
Photos: (left) Design Within Reach, (right) Room & Board
IKEA is not the only one getting into the LED game. Some decidedly high-end designers are trying their hand at designing LED task lamps. Yves Behar's Leaf Lamp and James Irvine's w082t LED Lamp are almost sculptural in their designs. Sadly for us penny-pinchers, they have high art prices to match.
Left: Irvine w082t LED Lamp, $550, DWR.com
Right: Yves Behar for Herman Miller(R) Leaf Lamp, $379, RoomandBoard.com
Want more lighting ideas? Check out these posts:
- Getting Light Just Right
- Obsessed: Chandeliers In Unusual Places
At least once a day, we daydream about new home technologies that will improve our lives. So when we heard about the latest home technologies being shown at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we got all kinds of excited. These products are poised to make just about every room in your home a better place to be. The only downside? They're so new, you won't be seeing them in stores for at least a few more months.
Mirror or TV -- why choose? Photos: AOL
Maybe you hate the look of a big flatscreen TV hanging on your otherwise perfectly-decorated wall. Or maybe you prefer watching your lovely face over "The Office"? Ciil Technologies Mirror TVs not only switch back and forth from, well, a mirror to a TV, but can also do both at once (see how it works, in the photo above, right). The frame around it is an especially nice touch. You may be seeing these in hotels or shops soon, but we'll have to wait to bring one home.
Appliances that can be controlled from on-the-go. Genius! Photos: AOL.
No more calls from the supermarket: "Hey, do we have any carrots?" If you're in yoga class and need to turn down the oven, you can do it in between poses. And if you need to change your washer to a different cycle from a friend's house, no need to rush home. A new line of smart appliances from LG, thanks to THINQ Technology, allows your smart phone to "talk" to the oven, refrigerator or washer and dryer.
Don't let those energy costs run up: Track them! Photo: AOL.
When you're on a diet, you monitor calories. When you put your home on an energy diet, you get this EnergyHub. It tracks your energy usage and how much you're paying for electricity at every moment of the day and night. You can even access the data from your computer or smartphone, which helps you know where your energy dollars are going and how to cut back. Plus, it allows you to remotely turn off appliances. Left for work with your alarm radio still blaring? Fixed!
A bed that helps you fall asleep. Photo: AOL.
No quarters necessary. We promise. The Prestige II Memory foam bed from Vivion will massage you to sleep thanks to body-mapping technology and a Brookstone massage system. You can select different modes, like Gentle Vibrations, Wave or Shiatsu-style pulse variations. And yes, there's a remote control and timer, so you won't wake up in the morning with pulses going up and down your back -- unless you want to!
Want more CES goodies? Check out CrunchGear's awesome coverage (they've even got the scoop on a window-washing robot!)
The cords are all covered by the Exby viktor Shelves and Ribba picture ledges. So easy, right? The shelving attaches to the wall using Bjarnum connecting brackets and provides a pretty perch for family photos or a collection of lightweight kitchen wares. The Ribba and Sondrum frames he chose not only match the shelves and Tripp storage tins on top of the cabinet, but they also conceal the outlet further.
The last thing Richter tackled: The assortment of paper bags and boxes that the Blanchards have been using for trash. He brought in three Fibbe bins to do the job and to give the space a more uniform look.