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Shelterpop

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    Taylor Swift was recently named "entertainer of the year" by the Academy of Country Music Awards. To celebrate, she bought a new house. Isn't that what you would do?

    Pop country star Taylor Swift is on the move. The 22-year-old singer just plunked down $3.97 million for a 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom house in Beverly Hills, California. The home is unusual for the West Coast -- It's a classic New England-style colonial.

    Photo: Jon Kopaloff, WireImage | Realtor.com


    No doubt that Swift was drawn to the home since it's set back an acre from the road behind private gates. Imagine rolling lawns, french doors that open up to a patio and overgrown arbor, and tennis courts.

    While there's plenty of living space for the singer to entertain and write music, the backyard is lacking one thing -- A pool! I guess Ms. Swift prefers the beach.

    To see her new home, click through the gallery below.


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    For more on celebrity homes, don't miss these great ShelterPop stories.


    Here's a video on how to transform an empty patio into a party space!


     

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    One blogger's "dungeon" bedroom in the basement sees the bright side.

    No windows. Could you deal? We're in awe of blogger Melissa Esplin from I Still Love You who calls this wood-paneled basement bedroom home. Luckily, she had the good sense and talent (and yes, handy husband) to make the room over. After a trip to the thrift store and some serious painting, she made the space basically unrecognizable.


    BEFORE:
    This landlord's idea of "fixing" a ceiling? Stapling wood panels to it. Ick!

    No windows and no closet rod -- Okay, we'll admit, she could do just about anything to improve this space. So we're blown away by her above-and-beyond effort.


    AFTER:
    Are we really still in the basement? Fresh white paint instantly brightens this once dreary, dark bedroom. Is that light? Airiness? Do we smell hope and optimism?

    We love the idea of hiding the paneled ceiling. The fluffy billows look like clouds and add texture to the space. (Who knew white sheets could be so transformative?)

    For accents, a schoolbus yellow helps cheer up this "dungeon." And the rocking chair adds a place to sit aside from the bed, making it a cozy place to chat with a friend without squishing together. The headboard? A thrift store steal. So mod.

    On the wall, different-sized frames make for added visual interest and an artsy feel. True, they're not windows, but at least they offer different views from a small room.

    Plus, we love Esplin's thrifty mind-set: Why spend a ton on a room that isn't permanent?


    We're also loving this creative short-term decorating idea: Esplin came up with an alternative to buying a dresser. No need to rush the purchase and be unhappy with not finding the ideal item. Instead, she made use of an unused kitchen cabinet and some neat (read: Super neat. No room for mess here) storage boxes to house her clothes.


    For more bedroom makeover inspiration, check out these before and after bedroom pics!

     

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    Galley kitchens take some getting used to, but when designed efficiently, they are an attractive place to cook.

    Help Me! I recently purchased a small condo and I'm completely gutting the kitchen and starting over. What are some tips to ensure that I make the most of my limited space?

    Photo: Age Fotostock


    Home Rescue: Galley kitchens are the most common in urban environments - they're efficient, functional options for ultra-small spaces. But there's a fine line between functionality and over-cramped disaster. "When trying to cleverly exploit the space you have, creativity is essential," says designer Shawn Henderson. "The key is to attain a harmonious balance of efficiency, functionality and of course, style." Here are some of Henderson's best tips for designing the most stylish, useful galley kitchen possible.

     

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    With the Royal Wedding days away, we fell for this adorable place card setting. Could a table get any sweeter?

    Check out this story about decorating with concrete from our friends at CasaSugar!

    organize-shoes

    From feathers to leaves to papercut numbers, there's so much opportunity for creativity when creating place cards for your wedding tables. It's these little details that truly make your reception a memorable event, so it's definitely a place to have fun!


    royal-wedding-party-ideasCasaSugar


    I'm absolutely charmed with this idea of using ring boxes as place card holders from Nonpareil Magazine that was used in a To Catch a Thief-inspired wedding. Of course it ties in perfectly with the film's jewel robber theme, but it's also quite appropriate for weddings or engagement parties because the bride's two-carat Tiffany is always a focal point.

    Depending on the size of your wedding, this design element could become a bit pricey though. So maybe it's best for an engagement dinner party or a bridal shower luncheon. What do you think? Do you like this idea?

    For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss these entertaining ideas.

     

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    The actress settles on a Manhattan penthouse listed for $5.9 million. Want to take a look inside?

    You'd think that once you get your home onto the cover of Architectural Digest, you can probably relax for awhile. But then again, why should Jennifer Aniston play by the same rules as everybody else? After posing seductively on a velvet chair in the magazine's March 2010 and proclaiming "I am so proud of this house", Aniston has apparently decided it's time for a change. She's listed the Los Angeles home for $42 million and snapped up this apartment in New York City's West Village.

    jennifer-aniston-homeVictor Chavez, Wire Image; Trulia

    The condo is on the 18th floor of a stunning West Village building, surrounded by private terraces that can be seen by the many windows throughout the place. What else can you see from those windows? Oh, just the New York Harbor and Empire State Building, nothing special.


    One more perk of those windows -- they make an otherwise stark and cold kitchen look inviting. (The orchid doesn't hurt either). And in case you had any doubt, this kitchen is brand spanking new -- a far cry from the home's original 1958 kitchen.


    More windows and a peek at the exposed brick on the outside. The place spans 1,477 square feet -- practically a mansion in New York. Especially sprawled out over a humble 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom.


    And oh...that terrace. Last year, Aniston told Architectural Digest that she's a big entertainer -- so we imagine that this area will get a lot of attention.


    And of course, should any party get interrupted by rain, guests can step right into the living room. We're positive she'll redecorate from these staged photos but we hope she takes advantage of that giant white wall to put up some incredible artwork -- it's one of the only walls in the home that's not broken up by a window! (Not a bad problem to have).

    We saved this hallway photo for last. Why? Because it perfectly illustrates how massive her apartment is, by New York standards. Any non celeb-grade home would count an area this wide as its own room...not a space for passing through! Oh, Jennifer, should you get lonely in this new place, please call. Give me some blankets and I'll turn that hallway into a second bedroom.

    Want more celebrity homes? Check out...
    Taylor Swift Buys Sprawling Beverly Hills House
    Don King's Florida Mansions For Sale
    Paris Hilton's Old House For Rent
    Jennifer Garner's Former Home for Sale

     

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  • 04/27/11--00:38: "Cougar Town" House for Sale
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    Sip your morning coffee while taking a virtual tour of our celebrity home of the day. Today: Christa Miller and Bill Lawrence's LA house.

    Cougar Town actress Christa Miller and producer Bill Lawrence -- who you also might know as the creator of Scrubs -- have their Los Angeles home for sale. The couple purchased it back in 2007 for $12.6 million, just two years after the house was built. Who did they purchase it from, you ask? Just another TV star Victoria Principal. We wonder if the next buyer -- who will need $10.95 million to snag this property -- will be another household name.

    Thanks to our friends at Realtor.com, we got a sneak peek at this "Cougar Town" couple's 6-bedroom, 9-bathroom home. Let's take a look:


    What a lovely traditional-style front yard. With flowering plants and an inviting front patio, we wouldn't mind pulling up to this every evening. The house has plenty of space and privacy, as it sits on almost an acre of land.


    This kitchen is a star of its own! The spacious layout and high ceilings accentuate the bright space. We'd be more than happy to cook here! No need to be closed off from company though; with an open divide, visitors can relax and still see and talk to you in the kitchen. We wonder if there were any "Cougar Town" cast get-togethers here...


    Walk through the kitchen into this relaxing living area. Warm patterns and fluffy pillows invite you to sit right down in front of the fire. (Don't mind if we do!) With french doors leading outside, there is no shortage of natural light. Our particular favorites -- the stone fireplace and dark ceiling beams add texture and structure to the elegant decor of the room.


    Another living space with a cozy fireplace and those sunny french doors! (There's another fireplace in the master bedroom, too!) This room is a bit airier than the previous pme, with pale blue and white walls and lighter decor. Built-in bookcases are great for storing past reads and displaying family photos.

    Want more celeb real estate news? Check out Taylor Swift's new Beverly Hills house.

     

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    Even if you love taxidermy, we promise these photos will make you squirm. Hate it? You might want to leave the room.

    Our friends at Curbed are sharing the most ridiculous, terrifying and um, obscene taxidermy photos we've seen all day.

    up house


    We love it when art imitates life, but we love it even more when random Tumblrs imitate current reality TV shows. Which is why we did a little jig when we stumbled upon a little slice of Internet awesomeness called Crappy Taxidermy. Like braised lamb shoulder with a good California Cab, this particular blog marries well with the one -- or two, actually -- taxidermy reality TV show on-air right now. Have a look.


    Want to see the rest of the pictures? Head over to Curbed!

    And for more crazy design, check out...

    Weird Design: Lamps with Hair
    Weird Design: An Updated Chia Pet
    Weird Design: Star Wars Dishes

     

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    Our writer reflects on decorating her first apartment with the help of her mother's style, input and patience.

    It doesn't take a holiday for me to appreciate my mom -- we have always been very close. But as I approach the first Mother's Day in my new apartment, it seems only fair that I pay tribute to the woman who introduced me to the satisfaction of a well-dressed -- and therefore, happy -- home. Through the years of all our lunching, chatting and oh, of course, shopping, the conversation always turned to the event we were both so looking forward to. The day I get to decorate my own home.

    Mother's Day decorateThe writer and her mom, Robin, at her childhood home. Photo: Courtesy of Nikki Pepper




    When I graduated college and moved into a Brooklyn apartment with my boyfriend, there was plenty on my to-do list, from finding a job to navigating my new neighborhood. Sound a little stressful? Maybe. But inside, I was doing cartwheels. Because armed with Christmas cash and a vision, my mom and I joyously set out to tackle my new place's decor.

    Mother's Day decorateFresh fruit -- a staple in the kitchen growing up -- and a spice rack are kitchen necessities. Photo: Courtesy of Nikki Pepper

    I must say I have an innate knack for style, but I must admit, my mom has taught me most of what I know. And when it came to the basic building blocks of a home, she was indispensible. Not only did she help me pick out the "good" kitchen utensils, she told me which ones I needed and which to skip. One of her most important shopping missions: Finding me a nice spice rack. Why? Because I "need all the spices." She also sent me off with a handmade cookbook of all my favorite recipes written-out, just as she makes them. My favorite entry? Brownies. "Buy a box and read the back."

    Good luck finding an interior designer who will take such care of their client!

    Mother's Day decorateThe author's colorful (and mom-approved) pillows. Photo: Courtesy of Nikki Pepper


    While my mom and I dress mostly in black, we agreed that I should have a lighter, neutral base topped with colorful accessories. So I started with a tan microfiber couch, assuring it would go with any decor I decided on. When I found the vibrant print pillows in a catalog, I immediately Skyped my mom to show her before purchasing. Yes, she loved them. And yes, I bought them.

    And it's not all sunshine and floral pillows -- she's kindly stood by me through the more frustrating shopping trips -- the one where I attempted to buy hangers but was so overwhelmed by the options that I left several stores in a huff. Or when I bought cookie sheets at multiple stores in one day, then went back to return the ones that didn't make the cut. All this at the expense of my mom's time, patience and gas money. (She may have a second career as a very tolerant personal shopper.)

    My decorating process has been much more enjoyable having her by my side, whether it's in person, via Skype or just that voice in the back of my head (even when it's saying "Make a decision! It's just hangers."). When she saw my apartment for the first time, all her "oohs" and "ahhs" made me so proud. But she's the one that should feel proud. Her love of decor and all things style have not only helped make my apartment a lovely, homey place that I'm delighted to return to every evening -- it's given us another outlet to connect.

    And I'm most grateful for that.

    Happy Mother's Day, mom! I love you.

    Tell us how your mother influenced your home style. Weigh in on Facebook!

     

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    Two steps to make sure a book signing is as glamorous as charity ball: 1. Make sure the book is from iconic interior designer Charlotte Moss. 2. Hold it at the Ralph Lauren store. The rest will take care of itself.

    Couldn't make it out to the book party last night? Neither could we. But Carrie Culpepper of Culture Fix gave us a peek inside and shared her notes. Thanks, Carrie! And Charlotte: We'll catch you next time.

    Rizzoli; Culture Fix


    Moss is one of those inspirational women who seems to do it all, well. She has a thriving career with big-name clients such as Michael Bloomberg, she writes, lectures, licenses products and is a dedicated volunteer to several arts organizations including the New York City Ballet. I got to know Charlotte when I wrote about her for Richmond Home. Moss' new book is a gorgeous, 200-pager examining 11 of the rooms she created for designer showhouses.

    Since there were no clients involved, these may be her most personal projects. She walks the reader through her inspiration from Lee Raziwell's multi-patterned living room to West Wycombe Park, a Palladian country house in England. Moss is an avid scrap-booker so she also shows spreads of the clippings, photos and other elements that inspired her rooms.

    Left, the grand staircase. Right, fashionable guests Matthew Kowles, an associate at Charlotte Moss, Marcia Bell, manager of the home floor at Ralph Lauren and Margaret Russell, the Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Digest. Photos: Culture Fix.

    The party drew a chic crowd including squeezed into the fourth floor -- the home collection floor -- of the new Ralph Lauren flagship. Lauren purchased two town houses combining them and adding this staircase to give the mansion a grander feel. I think it worked. The stairs are lined with black-and-white fashion photos, plus equestrian, garden and architecture shots (some rather large). Beautiful idea. I'd love to copy that some day in my own elegant stairway.

    Want to get the full scoop? Head over to Culture Fix. Or check out...
    The Highlight of Virginia Garden Week
    New York's Best Building

     

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    Sip your morning coffee while taking a virtual tour of our celebrity home of the day. Today: Inside Whoopi Goldberg's farmhouse.

    Comedian and "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg is trying to sell her New England farmhouse. The property was recently reduced to $2.3 million after languishing on the market with no buyers. The house has four bedrooms and five bathrooms and the best part? It sits on 745 acres of land. Talk about privacy! (And plenty of room to roam.)

    Thanks to our friends at Realtor.com, we can sneak in to the Vermont home. Let's take a look.


    This colonial house is huge, even without all the land that surrounds it. This view of the home reveals a spacious screened-in back patio. Spending the evening watching the sunset over the pastures doesn't sound to bad.


    The rural theme is seen inside the home also. All the exposed wood beams give a rustic touch. Beautiful wood countertops stretch across the kitchen.


    The open fields aren't the only spacious part of this Goldberg's property. This living space allows for plenty of comfy furniture. The hardwood flooring keeps the natural elements of the kitchen at play.


    Finally, the view we've been talking about. (And this is only a glance!) The 745 acres comes with several barns and fenced in fields. Of course, there's plenty of untouched acres also, with trails to wonder and mountains to gaze at.

    Take a look at our other celebrity homes of the week:
    "Cougar Town" House for Sale
    Taylor Swift's New Buy
    Don King's Florida Home


     

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    At the 50th anniversary of the furniture industry's most design-forward festival, our correspondent spots a return to (very) conspicuous consumption. Fur, marble and gold...oh my!

    Salone del Mobile 2011Clockwise from left: Kartin Armchair in Mongolian sheep fur cover/steel by Carlo Columbo for Arflex; Work 70 table and desk chair in alnut/plated gold by Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Sons. Jason Rosha.


    Never been to "I Salone del Mobile"? Get ready to get jealous. It's an enormous and highly anticipated event in the furniture industry, where global manufacturers present and display the newest additions to their collections. Think of it as a time where the designers and manufacturing heavies -- who are revered as geniuses in the design world -- get to show off everything that the rest of the world will covet in the next five years.

    While 2011 was a monumental year for the fair's history, the presenters certainly had the future in mind. And from the looks of it, were laser focused on gaining back a high-end audience post-recession. How to get the job done? Up the glam factor with super luxurious materials. Marble and furs were abundant among multiple presenters, a marked turn from the recent years' fairs, where the focus was on understated minimalism.


    Salone del Mobile 2011The SImplice Pathos table in marble/bronzed steel and Febo dining chair by Antonio Citterio for Maxalto. Photo: Jason Rosha


    We've all been in eager anticipation to see how the furniture industry would rebound from the global economic crisis. And if you use Salone as an indicator of things to come -- a sort of groundhog for the industry -- things are looking up. We saw a real emphasis on value, specifically with highly textured, highly sophisticated materials. The kind that you know are expensive just by running your fingers over them. The B&B Italia/Maxalto brands added a variety of stunning Italian marbles to its arsenal of tabletop materials and the smooth marble also popped up again in presentations by design-forward companies Henge, Minotti and Draenert. Another common theme -- Mongolian Sheep. Maxalto's Kalos chair was only one of the classic pieces that was released in fur and shearling this year, giving the items a playful, organic look.

    And perhaps epitomizing this movement towards unashamed luxury was Carl Hansen & Sonʼs relaunch of a 1970 design by Hans Wegner in saddle leather and limited edition 24-karat gold plating. How's that for conspicuous consumption?

    Salone del Mobile 2011Left: The Kalos armchair and Simplice Pathos side table in marble/steel. Right: The Kalos in suede/shearling. All by Antonio Citterio for Maxalto. Photos: Jason Rosha

    And of course, no trend report is complete without some color. While some might say that the key to a more luxurious outlook is rose-colored glasses, we're seeing nothing but optimism in these cheery sunshine yellow.

    Salone del MobileClockwise from left: Marenco armchair by Mario Marenco for Arflex; painted books in the Porro booth; Modern cabinets by Piero Lissoni for Porro. Photos: Jason Rosha

    Yes, the color was everywhere. From tables to chairs -- even painted books -- yellow reigned. Multiple shades and tones competed for the spotlight, from mustard to neon.

    Salone del MobileRedondo armchairs by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso. Photo: Jason Rosha


    Salone del MobileFloar shelves by Patrick Norguet for Glas Italia. Photo: Jason Rosha


    Seeing all these hyper high end wares gave us a rosy outlook on American retail for the rest of 2011 and 2012. While we doubt we'll see 24-karat plated furniture in the aisles of mass retailers, the sentiment will surely be carried out through year, as retailers interpret the luxury trend to fit with their individual brands. We can't wait to see how they do it.

    Curious about what else is coming up in the home world? DIY Life has the scoop on the just-finished Kitchen & Bath Industry show. See what happened at KBIS 2011!

    By Jason Rosha

     

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    Forget gingham curtains and a heart on the front door -- these kids' playhouses are a modernist's dream.

    Check out this great story from our friends at If It's Hip, It's Here!

    smart playhouse


    When I was a youngster, the only available "playhouses" for us kids were leftover boxes from kitchen appliances. If you were lucky enough to have a handy dad, he might actually build a rough hewn one. Worst case scenario, we draped blankets over the backs of chairs and created a fort. Years later, some of my more spoiled friends had large plastic ones, often pink with ornate gingerbread-like trim in which we had tea with our dolls. There were some that resembled barns with the split front door, but they were nothing like these.

    smart playhouseIIHIH



    In 2009 David Lamolla Kristiansen, who studied Architecture at the Politechnical University of Catalunya, founded SmartPlayhouse. Inspired to create a place for his first born daughter to create and discover without the direct intervention of her parents, David created a company who designs and manufactures beautiful outdoor [and some indoor] child-sized playhouses that are inspired by modern and contemporary architecture.


    smart playhouseIIHIH



    The four models [the Illinois, the Forum, the Hobikken and the Kyoto] are authentic pieces of design work created to be safe and stylish environments that provide kids with a comfortable and safe space in which to develop their creativity and social skills.

    Special consideration to details like methacrylate impact-resistant windows which do not chip or break like glass and door jams that don't crunch little fingers are designed following strict guidelines that exceed the European Safety Standard requirements.

    smart playhouseIIHIH



    All of the outdoor playhouses are built on a platform to keep the flooring from getting wet. Crafted with high quality materials [predominantly birch marine wood], that they are resistant to all sorts of weather conditions and the roof has thermal insulation and precast waterproof EPDM rubber material with a water drain pipe incorporated from warehouse, so that no welding or attaching materials is required.

    The playhouses can be personalized with accessories like various door handles, different flooring and a wide range of colors to choose from. Curtains, indoor lighting, and soft pavement are also available.

    smart playhouseIIHIH


    And the big bonus for parents is that the SmartPlayhouse playhouses are delivered pre-assembled from the warehouse and are very easy to set up.

    For pricing, size and delivery options visit SmartPlayhouse.

    For more fun ShelterPop stories, don't miss these great stories.

     

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    The smoking hot actress tells ShelterPop her low-calorie, low-cost and seriously low-key plans for spending springtime at home.

    eva-mendes-homeWhat's more stunning? On the left, lovely Eva Mendes. On the right, ShelterPop editor Amy's hand-tied bouquet at a flower arranging class at H.Bloom. Photos: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival; Amy Preiser.

    I saw Eva Mendes at the premier of Last Night at the Tribecca Film Festival Monday, and the glamorous actress looked literally red hot in a long sleeved Gucci dress (and matching crimson lips) for the red carpet.

    While celebrity fashionista routines seem out of the your average Jane's stratosphere, Mendes' spring mantra of spring relaxation might not be too difficult to replicate.

    Mendes told us that instead of obsessing over what dress or hat (Royal Wedding, anyone?) to wear, she's going to enjoy chilling out at home. "My family is from an island, so I have the island blood coursing through my veins," the Cuban actress said, "so I'm looking forward to opening up the windows, playing some Cuban music and having some pineapple juice."

    On top of starring in movies and shooting sexy Calvin Klein ads, Mendes also has a home décor line -- so we're sure that she'll be lounging at home in style. What else will she be up to? "I love flower arranging," Mendes gushed on the carpet. "That's what I do on my time off." With tons of spring flowers in bloom, it should be easy to be like Eva and create your own lush tropical spring paradise at home!

    eva-mendes-homeTwo looks from Eva's Vida line at Macy's.

    Ready to recreate her plan? Pick up some Eva-approved bedding, turn on some Cuban radio, make some fresh pineapple juice and check out this fun (and I promise: Easy!) guide to flower arranging on DIY Life.

    (Or, if you're in New York or Washington DC and would rather have a professional take on the flowers part, head over to H.Bloom and use the coupon code ShelterPop25 for 25% off any floral subscription's first delivery!)

     

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  • 04/29/11--03:43: Celebrity Homes of the Week
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    Take your morning coffee with a side of celebrity homes. Today: A round-up of the week's real estate news.

    Celebrities are known for over-the-top glamour and extravagance. And their homes aren't any different. So let's toast the end of the week with a look at our favorite photos from celebrity homes on the market. First up: Don King.

    celebrity homesRealtor.com; WireImage


    King has quite the property in Florida. How extravagant? Well, let's just say it has two addresses. We had to choice this aerial view to show the overall picture- two houses, private dock, ocean front... there's just not a lot that these houses don't have.

    celebrity homesRealtor.com; Getty Images


    Taylor Swift purchased a Beverly Hills home for herself earlier this week. The back patio has a fireplace and ample space for lounging. Barbecues and sing-alongs, perhaps?

    celebrity homesRealtor.com; WireImage


    "Cougar Town"'s Christa Miller and Bill Lawrence call this living space home. The floral fabrics and cozy fireplace make us want to curl up on the pile of fluffy pillows!

    celebrity homesRealtor.com; Getty Images

    Whoopi Goldberg has a view -- as celebrities tend to -- but Goldberg also has 745 acres to wander. This Vermont property covers an expanse of beautiful, open fields and trails.

    And check out this week in AOL Real Estate news:
    John Madden Lists Dakota Apartment for $4.9 Million
    Jennifer Aniston Buys Posh NY Condos
    Prince William and Kate Plan to Flee City for Remote Home

    Be sure to stop by Monday morning for a peek inside another celebrity residence!

     

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    A Texas kitchen gets a sleek update. Goodbye wood cabinets, hello tiled backsplash!

    We spotted this Texas tract home makeover on Raenovate.com. The house is about 15 years old, and it doesn't look like the kitchen has been remodeled since. While it's a perfectly nice kitchen, there's no reason it couldn't be a knockout. So for it's sweet sixteen, the traditional kitchen got a sleek facelift, thanks to Spaces Designed.

    Watch this brown-cabinet traditionalist transform into a sleek modernist.


    What's the first thing you see? Cabinets, right? Us too.

    While cabinetry is a staple in any kitchen, these are so overbearing that it's make the space feel smaller than it is. The bland backsplash blends in with the light wall, creating a blank backdrop. And the black microwave looks a bit out of place. We like that there is a center island, but it doesn't feel anchored by anything in the kitchen.

    What an after!
    The sleek white cabinetry looks perfectly steamlined among the new stainless steel appliances. The maple flooring gives a natural footing while the white quartz countertop presents a polished appearance.

    The center island provides additional space, cabinets and a rack for hanging tea towels or aprons. Another major change for this traditional kitchen -- the backsplash. It went from muted and unnoticeable to this tiny-tile modern look that pulls the space together. The multi-tonal tiles add a bit of excitement and diversity to the kitchen.


    Here's a view of the other side of the kitchen before the renovation. This empty room has a ton of potential for breakfast seating or a larger dining table. But instead, a too-small country-style table and awkward, unneeded cabinets end in the middle of the wall. (The main kitchen area has plenty of those.)

    What an after!
    This layout added a much-needed breakfast nook, but it still leaves space for extra cabinets. By facing seating towards the kitchen, the eating area and kitchen space flows together, instead of feeling cut-off from each other. Those display cabinets were removed for some much needed wall art and pale green paint. The buffet counter is nice for displaying fresh flowers and the cabinets beneath are great for infrequently used items, like holiday china and service-ware.

    For more kitchen makeover advice, check out Celebrity Kitchens and Tips to Steal from Them!

     

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    Going through a move and a divorce is tough, so we offer Olivia Wilde some advice -- and a potential plan -- while touring her just-listed home.

    Olivia Wilde houseWhat would her fans say about all those lights on and no one home? That's no way to be eco-friendly. Photo: Realtor.com


    Dear Olivia,

    I typically don't do this type of thing but after seeing your $3.1 million 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home, I felt the need to jump in. You must understand -- here at ShelterPop, we look through tons of beautiful home photos every day, so it's rare that a house makes me feel so lovestruck. But your beautiful California Cape-Cod-style did the trick.

    This must be a tough time for you. Yes, divorce is tough. Uprooting your life, changing homes -- all overwhelming. That's why I have this offer for you: Step back, relax for bit, and do some thinking. Take the house off the market so you don't have to worry about potential buyers traipsing through. I'll move in with your hunky hubby temporarily -- or longer -- and manage the household/wife duties.

    Olivia Wilde houseAhh, so spa-like and serene. Photo: Realtor.com

    Remember, I'm just looking out for you. Apparently soaking in this deep, claw-foot tub just wasn't enough. When the smooth wood tones and soft natural light doesn't soothe you, that's when you know it's time to give yourself some space.


    And just because you're not around, please let your friends know they are still more than welcome. I am more than happy to whip up something on the double range. A kitchen like this shouldn't go to waste! (Just let me know what Tao's faves are.)


    There's plenty of room in this casual dining area of yours. So why not make a night out of it? After everyone eats such a big meal, they surely won't feel like driving. They can stay for breakfast too if they want. The natural morning light spilling in is too lovely not to share.


    Just as a heads-up: There's a thing or two I'd like to change. The bedroom is a perfect size, but I think a bit more color would suit it well. Maybe new bedding and a bit of vibrant wall art? Don't worry though, I'll be sure to run changes by Tao first to get his approval.

    Best wishes (and fingers crossed!)

    ShelterPop

    P.S. While you're away, you might want to stay in one of these recently-listed celeb homes:
    Whoopi Goldberg's Vermont House For Sale
    Don King's Florida Mansions For Sale
    "Cougar Town" House For Sale

     

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    At the 2011 Salone del Mobile in Milan, our correspondent fell head over heels for the Rememberme Chair -- a seat that takes advantage of fast fashion.

    rememberme chairJason Rosha


    Rememberme is a chair made entirely of mold formed recycled clothing. Take a closer look at the chairs above: See the button down shirts in there? It's the graduate project of recent College of Art in Kassel (Germany) student and promising new designer, Tobias Juretzek of Atelier Juretzek. Juretzek's initial prototype, on display in Ventura Lambrate design district, was a sexy and sentimental composition of his vintage clothing in all black, with a single yellow tie strewn through it.

    rememberme chairJason Rosha


    But the chair won't be just a prototype forever: In is a bold move by progressive company Casamania, the chair has been added to their catalog, and they will figure out how to put it into production. Yes, they're looking into theability to customize the chair using the buyer's personal clothing. And yes, it will cost a bit more than your average set of clothes: At least $850, at last estimate.

    Juretzek views the piece as a time capsule which exists in the subconscious. He says, "The design takes advantage of this condition (of discarded personal artifacts) and gives a new expression to material, to the already done work, to the original shape and to its life story."

    Says Casamania, "The race towards the future and the desire to keep the past alive coexist in Rememberme."

    What do you think -- would you want a chair made of your old clothes?

    Make sure to see the rest of the scoop from Milan and don't forget to check out...
    Weird Design: Lamps with Hair
    Weird Design: An Updated Chia Pet
    Weird Design: Star Wars Dishes

    By Jason Rosha

     

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  • 04/30/11--06:05: Weekend Table ideas
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    Spice up dinner this weekend with simple ideas taken from over-the-top designer tablescapes.


    At DIFFA's DINING BY DESIGN events, designers create 3-D dining installations that push boundaries, inspire guests and set the stage for fundraising. Yes, these tables are, by definition, extravagant. But that doesn't mean they aren't filled with small, simple take-home tips that you can put in place for tonight!

    Today's table: David Rockwell's rose-y red tablescape. While we're guessing that you don't want to adhere rosebuds onto the entire surface of your table, you might want to try one of these table ideas taken from this dramatic setting.

    Table Idea #1 See Red
    This bold color isn't just for Valentine's Day. Don't be afraid to use red napkins and plates -- together. It adds a ton of glamour and romance with minimal effort.

    Table Idea #2 Use Roses
    Another element that's too-often saved only for February 14th. The key here to make sure they look chic and not cheesy: Clumping them together does the trick.

    Table Idea #3 Fold Napkins
    Keyword: Creatively. Roll them up so that it's still fancy but much more relaxed than stiff creases. It's a small surprise for your family or guests that will surely make them smile.


    Want more? Take table ideas from Ralph Lauren's outdoor scape.


     

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    We're obsessed with StyleList's "Look of the Day." We're obsessed with decor. So why not put them together in a shop-able, fashion-fueled room?

    This Weekend's Pick: Sarah Jessica Parker

    Sex in the City star Sarah Jessica Parker co-hosted the Brooklyn Artist's Ball looking quite fabulous. Her triple-designer look was certainly Carrie Bradshaw-worthy: A dark neutral Lanvin dress under a patterned Chanel coat, finished off with Manolo Blahnik black satin heels. Oh yeah, and diamonds on her neck.

    SJP's sophisticated yet fun designer look got us thinking of a sitting area that invokes the same luxury. And you can get the look at home! Click on the images below for product details and buying info.



    To start, we choose a dark plush chair. The upholstery mimics the hue and ruching of her Lanvin dress. We accessorized the chair with a throw pillow similar to the pattern of the Chanel coat.

    For a bit of storage room for reading materials, we chose this antique cabinet. The diamond-lattice doors remind us of the trim on her fabulous coat. And we finished the luxe sitting room with black satin lighting (a la SJP's Manolos) and a crystal-glass bowl to add a bit of diamond-like sparkle.

    Check in every Saturday for another fashionable room. Take a look at last week's Helen Mirren-inspired room and past rooms that pay tribute to...
    Jennifer Garner
    Diane Kruger
    Evan Rachel Wood

     

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    A popular real estate and design blog has an unlikely (and underage) guest editor.

    Editor Sarah Firshein and her stand-in, Cole Perkins. Photos: Michael Grimm; Courtesy.


    This week, visitors to the Curbed Network's flagship blog will notice something a little bit different. Instead of editor Sarah Firshein's voice, they'll find a more youthful, enthusiastic take on their real estate news as 13-year-old Cole Perkins runs the site while Sarah's on vacation.

    To be fair, Cole isn't exactly your average teenager. He has his own blog, Lavish Property, that he updates once a day, and attends online school so his days are more flexible (he got ahead in preparation for this week-long gig). And most notably, he has an obsession with real estate and architecture that could rival his peers' fixation on Justin Bieber. Do you know any adolescents who dream of living in a Robert A.M. Stern building? Or interning for real estate legend Dolly Lenz? "I've always been interested in real estate," he told me by phone last week. "I used to watch House Hunters, then went online and starting reading, started blogging and studying markets."

    So yes, Cole is up for the challenge. "I'll be writing everything myself," he said. "It'll be a wonderful resume booster." And even Sarah is excited about her guest editor's tenure. "Honestly, the only thing I'm worried about is that he puts the entire site in italics -- it's something I've done myself," she said. "Plus, he's got a great eye for real estate and design, and his knowledge of building styles is spot-on."

    How exactly will the site be different this week with Cole at the helm? We'll have to see. For now, we'll look at how the two compare on...

    A Typical Saturday Night
    Cole: "On the couch, watching a nice movie, or maybe CSI or Law & Order."
    Sarah: "Usually I go out for a nice dinner with my fiance and/or friends. It gives us an excuse to plow through the ever-expanding list of restaurants I want to try. There is nothing better, in my opinion, than long, wine-filled dinners that take up the entire night."

    Dream House

    Cole: "Definitely a penthouse at 15 Central Park West in New York. That's my favorite building in city. Robert A.M. Stern is a world renowned architect and the location and floorplan is just amazing."
    Sarah: "Something urban, like a glassy loft -- I'd take Louis chairs and upholster them in some sort of punchy, geometric fabric, and I'd pair a scratched-up farmhouse dining table with every single midcentury dining chair I could get my hands on. That said, if someone gave me a four-floor townhouse, I might do a gut reno and make the entire interior sleek and modern."

    Ambitions at 13
    Cole: "I definitely want to get into real estate. I'm looking for an internship this summer in New York. My dream is to work with Dolly Lenz."
    Sarah: "I remember wanting to do one of two things: Cure AIDS or be a writer. I think it's clear which one worked out."


     

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