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  • 06/23/10--12:49: Trend Watch: Tie-Dye Decor
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    Tie-dyed bedding from Anthropologie and an affordable tapestry from Urban Outfitters. Photos: Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters

    Tie-dye home goods are everywhere -- and believe it or not, we're into it.

    They say everything comes around again, but one trend we thought we'd never see come back in style has recently re-emerged: Tie-dye. Yup, you heard us: Tie-dye is chic again. What next, hypercolor? We first spotted the trend in Anthropologie's showroom earlier this year, and thought that surely it was a one-off for boho-chic Anthro. But now that summer has arrived, it seems that tie-dye is everywhere from Neiman Marcus to Bed Bath & Beyond.

    It's even popping up in fashion again, and our friends at Lemondrop have put together a handy guide on how to wear it (without looking crazy).

    The signature style of Grateful Dead fans may have reappeared, but this time, it's not rainbow-colored spirals and dancing bears. Tie-dye has become surprisingly sophisticated. For example, we love PBTeen's tie-dyed goods (see below) for their low-key palette and the crisp contrast of navy-on-white. Meanwhile, even the preppiest of them all, Ralph Lauren is hawking tie-dyed wares -- but being Ralph, they are paired with madras and a sweet country rose pattern, naturally.

    Here are some of our favorite tie-dye finds on the market right now:

    Sleep on these dye-saturated sheets (above) and hope for colorful dreams.
    Gathered Sky Bedding, $58 to $298, Anthropologie
    Tie Dye Tapestry, $20, Urban Outfitters

    Eat colorfully this summer! Photos: Neiman Marcus, CB2

    Give your table a kick with funky table linens with a tie-dyed effect.
    Kim Sybert Tie-Dyed Napkins, $42 for four, Neiman Marcus
    Ombré Flame Placemat, $11, CB2

    When it comes to tie-dye, navy and white feel oh-so-right! Photos: PBTeen

    PBTeen offers a range of blue-and-white dyed goods that caught our eye -- hello, beach house!
    Over Sized Tie-Dye Shower Curtain, $49, Oversized Tie-Dye Duvet Cover & Sham, $29 to $99, and Tie-Dye Navy Beach Towel, $24, all from PBTeen

    A throw pillow adds just a touch of the trend. Photos: Ralph Lauren, Delia's

    If you don't want to commit to a huge tie-dye statement, a throw pillow is a quick way to add the trend to your home.
    Tie-Dye Throw Pillow, $40, Ralph Lauren
    Flower Tie-Dye Pillow, $30, Delia's

    Don't want to spend a fortune on a passing trend that you created yourself in junior high? Yeah, we hear you. Take the DIY route and dye some of your worn out linens for a low-budget way to get the trend.

    Maybe tie-dye's not your thing, you you're craving more color...
    Wow Those Walls!
    Far-Flung Friday: Sleeping in Technicolor
    Paint By Mood: How Different Hues Affect You
    Neutrals Vs. Bright Colors: Where Do You Stand?


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    See the world through rose-colored glass! Photo: Pantone Hotel

    Get in the mood for fun at the colorful Pantone Hotel.

    As the go-to source for what's hot in the world of color, it was only a matter of time before Pantone put their insight to use on a large-scale design project of their own. Introducing Pantone Hotel Brussels, a 59-room boutique hotel designed by Belgian interior designer Michel Penneman and Belgian architect Olivier Hannaert.

    Set on Avenue Louise, a stretch of the city that some have called the Champs Elysées or Fifth Avenue of Brussels, Pantone Hotel also features the largest collection of Pantone Universe products (for sale in the lobby shop) from stationary and bags to their signature Pantone chip mugs.

    A view of the hotel's exterior (left) and lobby (right). Photo: Pantone Hotel, left; Serge Anton, right

    Each of the hotel's seven floors is based on a Pantone color palette with rooms designed to evoke (or compliment) guests moods. There's "Daring/Fiery" (Pantone 200 C, above) and "Cheerful/Warm" (Pantone 1215 C, below), along with rooms for the earthy-rich, vibrant-intense, captivating-esteemed-silky, fresh-eager and tranquil-aquatic-exhilarating among you.

    Color themes are set against a stark, white backdrop for maximum effect with matching photo installations in each room created by Belgian photographer Victor Levy.

    Each room reflects a different mood. Photo: Pantone Hotel

    Can't decide which color mood you're in? You'll also find Pantone color consultants on hand (by appointment) for informal color consultations or to present educational seminars on color psychology and trends.

    Pantone Hotel is located at 1 Place Loix, 1060 Brussels, Belgium.


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  • 06/24/10--10:33: Pops of Color for Your Patio
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    A simple addition of some bright hues can enliven your patio. Photos: See below for credits

    Accessorize your outdoors with vibrant colors for a stylish al fresco season.

    Planning to host your summer soirees outback amid a tired matching set of brown wicker or weathered teak? All it takes is a little color to bring the outdoors to life.

    Outdoor spaces have increasingly become more important. In warmer months they extend our space for dining, entertaining and just plain living. So shouldn't we treat them as special as we do our indoors? All it takes to enliven an outdoor set is a few calculated accents. A bright side table, a rainbow display of planters or lanterns and a vibrant printed throw rug all go a long way in bringing an ordinary space some extra personality.

    Check out this selection of outdoor accessories that will add some easy pop to your extended-living space.

    Shown above, clockwise from top left:
    J Schatz Egg Planter, $95 each, Grounded
    Kiss Runner, $70, French Bull
    Elaine Smith Lime Zebra Outdoor Pillow (20"x20"), $139, Home Infatuation
    Bloomin' Garden Stakes, $38, notNeutral
    Garcon Rolling Bar Cart, $60, CB2

    Have fun with your accents -- add pops of color as if they're flowers. The more colors the merrier. Photos: See below for credits

    Plant a "garden" of colorful accents. The vibrant hues will last long past your spring and summer blooms have wilted.

    Shown above, clockwise from top left:
    Colorful Woven Outdoor Plastic Doormats, $16 each, Home Infatuation
    Grill, $50, Crate & Barrel
    Henri Floral Outdoor Toss Pillows, $25, World Market
    Casablanca Lanterns (Green, Lemon, Fuchsia and Orange), $8 and $15, Z Gallerie

    Bring in your own sunshine with pops of yellow and some red hot accents to warm it up. Photos: See below for credits

    Add a twist to the typical red-white-and-blue patio scheme and bring in pops of sunny yellow to really enliven your space.

    Shown above, clockwise from top left:
    Atrium Zoey Pillow, $30, Crate & Barrel
    Camilla Watering Can, $24, Conran Shop
    Solig Solar Powered Table Lamp, $20, Ikea
    Link Drink Bucket, $82, Room Service Home
    POD Aluminum Planters, $176, A + R Store


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    DianeWorth, Flickr

    Ever feel like your home is a part of you? Sometimes when you find something you love -- really, really love! -- it's easy to feel like it's more than just "stuff." Tile ladies, we salute you!

    Want more Daily Uppers? Get 'em here!


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    A look at one of the home's on the Dwell on Design's house tour. Photo: Space International, Inc.

    Thanks to Dwell, you can tour some of the coolest homes in Los Angeles.

    Dwell on Design is one of the largest design events on the West Coast, courtesy of Dwell magazine. It facilitates discussions on sustainability, architecture and the role of design in better living, and is a stage for new modern products and building materials for consumers, designers and architects alike. (This year, the event is being held again in Los Angeles from June 25-27, 2010.)

    But one of the best parts of the conference? Some of the most beautiful homes in Los Angeles open their doors for tours.

    This year, Dwell on Design home tours are split into two groups: East side and West side, totaling 12 homes. If you're not headed to L.A. for this conference, you can still check out some of these amazing homes here on ShelterPop -- we've got a sneak peek inside a few just for you!,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=900299&pid=900298&uts=1277310813

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    Believe it or not, this house used to be a 5-unit apartment building. Minarc architects repurposed it and converted it into a single-family residence, and they did it by only remodeling 50% of the structure. Also impressive is that they didn't use any paint, tile, carpet or forced air (AC/HV) and even bought 90% of the furniture on Craigslist!

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    The architects made great use of the natural light, creating an expanse of glass right off of the kitchen. The open stairwell and reflecting pool make the space feel even more open. I love the clever kitchen chairs that "disappear" into the island to maximize the space.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    This home on Deronda Drive is located near the apex of Beachwood Canyon and has an amazing backyard view of Los Angeles. Both the front and back of the house feature a mix of glass and concrete, complemented by stone and water. Even the plantings have an edgy and fresh look...

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    My favorite element in the home is the custom space divider between the living area and the dining room. It's a sturdy wall and a definitive separator, but it doesn't feel heavy like a real wall or flimsy like a store-bought bookshelf.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    This house is modern, but it's more charming than slick. No surprise since the owners are pretty cute themselves. He's a contractor and she's an architect and together they gave life to an aging 500-square-foot cottage. Today, it's a modern 1,150-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    The house has a balance of soft and hard materials and features a green roof and a rainwater collection system.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    Forget brick townhouses. Auburn 7 is taking the townhouse concept to a much cooler level. Designed by MASS Architecture and Design, this is a multi-family community of seven 3-bedroom houses designed in the community of Silver Lake. Each home is built on individually-owned land and features a mix of horizontal and vertical windows. Cool!

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    Inside and out, the architects used sustainable materials and added eco-friendly touches, such as solar panel roofs, radiant concrete floors and a garden consisting of native and edible plants.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    This West side residence by Techentin Buckingham Architecture is located in Los Feliz and you can tell from the outside that something fun is going on inside. The home's exterior is wrapped in a black-painted, redwood "rain-screen" placed over Hypalon rubber siding to shade the walls.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.

    Inside, the window moldings are painted green, one of the primary color accents of the interior. We love the mismatched but coordinating dining chairs and the fun photographic pendant lampshade.

    House Tour: Best of Modern L.A.


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    Our friends at the much-loved design site, Remodelista are our new international design scouts. Each week, they'll give ShelterPop a dose of amazing design from around the world that (here's the best part) you can buy in the US or better, have shipped to your door.

    All Photos: Esprit Nordik

    Spotted at Esprit Nordik: French wire baskets as candle holders. So country-chic! And just imagine the gorgeous shadows they'll cast in the evening.

    Round Wire Basket; €13.90 from Esprit Nordik.

    Made by a family firm in the Beaujolais region of France that's been producing traditional designs since 1936, the French Salad Basket with aged metal finish is £17.50 from the French House. The same basket is available in the US from Comptoir de Famille via Amazon; French Wire Salad Basket with black finish; $22.99.

    Want more Remodelista goodies?
    Tabletop: Teak Coasters at OK Store and Gallery
    Bath: Blomus Nexio Soap Dishes
    Kitchen: Riess Enamel Accessories at Ancient Industries


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    Photos courtesy of Nightwood & eBay

    Actress Michelle Williams is a fan of Nightwood's genius reconstructed pieces...and so are we!

    If you're committed to being an environmental steward, freshening up your home can pack on a whole lot of guilt. How do you justify buying a brand new sofa when your old one is still in relatively decent shape? Enter Nightwood, a décor and interior business focused on creating one-of-a-kind, reconstructed furniture and textiles, which has earned a cult following among Brooklyn residents like the actress Michelle Williams. Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, together since 1998, started Nightwood in their Clinton Hill neighborhood three years ago and have saved many a conscience ever since with their cleverly reimagined tables, beds and chairs. The duo recently spoke with Chris Frey, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBay's online style magazine, about their work. What follows is an excerpt of that interview. For the full article, click here.

    Nightwood was born, Nadia Yaron says, "out of necessity," as a means to furnish the Brooklyn apartment she shares with partner Myriah Scruggs, when the pair moved back to New York after a short stint in Los Angeles. Armed with an intense DIY spirit but little money, they started repurposing neighborhood cast-offs and thrift store pieces "with a handsaw and a drill in our living room," Yaron says. Today, Scruggs still focuses on gathering materials-they look for freebies and dirt cheap cast-offs as far away as the Hamptons, Queens and upstate New York-while Yaron works on textiles and upholstery. With new clients piling onto their wait list, they have outgrown two studio spaces, designed and decorated restaurants and private residences and completed commercial renovations and installations. It's an impressive operation, considering neither of them has any formal training in business, design or fabrication.

    The Inside Source sent Nightwood onto eBay to scout pieces they would use or repurpose. They selected a Navajo rug, hand-dyed muslin, an industrial lamp and military blankets. To read the full story, click here.

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

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


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  • 06/25/10--21:34: Give Old Books New Life
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    Business card holder made from a book. Process of making a business card holder from a book.
    Probably the easiest project you'll ever encounter: Experiment with different size books, and make a mail holder, or add a set of dates or alphabet tabs and create a daily reminder or address book. Photos: Karen Philippi

    Turn books bound for the thrift shop into inspiring crafts.

    Chances are, you have books that you hold dear to your heart. You love the way they feel in your hand, and the way new and old pages smell. But with shelf space at a premium, many of us get rid of older titles as we acquire new ones.

    Don't throw away your books just yet! Jason Thompson's new book, Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book, gives us a number of reason to hold on to old books. He encourages us to make something with them.

    Thompson takes the hobby artist through simple ideas such as fashioning envelopes, gift-wrapping and children's games. Keep reading and you'll find advanced projects for the more intrepid artist, who get to experiment with papier mâché, origami or power tools.

    Try your hand at three of his ideas below, and see how pages can come back to life.

    1. Business Card Holder (see photo top left)

    What You Need:
    - Any book will do but paperbacks are good options.
    - Choose a book with at least 100 pages.

    Here's How To Do It:

    - Fold every page in half. Done!

    Wreath made out of book pages. Process of wreath being made from book pages.
    Book Paper Wreath: Get crafty kids to help roll the cones, and display the wreath all year long. Photos: Karen Philippi

    2. Book Page Wreath

    What You Need:

    - book pages
    - stapler
    - white glue
    - hole punch
    - wire
    - corrugated cardboard
    - scissors

    Here's How To Do It:
    - Create the base by cutting a 12" circle from cardboard, and wrap one side with book pages.
    - Remove approximately 90 pages from a book that is taller than it is wide to make the cones.
    - You'll need two cone sizes: make approx 60 long cones by rolling the page length-wise. Make approx 30 short cones by rolling pages width-wise.
    - Staple the cone bottom flat.
    - Attach the long cones to the cardboard base with glue in a circular pattern. (Note: Leave some space to punch two holes in the base. You'll thread wire through to make a hanging loop.) Glue the remaining long cones on top of the first layer inset closer to the center of the base by 3".
    - Attach the short cones on top of this second layer inset closer by another 3".
    - Allow to dry.
    - Create a smaller round cardboard element wrapped in pages to place on top. It will cover all the cone ends and staples.

    A book turned into the shape of a decorative apple. Process of turning a book into the shape of an apple.
    Shaped book: After you finish an apple, try templates in other shapes like spheres, mushrooms or vases. Photos: Karen Philippi.

    3. Shaping Books By Hand - A Decorative Apple

    What You Need:

    - paperback book (at least 100 pages)
    - craft knife
    - chipboard
    - binder clip
    - ink and cotton balls
    - adhesive
    - stem and leaf

    Here's How To Do It:
    - Remove the front and back covers and any remaining adhesive.
    - Create a template from the chipboard and attach to the book with the binder clip. (Note: Making your template the same height as your book prevents you from having to cut into the spine. Also, making the bottom of your template flat will allow your book to stand.)
    - Use the craft knife to cut along the template and shape the book. Slowly cut through a few page layers at a time.
    - Use a cotton ball to spread ink along the edges and the face of the pages. Allow to dry.
    - When dry, fan out the book pages. Attach the first and last pages with adhesive or bobby pins to hold the book open.
    - Finish by cutting a paper leaf and attaching it to a natural stem. Insert stem into the center of the apple.

    Looking for more creative DIY ideas?
    3 Easy Ways to Recycle Magazines
    DIY: UPdate Your Home With a Bright Striped Wall
    Handmade: Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs


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    Inject all-American color into your home with this pop of patriotism.

    Summer is officially here. Take your cue from the brightly hued and boldly patterned stars and stripes that wave proudly overhead and go patriotic -- use the flag's red, white or blue as inspiration to redecorate an entire room or add some simple summer sizzle.


    Interior Decorator Amy Lau of Amy Lau Design thinks of red as "a perfect representation of energy and boldness." But there's no need to go all out when using a strong color. The richness of red is so dramatic that a little goes a long way. Use it in moderation. Wallpapering above a chair rail in red, for example, brings warmth to a room, adding depth and power.

    Sprinkling several red accessories throughout a room will bring cohesiveness by uniting the elements to the eye -- a vase, a throw pillow, a painting on the wall. Red has that bonding power. As fashion and interior designer Donna Karan notes, it is the "color that brings everything together."

    Products, clockwise from top left:

    Tulip #4 by Thurston Howes, 14"W, $350, Zatista.
    Five Alarm Hook, 4"H, $14, Anthopologie.
    Red Baroque-Style Mirror, 30"W, $475, Horchow.
    Motel Double Glider, 49"W, $175, Crate&Barrel.
    LJUSÅS UVÅS in Red, 17"H, $40, IKEA
    Red Double-Walled Thermo Carafe by Chambord by Bodum,34oz, $40,
    Paints, Top to Bottom: Poppy by Benjamin Moore, Oh So Red by Valspar, Incarnadine by Farrow & Ball.

    How to use red in your home
    1. Add just a hint of color. Your accents will pop when they are used throughout the room.

    2. Used in a foyer or entryway, red can be particularly effective. It will energize the space and draw people in.

    3. An easy place to add the color is with pillows, decorative accents and lighting.

    4. Colored glassware is a nice way to bring red into your home.


    "White," Donna Karan says, "acts as a backdrop." It can be a wonderful blank canvas on which to paint. But decorating with white can also be tricky. If you wish to create a modern and clean space, minimalism works best. If you're looking for a soft or romantic look, then layering is probably the way to go (adding lots of white in different textures and accessories). All in all textures in varying shades add visual interest to the non-color, while shades of white from ivory to pale yellow provide depth. All white rooms in a bath or kitchen is crisp, but I love it in a living room where it's open and inviting.

    Products, clockwise from top left:

    Charade Bath Set, $18-$48 per piece, Jonathan Adler.
    Concave White Wallpaper, 33 ft. roll, $70, Graham & Brown.
    Lack Wall Shelf, 51"W, $30, IKEA.
    Kirie 01 Bamboo Clock, 7.5"W, $78, DecoyLab.
    Bent Wood Chair in High Gloss White, 35"H, $199, Brocade Home.
    Garden Seat, 18"H, $139, Ballard Designs.
    Paints, Top to Bottom: White Zinfandel by Benjamin Moore, Sawyer White by Valspar, Pointing by Farrow & Ball.

    How to use white in your home
    1. Use textured fabrics such as silks, linens, wovens, faux furs, cut velvets and damasks to bring visual interest to a room. Adding tones and shades of white to keep it from looking sterile and cold.

    2. Transparent fabrics can arouse feelings of romance and softness.

    3. Paint wood pieces white to lighten up the space and make it appear larger.

    4. A white kitchen is a canvas on which an ever evolving decorating plan can emerge again and again.


    In contrast to the fire of red, there is the stability and calmness of blue. Lau notes that it is "a calming and relaxing color." Blue, especially dark blue and navy, can be strong and steady, deeply rooted within a palette, or soft and soothing lending barely a hint of color. Whether paired with white or other colors, it is always evocative of the sea. Blue and its many hues and tonalities is an easy-to-use color and works throughout the home. Using blue in fabrics, rugs, paint and wallpaper will ground any design scheme.

    Products, clockwise from top left:

    Parrot, Sommelier corkscrew, 5"H, $60, Alessi.
    Rio Collapsible Storage Basket in Blue, 20"H, $18, World Market.
    Paints, Top to Bottom: Santa Monica Blue by Benjamin Moore, Quarry Pond by Valspar, Drawing Room Blue by Farrow & Ball.
    Whale folded notes, 8 for $16, Carrot & Stick Press.
    Louisa Settee, 59"W, $2,498, Anthropologie.
    Outdoor Graphic Links Rug by Thom Filicia, 6"L, Williams Sonoma Home.
    Studio Sofa by Nate Berkus, 46"L x 34"H, $499,. HSN.

    How to use blue in your home
    1. Pair it with white for a crisp, modern look.

    2. Use varying shades of blue, from the palest ice blue to the deepest dark blue, to create layers and depth.

    3. Blue in the bathroom further invokes the feelings of water and serenity.

    4. Use darker tones in pillows and rugs to create the greatest impact.

    5. Provide contrast to your decorating palette with colors that will not overwhelm, but rather enhance your theme color. For example, pair yellow with dark blue; bright peony pink with medium tones; and softer neutral shades such as ivory, taupe and linen with light blues.

    You'll see more 4th of July ideas on ShelterPop next week but you should also see the fantastic things going on at Holidash!
    Craft a 4th of July Flower (Adorable)
    Throw a Retro 4th of July


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  • 06/25/10--21:34: Daily Upper: A Little Secret
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    PetitPlat by SK_, Flickr

    Think this vingette looks lovely enough to move into? It's actually a sweet scene from a dollhouse. Crazy, right? Who knew dolls had shabby chic dressers too?

    Want more Daily Uppers? Get 'em here!


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    This charming inn caught the eye of an entrepreneurial couple, who've redesigned its interiors. Photo: Camden Harbour Inn

    The interiors of this New England bed and breakfast may surprise you.

    If you looked at the Maine inn in the photo above, you would probably have a hunch about what the interiors would look like. The white clapboard siding, mansard roof, wrap-around porch and rustic stone walls all scream iconic New England style. If you're lucky, inside you might find a vaguely nautical scheme of blue and white fit for an L. L. Bean photo shoot. If you're unlucky, you might discover a dusty interior with a collection of antique dolls, lots of faded chintz and half a dozen cats. What really lies beneath this classic exterior is a modern design lovers dream.

    The Camden Harbour Inn
    was built in 1874 as an inn, and underwent many incarnations and renovations in the century and a half since it opened. When Dutch couple Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest discovered the property in 2007, the inn was in need of a major overhaul with dark interiors, dreary wood paneling and dated, heavy drapery. Working with designer Mascha Brunia, the pair redesigned the inn and its restaurant in a surprisingly contemporary style.

    The results aren't what you'd usually find in southern Maine. As Travel + Leisure said of the hotel in 2004, "The public lounge spaces feel more South Beach bôite than historic New England." If you have a hankering for some lobster rolls and clam chowder, but wouldn't dream of staying any place with a lighthouse-shaped doorstop, read on.

    Designer Mascha Brunia was channeling the grand brasserie on the Left Bank of Paris for the restaurant's scheme. Photo: Camden Harbour Inn

    While the interiors of Nathalie's, the restaurant on the inn's premises, are decidedly chic and modern, the lines of the bar stools and dining chairs allude to the past and relate to the hotel's original bones. The pops of red seem to signal that Nathalie's is not afraid of bold choices.

    Yup, you're still in Maine -- the view of the harbor is unmistakable. Photo: Camden Harbour Inn

    You can't go wrong with the combination of high-end design with views of Maine's picturesque Camden, and this section of the restaurant shows off each to equal advantage.

    Metallic wallpaper in an over-sized damask print adorns the wall of this guest suite. Photo: Camden Harbour Inn

    Each guest room has a distinct personality, from soft and feminine (above) to goth and dramatic (below) -- all are contemporary in their design, with a few antiques thrown into the mix and the inn's original clawfoot tubs in some suites. In a nod to both their homeland and the nearby harbor, the owners have named each of the rooms after ports where ships from the Dutch East India Company visited the 1600s and 1700s.

    We'll always think of this room when we hear Alannah Myles's 'Black Velvet' on the radio. Photo: Camden Harbour Inn

    Your usual Maine quarters these are not: This moody boudoir, like all of the rooms at the Camden Harbour Inn, is kitted out with the most modern of conveniences from fancy-schmancy televisions to iPod docking stations -- not to mention yards and yards of black velvet.

    Would you stay at this design-centric inn or would you prefer to stick with the traditional Maine vibe?


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  • 06/25/10--21:34: Weekly Link Love
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    How to make grain sacks look fresh, what to do with old magazines and tees and a bedroom makeover that makes us swoon...Here's what we're lusting over in the blogosphere this week.

    These tree servers make cupcake towers look so passé. (They also make marshmellows look extra appealing. Not that they need the help.) [swissmiss]

    Klismo chairs through the years...cue the nostalgic music now. We love this history lesson paired with stunning modern examples. [Apartment Therapy]

    Subscribe to more magazines than you can stuff in your magazine rack? (Um, guilty). See three easy ways to recycle. [The Stir]

    We've been staying up-to-date on Nicole's bedroom makeover and it's so gratifying to see the the finished product. So cozy and romantic (but not in the way you'd expect from those words!) [Making it Lovely]

    We were so (so!) over grain sack chairs until we saw this adorable pink-fueled version by the industrious and fantastic Betsy O'Gara. [Design*Sponge]

    Jenny compares metallic cowhides to chocolate & peanut butter. LOVE! Way to sum up our feelings. [My Favorite and My Best]

    Remember when we shared Peter Walsh's genius tips about the no-nag clean house? One lucky person gets an in-house visit from Peter himself...So go help them out and vote for the messiest space! [California Closets' Facebook]

    A round-up of blogworld trends from black bathrooms to extreme girliness. [Peppermint Bliss]

    Yes, we often rely on CasaSugar for top-tier eye candy but this idea of how to reuse old tees is too brilliant not to share. [CasaSugar]

    A shabby-chic cabin in the Catskills. Um, any chance they'll rent it out for a weekend? What a perfect getaway! [NYTimes]


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    Getty Images

    The home and design news for the week of June 21 to 25.

    Martha Stewart has mixed fortunes abroad, and there's rumors the Hamptons could really come alive if a certain pop superstar sets up shop there. Those are just some of the stories in this week's home news.

    The summer scene in the Hamptons could be getting a whole lot livelier, to say the least, as Lady Gaga is reportedly scouting out some "prime property."

    Buying some interior shutters can give you a chance to learn interior design from one of the best, the U.K.'s Kelly Hoppen.

    Someone not visiting the U.K. right away, even though her magazine will be hitting the stores there, is Martha Stewart.

    One of the more recent locales for Martha's products, Macy's, has done some shuffling of the ranks of its home department.

    In July, KitchenAid does its part in the fight against breast cancer by being part of the Cook for the Cure event.

    Interior design is just one of the categories recognized by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in its National Design Awards.

    Mystery meals could become a thing of the past as signs point to gardens at schools being used to stock cafeterias.

    JC Penney really likes what Springs Global is doing in textiles, giving the company its top home vendor prize.

    Pop goes the MAD store! The Store at the Museum of Arts and Design is setting up a pop-up location at the New York International Gift Fair this summer.

    Dwell on Design, a conference celebrating all things modern and sustainable, begins today. The best part? You don't have to be in L.A. to go on the house tours.

    Crafters will be thrilled to know that DwellStudio's fabrics are now available by the yard.

    If you like Madeline Weinrib's rugs, then you'll really love her new wallpaper.


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  • 06/25/10--21:34: Sage in the Garden
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    Sage in bloom. Photo: Marie Viljoen

    Growing sage has many rewards.

    There are more than 900 species of salvia worldwide, but there is one we all know best, common sage, Salvia officianalis.

    The name Salvia is derived from salvare, to heal, and salvus, meaning whole, or uninjured, and speaks to the reputation held by common sage as a household cure-all, dating back to the time of Pliny the Elder. This unassuming sage is ubiquitous and it is easy to forget that, like so many herbs, its uses are threefold: culinary, medicinal and purely aesthetic.

    In my kitchen I use sage in four ways.
    -- For slow-cooking, so that its leaves practically melt into braises and stews.
    -- Raw, cut into ribbons at the last minute over risotto or pasta with a simple sauce of parmesan and butter.
    -- Dried or fresh and incorporated into stuffings.
    -- Frizzled or flash-fried whole till crisp as a topping for anything from baked potatoes to a fancy breakfast of pancetta and poached eggs.

    Sage is being tested for numerous medical applications. When I have a sore throat, I put its antiseptic properties to use as a gargle. A handful of leaves, boiling water, a five minute steep and it is ready. The leaves are considered most potent before bloom.

    Common sage with basil and calamintha. Photo: Marie Viljoen

    Because common sage has attractive leaves and flowers it deserves a place alongside our perennials as much as with our kitchen herbs. The flowers of sage are variable and if grown from seed might come out blue, white or pink, regardless of the color of the parent plant's blooms. They last for weeks on the plant and almost as long cut, indoors.

    Common sage is native to the Mediterranean and this gives us a clue as to its cultivation requirements: excellent drainage, and full sun. It is hardy to USDA Zone 7, and I have had it overwinter in Zone 6b. Technically a woody shrub, sage behaves, and looks, more like a perennial. After three or four years it is best to divide it, or start with a new plant, as it is fairly short-lived.

    "Purpurascens" with chives and catnip. Photo: Marie Viljoen

    I can't imagine my rooftop herb garden without sage,and keep three pots of it: One to eat, one to look at, and one just in case.

    Running out of sage is not an option.


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    Gladstone Hotel Toronto
    A room in Toronto's Gladstone Hotel features woodsy walls, an antler chandelier and a clean, contemporary feel that reflects the city's abundance of artists. The "Canadiana" room was designed by hotel owner Christina Zeidler. Photo: Gladstone Hotel

    The rooms in this Toronto hotel are all mixed up -- and that's a good thing.

    When I want to jet off to somewhere European but don't want to contend with a long flight, I go to Toronto. The Gladstone Hotel is smartly situated in one of the city's most exciting 'hoods: Queen Street West, the city's art and design district. This is where independent fashion designers sell their creations and edgy gallery owners host exhibits. And the Gladstone Hotel's eclectic interiors fit right in.

    Filmmaker Christina Ziedler, who owns the hotel, let a bunch of artists loose designing its 37 guest rooms. The results are a kaleidoscope of really cool spaces featuring artsy touches and designer furnishings. During my visit I stayed in the "Urban Voyageur" room. Here, a chandelier and hand-made wool "dread locks" hung over my bed, the walls were chartreuse and a Philippe Starck chair was tucked into the writing desk.

    Fan of peacocks, pink or purple? Then the "Model Citizen" room by Julian Finkel is for you! Photo: Gladstone Hotel

    You can tell that Julian Finkel had a lot of fun working on the "Model Citizen" room. (Model Citizen is also the name of his Toronto boutique.) A peacock motif is paired with Victorian touches and celebrated in very vivid purples and pinks. It's a strange mix, and I'm not sure I'd love to wake up in this room. Still, it's fun to admire from afar.

    Designed by GHOST DESIGN (Barr Gilmore and Michael Arcand), the Blue Room is calming and electric at the same time. Photo: Gladstone Hotel

    Many of the rooms, such as the Blue Room, marry contrasting design qualities. In the case of the Blue Room, sexy and simplicity rule. What you can't see in the photo above is the florescent-magenta bath and shower. The image of a woman showering has been etched onto the pink sliding-glass Plexiglas bathroom door. You get to pick from two custom-embroidered bedspreads: one has the outline of a woman, the other of a man. Also in the room is a Jasper Morrison Tate desk chair, two Kartell Bourgie desk lamps and a Periphere Uno lounge chair. Nice touch!

    Gladstone Hotel Toronto
    In collaborating on the New Nouveau room, Lolli Ursomarzo and Daniel Riitano were inspired by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. Photo: Gladstone Hotel

    The New Nouveau room, designed by Lolli Ursomarzo and Daniel Riitano, pops with light and positive energy, thanks to the white walls, light-green accents and hand-painted grasses shooting up some of the walls. Floor-to-ceiling silk drapes introduce elegance. I was surprised by the Tiffany-style lamp on the bedside table, but I was also impressed by the thoughtful addition.

    Yet even with all of these design creations the building's 106-year-old character remains. When you check in, a staff member takes you and your luggage up to your room in an elevator that dates back to the building's early years. It's why even before you step into your room, you'll realize that you're in for a very fun ride.


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  • 06/29/10--04:34: Celine Dion Makes Waves
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    Splash News

    The singer has a waterpark in the backyard of her Jupiter Island, Florida home.

    Celine Dion knows a thing or two about fun -- or maybe just unbridled excess. On the heels of news that she is pregnant and expecting twins with hubby Rene Angelil later this year, we've got photos of chanteuse Celine Dion's massive Florida maison -- complete with a full-fledged waterpark that is as impressive as some of the most-visited aquatic playgrounds in the country.

    The $20 million home overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on swanky Jupiter Island, where neighbors include none other than Tiger Woods. The 9,825-square-foot pad has been home for the couple and their nine-year-old boy since 2005, when she purchased it for $12.5 million.

    Splash News

    Talk about fun playdates for son, Rene.

    On top of the usual lavish accompaniments to a home sporting this kind of price tag, there is a lazy river (which wraps around one of the two swimming pools) and two water slides. All of it was of Dion's own design, but it didn't go down well with the neighbors, given the fact that the water park requires 500,000 gallons of water. It reportedly uses up much of the island's fresh-water supply.

    Also on the 5.7-acre grounds is a tennis court, underground garage and a beach-side cabana. And this is no teeny cabana: Inside is a gym, so that workouts can be accompanied by crashing waves and a gorgeous sunrise.

    Splash News

    All of the buildings have an elegant white exterior. Inside, the home has eight bedrooms reconfigured to two massive guest rooms and a 460-square-foot wardrobe (because if you're putting on concerts like Dion you need the space to accessorize?).

    I don't think it's possible to be bored here.

    Want to see more famous homes?
    See what's fishy about the kitchen in Sheryl's old home in Tennessee
    How Clean is Niecy Nash's House?
    Whitney Port's Apartment Feels Like Home
    Or browse through all of our celeb homes


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    Take the time to do it right. Photo: Olympic Stain

    Here's how to give your deck a summertime spruce up.

    It's clear that our decks could use a little help. There are 40 million decks in the U.S. that are over 20 years old, according to the North American Deck and Railing Association. In a deck this old, the wood may be seriously weathered. But how do you make your deck more attractive? "It can be a mind-boggling process to deal with a deck," says Susan Uram, brand manager at Olympic Exterior Stain.

    But don't knock down and rebuild just yet. Take the "deck tests" to figure out if your deck needs a makeover. Then follow our tips for avoiding deck disasters.

    First, try these tests.
    1. The tape peel test is ideal for older decks that may need to be stripped before stained. Cut a small "X" in a couple of random spots on the deck (a putty knife will do), but be careful not to cut into the wood. Cover the cuts with duct tape, press firmly, and quickly remove tape. If there are flakes of old wood on the tape, it's time to strip the deck and start fresh. (For more info on this test, view Olympic's Tape Peel Test video.)

    2. The water absorption test helps you know if your wood is ready for stain. Pour a cup of water over some parts of your deck, and if the water absorbs into the wood in less than 10 minutes, you need to stain the deck. (For a video on the process, view this video on how to do a water absorption test on your deck.)

    Power washing probably isn't necessary.
    A power washer -- even the low-intensity models from home improvement stores -- are still powerful enough to wreck and gouge even the hardest of wood, if you don't know how to properly use the equipment. "You can drive a lot of dirt and mildew into the wood when you power wash," says Uram. "Your best bet is to simply hose off the deck."

    Don't rush.
    "Many deck owners hope to slam down stain and have a party the same night," says Rob Pogue, technical manager of stains and alkyds at Olympic Stain. "If you expect the deck to look a certain way, you need to take the time to figure it out." He adds that harried homeowners will usually forget to clean and maintain the underside of a raised deck in the rush to get the season underway.

    Invest in the fence.
    When adding the underside of a deck to your maintenance list, don't forget to clean, prep and stain surrounding fences. It helps to keep the deck in good shape and also aids in curb appeal. "We've seen so many redone decks, but the fences look terrible," says Pogue. "Fences are like straws sticking up from the ground, they suck in more moisture than horizontal surfaces, so deck cleaner and stain on a fence is every bit as important."

    When in doubt, turn to the web.
    The Olympic Stain site has several helpful instructional videos to help you determine what your deck needs, like if it's ready for a new stain or how to remove old coatings.

    Final thought.
    Take this last bit of sage advice from Pogue: "Rot happens," he says. "You'll know it's bad when your dog won't go out to relax on the deck and your friends look nervous when they walk on it."


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    Wildflowers in BrightonWildflowers growing in the middle of the road in Brighton. Photo: Cityparks team, via WAN

    Talk about flower power: A a two-mile stretch of meridian has been turned into a vibrant meadowland of after Brighton's city council spread a bucket of wildflower seeds along the strip. Send this photo to your local officials and maybe they'll be inspired to follow Brighton's lead!

    Want more Daily Uppers? Get 'em here.


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    A screenshot of a favorite Domino story on the new

    Fans of the beloved shelter mag -- rejoice! Domino has a new home at

    Forget those grainy scans off of Flickr and dog-earred mags stuffed on the bookcase -- the blogworld's favorite decorating magazine has finally (finally!) found a new home online thanks to the relaunch of Julie Raimondi, Editor-in-Chief of the site and the accompanying local magazines says:

    I'm also thrilled to announce that has been granted access to all of the stories from the late, great Domino magazine. It was my favorite magazine, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to turn its pages into a digital archive for our users. We have a number of Domino stories now, but will be adding more and more in the weeks and months to come, so keep checking back.

    To see the current Domino pieces up, check out the growing list here. (If you're like us, you'll be checking back often.)

    Congratulations to Julie and the entire team for bringing back such a beloved archive. We're always sad to announce when a magazine closes, so we're extra delighted to announce a new life for an old favorite. It's been one year and four months since Condé Nast folded Domino and we're so excited that they brought it back to a new home.

    More Magazine Coverage from ShelterPop

    Metropolitan Home Magazine Closes Its Doors
    Is Dwell Magazine Folding?
    Hearst to Announce New HGTV Magazine?
    Former Domino Editor Launches Online Home Design Magazine

    And see CasaSugar's take on things!


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    Rob Schneider's San Marino, California, home can be yours. Photo: Lucas Cichon

    The funny man's house is being advertised on Craigslist!

    Sometimes we have to do a bit of sleuthing to find out which celeb owns a particular house for sale. But in this case a Craigslist ad tipped us off.

    Rob Schneider House
    This patio screams "outdoor living" -- with lots of artisan-made items as inspiration. Photo: 360 Realty

    At the bottom of the listing - beneath 38 drool-worthy photos - is a link to a November Los Angeles Times article indicating that Rob Schneider owns this sweet, sweet pad. The actor's most recent film "Grown Ups," also starring Adam Sandler, was released on June 25.

    Rob Schneider House
    A fireplace seamlessly designed into a wood-paneled wall is extremely inviting -- and must be for Rob after a long day on the set. Photo: 360 Realty

    Actor Rob Schneider (left) can't seem to sell his house. TJ/

    On the market since last fall, the 5,000-square-foot French Normandy-style home in San Marino (tucked into the San Rafael Hills in eastern Los Angeles County, not far from Pasadena) once hosted Winston Churchill. Designed by architect Everett P. Babcock in 1926, the lovely home has a koi pond, oval-shaped saltwater swimming pool, Batchelder-tile risers, guest or maid's quarters, a sauna and fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom.

    There are neat architectural details throughout, like arched doorways (including the main entrance), dormer windows, iron winding staircase, hardwood flooring and wood beamed-ceilings.

    It feels like the French countryside, more than glitzy, traffic-ridden Los Angeles. There's a formal dining room. A waterfall provides a meditative touch to an outdoor pond. Wisteria gracefully covers the patio.

    The home has four bedrooms - including a master suite - and four baths, plus two half baths. Since November the price has dropped from $3.6 million to $3.2 million, then again to $3 million this month (currently listed with 360 Realty in Beverly Hills). It previously sold in 2003 for $1,922,000.

    Rob Schneider House
    Whether for entertaining or relaxing with a good read -- note the dozens of books on Rob's shelves -- these two rooms are versatile and in tune with the rest of the house's relaxed, Mediterranean-style decor. Photo: 360 Realty

    Rob Schneider House
    It wouldn't be a multi-million-dollar celeb hideaway without a pool, right? Photo: 360 Realty

    Want to see more famous homes?
    See Uma Thurman's old NYC digs
    How Clean is Niecy Nash's House?
    Whitney Port's Apartment Feels Like Home
    Or browse through all of our celeb homes


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