Author Archives: Kelly

Beautiful Sinks

Image: Better Homes & Gardens

When you walk into someone's kitchen what's the first thing that immediately draws your eye? It might be the countertop, the appliances, or the lighting. But for me it's the kitchen sink. I've been lucky to have sizable stainless steel ones in most of my kitchens, but the variety out there these days is truly amazing.

Beautiful Sinks

Image: Wayfair

This double-bowl farmhouse sink is a twist on the classic, using one of my favorite materials – stainless steel. That heavy-duty apron front is just gorgeous and I love the way the entire piece is set into the granite countertop surface.

Beautiful Sinks

Image: Style Me Pretty

This single bowl farmhouse style might be my favorite. I love the huge size, the curved edges, and the faucet they've chosen. It all just looks so clean and fresh, perfect for the spring weather that I've been daydreaming about!

Beautiful Sinks

Image: Linen and Lavender

Talk about a showstopper, a sink with a sloped pan is the stuff dreams are made of. While I usually prefer something with considerable depth (I'm messy), this shallow beauty or something like it would be welcome in my kitchen any time. The dark stone it's carved out of gives such a dramatic look.

Beautiful Sinks

Image: Decor de Provence

Okay, okay maybe that's not the only shallow sink I have on my mind. This rustic set up is beautiful and makes me think of a little old Italian lady slaving away in the kitchen, making a delicious red sauce for her family's Sunday dinner. In this case I think the sheer real estate of that sink more than makes up for its lack of depth.

Beautiful Sinks

Image: Hello Lovely Studio

Meet the best of both worlds. This marble beauty of sink has it all figured out, a lovely deep washbasin partnered with a raised platform to lay dirty or clean dishes upon. Wouldn't that space also make for the best food prep area? It's just so good.

What does your dream kitchen sink look like?

Gorgeous Lighting For Your Bath

Image: Better Homes & Gardens

Bathrooms are a necessity in every modern day home, and the last to get any decorating attention. While updating things like the tub or shower, toilet, and vanity require a bit more money, modest upgrades like lighting can make all the difference. Lighting sets the mood in every room of your space and does not go unnoticed. Why not look at some options for the smallest and often used room?

Gorgeous Lighting For Your Bath

Image: Sarah Sherman Samuel

To me there are three directions to choose from when it comes to bathroom lighting. The first is suspension lighting; you can see examples in these first two images. Suspension lighting provides glowing pools of light that help to create a spa-like feel. This type is best used in bathrooms that have at least one good source of natural light.

Gorgeous Lighting For Your Bath

Image: My Old Country House

Gorgeous Lighting For Your Bath

Image: The Lily Pad Cottage

The second type is sconces. A pair of these guys still provides those warm pools of light we talked about, but makes them bit more focused and directional. I love using sconces most in bathroom that have little to no natural light of their own.

Gorgeous Lighting For Your Bath

Image: HGTV

Gorgeous Lighting For Your Bath

Image: Remodelista

The last is statement lighting. An oversized chandelier, a beautiful outdoor piece that you wouldn't think to bring indoors, or anything else that immediately draws your eye to it. This piece is the focal point of the room and allows you to play down everything else.

What's your favorite type of bathroom lighting?

Clever Paint Tricks to Make a Room

Image: Sköna Hem

A can of paint is one of the most affordable ways to drastically change the look and feel of a space. But if you're thinking you're limited to 360º coverage or a boring accent world, think again. The options are literally endless and can be anywhere from bold and creative to subtle and soft.

One of my favorites is the one above that shows how to set off an otherwise plain doorway. By extending the paint out a few feet beyond the jamb it makes the opening feel extra special.

Clever Paint Tricks to Make a Room

Image: My Scandinavian Home

This half painted backsplash is such a fun and playful way to add a dose of color to a white space. What I love most is that you could feel free to change it up as often as you liked because it's such a small space commitment. This treatment would also be great for a rental because it could be easily painted over again when you move out.

Clever Paint Tricks to Make a Room

Image: Lolita Magazine

Smart and elegant, this pinstripe painted along the base of the crown molding is stunning. The room above was adorned with a classic black, but choosing a brighter color would make a fun and playful impact!

Clever Paint Tricks to Make a Room

Image: Elle Decor Espana

On the opposite end of the spectrum is this beautiful space, covered head to toe in the same feminine shade of pink. I have to admit that I love this treatment in a color I would never gravitate towards for a traditional paint job.

Clever Paint Tricks to Make a Room

Image: Petite Passport

A wide and bold stripe running across the middle of a room's walls and ceiling creates quite the impact. Using a neutral makes it feel less shocking and more like art.

Clever Paint Tricks to Make a Room

Image: Hus & Hem

Maybe my favorite of the bunch, this washed out treatment was created using three similar shades of pink to create a waterlogged effect. While I like that this particular room has an unfinished look about it, I'd love to see another space painted entirely.

Do you have any offbeat painted rooms in your home? Would you?

Beautiful Black Kitchens

Image: Elle Decor UK

Gleaming white kitchens are everywhere, but what about their polar opposite? I'm talking about dark obsidian black spaces that are just as functional and a lot more dramatic. A black space can be the key to creating a warm and cozy environment, perfect for cooking with loved ones and entertaining. The best part is that a little black can go a long way; it doesn't have to be floor to ceiling or wall to wall for impact.

Beautiful Black Kitchens

Image: Oliver Yaphe

Consider the options: black cabinets, black granite, black appliances, black fixtures, black floor rugs or tile, a black ceiling or accent wall. I could go on, but you get the idea that there are a lot of options available out there to experiment with.

Beautiful Black Kitchens

Image: Fantastic Frank

My favorite look is when paired with natural wood tones. The warmth of the grain really evens out the feel and keeps black from feeling too serious or dismal, but it really plays well with just about any other hue you can think of.

Beautiful Black Kitchens

Image: Elle Decoration

My second favorite partner is, of course, white. They are so graphic in my opinion as the two extremes of the color spectrum placed side by side. I love the split wall above with the black tile backsplash and white half wall. (And because there's also wood it's basically a trifecta!)

Beautiful Black Kitchens

Image: Design to Inspire

So what's the verdict? Would you brave a black kitchen in the name of design?

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Linen Napkin Set of 12 from Pillow Link

Each year as we roll into a new year and another January I pause to think and hope that the New Year will be simpler, both in life and in my home. That might mean different things to different people – a more organized schedule, fewer things, less obligations – in fact it means something different to me nearly every year. For 2015, it means going back to basics. Streamlining my wardrobe, choosing quality over quantity, and adding more natural things to my world.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Nordic Blue Chambray Kitchen Furoshiki Towel from Ambatalia

One of the things I'm most looking forward to is going through and cleaning out my kitchen linens stash. Threadbare dish towels? Gone. Stained napkins? Repurposed as cleaning rags. Fraying tablecloths? Donated.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Quilted Black Modern Potholder from Rain Studio

I'm keeping an eye out for new pieces that align with my aesthetic throughout the rest of my home. Modern, clean lines and nice feeling fabrics. No more big box store sale pieces that will just do for now.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Flax and Natural Stripe Table Runner from The Stitchin' Chicken

The same goes for my table. You should have plenty of neutral mix-and-match pieces that can be pulled out for a dinner party or a holiday meal. Just add florals and dinnerware to change it up!

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Linen Bread Bag from Feathered Cottage

Why not go the extra mile and adopt the green approach of using drawstring linen bags to store bread, fruits, vegetables, etc.? Smaller ones would do a great job holding sandwiches for lunches and snacks.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Vintage Tea Towel from Anestas Vintage Linens

Let's not forget about vintage. Although older, well-made pieces should still be holding up wonderfully just like this Vera towel.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: DIY Fringed Chambray Napkins from The Purl Bee

I love the idea of making my own pieces as well, like these DIY fringed chambray napkins that somehow manage to look both casual and sophisticated. Besides, handmade is always just a little bit more special no matter what.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Modern Grey Linen Tea Towel from Jackson Fabric Arts

Of course there's also plenty of room for fun patterns and colors, though I tend to prefer the more subtle side of both. This pretty towel makes me want to experiment with bleach pen techniques to create more of my own pieces.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Thick Linen Chambray Apron from FEED + Food52

One of my favorite kitchen linens that won't be going anywhere is a thick canvas apron my Grandma gifted me several Christmases ago, similar to the one pictured above. I was in college and just starting out, so such a sturdy piece was most welcome and is lasting the test of time very well.

Linens For The Kitchen

Image: Pair of Grey Striped Linen Towels from Linen by Inga

You can't go wrong when you choose a classic look like this striped linen. It will only get softer with use and never go out of style. Bonus!

What do you look forward to doing for a fresh start each January?

Temporary Storage Ideas for the Kitchen

Image: West Elm

As a renter or as an owner of a minuscule kitchen, you quickly realize that space is at a premium. Sometimes temporary storage is the answer while you keep your eyes open for a more permanent solution, other times it ends up being the solution in itself. Here are five kitchen storage solutions to get those wheels turning!

My all-time favorite is probably the simplest, and maybe most obvious. A kitchen cart (aka bar cart) can be anything you need it to be. Microwave stand? Check. Coffee station? Check. Mobile so you can hide it in a minute? Check. It's also extremely versatile so you can use it in the kitchen for now, then in the living room or dining room later.

Temporary Storage Ideas for the Kitchen

Image: Apartment Therapy

When a solution adds personality and style as well as functionality you know you're onto something good. Pot rails can serve approximately 101 purposes when quickly installed on a kitchen wall. Add some S-hooks and you're ready to hang pots to free up precious cabinet space or suspend cooking utensils when there's not a free drawer.

Temporary Storage Ideas for the Kitchen

Image: My So-Called Home

You've most likely seen cork panels used in office spaces for use as inspiration boards, but have you considered lining the inside of your cabinet doors with them? They'll add valuable real estate for often used, light weight items like measuring cups and spoons. And of course they're also great for their intended purpose – pin favorite recipes and conversation charts so that they're close at hand.

Temporary Storage Ideas for the Kitchen

Image: Martha Stewart

I love this easy DIY solution for wine storage. But you don't need to stop there – think outside of the box. Use PVC pipes to store cooking utensils or that rascally paper towel roll.

Temporary Storage Ideas for the Kitchen

Image: A Thousand Words

This is an important one, because no matter how big your kitchen there's only so much room under the sink. And the answer is as simple as a tension rod! Use it to span the width of your cabinet then suspend spray bottles by their triggers. Now the floor of the cabinet can be freed up for baskets to corral everything else.

What's your best space-saving kitchen solution?

Shiny Brass Accents

Image: Smitten Studio

Early in my life and in my home decorating adventures I much preferred brushed nickel to nearly every other finish. It fit my aesthetic, and it was also akin to my personal wardrobe style. Always choosing silver over gold. As I grew older and my tastes changed, I found myself shifting to the other end of the spectrum, warm finishes like brushed gold and brasses became my preference throughout the home. Here are just a few brass accents that I'd love to add to my space.

Shiny Brass Accents

Images Clockwise: CB2Provisions by Food52Buster + PuncyThe Future PerfectLagerhausKoromikoWest ElmHorneUrban OutfittersCrate&Barrel

Liberty Pendant Light. This classic and chic black and brass pendant is large enough to make a fantastic statement in the kitchen or office. Hang it over your island, dining table, or mid-office. If your bathroom is large enough, it would also create quite the splash there.

Brass Ladle. This serving piece is hand-forged in Japan. Use it to serve up soups and stews or hang out in plain sight because it's far too pretty to hide in a drawer.

Switchers & Dimmers. Not your average dimmer switch by any stretch of the imagination! Beautiful and discreet for a quiet, classy electrical accessory.

Small Brass ILSE Bowl. A hugely versatile piece that can be equally at home holding fruit or vegetables in the kitchen, business cards in the office, or soaps and hand towels in the bathroom.

Wirekorg Brass Liten. Again, the functionality of a great wire basket is endless! Cookbooks and magazines, office supplies, and more can all find their home here.

Hex Paperweight. A geometrical paperweight that doesn't feel too traditional or too modern; just perfectly in between and great for a multitude of decor styles.

Scoop Table Lamp. I can imagine finding a place for this curvaceous lamp in nearly every room of the house. Perfect for a home office and more, its slim profile gives it so much versatility.

Nappula Candlestick. Enjoy a relaxing night in with some ambiance lighting or a romantic dinner at the table with a set of these candlesticks close by.

Hexagon Towel Ring. Yet another piece that I can see doing double duty in both kitchen and bath. The unusual shape of this towel ring takes a mundane household object up a few notches.

Lander Sconce. A pair of these sconces flanking a bathroom mirror or overseeing an office desk would make just about any task more enjoyable.

Would you welcome brass in your home or are you drawn more to other metallic accents?

Colorful Clawfoot Tubs

Image: Apartment Therapy / Breanne Johnsen

Ever since moving into my first apartment on my own, I've dreamed of having a clawfoot tub as the centerpiece of my bathroom. They always have such a presence about them, an I-dare-you-not-to-notice-me attitude almost. Which means there's really only one thing that could give such a thing even more charisma – COLOR!

Colorful Clawfoot Tubs

Image: The Brick House

From subtle earthen hues to bold brights, a coat of color brings what could be viewed as a dated fixtures into the modern day. I love the idea of tiling and painting the entire space white with exception to the clawfoot. Make it the focal point since it already (literally) carries so much visual weight!

Colorful Clawfoot Tubs

Image: Design*Sponge / April Cochran Smith

There are few things more enticing than a long soak in a deep tub, beverage at arm's length and book in hand. I could spend many an hour in any one of these spaces and walk away feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Colorful Clawfoot Tubs

Image: Design*Sponge / Corbin Lee Ghurkin

Red is such an unexpected color, but I love what it brings to the room above. That glorious clawfoot tub almost begins to blend in when brought up against the same shade used elsewhere in the bathroom. So though I would love my someday tub to stand out, this is a perfect example of how to integrate it into a space in a more subtle way.

Colorful Clawfoot Tubs

Image: House & Home / Michael Graydon

Of course the classiest, most sophisticated and classic option is a stunning matte black. Bring a touch of luxe to your bath by accenting it with gold fixtures for the ultimate decor experience.

What color would you paint your clawfoot tub? Or would you leave it as is?

Making a Small Bath Feel Spacious

Image: H is for Home

We've all been there, whether it involved a rent check or a mortgage – the dreaded tiny bathroom. I found myself in this exact situation after purchasing my current home this past summer. My main bath features a beautifully tiled full-size walk-in shower, a toilet, a small vanity... and no room for anything else. So I set off to research just what design elements might make it feel like a larger and lighter space.

Making a Small Bath Feel Spacious

Image: Apartment Therapy

1. Let the light in. If you have a window consider using privacy film instead of blinds or other window dressings. The treatment is an easy DIY similar to contact paper that can be done in about an hour. It makes a huge difference by diffusing any sunlight headed your way instead of obscuring it, making your space feel bigger and brighter.

2. Clean it out. A small bathroom most likely means not a lot of storage, which means de-cluttering is a must. Things like extra towels, cleaning supplies, and nail polish can all be relegated to a hall closet or hidden away in bins that can be tucked under your bed. Less is more when it comes to not feel claustrophobic first thing each morning.

Making a Small Bath Feel Spacious

Image: Apartment Therapy

3. More glass. If you have the ability to swap out your shower curtain for a glass door, do it. A curtain obscures part of the room, being able to see all four walls at once opens things right up. Make that vanity mirror bigger while you're at it, the illusion it creates will make a huge difference. Other clear elements like shelves and vanity accessories help, too!

4. Use one color. It might sound boring, but using one color for both walls and floor create a continuous palette for the eye. The less differentiation between hues, the more space feels usable.

Making a Small Bath Feel Spacious

Image: HGTV

5. Smaller elements. If you can replace that massive cabinet or the too big sink, make it happen. More space to move around in is priceless, and while this is not the cheapest way to open up your bath it will give the biggest impact.

What's your best trick for getting all you can out of your bathroom space?

How to Add Interest with Graphic Wallpaper

Image: Rocket St George

Wallpaper is definitely one of those trends that has an ebb and flow. Lucky for us it's on the up and up once again and there are countless looks and styles ready and waiting to add new interest to our homes. The thing is that today's wall coverings aren't your grandmother's – in fact they're not even last decade's. They're fresh, eclectic, and full of personal style that you can design an entire room around.

How to Add Interest with Graphic Wallpaper

Image: Layla Grayce

Some of my personal favorite graphic wallpapers have metallic accents and a clean geometry about them. When complex patterns are showcased on a white or neutral background they can be eye-catching without being overwhelming, which is the key choosing something you won't tire of next week.

How to Add Interest with Graphic Wallpaper

Image: Hannah Nunn

Entryways, bathrooms, and even closets are great spaces for pattern-heavy papers. The small areas they cover give intense patterns a place to live – not unlike creating a tiny art installation in your own home! In fact, I'm hoping to wallpaper the back walls of a few of the closets in the home I'm moving into next month, and can attest that there is no shortage of fantastic options to choose from.

How to Add Interest with Graphic Wallpaper

Image: KateZarembaCompany on Etsy

One of the best developments of late has been removable wallpaper – no commitment! This is incredibly ideal for renters who aren't allowed to alter their space and decorators who are looking for a temporary solution. And while it's completely acceptable to hang art on top of wallpaper, if you choose a graphic pattern you're in love with that just may be enough.

Which wallpaper design do you like?