Monday, June 28, 2010

More Small Space Living Inspirations - Color Me Small!

This small 228 sq ft apartment in Los Angeles is designed by L.A. 
based interior designer Kenneth Brown.  Kenneth Brown is a very
talented and established designer in southern California.

He really shows what you can do in such a small space and how
one can really punch it up with fun colors and patterns.

When you have a tiny space, to keep obstructions to a minimum and
to make a space look more open, Brown advises not to purchase any
furniture with arms.  It's a great piece of advice that visually makes
total sense in a small space. 

Again, this chair has no arms and the console doubles as a desk.

Ken took wall paper rolls and just hung them up on a wall to give 
more visual interest.  It doesn't get simpler than that to give a room
a punch of color.

Keep the shelves skinny and to a minimum.  Here, picture shelves are
used so there is a place to put up photos with the shelves not taking up
much space.

When you have a small space, it's all about function.  Function, Function,
and more Function.  In this case, this ottoman can also serve as storage

A great way to hide away things without needing a door that swings out
is to use curtains.  Ken added a patterned curtain on on the inside for 
additional color - lots of fun!

The Bar (Crate and Barrel) serves a dual purpose as the TV stand as well.
Wouldn't have thought to use a bar as a TV stand - but why not indeed?

In the small dining area, armless faux bamboo chairs are used.  You can
also throw seat cushions with color and pattern on if you want.

Here's another great book for ideas when it comes to living 
in small spaces.  I hope you enjoyed the tour of this small
228 sq feet apartment.  Amazing what you can do in such a
small space.

Photos from Better Homes & Garden

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Small Space Living Inspirations - A 431 Sq Ft Apartment in Paris

This magazine article was originally published by French magazine
Cote Maison and picked up by Apartment Therapy.  It's a fantastic 
example of small space living.  We're talking a family of four and 
a dog living in a 430 sq ft apartment.  Amazing isn't it?  We never
think about it living with space is definitely a luxury.  A luxury that
Americans are used to but not necessarily all places in the world have.
Your average apartment for a family of 4-5 in Hong Kong is around
400 sq ft.  This isn't because they just happen to love living in small
spaces - there isn't any available land and square footage is seriously
expensive.  Most families simply cannot afford more space.  There's
a saying in Hong Kong that real estate is worth its weight in gold by
the square Inch!  The above bedroom very cleverly utilizes the tiny
closet-like space very well.

Every available amount of space in the apartment 
is  used. Isn't this cubby in the ground great?

A Tibetan tapestry hangs in the doorway.  The cupboards
and built in storage space is from the ground to the ceiling.

Here's the kitchen area with a dine in table.  
Notice the stairs going up to another room.

Those same steps are actually built in drawers.  Now this is what
I'm talking about.  The Japanese also design in this incredibly 
functional way as your average living space for a single person in 
Tokyo is often no more than a small room.

What a lovely dining and living space.  The windows almost extend 
from floor to ceiling.  I just love the exposed brick like floor.  Hanging 
curtains from floor to the ceiling creates the feeling that the room and 
ceiling is higher than it actually is.  Also using clear furniture like the 
glass table is a great way to expand a space visually.

Here's the other side of the room which also leads into the kitchen.

The living and dining room double as the master bedroom.
The bed you see is a Murphy bed which is folded into the wall.

Here is the floor plan to this incredibly functional space.
You can see the dotted lines where the Murphy bed pulls
down for the living/dining room to become the Master 

I recently purchased this book which I love!  What's great about
that it showcases real homes and apartments that are small and 
what owners and designers have done with their space.  I highly 
recommend it.  

As of late, there seems to be a trend to downsizing and 
living with less space.  What are your thoughts?  Less is
more?  Or more is more?

All photos from Apartment Therapy and Cote Maison
Photos by Alexandre Bailhache

Monday, June 21, 2010

Casual and Comfortable Cottage-Country Style Living Rooms

Being summer and all, I thought a post on casual cottage-country styled 
living rooms would be appropriate.  Something about summer holidays
and vacations just makes one want to lounge around, read a book and 
just relax.

Cotton, canvas and linen are all comfortable materials 
common in cottage and country living rooms.  Something
about white makes a room feel so airy.

Nothing wrong with mixing all kinds of textures.

Here's a nice living area with a small dining table in 
a romantic Shabby Chic style.  Not over the top but
enough to make the room feminine, romantic and 

Now this is a much more feminine room with all the frills
at the bottom of the chair covers.  Love the cream roses
in the center of the room.

This room has some punches of color to liven it up.

Nothing wrong with using outdoor furniture inside.
One can't really go wrong with blue and white.

This room has a casual feeling to it but it feels more sophisticated
in it's mix of patterns, dark wood and finely upholstered pair of
white chairs.  The striped sofa looks super comfortable and I've
always loved a good plaid (which the rug is a fresh green and white.)

Any of you getting ready for vacations?  Where are you off to?

All photos from Country Living

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fashion Illustration as Art - Anne Wainscott

For art and design to hang up on walls, I've always adored water colors 
and fashion illustration.  Some designers frame vintage magazine covers
as well.  In this post, I wanted to focus on one particular fashion illustrator
called Anne Wainscott. 

There is currently an exhibit in Cincinnati called "Inspired by Anne" based
on the illustrations of Anne Wainscott put on by Landor Associates through
July.  Different illustrations by Anne are being showcased through out the
the old Shillito’s Department store buildling.

The illustration above is one of my favorites by Anne Wainscott - it mixes
two of my favorite mediums - Fashion Illustration and water color art.

Anne Wainscott is an extraordinary womanshe was a fashion illustrator for local newspapers and department stores from 1920-1970. Before the 1970’s and during the height of Ms. Wainscott’s career, the responsibility of a fashion illustrator was integral to the publishing and advertising worlds until photography became a more widely accepted medium.

It just so happens that one of the department stores that Anne used to illustrate for was Shillito’s Department store (now condos and offices), is where Landor currently houses its 125 employees.                                                                                                         

What's funny is that lately, my latest curiosity has to buy several old replicas 
of Sears & Roebuck catalogs around the turn of the century.  The catalogs
are a fascinating glimpse into the life back then and how much things cost.
The catalog is full of drawn illustrations - probably exactly like the ones that
Anne Wainscott drew.

 I love how colorful and artistic her series of hat illustrations are.

If you love fashion illustrations too, you should check out this book
the sketches and illustrations of many top designers.

Photos from Landor Associates

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Different Uses for Tea Cups

I freely admit that I'm a compulsive tea cup collector...especially ones that 
don't match - all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors.  I saw a documentary 
once that Jacky Chan the martial arts comedian has a collection too.  And
why not indeed?  Other than being able to have Mad Hatter or Alice in 
Wonderland themed tea parties, one can actually do a lot in the way of
decor with a teacup.

I love the miniature bouquet above in this tea cup set.

Larger flowers all of the same kind will do just as well.

Ever thought of serving cupcakes in tea cups? 

Making a miniature house in a tea cup?  
Now this takes skill!  Amazing isn't it? 

A tea cup can also serve as a great candle.

Stack them up as a miniature shelf for small 
things or to serve chocolates and sweets on.

This isn't exactly a tea cup but a tea cup 
made of yarn is certainly creative.

If you love platter ware and tea sets, this Wedgewood
book is a really great book to check out.  Available
through Amazon.

So if you have a collection of tea cups or occasionally
have the urge to buy one at a flea market, discount store,
or stores like Anthropologie - you should!  There's so much
you can do with tea cups.  Put candy in them, your change,
beads or other little things in...the list goes on.

Photos from Domino Magazine,,, ACupofGlee.blogspot, and Flickr LoveItaly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

English Immersion - An Colorful Twist in a Truly British Home

For kicks, I wanted to share this colorful and totally over the top English 
home.  I can't say that I could live in a place like this home but I certainly
would stay in a place like this as a guest or an upscale bed and breakfast.
The decor really makes me feel as if I'm in a different era.

It's like a home that belongs in a book or novel.

It has that feel and ambiance to it.

Antique furnishings paired with a super saturated Yellow.

Old paintings, vintage blankets and lamps...

Plates, vases and chests...One can tell the owner of this home is
definitely a collector.  It's definitely one way to showcase everything -
cover the entire wall with collections.

Take a look at the huge arrow above the bed.  If anything, 
the owners are very consistent in their style and taste.

And the grand finale.  This room totally looks like it comes from another
time and era.  I would love visiting a room like this.  I can imagine for kids,
they would be exploring all the things in the room.  The floor is nearly 
entirely covered with rugs of all sizes - it's really incredible.  It really 
transports one to another sort of reality - feels like a room from the past 
and it looks like it's a room filled with history.  I can't say that I'd live in a 
place like this but it certainly sparks the imagination which is something
I love about it and the reason I wanted to share it.  

A penny for your thoughts on this place?

Photos by 1st Option London