Country LivingThe editors of Country Living have taken us room-by-room through their South Carolina House of the Year for 2008, from the bedroom to the master bath and the library/sitting room, and now we have the final installment-living room decorating ideas brought to you by CL's Senior Decorating Editor, Robin Mayer. Some of the key ideas you'll see in the video: Use colors that echo your home's natural surroundings (in this case, lots of pale blues, grays and white to reflect the Southern light and coastal locale); employ symmetry to bring order to a potentially busy room; and layer textures liberally. Watch the video below to see even more; then click over to see videos of the first LEED-certified private residence and of photographer Matt Albiani's creative New York City living space.
Blog Posts by Valerie Rains, Shine staff
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Aug 12, 2008 8:01 PM EDT
Country LivingThe editors of Country Living have taken us room-by-room through their South Carolina House of the Year for 2008, from the bedroom to the master bath and the library/sitting room, and now we have the final installment-living room decorating ideas brought to you by CL's Senior Decorating Editor, Robin Mayer. Some of the key ideas you'll see in the video: Use colors that echo your home's natural surroundings (in this case, lots of pale blues, grays and white to reflect the Southern light and coastal locale); employ symmetry to bring order to a potentially busy room; and layer textures liberally. Watch the video below to see even more; then click over to see videos of the first LEED-certified private residence and of photographer Matt Albiani's creative New York City living space.Read More »from House of the Year 2008 Wrap-Up: Living room decorating ideas
Photo Credit: American Folk Art MuseumHave you ever had the disheartening experience of coming home from an exotic trip with a bundle of carefully selected souvenirs, only to find "Made in China" stickers on the backs of half of them? (This is, of course, assuming you were not actually vacationing in China, which would be a different story.) A better way to bring home authentic globe-trotter style (without the extra-baggage fees) might be to shop the gift stores of Folk Art museums around the world. You have a little more assurance of the items' authenticity, and there's a wide range of really unique stuff-not just wooden tribal masks and Mexican blankets. Here are some of my favorites from a few of these shops; it's up to you whether you want to reveal how far you did or didn't go to bring them home.
Want more pretty pictures? Check out these slide shows on Shine:
Read More »from Surprising Style Source: Folk art museum shops
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesIn a recent Huffington Post column, designer Jonathan Adler spelled out his views on how to negotiate a couple's joint decorating needs:Read More »from Do you do equal-opportunity decorating?
"We have a saying in my company: The wife is always right unless the husband is gay. This is an excellent saying and questioning your husband's sexuality is a great way to get him to shut up. Assuming that this is not the case and your husband is straight (is he?), you simply have no recourse other than to eliminate him from the process. Take into account some of his functional needs, and then ignore everything else." [via Huffington Post and Nymag.com]
While I know a few couples in which the (straight) man wears the design pants, I've met a far greater number of boyfriends and husbands who couldn't care less whether the rug is sisal or shag or hand-appliquéd Kyrgyzstani felt-or do they? Is it possible that they've just been shut out by the Adlers and the Adler-thinking ladies? (Same-sex couples, this goes for you too, if one of you is always left
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Thu, Aug 7, 2008 8:58 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesYou know you've got one (or five)-the half-empty can of paint that's been stashed in the corner of the garage for so long that it's practically part of the architecture. The paint's probably gone bad by now, or the room you were saving it to touch up has since been painted another color. You couldn't get the lid off if you tried. The time has come to lose the paint can. If the contents are still good, pour them into a Rubbermaid Paint Buddy. It's Photo Credit: Rubbermaidboth an airtight storage device and a touch-up tool, and it definitely takes up less space than a gallon can, making it easier to keep it near where you'd need it, rather than at the back of a cluttered supply shelf behind the motor oil and surplus bags of kitty litter. Bonus: the clear body of the bottle lets you see exactly which shade you're reaching for. Oh, and should you find that your paint is so old it's unrecognizable (or you just don't need it anymore), dispose of it the earth-friendly (and, frankly, legal) way with these tips fromRead More »from Problem Solver of the Day: Touch-up paint dispenser
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Wed, Aug 6, 2008 5:08 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Melodie/Apartment TherapyPerhaps the largest piece of furniture that routinely gets left out on the curb and not picked up again (except by the garbage men), the futon lives a sort of sad life. It's a need-based item, and once most people have outgrown the futon-owning stage in their lives, there's no amount of desperation that could make them go back. It's not that it's not a perfectly serviceable piece of furniture, it's just laden with so many notions of "struggle" and "transition" and "eating ramen noodles" that it's been thoroughly ghettoized in the adult (Western) world. This is all just a long way of saying I've never seen anyone do anything quite as cool with an old futon frame (scavenged from the curb, of course) than Apartment Therapy reader Melodie, who created a really nice, clean-lined garden gate using only the already-hinged frame, a 2" x 2" board, some eye hooks, wire, a toggle bolt, a couple of pieces of lattice for spacers, and some wood stain. Click through the slideshow for more views, andRead More »from The greatest use of an old futon I think I've ever seen
Photo Credit: NuanceThere are many things that can go wrong with outdoor dining-plates blowing away, tablecloths flapping in the wind like bedsheets on a clothesline, bugs in drink glasses, mosquito bites-and yet it is still right at the top of my list of favorite summertime things to do. Nuance tablecloth weights eliminate one of the above problems, unobtrusively anchoring even a delicate spread to the table. (They're also a huge style step above the plastic insect- and fruit-shaped varieties that seem to dominate the market.) Suggested retail price is $36 for a set of four, but-fair warning-you'll have to hunt down a shop near you through their distributor's site. What do you guys think? Would it be worth the money to keep your al fresco dinner party in place? [via Notcot.org]Read More »from Problem Solver of the Day: Tablecloth weights
Other problem solvers on Shine:
The Dry-Erase refrigerator
6-in-1 container opener
Biodegradable trash bags
A space-saving step ladder/ironing board combo
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, Aug 4, 2008 9:34 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Paris Hotel BoutiqueJust ask an Olsen: When you have more money than God, sometimes there arises an inexplicable attraction to things that make you look way less affluent than you are. Some would call this boho chic, some would call it slumming it; either way, it's not just the Olsens who are afflicted. Witness the burlap-upholstered antique chairs selling for $1,400 a pair at Paris Hotel Boutique (yes, similar to those featured in the Country Living House of the Year bedroom tour), or the new line of recycled-feed-bag pillows from SOWN that are burnin' up the design blogs, or the classic: a $220 designer version of a plain wooden box. I have to say, I feel a little torn about these developments. On one hand, almost all the stylish people I know are adept at mixing high and low in their wardrobes and their homes, and it's pretty much the style tactic that won Kate Moss her eternal icon-hood, but isn't part the of the fun that the low is actually low, and not an expensive thing designed to look cheap orRead More »from Expensive things that look cheap and cheap things that look expensive: A meditation
Photo Credit: Atomic BonsaiWhile we've certainly seen how beautiful a Frankensteined real branch/faux cherry blossoms arrangement can be (thanks to Pink of Perfection), the issue of real vs. fake houseplants can still be rather divisive. To some, man-made "plants" are a great idea; to others, they're an abomination fit only for the fluorescent-lit waiting room of a strip mall doctor's office. I'm wondering if the answer might be to go super-fake when you're going with the fake stuff, rather than trying to approximate real flowers in a way that is just disappointing when you get up close. (Also I wonder what happens to those real plants with the plasticky-looking leaves that you are just so sure are fake that you have to keep touching them for a really long time to find out-do those plants die prematurely due to all the excessive touching and hand oils and whatnot?) In any case, it doesn't get much faker (but still cute!) than Atomic Bonsai's No-Maintenance tree ($24.99 on nova68.com). The 7" x 7"Read More »from Speak for Yourself: Do you do fake plants?
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Thu, Jul 31, 2008 4:32 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesYesterday, Apartment Therapy blogged Sunset magazine's story "7 organizing tips that really work," and although a lot of the advice, while wonderful and sound, is stuff you can more or less figure out with common sense, I did stop short at the instructions for organizing/cleaning out the pantry. Wait, what? I'll admit, fridge-clean-out day happens with some frequency at my house, as I have a nasty habit of not managing to eat all my perishables before they, um, perish, but it's possible that I have never in my life (save when moving apartments, which actually used to happen pretty often, too) cleaned out my "pantry"-or whatever served as a pantry at the time. Am I alone here? Does anyone else have years-old packages of Minute Rice (or the last forgotten packets of ramen from your undergrad days) tucked in the back corners of the cabinet? If so, set aside 15 minutes of your day and let's do this together.Read More »from Speak for Yourself: How often do you clean out your pantry?
1. First, pull all the food out onto the counter where you can see it. (This also
I don't know about you, but in my neck of the woods, it feels like summer is flying by. The only recourse is to switch into high enjoy-every-minute gear: Eating more ice cream, taking more sunbathing lunches, and sprinkling the house with summery accessories. Perhaps the most potent (next to, say, real flowers): dandelion-themed objets. Get a load of these:
Read More »from Extend-the-summer trend: Dandelion motifs