That we H&H editors wistfully fawn over wonderful old herringbone hardwood floors isn't news, but stick with me for a second.
You know the floors I'm referring to: graphic, often oak and immediately evocative of old European estates. Take the floors in the historic Georgian home of British design icon Ilse Crawford of Studioilse, above, which was recently photographed by Magnus Marding for Vogue Living Australia. Drool, drool.
Not surprisingly, Crawford once noted in an interview that her design standby is a great floor: "It's the one thing we touch all the time, and it's not considered enough in projects. It's something you have a strong sensual contact with."
Similarly inspired, cheeky British firm Deadgood recently debuted its Parq Life collection. By taking the traditional look of herringbone flooring and pairing it with contemporary curves, the line's designer, Lee Broom, breathes new life into an age-old style. The collection includes a sideboard, lamp, coffee and side table, all finished in a satin walnut veneer with brass accents. Drool, drool.
See more photos of herringbone floors here.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up the July/August 2011 issue of Elle Decor with actress Courteney Cox on the cover. Celebrity homes are often hit and miss. But the Cougar Town star sure knows her way around a room. In fact, I learned that she studied architecture before pursuing a career in Hollywood, and it's clear that she still has a flair for remodeling and decorating. She moved from her previous John Lautner-designed beach house — which wasn't private enough — to this mid-century modern estate on two acres high above the Pacific. Here's a small sample of the gorgeous shots photographer Simon Upton captured from her new hillside home in Malibu:
For more celebrity envy, see Jennifer Aniston's home.
Which Hollywood homes have caught your eye?
I've been helping someone with a new staircase, and I wanted to show you some of my favourites. What I like about these, regardless of the style, is that they are nicely detailed but are relatively simple. The staircase is an important element of a house — and never an inexpensive endeavor — so I think simplicity is key when choosing one for your home.
Which is your favourite?
For more inspiration, check out Kimberley Brown's blog post on Standout Staircases.
1. House & Home February 2011 issue, photography by Virginia Macdonald
2. House & Home September 2008 issue, photography by James Tse
3. House & Home May 2008 issue, photography by Martin Tessler
With warm weather at its peak, I've been spending quite some time near Toronto's waterfront, watching folks sailing nearby. I love boats — or should I say yachts!? They are a hot commodity and are often decked-out to resemble seaside resorts. I was perusing the internet, daydreaming of a voyage at sea, when I stumbled across these luxury vessels.
This Dutch-designed yacht with teak floors and modern furniture has windows that open up for an indoor-outdoor experience. With a view like that, who needs art?
Patio furniture and white linen uphostery looks perfectly breezy on fashion royalty Alberta Ferretti's yacht. I can only imagine all the A-listers who have lounged here during the Cannes Film Festival.
You can't go wrong with nautical stripes! The large banquette and pedestal tables give the Lady Elizabeth III a glam bistro vibe. I wonder how they keep the glossy white deck so perfectly pristine?
I wish I had more information on this vintage boho-chic yacht, but I found it on Pinterest without a source. This look reminds me of Roche Bobois' MahJong Couture collection. If you can afford a yacht, you might as well splurge on sofas, don't you think?
You might not have a boat, but you can still enjoy high-sea style on your patio with these nautical themed West Elm cushions. At around $20 each, you can put the money you saved toward your yacht fund.
Don't be fooled, this kitchen isn't floating on the open sea. It's a yacht-inspired kitchen! The classic white-on-wood cabinets and shelving, combined with blue floors, is reminiscent of traditional boats. And for an authentic touch, the designer replicated details he saw in an old 1920s yacht photograph to create the wooden grills on the cabinets.
After poring over this gorgeous kitchen, maybe I'll just live the yacht lifestyle on solid ground!
Not enough nautical for you? Check out these articles and photos, too!
1, 2. Architectural Digest, photography courtesy of Feadship
3. Habitually Chic tumblr
4. Architectural Digest, photography by Kim Sargent
6. West Elm
7. House Beautiful, photography by Christopher Baker
Doing laundry isn't always the most enjoyable task, but adding creative storage options and personal touches makes it less boring. While searching for ways to make my own laundry room more interesting, I came across a few I like:
Lining up several black storage boxes creates a unified, tidy look. A clothes rack beneath the shelf is handy, too.
A deep apron sink would be nice to have. I love the clothespin mobile and lower open shelves.
This laundry room looks a bit like a little kid's play set. Baskets to sort clothes by colour are handy and save time sorting.
Talk about maximizing a small space! This closet neatly fits stackable laundry appliances.
Large wicker baskets are always a useful storage option.
I like the teal colour of this cabinetry, and the spindles between the appliances. Which room is your favourite?
Shelf space, storage baskets, an ironing board and a place to hang clothes to dry are all practical elements to include in a laundry room, and accents like flowers and artwork will help make the room more personal, too.
For more laundry room inspiration, check out this photo gallery.
I used to daydream about a turquoise accent wall in my living room, but now I've decided to go with a bold, bright, very beachy teal for my bedroom instead. Now that my mind's made up, the tricky part is choosing the right shade. Here are some photos I've been poring over for inspiration:
Completely unrelated to my bedroom, but I love this shade in a kitchen, too. Turquoise tiles? Why not?
So, which direction to take? Blue or green undertones? Aqua? Peacock? Here are some of the samples I've saved from Behr and CIL:
Thoughts and picks welcome! Factor in my white headboard and charcoal grey duvet, please!
For more beachy rooms, see our Seaside-Inspired Interiors photo gallery.
1. House & Home May 2010 issue, photography by John Cullen
2. House & Home September 2010 issue, photography by Kim Christie
3. House & Home April 2011 issue, photography by John Cullen
4. Tenth Street West Village Townhouse, Steven Gambrel
5. House & Home April 2011 issue, photography by John Cullen
6. Lonny January/February 2011 issue, photography by Patrick Cline
7. 490B, Behr
8. 500B, Behr
I think that everybody has a little creativity inside them. I've met people who say they're not creative at all, but once you dig a little, there's a mini artiste waiting to get out. Even if you don't have a creative job like me, I think it's great to get a daily dose of inspiration. That's partly why blogs are so great!
For me, inspiration is all around and I like to collect little bits of this and that and pin them to the two large bulletin boards in my office at H&H. The grouping is always changing and shifting. The items may or may not have anything to do with a story I'm working on. There are no rules; it's just a place to gather inspiration and a dose of fresh creativity each time I glance over during the day.
Here's what my inspiration board looks like at the moment. I have so many inspiration photos and swatches that they've even spilled over onto the walls around the corkboards! Last week I threw a piece of leftover gingham fabric over an old table and tacked on some fringe with pushpins — classy! I think it's fun for now. I even have a hat, lots of thank-you cards and random bits of ribbon and trim pinned to my board. All fun. All inspiring to me.
This little grouping is for an imaginary country house: The taupe linen is for a sofa, the crazy geranium print is for a stand-out chair, the sage/linen stripe is for some slipcovers and the block print is for some squishy feather pillows. The gingham ribbon? Maybe I'd use that to tie up some loose canvas roman blinds? And there are lots of paint colour options in the leaves of the geranium print.
As you probably know, I have a thing for blue and white and all things beachy and nautical. This striped seersucker fabric mixed with the global batik is a great combo, and I love them next to the monogrammed polka-dot stationery. The straw hat doesn't hurt either! Pour me some lemonade, would you?
I'm also a big garden enthusiast, so these old botanical prints never go out of style for me. (Did you see the TV segment where I decoupaged them on a dresser?) I love them paired with the arsenic-green painted chest and maybe some awning stripe like on that card up there. The paint swatches are old ones from the original Martha Stewart paint collection and the pairings are still current and fresh.
So why not head out and pick up your own corkboard and let that artiste get to work? I promise it'll make you smile.
1-4. Michael Penney
The outdoor wedding season is upon us and many of you probably have a wedding or two to attend within the next few months. Perhaps you have the grand task of planning and decorating for your friend's nuptials? Either way, summer weddings are wonderful and Canada boasts some great landscapes to host beautiful parties. Here are some outdoor and indoor decorating ideas that are sure to have you dreaming of holy matrimony.
Rustic wood tables and chairs sit comfortably under the shade. No need for tassels or frills here; let nature take centre stage with a few simple centerpieces of colourful wildflowers.
Oh the juicy summertime colours! I absolutely adore the hanging mini-bouquets! The centerpieces are stunning as well. To get this look, splurge on flowers and save on vessels by purchasing secondhand glassware — the ones shown here are similar to the vintage glass compote that Michael Penney found at Value Village. Summer's also the perfect season to decorate with fresh fruit. The box of apricots sitting amongst the flowers was surely inexpensive and easy to throw together.
A touch more refined, this setup keeps it simple with oatmeal-coloured linens, white flowers and inexpensive hanging tealight holders that will sparkle come nighttime.
Canada's weather is unpredictable even during the warmer months, so this greenhouse wedding is a great idea. Filled with summertime flair, this casual party takes its colour palette from surrounding flowers and plants.
A garden-style bistro table is quaint and cute for a small wedding. The vintage-looking tableware and striped runner are perfection.
Flower arrangements don't have to be expensive — they can be as simple as recycled glass jars and whatever flowers you find growing nearby. Very casual-country and oh-so-pretty!
Speaking of recycling, these quirky floral centerpieces are made of old colourful tin cans. This is a great stylist trick that'll give you that vintage-chic look. See H&H style experts Michael Penney and Joel Bray demonstrate a few similar floral arrangements on this Online TV segment and try it out for yourself!
If you plan on DIY-ing a wedding this summer, check out some of the tools offered by Martha Stewart Weddings. I like the "Plan Your Wedding By Colour" tool and wedding cake recipe section.
Whether weddings are on your summer agenda or not, take some cues from these pretty wedding decors and host your own outdoor party.
1. Jose Villa Wedding Photography, as seen on A Million Little Details
2. Rebecca Wood Photography, as seen on Cynthia Martyn Events
3. Meg Smith, as seen on Style Me Pretty
4. Soul Mates Photo, as seen on Ruffled
5. Kelly Lynn James, as seen on Antiquaria
6. Peacock Photography, as seen on Ruffled
7. Elizabeth Vanderbij Photography as seen on A Million Little Details
8. Martha Stewart Weddings
Having artwork and inspiration displayed nearby is crucial for me — either on a corkboard, like above, or framed, as in Michael Angus' Toronto apartment.
Desktop organizers to sort stationery, bills, writing utensils and other miscellaneous objects are also helpful. I can't focus when I'm surrounded by clutter.
This office by designer Sarah Richardson features something I've always wanted — a desk fitted into a bay window. I particularly like the detailed brackets which free up floor space. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch, too.
Colour, a comfortable chair and a pretty but functional lamp are also musts for me, as seen in Michael Penney's home office.
What are your workspace must-haves?
For more home office ideas check out this photo gallery.
1. House & Home May 2011 issue, photography by Heather Ross
2. decor8, photography by Thorsten Becker
4. Sarah's House, photography by Stacey Brandford
5. House & Home June 2011 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
I was thinking the other day about what draws me to an interior. Often here at H&H, we're asked things like, "What are your fave kitchens?," or "Which designers are you loving right now?" But what I love changes — it's hard choosing the "best" because there is just so much good design out there.
The other day, I was having a look at loads of interiors (for an unrelated story), and I noticed that a lot of the spaces I was drawn to had a similar element. Take a look just below, can you find the thread?
If you guessed circles, you're right. Something about each image above and the importance of the circular form struck me. Perhaps I'm responding to the organic nature of the form and its way of offsetting structure and straight lines.
Have a look around. Do you live with a round mirror? Does your home have ceiling medallions? Would a round ottoman or coffee table solve the problem of linking your sofa and chairs together? I bet a circular form or two would add a little something something to your own home.Photo credits:
1. Darryl Carter's D.C. Townhouse, Elle Decor, photography by Simon Upton
2. Lower Fifth, Steven Gambrel (For more inspiring rooms by this designer, see our Steven Gambrel photo gallery.)
3. Southampton, Steven Gambrel
4. Elle Decor, photography by Eric Piasecki
5. Elle Decor, photography by William Waldron
6. Elle Decor, photography by Simon Upton