Before & After: An Urban Couch Paintover
Ok, so when I first saw this before picture I thought, ‘nice couches’ they could use a few pillows but besides that what could they possibly do to them….And this is what they came up with. I personally liked the couches in the before shot and wouldn’t have thought to change them, but I have to give major kudos for the duo at Rancho Reubidoux for having the vision and guts to take this on.
Sep 30, 2011
Advice on Drying and Storing Summer Herbs
Watching the days draw in and saying goodbye to the gorgeous gardens of summer can be bittersweet. While you can’t keep bountiful outdoor herb gardens going all winter, you can use some basic DIY herb drying and storing techniques to savor the flavors of summer during the chilly months ahead. • Read the full post
Sep 29, 2011
Noemi’s Berlin Apartment
Name: Noemi Location: Berlin, Germany Beyond a lush garden courtyard, a tall twisting staircase leads to the top floor of a 19th century apartment building. Ivy-framed windows open wide as cool summer air drifts through elegant rooms inspired by the historic abodes of German philosophers, English writers, and even French queens.
Sep 28, 2011
Before & After: DIY Wainscoting Transforms a Room
Wainscoting is common wall decor in many traditional homes. However, it can so easily be used homes of any style if you’re willing to be a little eclectic.Installing your own wainscoting can certainly feel like a daunting task but if you’re patient and have a week (or few) to dedicate to it — you’ll be wiping your brow and cracking a cold one in no time.
Sep 28, 2011
Greg & Grey’s Skylit Studio Loft
Name: Greg Hennes & Grey Helvey Location: South East — Portland, OregonSize: approximately 1600 square feetYears lived in: 6 months — rented Greg and Grey moved into their studio loft in January of this year. The vibe they’ve created is one of serene calm, mixed with innovation and creativity. The space is astounding, full of open air and light — it’s the ideal showcase for their Antler & Co. handmade goods.
Sep 26, 2011
Kitchens With Handmade Touches
The kitchen is so often the very heart of the home. We know it’s where most people gather, friends reach for drinks, family sits around while dinner is prepared, significant others talk over coffee. And we think there’s one detail that makes a kitchen feel just right: the handmade touch. • Read the full post
Sep 26, 2011
Before & After: The Goodbye to Matchy-Matchy Makeover
Shanta lives in Forest Hills in a prewar one bedroom apartment. Spacious and with good light, this living room has lots going for it, but lacks color and a real sense of Shanta’s personality. Everything matches, which while not a bad thing, can feel too safe and sterile. The team at Real Simple turned things around…… and helped make the space sing!
Sep 23, 2011
Before & After: Dressing Up a White Box Apartment
Jen and her boyfriend recently moved into this standard grad school apartment and immediately got to work making it their own. This before and after is a true testament to the fact than even the most boring of apartments can be spruced up with a bit of DIY know-how.It only took two weekends for Jen and her boyfriend, Tim, to put together this stylish living room.
Sep 23, 2011
Before & After: Repurposing Unused Cabinets
After removing the upper cabinets from her laundry room in order to create more useable open shelves, Sarah hung onto the narrow cabinets which she knew still had some life in them. Though most of us would probably think of reusing such cabinets in the basement or garage, Sarah transformed them into a centerpiece in her living room.By removing the doors and adding on some fun feet and decorative trim, Sarah turned those ho-hum cabinets into a wonderful sofa table.
Sep 23, 2011
Before & After: A Slipcovered Sponge Chair
If you have a chair that looks like this in your home you’ll want to see Suzanne’s terrific transformation. If you don’t, you might find yourself running to a thrift shop or keeping your eye on the curb come garbage day to get one. In Suzanne’s words, “Goodbye Disney (no offense Tigger)! Hello non-eye sore!”After!We love it and, as you can see below, so does her son Callum. Suzanne says it took her about two hours and 1.5 yards of Ikea fabric.
Sep 23, 2011
Before & After: A Simple Switch Opens Up a Dining Room
I love this Before & After because of its absolute simplicity. This dining room acts as a pass through room in my house. You have to move through it to get from the living room to the kitchen. Even though we kept the furniture in it to a bare minimum (there is ONLY a table and chairs), it still felt stuffy and crowded. Want to see what we changed that did the trick?My husband gets full credit for this re-arrangement in our dining room.
Sep 22, 2011
Candles That Are Paraffin-Free
Not only are paraffin candles a petroleum industry by-product but they are loaded with dioxin and can release benzene and toluene (major carcinogens). We’ve rounded up everything from grapeseed oil to citronella beeswax to give you plenty of options for your next candle purchase. • Read the full post at Re-Nest
Sep 22, 2011
Before & After: Free Vanity Mirror Totally Transformed!
When Shelley’s parents gave her their old double vanity mirror, she immediately knew she wanted to transform it into a full length floor mirror for her living room. After living with the mirror in the garage for months, she finally got the supplies (and the truck) necessary to complete this creative DIY project.Shelley used plywood, trim, and crown moulding to transform this free vanity mirror into a centerpiece for her living room.
Sep 21, 2011
A 30-Second Organic Air Freshener: Made From Trash
We’ve all heard of the old real-estate trick of sticking a cookie dough log in the oven and waiting for it to magically sell your house (or burn it down). But this process seems wasteful of food, or at its very best–when you stuff down your over-baked cookie deodorizer–disrespectful to the privilege and pleasure of
Sep 21, 2011
Make Glassware Shine With Vinegar
It doesn’t matter if you have a dishwasher or do things by hand; there are some pieces of glassware that lose their luster after awhile. It might be water spots, they might be slightly dingy. Either way, they could use some freshening up. Want to know a little trick? • Read the full post at
Sep 20, 2011
Drew’s Vintage Bohemian View
Name: Drew SteinbrecherLocation: Cincinnati, OhioSize: 1060 square feetYears lived in: 7 Drew is a modern design “Renaissance Man”. He can knit, he can sew, he can quilt, he can take photos, he can thrift with the best of them, he’s a graphic designer, an Etsy shop owner and an entrepreneur. Whew. Oh, yeah, and his apartment is amazing.
Sep 19, 2011
Before & After: A Cluttered to Clean Art Studio Overhaul
Amy’s home art studio was in major need of a transformation. It’s really easy to get carried away with your work and let the space slide around you. Well, this summer Amy finally had some time to really focus on her studio and let me tell you it sure paid off …One month later and Amy has a beautiful, bright, clean and organized space that she now spends as much time in as possible.
Sep 19, 2011
Forget Kindling: Start Fires With Orange Peels
With the first day of Fall just around the corner, there are some parts of the country that have seen rather low nighttime temperatures. We’re always ready to bid Summer farewell and welcome Fall (and all that goes with it) with open arms. Time to light the first fire in the fireplace? If so, turn to citrus peels instead of kindling!Although you’ll probably need a little supplemental help from another source, orange peels are perfect fire starters!
Sep 19, 2011
Two Islands in the Kitchen?
Granted, this is not a luxury that most apartment dwellers can afford spatially, but we’re seeing more and more double islands in the kitchens of larger homes. We remember the days when doing an island at all was a trendy new idea. Is this a way to increase the efficiency of a kitchen plan, or
Sep 19, 2011
How to Freeze Your Jeans & “Clean” Them
I recently bought my first pair of “serious” jeans. The reason I know this is because as I was standing at the register about to pay A LOT of money for them, a cool dude who was standing next to me at the register said, “Oh, you’re going to like those.” “Do you have a pair?” I asked him. “Nope,” he said, “But you’re going to like those.” I felt like a first time drug or Ferrari buyer, not a shopper for a new pair of pants.
Sep 16, 2011
Before & After: Melinda Ann’s Dressed Up Office Chair
We’re all very familiar with these little black office chairs. They’re super convenient for a home office but they’re certainly lacking in the style department. Take a cue from Mindy and dress up an office chair with just a little fabric and a staple gun…Melinda Ann had actually relegated this chair to the donation pile, where it was destined for a one-way trip to Goodwill. And then, at the last minute, inspiration struck.
Sep 16, 2011
Before & After: Garage Turned Playroom
Spaces in our homes serve different needs at different times in our lives and this family decided that instead of a traditional car garage, they needed a playroom. See how they made that happen:After!Tracy, her husband and their son Harrison live in Seattle and she told us about this terrific project:We live in a small townhouse with a rather small shared driveway making it almost impossible to park in our driveway.
Sep 16, 2011
How Your Home’s Insulation Affects Your Wireless Signal
There’s a long list of things we love to blame for poor wireless signals—the weather, antenna placement, AT&T—and insulation is rarely one of them. It should be, though, because the insulation in your walls at home and at the office could be the real reason you’re dropping calls.Some construction materials are well-known to mess around with wireless signal strength.
Sep 15, 2011
Spill-Proof, High Performance Table Linens by Evolution
There’s no substitute for a high performance tablecloth during a party. No matter if it’s an elegant dinner party or a raging dance party, someone’s bound to spill some red wine or tomato sauce. Spill-proof and made of recycled plastic bottles, this hearty tablecloth by Evolution will keep your table unblemished. • Read the full
Sep 15, 2011
Samer’s 1930’s Streamline Moderne Apartment
Name: Samer FawazLocation: Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize: 1100 square feetYears lived in: 1 1/2 years When you walk into Samer’s home you sense you are someplace special; someplace that has an interesting history. The building was originally built for actor Jack Haley, aka the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz.” Over the years it was home to many models, rock stars and writers. In the summer of 1960, the penthouse had its most notable resident – Senator John F. Kennedy.
Sep 14, 2011
Alan’s Colorful, Daring & Dramatic East Austin Home
Name: Alan Gonzalez Garcia, owner of new East Austin restaurant Papi Tino’s and Taco (the dog). Location: East — Austin, TexasSize: 2,500 square feetYears lived in: Owned 3 years Two things hit you first when you walk into Alan Gonzalez’s hip-looking East Austin home. One: Whoa! A black ceiling! And two: The realization that this is going to be one awesome house.
Sep 13, 2011
5 Completely Free Ways to Make Your House a Home
We’ve talked time and time again about all the little things you can do to make a house feel like a home. You can have warm enveloping lighting, plants for fresh air and fun additions of color, collections and artwork, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how to make your home feel like a refuge; it doesn’t have a single thing to do with your decor or the design of your space and nothing costs a dime – it’s all totally, 100% free… 1.
Sep 13, 2011
Robbie Laughlin’s Beautiful Runyon Canyon Apartment
Name: Robbie LaughlinLocation: Hollywood near Runyon Canyon — Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize: 1,000 square feet, 1 Bedroom + 1 BathYears lived in: 6 years — Rent Robbie Laughlin, the E! News host, lives in an ideal mid-sized one bedroom home at the foot of Runyon Canyon. His building boasts classic floor plans and gorgeous city views. Tucked minutes away from the hustle of the city in the heart of Hollywood, this apartment’s location truly is the best of both worlds.
Sep 12, 2011
Jesse & Lucas’ Simply Stylish Home + Studio
Name: Jesse Kamm (fashion designer) & Lucas Brower (founder of AP Academics) Location: Mt. Washington – Los Angeles, California Size: 1500 square feet Years lived in: 1 1/2 years Jesse and Lucas’ home represents both their love of great design and a rather minimalist lifestyle.
Sep 12, 2011
Before & After: Natasha’s Effortlessly Stylish Office
Jen emailed us a link to the office she dressed up for her friend Natasha. As a rising star in fashion PR, Natasha needs a space that exudes simple style. So over a weekend, Jen turned Natasha’s sad space into a stylish office. AFTER! Jen describes herself on her blog as a DIY enthusiast who is “gradually turning into an Asian Martha Stewart”. So it’s no surprise that when her friend Natasha needed help dressing up her fashion PR office, she turned to Jen.
Sep 12, 2011
Before & After: Plain to Woodsy Dressers
These two white dressers are perfectly fine for a baby’s room, but aunt-to-be Meg got her hands and, more importantly, paint brushes on them to create a pair of woodsy dressers inspired by her nephew’s nursery bedding.After!If it looks like a lot of work – well, it was! Meg was under a deadline to finish these so they could be hand delivered by her parents. All told, it took her 32 hours and 11 different paint colors – we’re tired just thinking about it.
Sep 12, 2011
Peter & Blair’s “Bohemian Preppy” Seattle Abode
Name: Peter and Blair Stocker, their two kids, and a kitty named Gracie.Location: North Seattle, WashingtonSize: 2500 square feetYears lived in: 10 years, owned Peter and Blair live in a sweet (and deceptively large) house, tucked away amongst giant, shady trees in the Greenwood area of Northern Seattle. The self-employed duo have been cultivating the home’s modern twist on traditional decor over the past ten years.
Sep 9, 2011
Before & After: Andrea & Cliff’s Updated Floating Stairs
The stairs in Andrea and Cliff’s house were looking a bit dated. Wrapped in berber carpet, they looked more like a giant cat scratcher than the beautiful floating stairs the couple hand in mind. With some hard work and a lot of sanding, the crafty couple updated the stairs while also creating a more open, airy feel to the space.Andrea and Cliff emailed in to share their stair makeover and the minute we saw what an undertaking it was (and what a difference they made!), we had to share it.
Sep 8, 2011
A Pop-Up Apartment at The Yard
Name: The YardLocation: Long Island City, New YorkSize: 650-square-feet — 1-bedroom condo Modern Spaces has taken brokerage and marketing of new condos at the Yard to a new level. The model apartments benefit a long list of local artists and a female furniture design duo who transform salvaged wood scraps into signature pieces! Nightwood, the deconstructed furniture and textiles company, is very into modern rusticity.
Sep 7, 2011
Four People (and a Dog) Living in 180 Square Feet
Name: Tammy, John, Sam, Will, and Dobbs Location: Gulf Islands, British Columbia Size: 180 square feetYears lived in: One (mostly on weekends) Before I get started with this tour, I cannot emphasize this enough: My husband and I are not rich and we are not particularly handy. Heck, we’re not even all that smart. This latter fact was probably the driver behind why two people with little money and even fewer skills would even attempt to build a cabin on an isolated island with no amenities.
Sep 7, 2011
Before & After: Two Makeovers, One Month
These “before” shots above were snapped during the final tour we took of our house before buying it last year. The upstairs bath (left) was highlighted as a selling point. I thought it had potential. The basement bathroom, on the other hand, was composed entirely of bargain tile and fixtures and didn’t seem to have any potential at all. This past month, I gave them both makeovers on a mini budget.
Sep 7, 2011
Great Kids’ Party: Vintage Trains
Get your ticket ready to board Jack’s train celebration! Michelle shares all the creative details: We love vintage. We love throwing birthday parties. Our little boy loves trains. So, this year, we decided on a train theme. • Read the full post at Ohdeedoh
Sep 7, 2011
Before & After(s): Mark’s Opulent Bachelor Pad
When designer duo Natalie Younger and Sayre Ziskin called me up to shoot some portfolio work for them I was excited to see their take on a masculine opulent bachelor pad. Mark has lived in his 1 bedroom loft for just over a year, but has never had the time to really delve into design. He hired Younger & Ziskin to help him create a lavish, dark and sophisticated home.Mark lives in an eco-friendly urban loft condo at the TLofts in Los Angeles.
Sep 6, 2011
Giovan & Chloe’s Urban Vintage Loft
Name: Giovan and Chloe PolancoLocation: Fashion District — Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize:865 square feetYears lived in: 1.5 years — rent Giovan and Chloe have embraced their downtown converted loft for all its natural light and a spacious floor plan. Using a bit of creativity and elbow grease, these two have creatively added DIY charm to their home by building their own closet and coffee table. Their style is a mix of vintage and estate sale chic put to good use in an urban loft.
Sep 5, 2011
Before & After: $10 Door Transformed
Tired of living with the unfinished look of a “king size bed on a cheap metal frame just pushed up against the wall”, Kristen knew she wanted to add a headboard but didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Enter her local secondhand store, Buffalo ReUse, where Kristen went to browse for inspiration. At only $10, this solid wood door was a great find, one Kristen knew she could use to transform the look of her bedroom.Kristen selected this door for its simple lines and its symmetry.
Sep 2, 2011
Easy Eats: Gluten-Free Digital Mag
Sep 2, 2011
A Model Apartment: Jay Michael’s Lincoln Square Style
Name: Jay Michael Location: Lincoln Square — Chicago, IllinoisSize: Approximately 300 square feet (this particular model) Jay Michael and his construction manager (and long time friend) Diana Tokat led me on a recent tour of this small yet mighty Lincoln Square model apartment in one of Jay’s converted rental properties. The idea is simple: show prospective renters how beautifully and efficiently one can live in a small, rented space.
Sep 1, 2011
Before & After: DIY Rope Bench
Repurposing hand-me-downs or flea market finds is so incredibly fun and the options are endless. Sometimes giving a piece of furniture a face lift is as easy as visiting your local hardware store.Most of us have an item in the home that used to have a purpose but now it’s just sitting around with no particular place to go. For Sam, a broken down bench with no purpose was re-imagined into a beautiful rope bench.
Sep 1, 2011