Live Your Best Light

Ask any stylist the key to a successful shoot and you’ll find yourself in a conversation about lighting.

More than just aesthetics, it possesses its own emotional language, writing atmosphere and warmth into contemporary interiors. If you or your home are feeling a little under the weather, consider experimenting some with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

To help you get started, Chaplins Furniture has created a shortlist of the best new launches this season…

On the Move

Freed from the shackles of cables, today’s best designer lighting its portable, fun and ready to move. Opt for the comfort of a time-honoured lantern or keep things contemporary with a colourful new BELLHOP.

Ideal for study nooks, reading or outdoor soirees, these versatile luminaires reimagine the intimacy of candles for the modern age.

Sleek Scandi

All clean lines and essential silhouettes, sleek Scandi finds beauty in the bare minimum, offering a serene reprieve from the clutter of contemporary life. Leading the subtle style stakes are the new POST WALL LIGHTS by Muuto.

Thanks to a system of magnetic wall brackets, they can be arranged in striking linear configurations, with 360 degree swivelling bulbs and touch-controlled dimming.

Back to Black

In 2020, designers are experimenting with classic drama, revealing a host of iconic designs in sleek matt-black colourways. Seductive and bold, the new palette feels fitting for this time of year, updating winter homes with a little monochrome magic. A new favorite? The New PH Artichoke in BLACK, a daring design statement if ever there was one.

Deja-Vu

We couldn’t sign off without mentioning a handful of new retro lights that are making waves in maximalist circles. Boasting everything from 70s fringe through to art deco prints, these funky designs pack a serious punch, with island culture inspiring the creation of the new ARCIPELAGO LAMPS and CONTARDI’S extended CALYPSO collection.

All photos courtesy Chaplins Furniture.

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How to Add Elegance to Your Bathroom

Elevate your bathroom’s appeal by including a touch of luxury.

Photo courtesy of Maison Valentina

Looking to remodel your dreary bathroom into a personal spa that you can escape to after a long day at work? From tiles painted with Italian designs to plush armchairs, today’s bathrooms are going all out with elegance and sophistication.

Functional Furniture

Between bulky towels, bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and cleaning supplies, there’s a lot that needs to be stored in a bathroom with no place to put it. For added elegance and storage, incorporate a large armoire or chest. Now that your clutter is out of the way, you have room to decorate your bathroom with luxury pieces, like an armchair or dressing table, that elevate that spa look and give you a place to unwind.

Photo courtesy of Tom Tailor

Bathroom Sink

Let’s face it — nothing makes a busy morning worse than bumping elbows with your partner in the bathroom. Say “goodbye” to that early-morning fuss by adding an elongated double sink with a marble countertop or blocking out a space on either side of the room for a separate sink for each person. To elevate your bathroom sink’s appeal, prop a large metal, marble or hand-blown glass bowl on top of your counter and decorate the surrounding space with a matching soap pump.

 

Photos courtesy of Maison Valentina

Luxurious Lighting

It’s a new year, which means you need to leave that ugly overhead lighting behind and invest in lights that warm up your bathroom and add a touch of class. Opt for soft lighting by hanging a luxurious chandelier over the bathtub and placing a lamp on your dressing table. To enhance your bathroom sink, place lighting fixtures on either side of your mirror. These changes will completely transform your cold bathroom into the oasis of your dreams.

Photo courtesy of Sweetpea & Willow

Framed Mirror

It’s time to swap that frameless wall-sized mirror for a framed mirror that hangs on your wall. From plain silver or gold to ornate designs, framed mirrors are an easy way to show off your unique style and enhance your bathroom. Need more storage? Purchase a mirror that doubles as a cabinet, where you can hide your toothbrush, mouthwash and skincare.

All in the Details

You’ve got the armchair, framed mirror and ornate chandelier — what’s next in your bathroom transformation? Amp up the details! Turn your bathroom from a basic spa to a high-end haven by decorating your space with Italian tiles that frame your mirrors or doorways. You can also add more sophistication by decorating with Persian or Turkish rugs, plants and artwork. By incorporating details in every corner of your bathroom, you’re able to highlight your own personal style while adding interest to your space.

Photo courtesy of Tom Tailor

 

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Large Windows and How to Dress Them

Large windows are certainly on-trend right now and with good reason. Natural light and unforgettable views are a must-have in the realm of luxury.

Floor to ceiling windows let in light to make a home feel spacious and bright, giving a property a contemporary look. But every window needs the right dressing, which is why Blinds Online, Australia’s largest online made-to-measure blinds retailer, has developed a host of new and original solutions to make your big windows as beautiful as can be.

Accentuating the look of big, modern windows requires a contemporary design statement. Blinds Online has developed a brand new collection of S-Fold curtains that does just that. Simple, sophisticated and stylish, their gentle waves provide a neat, uniformed finish perfect for the modern home. Pulling back effortlessly to a small stack they also allow lots of light to come flooding through larger windows. Made to measure and delivered to your door, complete with their very own track, they’re an incredibly cost-effective solution.  

Another brand new addition to the collection, Blinds Online’s DuoLight and DuoShade Max honeycomb pleated blinds are the ultimate big window solution. These blinds are available in a sophisticated cotton white fabric in block-out for superior shading or light filtering for a soft glow. Specially designed honeycomb pockets also trap the heat to negate the draughts that large windows can create, making rooms blissfully cool in the summer and cozy during winter.

 

Maintaining privacy can be tricky when dealing with large panes of glass, but Blinds Online has an innovative new solution. Their collection of double roller blinds combines a modern palette of on-trend block-out fabrics with complementary magic screen voiles all on the same roller blind mechanism. Two blinds in one for letting in light and preserving privacy at the same time.

 

Now available in even bigger sizes, Blinds Online has a collection of smart, elegant and beautifully crafted plantation shutters. Made from real timber and advanced polymer, they’re lightweight and easy to care for. Their polymer shutters are waterproof making them perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, while in bedrooms and street-facing windows their timber shutters make a stunning design statement and provide plenty of curb appeal. They offer easy light control, are thermally dynamic and help maintain privacy.

Photos courtesy of Blinds Online

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Changing with the Seasons

 ©istockphoto.com / Arita Cimermane

“The seasons in the landscape, much like the seasons of one’s life, are to be embraced, appreciated and weathered.” — Robin Kramer

When it comes to the seasons, an adaptable landscape is always a challenge. In northern climates, the focus is too often on the fleeting warmer months where blossoms are abundant and beautiful. Into late fall, the vibrant leaves have fallen and a bare winter — and landscape — sets in. In warmer areas, the challenge is less about the seasons and more about weather extremes such as droughts or rain.

We talked to luxury landscape designers about how they work through the challenges of the changing seasons and find beauty in the landscape all year long.

A Strong Framework

“I consider structure to be the most critical component in any garden. A successful garden design will look good in any season if the bones of the garden are well designed,” says New York City-based Landscape Designer Robin Kramer. “Paths, walls, edging, hedges, pergolas and water features are the permanent features that make a garden strong and confident. The flowering plant material is the dressing of the landscape and can easily be modified based on the desires of the gardener.”

“Ideally, a landscape is something that transitions throughout the year and it has its glory days throughout every season,” says Vermont-based Landscape Designer Ashley  J. Robinson. “They are rarely looking for a one-shot wonder with a full-on explosion of bloom in the spring.”

Robinson seeks out materials such as wood, metal or other elements that are not herbaceous in order to craft a composition that is visually intriguing despite the blooms, or lack of blooms. “Natural stone, boulders, outcropping in the garden. A well-intentioned feature is important for a winter garden.”

Similarly, Teresa Watkins, a Master Gardener and specialized horticulturist for over 20 years in Florida, relies on hardscape and garden art to design spaces that truly fit a client’s personality, while at the same time ensuring the health and sustainability of the landscape. “I have an ongoing two-year project designing a formal estate landscape with a rose garden with walls, a faux stone bridge, butterfly garden, water features, orchard, meandering pathways and poolscaping.”

An architectural framework is key to high-end landscape, and Pennsylvania-based Landscape Designer Donald Pell is an expert at finding a balance of this within a range of vernaculars — from English-style to modern. “Our work always includes thoughtfully designed architectural spaces. These can be simple and they can be very substantial,” he says. “Right now, I am building a very large promenade through a woodland 

A beautiful wild garden crafted by Vermont Landscape Designer Ashley J. Robinson. Photo courtesy of Ashley J. Robinson.

Donald Pell Gardens gave this 1700s Colonial Farmhouse garden an update with native and cosmopolitan plants used to evoke the regional landscape. Photo courtesy of Donald Pell.

that I would describe as very classical, and the plantings are very much impressionistic woodland. I specified hand-cut fieldstone curbing with paths that has a Pennsylvania Colonial feel, and I really like bond pattern paving details angled from the home, which tend to be very modernist.”

When it comes to warmer climates, such as those of the Sun Belt, structure has less to do with looking good throughout bare seasons, but more to do with a landscape that can sustain year-round outdoor living. “For contemporary homes in Southern California, the indoors rolls right outside,” says landscape architect Scott Zucker. “You’ve got enormous sliding doors with pocket entry, kitchen and family rooms that pour right out onto the terrace.” In designing these homes, materials that can withstand the outdoors, but also look just as beautiful indoors is the challenge. A huge trend, Zucker points out, is utilizing porcelain or ceramic pavers that not only keep a stunning transitional look, but also require very little maintenance.

Above, an outdoor portico crafted from stone at a Southern California residence designed by Scott Zucker of Zucker Design Associates, Inc. Below, an arbor for a Laguna Beach residence offers an eye-catching landscaping feature.

Top photo courtesy of Jeri Koegal. Bottom photo courtesy of Scott Zucker.

The Four Seasons

“The seasons themselves aren’t a challenge, but an exciting opportunity,” says Pell. “Even thinking about texture and emotion of the dead tissue of herbaceous plants can be an opportunity to compose something beautiful. It’s the same as working anywhere in the world — there are opportunities and constraints.”

While spring and summer’s spotlight is on the flower, that shifts completely when fall arrives. “I never focus on just the flower,” advises Pell. “They are just too ephemeral. They are, of course, an important component, but the structures of the plantings at their worst is where I start. I am looking for plants that look very beautiful in a given composition, and I want the composition to be able to hold up in extremes of weather.”

“Designing through the seasons takes careful planning and a thorough understanding horticulturally on the attributes of trees and plants,” says Kramer. “Floral succession bloom is created by selecting perennials that will create a parade of flowers from spring through to the first frost. This is supported by spring bulbs and flowering trees.”

“In fall, we plant thousands of spring bulbs. It is a late task in season, but such an important one,” continues Kramer. “In the spring, I want the ground to be punctured with green shoots pushing their way forward, poising for their bloom. After months of frigid temperatures and inches, even feet, of snow, New England begins to warm. Those rather odd-looking bulbs we planted are now a sure sign of spring and a reminder that we too, have survived another winter.”

“There’s a lot to be said for winter in the garden,” says Robinson. “It requires you to not do a lot of cut back or maintenance. Generally speaking, you should wait out the things you don’t want there, such as foliage debris and leaf litter — these things are good for increasing organic matter in the soil. You shouldn’t scrape landscape bare — it’s all about layering and allowing that to happen naturally.”

Warmer Climates

While places with warmer climates, such as Southern California or Florida, don’t have the challenges of designing through autumn and winter, they do have seasons of their own: dry season, fire season, and wet season.

“The water use in California really drives what we can and can’t do,” says Zucker, who mentions WELO (Modern Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance) and fire departments regulations, as well as restrictions on paving and the amount of non-permeable landscape a property is allowed to have. “One of the trends that is big in California these days — necessitated by lack of water — is drought-tolerant plants.” These include plants such as succulents or agaves that also offer stunning structural plant material that really create a powerful look for a landscape.

“When I’m working on my designs, I take into account not necessarily annuals or perennials, but the permanent flowers that clients especially desire so that at any time of the year it will be blooming,” says Zucker. “I tend to group plant material together to give a bigger impact. Instead of giving too many species, I pare it down so that aesthetically, from the front yard to the backyard, the whole landscape ties together.”

While Zucker is looking for colorful plantings that can withstand the lack of water, places like Florida experience the opposite — with a wet season that lasts at least half of the year. “Florida winter season can be dramatic. We can go from 85 degrees one day to 28 degrees the next, which is not enough time for tropical plants to acclimate to cooler temperatures,” says Watkins. “The other issues are temperatures averaging 85 degrees for six to seven months out of the year, where our plants can be growing all year, and over 50 inches of rain.” 

It’s in these areas where irrigation designers are needed most fevertly along with specialized consideration of the amount of sunlight, soil moisture, soil pH — all extremes associated with the tropics. Without seasonal change, there is also a shortage of compost, plant material and nutrients, which is easily received each fall with the turning of the seasons in other parts of the country.

“I often say, all of life’s lessons are learned in the garden,” says Kramer. “Each season delivers reminders and rituals. It is the moments on which lives are built and cherished.”

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Picture Perfect

What could be easier to give your own home personality than with the right photo?

Whether it’s a memorable quote or drawing, sophisticated or playful the right wall decoration can give a home that unique touch that helps further showcase you and your style. When finding the perfect picture, there are some tips that can help to skillfully stage the personality of your space. Katarzyna Kolenda, interior expert and managing director for Dekoria GmbH, reveals which wall decorations suit which type of home decorator and gives tips on how to arrange them perfectly.

 

 

 

Your Natural Habitat

From natural wood to walls of stone, untreated natural materials have once again become the focus of many interiors today. The comfortable, light effect that natural designs have on a room’s style is undisputed and can even be proven to reduce stress, from images of greenery and nature itself to a simplistic color palette of softer greens and whites. So what would go better with an urban jungle look than botanical motifs and photos full of vibrant greenery? 

Nature lovers can live out their great passions when choosing frames and photos. For example, canvases that display green or wooden elements give the room a rustic, creative charm. “As [if back] in the forest, the botanical motifs should find their perfect place on the wall,” advises Kolenda.

More than Words

The home is a place where you most feel comfortable, a perfect place to organize your favorite thoughts and feelings and give them a place of importance visually, such as a framed photo of a quote or life motto. If you frame a motto of life on the wall, it not only looks modern but also conveys a message to visitors, whether it’s to “Be brave!” or to “Find the beauty in every day.”

“Statements and sayings no longer just belong in the notebook or on a T-shirt,” says Kolenda. “You can give rooms a new mood in just a few moments while looking calm and trendy, especially when combined with other pictures.”

The Art of Change

Each photo or art piece reveals a lot about the person who puts it on display, whether it’s floral patterns for nature lovers or action heroes for die-hard cinema fans. “When finding the right picture, people should simply listen to their gut,” summarizes Kolenda. With passion comes the potential for change, so do not be afraid to change your art or photo style over time. Like art itself, style is never truly static and therefore has the potential to show growth and change.

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Modern Midwestern Makes

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Concrete-Inspired Gift Guide

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To Ireland With Love

Whether working in busy urban studios or quiet countryside spaces, there’s no denying that makers and creators remain an integral part of Ireland’s culture and workforce. From painted canvas and chiseled stone to woven tapestries and hand-sewn clothing, the art of the handmade item is alive and well.

In fact, General Paints Group is telling the story of what it means to craft and create in Ireland in the only way it knows how: through color.

The company’s new Curator collection features 144 unique paint colors developed and sourced from artists who focus their creative endeavors in Ireland. The palette presents everything from neutral hues that speak to the quiet woodlands of West Cork to bolder shades that evoke the country’s strength and spunk.

“From the very beginning, we wanted to make a collection that was authentic, special and genuine,” says Rachel O’Connor, expert director for General Paints Group and one of the developers of the Curator brand. “[The artists] all had colors that really meant something to them and inspired their work. And for a lot of their work, their muse was Ireland and our lovely landscape.”

O’Connor, who is also heading up Curator’s U.S. presence, says that develop-ing and sourcing the palette was a nearly five-year journey. After extensive searching, the team worked with 29 Irish designers and artisans to discover the history and heritage behind the colors that inspired them. Although the concept of the palette changed along the way, O’Connor says the goal of capturing “the passion they bring into their work” remained a driving force

 

O’Connor, who is part of the third generation of General Paints Group’s 65-year history, also points to her company’s own entrepreneurial spirit as part of the collection’s inspiration.

“We’ve always had an admiration for artists and craftspeople. Many are solo entrepreneurs who are doing what they love. We worked with a broad range of artists — potters, millers, sculptors — and although they’re all different, they had one thing in common, and that was color,” she says.

 

Ronnie Graham.

O’Connor speaks fondly of the stories within the pigment and describes some of the bolder colors in the palette. There’s Ancient Black, inspired from the creations of sculptor Ronnie Graham. O’Connor describes the lore of this deep, moody color as “haunting and mystical.”

“[Ronnie] works with what’s called buried oak — it’s oak that’s been buried in a bog for thousands and thousands of years. During the preservation process it turns a beautiful charcoal color,” O’Connor says. “Ronnie believes it emits a mystical power — and he tries to capture that in his sculptures. Interestingly, it’s been one of the most popular colors in our market.”

The Curator collection was intentionally designed to easily discover and combine complementary shades. Here, Ancient Black is paired with Kerr’s Pink and Rose Mantel.

Carol Cronin.

O’Connor also suggests the colors can be used seasonally — such as on flower boxes and planters, furniture or even doors; she describes charming Irish neighborhoods with bright pink, turquoise and other colors adorning the front doors of homes. “But we don’t like to be too prescriptive. There’s no such thing as a wrong color combination,” she adds.

Even the palette’s more traditional hues have a story that is anything but. Horseshoe, for example, is a stone-gray shade, aptly named for Horseshoe Mountain in County Sligo, Ireland, that inspires pottery artist John Ryan.

O’Connor’s personal favorite paint is also bright and bold: Running Tides, a bril-liant aquamarine unique to the seascape paintings of Irish artist Carol Cronin, who has captured the Atlantic Ocean on canvas for decades. (“You might think you could get bored of painting waves, but [her works] are stunning,” O’Connor says.) These brighter, livelier shades off er the “pop of color” that O’Connor sees throughout the commercial interior design market. 

“People are starting to be less afraid of taking risks with pops of color. We’re seeing a lot of restaurants, hotels and public spaces take bolder risks. We think it’s a great trend,” she says.

 

The collection boasts shades like Pulled Rhubarb, Tailored Tweed and Dried Kelp (painted on chairs left to right) that ad richness and depth to ordinary spaces.

John Ryan.

“[Ryan] is immersed in the landscape surrounding his workshop, and it inspires these stunning creations,” O’Connor says of the potter’s handmade ceramics. “The color really shines through in his work.”

The collection made its U.S. debut ear-lier this spring in Connecticut and arrives on the West Coast in the fall, including southern California, Portland, Oregon; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Seattle.

 

 

Ultimately, the collection aims to not only honor these artists, but to inspire others to use color to express creativity and passion, says O’Connor. And in a way, that allows the consumer to play curator and tell their own story.

“The collection [is a] showcase of Irish craft and talent, but it goes beyond that,” O’Connor explains. “I think home is deeply personal to people. You want it to reflect your identity and personal style. When you bring a color into your home, you’re looking for more than just paint. In our collection, every color has a meaning and personality. [It’s] allowing the customers to be their own curator.”

The collection is currently sold at Ring’s End as well as McDermott Paint & Wallpaper in Connecticut, and is also available for purchase at curator.com.

All photos and featured photo courtesy of General Paints Group / Curator.

This post originally appeared in the Fall ’19 edition of The High End.

Live Your Best Light

If your home's style is feeling a little under the weather, try experimenting with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

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Declutter Your Space

What better way to welcome the new year with a positive start than decluttering your space. Reorganize the rooms in your home and take advantage of stylish furniture pieces that can help neaten up different areas. From modern coat hooks to rustic desks, the design possibilities are endless. 

Photos courtesy of WOODENDOT. 

Spruce up the Entryway

To ensure that coats, keys, and purses aren’t strewn all over the kitchen table or living space, consider installing coat hooks. Choose options that also double as a cabinet or shelf. These contemporary coat hooks by Woodendot have the hooks hidden and provide extra space for other items to be stored or decorative space.

Need a place to keep shoes? A shoe nook is a great way to avoid the mountain of shoes that can pile up as guests (or kids) come into the home. Try and find one that doubles as a storage unit and a place to sit.

Photo courtesy of Bombay Duck. 

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland. 

Office Organization

Arguably, a home’s office has the most clutter. Between unfiled papers and jumbles of wires, this space can induce a lot of stress. Start by going through old papers and getting rid of documents that are no longer needed. It’s recommended to shred any important documents. 

When it comes to furniture, the main focal point will be the desk. Desks don’t have to be clunky and boring. A nicely finished or painted desk brightens up the space, creating a peaceful mood.

 

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland. 

Choose a desk that has plenty of storage for filing and office supplies. Keep the top of the desk clear, only allowing a computer, calendar, keyboard, and small organizers to remain on it.

To expand organization space, find a bookshelf with a lot of shelving and room for filing. Like the desk, a bookshelf does not have to keep to a classic style. A modern one updates the room. For all those wires on the floor, use twist ties to keep them separate and attempt to hide them from view. 

 

Photo courtesy of SONGMICS.

Love Your Living Room 

Continue the organizing flow into your living or family room. Recycle any old magazines or newspapers and keep the ones you want in a magazine rack for easy access. A stylish modern magazine rack enhances the look of your living room. Make clearing out the rack part of your daily routine to keep everything organized. 

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison. 

Toss out any broken or unused items in the room. Take the opportunity to reorganize the furniture and take the opportunity to clean under the couch or other pieces of furniture. Invest in feng shui books to further change the feel and energy of the room. 

 

Just like the shoe nook in the foyer, purchase new furniture that can act as extra storage to reduce the amount of space used. An ottoman acts as a place to keep blankets or extra pillows. Some couches also have a place under the cushions to keep extra items. A coffee table or side table can hide remote controls, books or other small objects that can be tucked away. Adding a bookshelf in the living room is always a nice touch. If there is enough wall space, go for a bookshelf that can be hung up on a wall, allowing the chance to keep the floor clean and dust-free. 

Photos courtesy of WOODENDOT.

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture.

A Peaceful Bedroom

The first place to start: The closet. Donate any lightly used clothing and keep the closet as neat as possible. Beds with drawers underneath create more space to store clothing as well. On a tight budget? If the current bed doesn’t have drawers, baskets are a fun and appealing way to store any extra items in your room. 

Photo courtesy of Sweetpea & Willow. 

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading.

For women, jewelry wall organizers take the place of a bulky jewelry box. Men can utilize organizers for watches, rings or other jewelry they may own. Chargers for phones, laptops or tablets can be kept neatly on an organizer as well.

 

Take off any unnecessary items from a dresser or nightstand and go for something that allows for smaller items to have their own place without the worry of something getting lost. A practical addition to a bed is a bedside pocket for easy access to books, remotes or a laptop. 

Photo courtesy of Woodyoubuy.

Photo courtesy of Einrichten Design.

Photo courtesy of Woodyoubuy.

Photo courtesy of Gyrofish.

For some tips on how to furnish and organize a small space like an apartment click here.

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Be My Guest!

Now is the time of year where people’s homes becomes the center for entertainment. Between the holiday get togethers and New Year celebrations, a home must be kept in party-ready shape. One room not to neglect: the guest room. Give this extra space a much-needed upgrade and create a memorable stay for guests, whether it be friends or family. Below are some tips to take a guest room from a drab bonus room to a five-star accommodation. 

 

Photo courtesy of Darlings of Chelsea. 

Maximize Space

Guest rooms are typically on the smaller side when it comes to the size and amount of space is available. For that reason, skip the queen-sized bed with minimal to no extra seating and go for a couch that can turn into a bed.

A traditional sofa bed will do or go more modern and purchase a futon that flips to a nice-sized bed.

Provide guests with nice sheets, pillows and blankets to make them feel more at home. 

 

Photos courtesy of KSL LIVING.

Storage, Storage, Storage! 

Living out of a suitcase is never fun. Whether people are staying for one night or 10, give guests enough storage space to organize their belongings. A dresser provides a good amount of drawers and the counter space allows people to keep track of smaller belongings. 

Limited on space? A trunk at the foot of the bed or along the wall. The trunk allows for some extra seating as well.

Storage baskets are a great space-saver and can be tucked away under the bed or in a closet. Select some that have a pop of color or an interesting pattern. 

Photo courtesy of SONGMICS.

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland.

Photo courtesy of Lola & Mawu

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

A mirror is a must when it comes to upgrading the space. Not only do mirrors make smaller spaces appear bigger, but it is a nice feature to have for guests so they can get ready in the comfort of their own space. Sharing bathrooms becomes a hassle, but a full length mirror and a wall mirror give people the opportunity to prepare for the day or night in the room. 

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co.

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison

Light it Up

Don’t skimp on lighting and skip the boring choices. Have fun with the various selections that are out there and pick out some creative pieces that add to the room. Install a lamp that rotates so guests can read or choose lighting with different settings so your guests can determine how much light they want before they go to bed and when they slowly wake up.

Photo courtesy of KSL LIVING.

Photo courtesy of Astro Lighting

It’s the Little Things 

Small details and amenities can give the guest room a Ritz-Carlton feel. Provide them with cozy slippers and magazine to read.

A breakfast tray or cart with some welcome treats, glassware or flowers makes the space welcoming.

Personalize the space with extra items for the people staying in the room, giving the space a warm touch. 

Above two images and featured image courtesy of Garden Trading

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A New Style for the New Year

Lovers of Scandi’s enlightened sense of style will rejoice at the discovery of the beautiful Farringdon and Dorset collections of reclaimed wood furniture from Modish Living.

Modish Living was founded by husband and wife, Chris and Hellen Barlow in 2012 with an idea born around a wooden kitchen table to create an online boutique selling a handpicked collection of beautifully crafted, reclaimed, rustic and sustainable wood furniture.

Renowned for its simplicity and beauty, Scandinavian style shows no sign of losing its popularity in homes and interiors. Its pared-back and minimal style have evolved into a more cozy feel, focusing on sculptural organic shapes, earthy pigments, natural materials and textures, such as wood.

Everything from tempting trestle dining tables and family-friendly extendable tables to a welcoming wood bench and seriously stylish sideboards, these naturally rustic additions will add an instant Nordic vibe to your dining space. Made using aged reclaimed wood rescued from old buildings, Modish Living’s Farringdon and Dorset collections are the perfect fit for Scandi design devotees. Skillfully crafted to enhance the natural tones of the wood and given a renewed sense of purpose and style, these pieces evoke a sense of comfort, style and happiness.

As well as providing essential storage, this sideboard has a natural beauty and character. The natural markings of the reclaimed wood shines through the white painted finish, giving it a lived-in authenticity perfect for a Scandi feel dining room.

The distressed white base of the Dorset Extendable Trestle Table keeps the aesthetic neutral while adding warmth.  Accessorize with a sheepskin rug and the large white bamboo pendant is styled here.

Three central drawers and two large cupboards offer plenty of storage for your kitchen essentials. The subtle lacquer accentuates the natural markings and history of the wood, whilst giving it a distinct Nordic feel.

The large pendant above the Farringdon extending table is made out of biodegradable woodchip; the perfect pared-back accessory to complement this 100-percent reclaimed wood collection.

Photos courtesy of Modish Living

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Fashion and Nature

Fashion and art lovers will fall in love with these items from textile designer and artist Dianne Erdmanis, who has created wearable art for nature lovers and more.

This artist offers a beautiful perspective that is also fashionable. Erdmanis has captured incredible, dreamy and realistic views of the Earth, as seen from space, on a 100-percent silk scarf. The beauty of the piece lies not just in the way the scarf so perfectly demonstrates a bird’s eye view of the Earth’s unique geography — it’s also hidden in the fact that it’s not a photograph.

Initially sparked by the enormity of uninspiring and mass-produced scarves on the market, Erdmanis wanted to create something unique, sustainable and inspiring. While staring down into the atmosphere of many trips through the clouds on planes, she wondered if there was a way she could capture the true-to-life beauty and geography of the landscape below her.

“I wanted to capture a zoomed-out view of the Earth as seen from a dizzying, almost stratospheric height,” says Erdmanis.

Erdmanis spent countless hours experimenting with paint color, viscosity, flow, and technique. Eventually, she found a truly unique but entirely cohesive method by which to achieve the look of bodies of water “melting” into the land, and vice versa, when viewed from space.

“The altitude had to be just right … so you could see our planet’s oceans, land, and clouds clearly,” she explained.

“The art told me a story,” says Erdmanis. “It made me feel like I was flying, it was beautiful.” The Earth Scarf resembles stunning views of the Earth captured by satellites or space telescopes, watching islands blend into the waters beyond it, depths of the oceans captured by darkening paint, hypnotic swirls of pink, aquamarine, coral and teal, that show how the land bleeds into the water while clouds float overhead.

Her greatest discovery was that her method led to an almost photo-realistic depiction of these aerial shots — except that these could now be printed onto an elegant silk scarf.

Photos courtesy of Pure Huntress

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