Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Picks: Escape to a Creative Retreat

8 Beautiful Ideas for Floating Shelves

Floating shelves — those that attach to the wall without visible brackets — are sleek, chic and so versatile. From filling a tricky nook to customizing a workspace, floating shelves are an underrated workhorse all around the house. Here are eight ways to use floating shelves, plus key tips for when it comes time to hang them.

Cross a window. Desperately need more kitchen storage but lack extra wall space? Floating shelving may be just what you need — they’ll give you added storage without your having to give up any windows, as you might have to with cabinets. Installing floating shelves across a bank of windows is not too difficult, as long as your windows are narrow enough that you can place supports between the windows. A wide bank of windows without any gaps of wall between panes is trickier — have a pro advise on the best way to provide additional support. 

Once your shelving is up, maximize the sunlight by choosing light, airy pieces (clear glassware is ideal) to store on your shelves.

Fill a nook. Fill in unusually shaped nooks with cut-to-fit floating shelves for a customized look. This is a smart way to handle recessed arches and other nooks that are too awkwardly shaped for most furniture.

Offset the arrangement. Alternate the alignment of shelves hung on the left and right side of the wall for a fresh, asymmetrical look. The double-height gaps in an offset shelving arrangement are handy for displaying taller items.

More Ideas for Beautiful Floating Shelves

8 Beautiful Ideas for Floating Shelves

Get a Cool Garden Look With Gray and Blue Plants

Seating in the Round: An Old Idea That’s Still Fresh Today

When we hear the words “sofa” or “couch,” most of us immediately picture a long, straight piece of upholstered furniture with several cushions. There are lots of variables, to be sure: square or rounded arms, straight back or camel back, exposed legs or skirted … you get the idea. When all is said and done, however, it’s usually still a long, straight piece of upholstered furniture.

Let me suggest a paradigm shift: Instead of thinking of sofas only as linear, consider them as something that might be round.

The past can provide inspiration of all kinds of things in interior design, and this certainly holds true for the sofa. In fact, in the 19th century, the French were particularly creative in coming up with unique upholstered seating ideas. A boudeuse was a back-to-back sofa, a tête-à-tête was a sofa consisting of two connecting chairs that faced each other for intimate conversations, and an indiscret was a circular sofa divided into three sections that shared a single tall back at the center.

The indiscret was originally designed for naughty purposes: to accommodate the indiscreet gossips that populated the salons of 19th-century French society. So the shape of the furniture was specifically designed to encourage a particular behavior.

Today this antique piece adds surprise and romance to this pretty, traditional-style living room. And it looks like it would still provide a fun venue for the whispering of indiscretions.

Once you understand the history of this piece of furniture, you can see how placing it in the anteroom of a bedroom is kind of sexy! It’s certainly very appropriate and elegant here, taking center stage under a chic chandelier. But the historical reference adds a whimsical wink.

In the grand salon of the spectacular New York show house above, a modern incarnation of the indiscret adds just the perfect touch. The contemporary slant of this very traditional sofa blends beautifully with the contemporary mirrors hung over the rococo gilt consoles.

Continue… Seating in the Round: An Old Idea That’s Still Fresh Today

Seating in the Round: An Old Idea That’s Still Fresh Today

Kitchen of the Week: Orange Splashes Add Personality in Kansas

Monday, July 21, 2014

World's Scariest Crazy Airport Runways

Plane landings can be nerve-wracking at the best of times but the best advice on approaching these terrifying runways is to not look down – unless you are the pilot! From short runways to high winds to mountainous terrain, these 10 airports were deemed to be the scariest to fly in or out of.

Matekane Air Strip, Lethoso, Africa The runway here is only 400 metres long and ends with a drop off a cliff. The only way to leave is to actually have the plane drop off the edge off the cliff and pull up before reaching the mountains ahead.

Saba Island, Caribbean Here on this Caribbean island, the only airport juts briefly out into the ocean. Billed as one of the shortest runways in the world, there is a high possibility of overshooting the runway and ending up in the ocean.

Gibraltar International Airport This runway is the only one in the world with a major road running through the middle of it. Traffic on Winston Churchill Avenue has to be stopped every time a plane lands or takes off. Not only that, the short runway stretches out into the harbour.

See more of the World’s scariest crazy airport runways


World's Scariest Crazy Airport Runways

4 Homes With Major Storage That Looks Great

Take a Summer Vacation in the Backyard

Single Design Moves That Can Transform a Child’s Room

Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of kids’ bedrooms on Houzz? From them I have picked these 20 rooms to illustrate the premise of this series: While it takes many design elements to make a room beautiful and embracing and functional, there is often one particular thing that really kicks it up a notch — gives it that something extra.

These rooms each have one outstanding touch that makes the child’s or children’s special place … special.

This cottage-y playhouse bed is the fanciful and spectacular centerpiece of this bedroom.Three of my four granddaughters would be in absolute rapture over this over-the-top creation. (The oldest, who is 10 going on 30, would sniff in disdain. But what does she know?)

Ceiling paint: Raspberry Mousse, Benjamin Moore

But special touches need not break the bank. In fact, most of the things I am going to talk about are doable on a minimal budget, with a little bit of labor. Like the pink painted ceiling above. The ceiling is the perfect spot to make that special statement.

So is an accent wall — like the yellow one here. It completely transforms this Maine bedroom.

More Design Moves That Can Transform a Child’s Room

Single Design Moves That Can Transform a Child’s Room

Guest Picks: Tactile Treasures for the Home

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