Tag Archives: decor

How to decorate your space: use large leafy plants

If you are decorating a space and you don’t know what to get, consider plants with really large leaves, like this here licuala grandis. It’s practically sculpture, but easier on the eyes and the wallet.

For more on this, check out these 12 houseplants with obscenely large leaves. One of those could be just what you need to liven up your place.

How to cook in a tiny kitchen

While generally not a fan of the recipes at this site, this piece at Tasty on how to cook in a small kitchen is jam packed with good ideas.  Even if you have a much bigger kitchen, you could learn a lot from this piece. By the time you are done applying these ideas, you’ll be a much better and much happier cook.

(Image: link to image at tasty.co)

On modular walls, indoor and out

As a result of the pandemic and CafeTO, many restaurants have put up these GRIPBlock reusable walls outside their establishments in the warmer months to draw in customers. It’s a good thing. Here’s one nearby in my neighborhood:

A good idea like that works indoors too. This Blokaloks modular system lets you build walls or even rooms inside, like this:

Smart. You can click on the link to see more designs. Would be perfect for lofts and other open concept spaces that need better definition.

Want to be more organized next week? Start with your desk

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If you are like me, your desk gets cluttered and disorganized at times. We all could use some help. To aid you, here are some nifty desk organizers to create the most efficient desk space for you from the good people at Yanko Design. Some of them are very practical, and some of them are very cool, like this:

All are worth a look.

The best way to organize your desk is to clear it off. The next best way is to get organizers that keep it tidy.

The beauty of the Elysée Shelving System, or not all furniture from the 70s is bad

While many of the furnishings of the 1970s should stay in that decade and never be revived, these shelves are an exception. As Designmilk.com explains, these shelves date

… back to the 70s, when Pierre Paulin was commissioned by President Pompidou to design furniture for the Elysée Palace’s private apartments, (but they were not) …. officially launched to the public until 2009 …

They make me think of the 70s, but they don’t scream it. They would work wonderfully with contemporary furniture today. Also highly expandable. Perfect for book collectors like myself.

For more on them, see: From a Palace to Your Home: The Elysée Shelving System.

We need a better IKEA, or an IKEA alternative


That’s what I was thinking when I read these two pieces:

IKEA, for a large part, is DIY furniture. But for many reasons, there is a limited range of furniture pieces to choose from. I wish there were better alternatives to them that offered more thoughtful pieces, like the ones found in those Yanko Design articles.

Anyway, it’s likely not going to happen soon. But I think there is a market for it. We just need the right business leaders to build it.

(Image from the first article.)

Your desk needs an upgrade. This can help

If you’re like me, your work desk could use an upgrade. Maybe it’s too cluttered. Maybe your tech is looking a bit shabby. Either way, I recommend you go see these top 10 desk accessories to level up your work from home productivity over at Yanko Design. For example, the organizer above is a nice way to get things off your desk.

And this keyboard below looks like it would be an improvement on the one you currently have:

Hey, new stuff isn’t everything, but it could be just the thing to make you a bit more productive and happier when you sit down at your desk to work.

 

Tables and desks for people like myself that cannot get enough shelf space :)

I love all three of these pieces of furniture. First there is this table that also functions as a bookshelf:

Then there is this table /desk that has tons of storage:

A few years ago when I was making furniture, I made something similar. I could definitely see someone good at DIY/carpentry making the above two. As for this one below, I love that desk but it’s not for your typical DIYer! Fabulous though:

They remind me of the old telephone tables people used to have. They used to have a particular function, and they had special storage as part of them.

All three links lead to Yanko Design, where you can find out more about each of them. Worth a look.

The beauty of Charleston

I suppose I should specify which Charleston, but to me there is only one, and that one is in South Carolina. It really is filled with beauty and color. Like that door you see above.

I came across this blog, Just a Girl Blog, and she has posted some wonderful views of the city here Best of Charleston: Doors and here: Best of Charleston: Gardens. Someday I’ll post my photos of that wonderful city and put them a link to them here. Meanwhile, go and enjoy those. Better yet, make a trip there and see them for yourself.

(Image a link to Just a Girl Blog.)

Your next piece of luggage could be your next piece of furniture too

If you are in the market for luggage, I recommend you consider this sturdy luggage that morphs into an attractive trolley for dual functionality when not traveling.

It’s great for several reasons besides the obvious:

  • when you aren’t travelling, you don’t have to store/hide it anywhere. Great for places with little or no storage space
  • when you are travelling, it is an additional piece of furniture for your room. Again, you don’t have to store it: just set it up near a desk and use it to hold stationery, snacks, and other temporary items.

Lots of reasons to make this your next piece of luggage.

It’s time yet again for a post on well designed cat furniture!


There are topics on this blog I write about frequently because they are near and dear to my heart. And then there is this topic: crazy cat furniture. I just find it fascinating how designers go to great lengths to design furniture for their cats. For example, most cats would be happy with any old cardboard box, but this designer took that a step further and made this cardboard cat house (see above).

Then there’s this  minimal wooden cat scratcher that doubles up as a cozy chilling spot for your pets! My belief is that the only way the cat will settle in any given spot is either a) it’s warm b) to annoy the dog you have.

Finally there’s this!

Yes, a wall mountable cat bed that gives your cat a place to lounge up high while saving you space. They even put shelves on the wall to make it easier for the cat to get there!

Ok, that’s it for me. For now. 🙂

(P.S. All images and posts from Yanko Design, the good people who keep me stocked with all these ideas to post. )

On “Good” IKEA


Sure we all know IKEA furniture, some of it not so great (don’t get me started on my now-in-the-trash Standmon armchair :)). While that armchair gave me grief, many other pieces of theirs have been really good. (No, not you, Billy bookcase. Wait, maybe you have such a bookcase and you like it…in that case it is good). Regardless, if you are unsure about the quality of Ikea furniture, I recommend you read this:  Ikea but like the *good* Ikea.

Speaking of good IKEA…this is a good deal! See:  You Can Rent a Tiny IKEA Apartment for Less Than $1 a Month

P.S. Speaking of good IKEA, I wrote about that elsewhere on this blog. Links here:

(Image above is of another really good thing from IKEA: the Stockholm rug. A classic.)

And now for something beautiful: a tiny black cabin built from felled oak trees


This tiny black cabin you see above is built from felled oak trees acquired from a home’s construction waste. The company responsible, Studio Padron, did a fantastic job of recycling, take all this waste wood and making a glorious living space.

Looks great inside too

For more, go to the Yanko Design link above and check it out.

Cloudnola: for lovers of clocks

If you love clocks, you will want to see those on offer at Cloudnola. They have a wide range of very interesting clocks, from traditional to ones like this one:

 

Cheap they aren’t, but cool they most definitely are. Sure you can use your phone or your computer to tell you the time, but if you want more of a statement timepiece, consider going to Cloudnola.

On Philippe Starck, now and then

Philippe Starck has been tied to my life since I was a young man in the 80s, staying at his hotels and buying what i could afford of his. Chances are you have sat in some of his chairs or seen his hotels and didn’t even know it.

He and I parted ways some time ago: my hotel staying days died down and I settled for more modest chairs. I would occasionally wonder what he was up to.

Turns out he is still making great things. Case in point, those wooden armchairs that fit together brilliantly. The chairs are…

…The first collaboration between designer Philippe Starck and Spanish furnishings manufacturer Andreu World … Their Adela Rex walnut and oak plywood armchairs are made from three molded shapes that fit together without hardware. (Take that, IKEA.) Part of World’s 100% pure wood project, the chairs are FSC Certified.

Beautiful. Perhaps one day I’ll have a chance to relax in one.

P.S. I am happy to say that not only is his career continuing, but so is his web site. It used to be a bit of a disaster from a UX perspective, but it seems to have improved. Here’s a link to part of it: Royalton hotel, New York. That hotel, like many he designed in the 80s, no longer sports his designs. But at the time it was a dream to visit and stay in.

Pop over and take a look. Perhaps the next hotel you stay in will be one of his.

P.S.S. More things on this blog about Starck, here.

It’s winter. And cold. You could use some flannel sheets

Yep, good flannel sheets can be such a pleasure in the depth of February in Canada. If you agree and you’d like some, check out: The Best Flannel Sheets for 2022 | Reviews by Wirecutter. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good ones either.

Hey, it’s tough outside: make it nice inside.

 

 

The beauty of the TTC’s interiors

On twitter the other day I had a brief discussion about the good and bad aspects of the TTC’s interiors. This got me thinking, and led me to this site and post on it: juliekinnear.com. I really encourage you to click that link to see a good photoessay on all the beauty of the TTC’s stations. Here are two images from that post, but there are many. The TTC doesn’t have anything like the Oculus in Manhattan, but it has many beautiful spots of it’s own. You can see them in person, or do the next best thing and read that piece by Julie Kinnear.

How to Make Your Home Smell Like a Williams Sonoma Store


Now here’s an unusual recipe. Instead of it being to cook something to eat, you use the ingredients to make your house smell better!  To see what I mean, check this out: How to Make Your Home Smell Like a Williams Sonoma Store – Williams-Sonoma Taste

If you ever have been into a Williams Sonoma store, you know how good they smell. Especially around Christmastime. You might think you have to buy some expensive product to make them smell good but you don’t. Just get some simple ingredients.

Nine great design/decor links to kill some time with :)

If you are still working at this date, you are either working desperately to finish or you are killing time until the end. If you are the latter, these are for you:

  1. Here’s some good things for your home: this Aldi launches clever cooling bedding range for hot sleepers and this Smart Kitchen Appliances that will transform you from a home cook to a MasterChef! but also this Jonathan Adler and Ruggable Just Collaborated on a Washable Rug Collection That‚Äôs Dripping with Style.
  2. Speaking of your home, These Are the Items Visitors See First In Your Home.
  3. Not your home, but cool: the  El Cemento Uno House.
  4. Here are two good storage solutions, this  Kartell Componibili Smile 2 Tier Storage and this Vadolibero Domus R3 Bicycle Storage System.
  5. Also good if you don’t have much space:  This folding electric bike shrinks to the size of a CPU fitting under your desk! (See images)
  6. Speaking of little space: Tiny Cabins designed to be the ultimate micro-living travel destinations!
  7. More on min/maxi-malism: How to Embrace Minimalist Decor When You’re Not a Minimalist and Maximalism.
  8. A shout out to the man: Dieter Rams: Less but Better / $40.
  9. Finally, here’s  This Futuristic Litter Box Has an App That Lets You Know When to Empty.

(Images of this cool bike from Yanko)

If your small space is feeling…well… too small….

Then check out these ideas from Apartment Therapy: The 8 Best Stylish Small Space Ideas from Apartment Therapy House Tours in 2021 

Sometime the first thing you need to do is get rid of anything that is not a must. After that, get smart about using your space by following those ideas.

(Image from the article.)

 

Minimal light designs – some inspirational ideas

I love lamps and lighting. I have been known to have too many lamps in a room just because I can’t decide on one. If you are the opposite and in need of some lighting inspiration, I recommend this: Bring your home to life with these minimal 3D-printed Gantri lighting designs! – Yanko Design. That piece features quite a few different lights, including the one above. Simple and beautiful.

You may not be able to find these specific lamps, but they may lead you to some you might, be they at IKEA or some high end lighting place.

 

Three interiors of New York

Not sure what the purpose of this post is, other than offer up a snapshot of how people live in NYC in all extremes, from this 400-Square-Foot Brooklyn Studio  with a weird layout: 

To this somewhat bigger One-Bedroom in Brooklyn with a Smart Layout:

To this lifestyle of the rich and famous home of  director Paul Feig’s on Madison Avenue:

They are all very New York in their own way. Nothing is big though they try to look it. Brooklyn is now the place for the young to live: once affordable Manhattan rarely is. It’s all fascinating, at least to me.

P.S. Not NYC related, but I also found this fascinating: The dingy apartment of my 20s left an indelible mark on me. Many of us start out living not in places like above, but in crappy little dives. It leaves a mark on us and shapes us in a way. Recommended

It’s time for another edition of: crazy well designed furniture for cats

Here on the ole blog I like to feature overly well designed furniture for cats! (For example.)  Why? Who knows. I find it amusing, is all. The latest thing (shown above) is a modular cat-tree that can be any shape/style you want, with a customizable design that’s like IKEA for cats. I kid you not.

You know you love your cat if you will actually buy this and spend a good part of your day assembling it.

That said, it is well designed. So if you love your cat and want such a thing, go to that article in Yanko Design and check it out.

 

 

More wacky furniture for cats!

Here on my blog I love to highlight furniture designed around cats. So when I saw the piece above, I had to share it. I mean ostensibly it is for humans, but the way it is designed, it’s really for cats, although humans can share it. If that’s not the best definition of what it can be like to live with a cat, I don’t know what could be better.

Found here at Adafruit.

Three quick thoughts on the new minimalism vs maximalism debate

It looks like minimalism has had it’s time and now it’s time for maximalism to take over. At least that’s the sense I get, reading this:More Is More: The End of Minimalism | The Walrus

My thoughts are this:

  1. Home decor is fashion, as much as clothing is fashion. The fashion for a time has been minimalism. Minimalism not just in having less items in your homes. It’s has also been about the colour of people’s walls. Or the use of mid-century modern furniture with its clean lines. The fashion of minimalism has always been about paring back in all areas of home decor.
  2. Now that form of minimalism is slowly going out of fashion. Home decor may be fashion, and no it doesn’t change as frequently as fashion in clothing, but yes it still changes. And the direction it is going to change towards is maximalism.
  3. I suspect we will see more and more maximalism in the next few years. Especially so as we eventually exit the pandemic. Things will get more colourful. Bolder lines and styles. Bigger pieces. More of everything. (Just like what you see in the photo above.) That will continue to increase until it too goes out of fashion. It’s all a pendulum.

For more on maximalism, here’s some other pieces I wrote. I also wrote more on minimalism too. 🙂

(Image via vinterior.co …I love it)

Bring back A/V equipment that looks like furniture! :)

Ok, that’s not going to happen. I suspect most audio-visual equipment is going to look more like computers and less like furniture for the foreseeable future. Most, but not all. Take the bluetooth speaker above. Yep, that’s a bluetooth speaker! The tech is modern, but the enclosure is a throwback to midcentury modern. I love it.

For more on it, see: Hifi Case Aura 2 Speaker | Uncrate

 

I only have one thought on this insane chair designed with your cat in mind

And that thought is this: no matter how much of this piece of furniture is devoted to your cat, the only place your cat will want to go is where you are sitting!

I honestly think this furniture is insane, but I am sure for some cat lovers, it is a dream come true. To each their own.

For more on this piece of fantasy furniture, go here: This furniture design is a functional piece for you and a playful landscape for your cat! | Yanko Design

 

GAP comes home (with home decor)

It looks like Gap is expanding into home decor like other companies like Zara and HMV. As Apartment Therapy explains:

Gap Home is a new brand of over 400 home essentials including bedding and bath, kitchenware, and general home decor like curtains, pillows, and bathroom necessities, with prices starting under $16. The brand plans to release seasonal and special lines throughout the year, so get ready to add a bunch of goodies to your holiday decor collection.

For more on it, see Apartment Therapy.

Beautiful bookcase, beautiful desk

For fans of beautiful bookcases, beautiful desks, or both, check out these two from Yanko Design:

Stunning. I wish I had both.

For fans of minimalism and cats

For fans of minimalism and cats comes this minimalist cat tower. I mean, it looks great. The tower, I mean. Of course the cat looks great. 🙂

Via Yanko Design

On what not to do when you are moving apartments


I thought this was great: The Decorating Lessons I’ve Learned From Moving 12 Times in 12 Years

I’ve made many of these mistakes the last time I moved (e.g. waiting too long to decorate). I’ll review this list the next time I am getting ready to move.

If you are planning to move, you owe it to yourself to read that piece.

Good luck with your move!

(Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash)

Desks of the near future

I’m not sure what the desk or workstation of the near future might look like, but these two articles are providing some ideas:

  1. This home office desk comes with hidden storage systems to keep your desk setup organized! | Yanko Design
  2. This retractable office solution provides privacy and isolation for remote work and WFH days! | Yanko Design

With the pandemic still ongoing, the thought of going back in the office seems remote, but when we do, I expect things are going to start to look different. They might even look like these designs.

Innovative furniture designs for small homes

I love small spaces, but a lot of mainstream furniture are not suited for it. That’s why I was glad to see this piece: Tiny home-friendly foldable furniture designs that are the modern space-saving solution we need! | Yanko Design

There’s some brilliantly designed furniture for small spaces, including the desk above. Click on over to Yanko Design and take a look.

Retio: One very cool radio

While generally I don’t like promoting devices on Kickstarter, I make an exception for the beauty above. As Yanko Design says, this steampunk radio, speaker and clock comes with a display made from real nixie tubes!. 

It’s very cool. Over at Yanko Design they have lots of beautiful pictures of it, plus links to the Kickstarter.

Love it.

 

Incredible modular storage I wished IKEA offered

I love these playful modular cabinets that put a quirky spin on storage by using geometric shelves found at Yanko Design. You can mix and match the pieces to design the best storage for your room. And if you get tired of it, you just have to reposition things and you have a whole new look. Fantastic.

Three good links on terrazzo

Terrazzo is hot. (Says the guy who doesn’t really know what is hot anymore. :)) Once limited to floors, now you can see it on everything from dresses to basketballs. If you love it, you are in luck; this piece highlights one company you can use to get a vinyl version for your floors. I love it.

Now not everyone is a fan. The author of this piece, for instance: Will the Millennial Aesthetic Ever End?. But for everyone else, you now have many ways to bring it into your life. Time to jazz up your flooring.

Crazy coffee tables!

Coffee table that is also a planter

Let’s face it: many coffee tables are boring. For a view of some that are anything but, you want to go to this link.

Take the one above, where you can have a coffee AND grow a garden.

For something completely different, there is this steampunk version:

Steampunk coffee table

There are also simpler but unique ones as well.

If you need some inexpensive wall art to freshen up your place, here are 27 ideas

I have to say, having seen the rooms people work out of, you people really need some wall hangings. Seriously, those walls are dull! 🙂

Things are not hopeless, though. You can have nice and inexpensive things to freshen up those walls if you go here:

27 Inexpensive Posters You’ll Actually Want To Hang On Your Wall

There’s something there to appeal to everyone. For example, I like this:

It doesn’t work, but it is far classier than the button Trump had on his desk the resulted in a diet Coke for him whenever someone pressed it.

Not your parent’s sofa

If you have ever shopped for a sofa, you can quickly start thinking that there is not much to choose from. If you think that, I want you to check out this: Sofa designs so good, they’re impossible to resist: Part 3 | Yanko Design.

For example, you have this burgundy beauty here:

As well as some that aren’t quite as out there, like this:

You might never want to approach any of them, let alone buy one, but after you are done looking at them, you will have to admit there is more than one way to design a sofa.

If you live in a small space and you are getting tired of it, this can help

It’s tough being at home all the time during the pandemic. It’s tougher still if you live in a small space. Indeed, the sameness and smallness of it can get to you.

One way to get some relief — short of moving — is to rearrange your space to make it seem newer and different. If you are stuck for ideas, you might be able to steal some from here: The Best Studio Apartment Layouts We Saw in 2020 | Apartment Therapy. Make a note of the ideas you like. Maybe get some paper and pencil and start drawing new layouts. Soon you will be on your way to freshening up your place.

If you treat it like a game, it might actually be fun to redo your space. Maybe throw out some old piece or wall hanging and get something new too while you are at it.. Paint an accent wall, even.  With all this rearranging and redecorating you just might find your old place seems fresh and new again. And that will make the pandemic bearable over the next while.

(Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash)