Home Tech

Layout Dilemma: Where to Put the Flat-Screen TV?

Houzz reader recently wrote in using this layout dilemma:”I’ve a tiny flat-screen TV in my living space, but have no clue how to display it at a tasteful manner. I don’t want to create the TV a centerpiece of this space, I am not into cupboards much and I don’t like TVs hung on a wall. Any thoughts?” As opposed to say”Get an iPad instead,” I dug up some awesome thoughts from Houzz members, almost all involving custom carpentry to take the focus off the tech and back to the decor.

Quezada Architecture

My recommendation for flat panel setup? Recess those puppies into your own walls. This requires hiring a magician and ai not exactly cheap. But it saves a space from getting”that TV room” What does this entail? Drywall has to be cut, 2x4s are set up for framing — such as creating a soffit. Electricity needs to be dragged up into a brand new socket installed only behind where the TV will sit. After that’s completed, drywall work needs to happen.

High Definition Home

In case you decide to go with the recessed look over a mantle, keep in mind you have to allow the appropriate depth to allow for leaning the TV downward so it is geared toward the appropriate eye level. Watching”The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” with major glare in Camille or Lisa’s face totally kills the effect.

Ps: I can’t remember life before that series. I love each one of these and wish that the show were live 24/7.


If your goal is for the TV to not become the centerpiece of this space, install it low on a wall straight at eye level. This allows the true wall to remain the star, especially if the wall is covered with an intriguing material or texture.

Mark Brand Architecture

Then there’s sneaky, functional, task-oriented positioning. I am a huge fan of small-to-medium size flat panels worked right into kitchens. Keeping them off the countertop is crucial; either mount them to the bottom of the cabinets or possess a custom space cut out for them within upper cabinetry.

You can stay amused while prepping meals, then unwind with companion to enjoy your meal. Guess who watches TV with pretty much every meal that he enjoys? Me.

Michael A. Menn

Even though armoires and media cabinets may actually bring about media taking over your space, fitting your apartment plank into an architectural element is a superb way to lessen the techno-presence. It works well here recessed to a column; it is equally as powerful on a partition wall.

Brennan + Company Architects

Another thing that’s getting more and more popular is the sliding horizontal panel cover. After the TV is off, the sliding doors come together to completely hide it. Just take this one step farther by incorporating art or patterned background to the front.

In smaller rooms, every inch counts. Among the biggest benefits to habit horizontal panel carpentry is space-saving. In this circumstance, the homeowner may use one area for media storage, screen AND TV viewing. The panel slides sideways, then back to the built-in when not being used.

Amoroso Design

You might even take the attention off your horizontal panel by placing it onto a wall using dark paint or stain. By keeping the tone of this wall in check with that of the TV, it is less obvious.

See the original query. Read more TV walls.

What’s your design dilemma? Tell us about the Questions page!

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Decorating Guides

14 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Wallpaper

So you’ve made the decision to commit to wallpaper, chosen the best one and are now standing in your recently papered room. The paper may be up, but the procedure has only just begun. Next step: making the most of your wallpaper by way of décor.

Wallpaper isn’t merely a colorful or textural backdrop, but it’s an element which should interact with the overall design, and your décor decisions must reflect that. The job can often feel daunting or overwhelming, but I am hoping these next images will provide you the confidence to the handle the project successfully (while having some fun). Before you know it, visitors will soon be ooh-ing and aah-ing in your wallpapered room (and begging you for design wisdom!) .

Valerie interiors + design

Think bold colour. Don’t be afraid to match boldly colored wallpaper with different bold colour in the décor. This floral purple paper pops from these red contemporary dining seats. Balanced with a lighting fixture, the dining area becomes the region of the room.

Cynthia Mason Interiors

Pull out colors of the wallpaper. Really integrate the paper in your space by furnishing the room in the same colors found in the wallpaper. The green chest and neutral sink jar and accessories allow this toilet feel unified.

Attempt a pattern in a complementary scale. In case you have patterned wallpaper, make it pop by upholstering the furniture in a pattern of dimensional scale. The crucial word here is scale: Notice how the layout on the seats is smaller than that on the walls, so therefore balancing both within an eye-appealing pair.

Rupal Mamtani

Contemplate neutrals. Make your wallpaper the announcement bit by furnishing the room in neutrals. The delicate, natural feel of these pieces is calming from this floral paper, leading to a peacefully chic sanctuary.

Dan Brown

Re-create elements of the wallpaper. Have wallpaper with distinct shapes or designs? Reflect them in your own design. The circular shape of this very unique hood pulls the circles out from the paper while at the same time providing this contemporary kitchen a sculptural element.

Peg Berens Interior Design LLC

Match the wallpaper’s mood. The bursts within this paper have a playful, party vibe, and paired with these crystal sconces provide this toilet an understated feel of glamour and elegance.

Elizabeth Dinkel

Find furnishings with smaller-scaled layouts. Fabric isn’t the only element to consider when pairing patterns; furnishings will also do the trick. As always, scale is all. Try a mirror with a smaller-scale Greek key pattern with this green pine paper for a toilet that is both amazing and fresh.

M.A.D. Megan Arquette Design

Find furnishings with larger-scaled layouts. Scale goes either way: Furnishings with a larger scale will work just well playing off paper with a smaller scale, such as these dining chairs, in addition in a Greek key design.

Laura Bendik Interiors

Utilize the wallpaper’s pattern within the room. If you’re really stuck on how best to incorporate the paper, simple pull in the exact same pattern through an accessory. Throw pillows are a great choice — create custom made pillowcases and you’re all set!

Michael Fullen Design Group

Function in bold, graphic designs. If your wallpaper can be categorized from the dark, white, gray or neutral families, then you’ve got a great opportunity to inject colour and a sense of playfulness through daring, colorful prints. It’s a no-brainer for kids’ rooms, where pleasure is always welcome!

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

Go monochromatic with pops of colour. If your wallpaper is made up of essentially one colour or different colors of one colour, think about fusing all elements of the room by choosing furnishings in the exact same colour. To avoid it feeling excessively overly light, add one bold color through accessories, placed intermittingly through the room.

Nicole Lanteri Design

Hang colorful frames. Because frames have a rather intimate relationship with the walls, they’re a great opportunity to bring a little excess life to wallpaper. Bold colors pop from the paper, or even antique gilded gold eyeglasses for rich colors such as purples and blues. If you look closely in this picture, you’ll realize this designer pulled a particularly intriguing trick with the red-framed bit: Rather than showcasing art, he abandoned it empty, essentially framing the wallpaper. Yet another way to enhance the paper!

Niche Interiors

Ground it with organic pieces. Should you feel like your space is getting just a little pattern mad between wallpaper and décor, ground the appearance with a natural piece. It will round out your appearance, plus it’s hard to go wrong with well rounded, natural furnishings.

Margaret Carter Interiors

Have some fun with it! This dreamy, forest-like wallpaper would not be complete without a googly-eyed gargoyle keeping watch. The unexpected is what makes design unique.

Decorating Secrets: How to Layer Patterns Proper
DIY Project: Wallpaper Goes Mobile

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Ceilings That Work: Designs for Your Space Above

Ceilings don’t have to be, and probably shouldn’t be, all flat, horizontal planes of white stained shingles. Whether a ceiling is shining, trayed, soffited or coffered, changing its elevation and contour can add spaciousness, definition and interest to a space. Using these architectural components can also break down the scale of a fantastic room, bringing to life a vast (and what could be dull ) space.

Playing the ceiling form and finish can also be a cost effective way of achieving something special and distinctive. Whether it’s a gabled vault in which the ceiling and structure will be the same, the accession of soffits with indirect illumination, or a bit of trimming to add scale and rhythm, ceilings are a design opportunity not to be missed.

Blackburn Architects, PC

A easy, gable vault in which the roof structure and ceiling finish have been combined makes for an efficient and elegant ceiling. Everything, like the skylights, metal tie rods and white walls, is performed to highlight the timber rafters. By placing the skylights at the ridge line rather than part way down the roof, a void is made that, like a retractable stadium roof, highlights the area’s connection to the sky.

I can not help but believe this would be a wonderful place for a baseball match regardless of what the weather outside.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Here’s a good example of the classic tray ceiling used to attain spaciousness in a fantastic room. This remodeling job consisted of taking down a wall to create two rooms into one. To get around the oppressive feel that a constant, flat and 8′-large ceiling would make, the ceiling structure was raised a couple feet. In this ranch home space taken from the attic was an easy and cost-effective way to attain a well-proportioned room.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

The classic tray ceiling: this time at a bedroom. The beadboard finish and ceiling fan gives this room a tropical island feel. A particularly nice detail is how the ceiling, through the use of trim and crown molding, looks to begin on top of the windows. This has the effect of lowering the ceiling and creating more closeness, while the ceiling elevation adds spaciousness.

A tray ceiling like this offers a fantastic opportunity to set up indirect lighting. In this room, the indirect lighting offers generous general light and, using a change capable of dimming, can be turned to low for just the right, intimate level.

Christopher A Rose AIA, ASID

This ceiling comprises two measures of soffits. The first and lowest soffit follows the geometry of the space, as will the area rug directly below it. The higher soffit is a rectangular form to provide a centering device. This type of ceiling provides an order and arrangement to a room that incorporates different angles and asymmetry.

The lower soffit also provides a wider flat area at the mattress headboard. This wide and flat area gives more closeness at the headboard area as well as a place for ceiling-mounted things like grilles, speakers, etc..

Bud Dietrich, AIA

In a very simple bedroom using a low (less than 8′) ceiling, the measure up with indirect lighting provides spaciousness. Much like the above example, the stepped ceiling provides a centering apparatus in a room that has some angled walls and asymmetrical configuration.

Simply by borrowing from the attic area and adding some little framing extras, a ceiling like it is easily accomplished in a second-floor bedroom, or even a first floor room when there’s no second floor over.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Here’s a nice little”pop-up” in an upstairs hall. Does this offer a place to hang a lantern with a very long string, but the extra bit of beadboard finish strengthens the coastal nature of the property’s style. A nice opportunity to achieve something special in what’s normally a simple, functional space.

Logan’s Hammer Building & Renovation

A little space with a tall ceiling can be a real design challenge. After all, who enjoys feeling as if they’re at the bottom of a Dixie cup? So in this example, the coffers, colours, beadboard and lighting keep this kitchen well dimensioned and comfortable to work in.

Another nice result from including a coffered ceiling, particularly in an old home undergoing a remodel, is your new space made for pipes, valves, conduit and other mechanical items. In this example, the visible air grille indicates that the coffers are used to hide ducts.

Yet another more costly way of employing the coffer to hide ducts while averting a grille like this is to introduce a linear, slot-type diffuser at the face of the coffer.

Harrell Remodeling, Inc..

The panels at a coffered ceiling could be of just about any substance. In this example, the panels are both decorative and translucent, allowing the lighting to come from a source hidden above the ceiling line. The plan of those coffer panels is very structured: a series of layered grids at a fun, somewhat abstract design of solid colours.

This large room has multiple action areas, each positioned beneath its own coffered ceiling. Even though the overlapping grids provide general order and structure, the colours reinforce the middle of the ceiling and each activity area.

Crisp Architects

A coffered ceiling can also be used to counterbalance a room’s decor. Here, this tasteful and earthy, deeply coffered ceiling adds structure and visual weight to the space, balancing the wall color and furniture style.

Max Crosby Construction

There’s no rule that says that coffers have to be a rectangular grid. In this case the coffering starts at the center rotated square and radiates out from there. This sets a geometry that is independent of the area’s shape, adding another layer of interest and detail to the space.

The timber coffered ceiling also strengthens the silent and serious character of the library-like room.

Occasionally a simple, wood paneled ceiling with wood beams is the answer. In this room, the timber beams divide down the large space while the timber finishes tie everything together.

In a room in which the main sitting area is away from the source of light and see, the timber beams direct the eye towards the window and out to the landscape outside.

Kenneth Fromme

At times the easiest approach is the most effective. Adding some thin, pencil-line trimming and panels that are raised to the ceiling adds just the ideal level of detail without needing too much attention to itself. And, since in this situation, in which there are lots of patterns and colours all around, including a regular and easy gridded pattern to the ceiling can add just the correct amount of structure.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Extra height and well designed ceilings aren’t just for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms and other big rooms. A simple, spare and functional mudroom can be produced light, bright and spacious with a vaulted ceiling.

More: Watch the wonder of Barrel-Vaulted Ceilings
How to Produce a Tall Room Feel Right

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Kids’ Spaces: From Nursery to Toddler’s Room

Updating your child’s space from infant to toddler generally means shifting the crib for a bed, although you’re making that transition, consider including a fresh take to other portions of your toddler’s room as well. Now your child is more conscious of his surroundings, you can begin setting the tone for a room that he can grow and evolve . Have a peek at some of these considerations to help you produce a lively and reassuring space that you’ll enjoy just as much as your little one.

Just a Girl

Paint designs onto the walls. Painting is one of the simplest and least expensive methods to provide a room a new look; do so on your toddler’s space by painting a fun layout, such as this tree. It adds a lively spark that can easily and affordably be shifted down the street if your toddler desires.

Amy Lau Design

Replace the changing table with a quality wardrobe. Like picking classic layouts, a well-made and visually intriguing wardrobe will work to house clothing for a long time to come.


Add charm with a classic bed. If you feel like your toddler’s room can use a little eclectic style punch, then search for a mattress with that antique appearance. It will provide the room that comfy, lived in texture, plus the smaller beds take up less room.

Elad Gonen

Consider upgrading the closet. Your toddler is only just starting to amass a plethora of material goodies, and even in the event that you get that well-made wardrobe, you’ll also want ample closet space. If a full closet upgrade isn’t part of their budget, at least go in with some organizers to set the stage for a categorized closet from here on out.

Top the bed with a canopy. Canopies are a fun way to bring a princess-like flair to any room. Plus, they can readily be changed out if your toddler tires of it over the years.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Scout a mini work table. Your toddler’s imagination is simply starting to spark; allow him exercise it with a work table match only because of him. Start looking for tables that are shorter in height and have ample storage for substances.

Jeanette Lunde

Bring in a little bench. Whether a toddler wants to populate the bench with dolls, trucks, clothes or what are you, a classic bench having a cushion upholstered in lively cloth adds a youthful charm to the space. It’s also the ideal place for your toddler to learn to tie his sneakers.

Lauren Liess Interiors

Choose classic patterns rather than trendy, kid-centric ones. Your little guy is going to begin growing fast; choose classic patterns, such as stripes or foliage motifs, which will evolve with him rather than eventually feeling overly juvenile. You will appreciate both cash and time stored in the long term.

Annalea Hart

Add diverse art. You can’t fail with funky artwork that is also educational. This smart alphabet display brings color, visual attraction and a classic feel to the space.

sarah & bendrix

Here’s another fun way to display the alphabet. This one is a little more modernized, but equally colorful and lively.

Carly Sax

Consider built-in storage. When you have the room, you may want to splurge with extra built in storage. With all your toddler’s toys, books, clothes and other items, you can truly never have sufficient storage.

Skip the twin and go straight to a double. If your toddler’s area is spacious enough and you feel comfortable with the transition, consider a full bed in lieu of a twin. Your toddler will probably have it throughout his teens, so the investment is usually well worth it.

Jeanette Lunde

Include a desk. Like the work table, a desk will give your toddler a room to work on drawings or other activities.

Kids Rooms: I’m a Big Boy Now
Browse more photos of kids’ spaces
See more accessories for kids’ rooms

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Dining Rooms

40 Great Gifts for Living and Entertaining

What in the world would you deliver the hostess with the mostest? In this installment of the 2010 Houzz Gift Guide, we have gathered a few of the most stylish gifts for those who like to entertain. Some are unique things to bring to the party in lieu of wine, the others are extravagant and wedding-gift worthy. Each was picked with parties, the dining area and entertaining in mind.

We’d love your great gift finds, also. Insert a link to your very best idea for the perfect gift for entertaining in the remarks section and tell us why you enjoy it. The Houzz member with most creative idea wins a Crate and Barrel gift card (a little something for you, possibly?) . And come back tomorrow for our next guide to the many trendy gifts of this season.


RowRow – Big Bowl and Spoons, ceramic serving dishes – $48

Houzz friend and author of the design blog chictip, Keren, recommends this”adorable serving bowl shaped like a boat with strands shaped like oars, made from ceramic” It’s the ideal gift for the entertainter who enjoys coastal and nautical design.

Ceramic Bowl and Wood Spoons
$48.00 for your set

Design Public

Paper Cloud Petals Field Placemat – Rain on Beige

These soft grey blue placemats provide a graphic punch which does not sock you in the face or contend with the meals. It’s just the right amount of pattern to make a tablescape stick out.

2-sided placemat is handprinted on heavyweight 100% certified organic cotton
Produced in the USA
14.0 H x 20.0 W


Designer Chairs Cocktail Napkins Set two by avrilloreti on Etsy – $25

Houzz friend Linda, author of this blog Restyled Home, picked these because”I want to gift them to a friend who loves retro-modern design!”

Set of 4 cocktail napkins.
Every napkin indicates an illustration of another designer chair.
White cotton/poly mix.
Folded size 4 1/4″ x 4 1/4″, open size 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
$25.00 for a set of four


Maluku Dinner Plates – $18

Friend of Houzz Marion, a.k.a. Miss Mustardseed, has picked these plates out of Anthropologie since”the soft, hand painted appearance of these plates would beautifully grace any dining table, china wall or cupboard. They may be combined with white linens and china to bring some color to a neutral table”

New bone china
Dishwasher and microwave safe
10.5″ diameter

Fishs Eddy

Ideal for the interior layout enthusiast, these floor plan coasters will help you design-saavy hostess keep her wood surfaces ring-free.

Powerful enough for Many uses
$3.95 for some 10


Monogrammed Hemstitched Linen Table Runner, White | Williams-Sonoma – $68

Houzz friend Cindy of My Romantic Home says”this 100% linen table runner is a great gift choice! It might look equally beautiful on a formal or casual dining table! They offer various colors of monogramming but my favorite is the white . It’s classic and tasteful!”

100% Linen
90″ x 16″

Pottery Barn

Addison Party Bucket | Pottery Barn – $99

As a result of Houzz friend Cindy of My Romantic Home for adding a number of her favourite things to our gift guide. Cindy says”This is a gorgeous and quite elegant way to serve champagne or white wine when you amuse! I really like that this product can be monogrammed which makes it a personalized gift. They also have a bigger version which would be perfect for 1 bottle of champagne!”

Made from hand-blown glass with a scissor-cut rim and glass footed base.
16″ diameter, 14.5″ high; 15 quarts (3.75 gallons)


Starburst Bowl – $159

This bowl has created a great deal of buzz here at Houzz. When someone requested us to track it down, I was sure it was some $1500 piece of sculpture, but no, this beauty is out of Crate and Barrel! Due to Happy Interiors for introducing it to us!

Steel cable dipped in antiqued brass
23″ dia. X 5″H

The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop

These three handmade candlesticks are shapely and modern. While their silhouettes catch attention from a distance, it is even more intriguing to look up close and realize they are created from recycled cable.

Set includes:
One small, 13 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ diam.
One medium, 19 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ diam.
One big, 22″ x 6″ diam.

Pottery Barn

Antique Silver Snack Bowl – $29

Friend of Houzz Marion, a.k.a. Miss Mustardseed, has picked this bowl since”I really like the warmth of the serving piece in addition to its inscription celebrating family. It’s the perfect modern interpretation of grandmother’s silver”

6″ diameter, 4″ high
Made from brass with a classic silver-plated finish


Fred Wine Line – $7

This pick comes in Houzz Team Member Adi, who says”I saw these at a friend’s home and had been intending to get them to end the’whose wine glass is that?’ Debate and for all. It’s a fun and affordable gift that may accompany a bottle of wine and make your hostess gift more memorable.”

Set of 12

MoMA Store

Tasto Chip and Dip Set – $35

Houzz Team Member Kathy says”For someone who loves to entertain, you may never have too many chip ‘ dips. This is a smart version, which allows for you or a number of drops together with your chips and enables you to perform a quick dip refill without taking the chips away ”

Ceramic Bowl, Silicon Pouches
Dishwasher Safe
Size: Bowl: 4h x 11″diam., 10 cups;
Pouches: 3h x 4w x 2.5″d,.5 cups each


Six-in-one Spirit Chest from Monticello – $125

This is modeled after the torso where Thomas Jefferson stashed his spirits. A drink caddy this great looking makes it nearly acceptable to inventory your workplace bar like it is 1962 and you also work for Don Draper.

Six compartments hold bottles around 3 1/2″ dia.
Antiqued solid wood with sturdy brass hardware.
9″h x 13 1/2″w x 8 3/4″d.
Your purchase supports Monticello along with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s mission of preservation and education.

The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop

Eggshell and Bamboo Bowl in The Art Institute of Chicago – $50

There are not a whole lot of gifts out there which are created from burnt eggshells, and I’m pretty sure there are not any as beautiful as this Vietnamese bamboo bowl.

Food safe.
11 1/2″ x 8″ x 10 1/4″.


Acorn Domed Butter Dish from Monticello – $59

This classic nickel butter dish is a practical item that will add conventional Monticello design to any dining table. The little acorn makes it perfect for fall and winter dining table settings.

Glass butter dish has a lid made from antiqued nickel.
5″ large


Channing Beverage Dispenser – $89

Houzz friend Cindy of My Romantic Home says”I’ve one of these dispensers and it is wonderful to continue a buffet to serve heated water at a dinner party. Any beverage seems more tasteful served in this gorgeous dispenser!”

Diamond-etched glass
24″h x 8″d

Simon Pearce

Vermont Evergreens by Simon Pearce – $98

If you are not crazy about the usual holiday decoration, select up these stunning glass trees out of glassmaker Simon Pearce. They’re appropriate to leave out all winter, long ago New Year’s Eve.

Handblown in Vermont
Prices vary depending on size, from $98-$298

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler Bird Bottle Stopper – $18

I had difficulty choosing a favorite Jonathan Adler wine jar topper — there is something for everyone here — cat people, dog people, even elephant people! It’s the perfect gift to bring a hostess in lieu of or alongside a bottle of wine.

High-fired stoneware with white glaze
3.5″ large Stoppers

Sundance Catalog


This set of candelabras out of Sundance is the perfect hostess gift for an oenophile, and provides a excellent method to reuse an empty wine bottle.

Made of wrought iron
Set of two $35.00


CB2 – Galvanized 12 Bottle Wine Rack – $69.95

Forget about the wine gift tote – why not provide this industrial style wine rack with your favourite bottle of wine? This tubular rack can be set on its side on a console or countertop, or you can stand it up on the dining table to make a sculptural centerpiece.

Hand-welded galvanized sheet metal
Holds 12 bottles
Wine Rack. 11.5″Wx10.25″Dx19″H


Savoy Jumbo Cocktail Shaker | Crate&Barrel – $24.95

Sleek. Modern. Hammered Stainless Steel. The Savoy Bar Accessories were created for modernists. For fun, throw in a favourite martini recipe and contain the ingredients.

Stainless steel
54 oz.; 6″Wx3.5″Dx10.5″H


Vintage Cocktails Book – $50

Sometimes I wish I had a touch drink, like a Singapore Sling or even a Sidecar. Unfortunately, I don’t have any clue what’s in a single, and don’t a great deal of bartenders. Help your favorite host or hostess plan their next theme party for this charming book.



MINI art by modernarteveryday on Etsy – $50

Houzz friend and author of the design blog chictip Keren says”This collection of mini-paintings is a great way to add bright colors to a space! Simple to show on a shelf, stand on a desk, hang on a wall or group together with other MINI art pieces.”

Your choice of 6, 3″ x 3″ prepared to hang wall art
Giclee printed on professional grade paper; mounted onto a natural archival fiber board.
There is a groove in the back of the board which enables easy wall hanging with a nail.
Each board / artwork measures 3″ x 3″ and can be 3/8″ deep.
Set of 6 $50.00


kate spade Madison Square Decanter from Lenox – $150

Recently it seems every interior stylist in the world is focusing on arranging the home bar in a trendy way. This kate spade decanter is a great beginning for friends who want to stage a posh pub of their own.

Crafted of fine crystal
42 oz.


Product: Nambe”Tilt” Wine Decanter – $150

Something about the shape of the wine decanter makes me do a double-take. By the gorgeous glass into the sudden form and tilt, it is a gift any wine lover will appreciate.

1.25 liters
11.5×7″ with a 46-ounce capacity
Hand wash

West Elm

David Stark Twig Topiary – $39

We masses are so lucky that David Starck has a lineup at West Elm. These twigs wrapped in text are graphic and unique, perfect for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays without clogging the vacuum up with all the pine needles and tinsel.

Newsprint paper/poly resin.
Two”diam x 27″h

MoMA Store

Finlandia Vase by Alvar Aalto – $135

Any layout enthusiast is going to be thrilled to receive this iconic vase by Alvar Aalto (in actuality, it’s my go-to wedding gift for all my design school buddies ). Elegant and sculptural, it is going to inspire your giftee to keep fresh flowers in it every day.

10 high x 5.5″ diameter


Peggy Karr Glass – Metro 18″ Boat – $69.29

This serving piece is handmade and can be truly unique. The geometric images and mix of colors will delight any modern entertainer.

Handmade in New Jersey
18″ long
Dishwasher Safe

Tiffany & Co..

Tiffany & Co.. Frank Gehry® Torque Vase in Bone China. – $200

Oh, it is a splurge fine, but it is a double-whammy — it comes in the coveted Tiffany blue box, and it is a piece designed by a true Starchitect. This Torque vase by Frank Gehry is an iconic piece any design fan will proudly exhibit and brag about forever.

Bone China


Green Vine Taper Candles – $20.69

These elaborate candles are something nobody is very likely to splurge on for themselves, therefore it is the ideal treat to deliver a hostess. The colors and layout are certain to inspire a gorgeous tablescape.

Pair of 12″ x 3/4″ tapers

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Silverplate Faceted Bowl – $125

Everyone’s dining area can use a bit of glow! This silverplate faceted bowl from Calvin Klein will add some glitz to each table.

Handmade in Italy
4″ in Diameter
Silverplate secured to brass

Contemporary Candleholders – $29.95

The very best thing about these crystal lotus candleholders? They look MUCH more expensive than they really are! Give a pair of two with tapers or the column dimensions together with a candle that’s 3 inches in diameter.

3″D candle.
Taper/Votive holder is 5″D x 3″H
Pillar holder is 9.5″D x 4.5″H
Pillar holder: $29.95
One taper holder: $9.95


Palace Stacking Tableware – $189

This architectural design of a Florentine building is really a stack of dinner dishes! Including six square dinner dishes, along with the serving dish”roof”. It’s a fun item to depart out on the buffet every day.

Dinner Plate: 8.6″ dia x 1″ top
$189.00 with this set


Moroccan Style Tea Glasses – Set of Four – $60

Moroccan design exploded in popularity a few years ago and like the first designs themselves, it’s proved it’s staying power. Exotic and elaborate, these golden glasses from Horchow are a luxurious treat to grow your loved one’s barware.

Four various 6.75-ounce tea glasses
Set includes one each in purple, amber, turquoisegreen. Produced in Turkey. Hand wash.
$60.00/Set of Four

Saks Fifth Avenue

Palio Nut Dish by Michael Wainwright – $64

This nut dish is somewhat bling-bling but subtle and lovely at the exact same moment. While it is glazed in glazed in 24k gold, platinum and rose gold (bling!) , it is porcelin, it is small, and it is based in an early and traditional design. This is a unique piece that will make the person that you give it to think of you each time they use it.

Dishwasher safe
43/4″W X 11/2″H X 43/4″D
Produced in USA


RSVP Nutty Squirrel Nutcracker – $16.95

It just makes sense to have a nutcracker shaped like a critter which hoards them. The bewitching little squirrel is going to be a welcome addition to any entertainer’s gadget set.

5 3/4″ Place nut in squirrel’s mouth then lift his tail to close his mouth and crack the casing.


Houzz friend and author of the design blog chictip Keren says”Bringing optimum performance and design to the home, the eco-friendly and reusable silicone Doileez, come in minimalist patterns which protect furniture surfaces, while adding a fashionable design element to modern decor.”

Non-porous + germ-free surface
absolutely free of BPA, lead, latex, phthalates + other unpleasant chemicals
Sold in a pack of two, 10 x 10 inches each.

Fred Flare

I Like You by Amy Sedaris

Ever since Strangers with Candy I have been hooked on Amy Sedaris. It turns out she’s quite the unique and welcoming hostess, and this novel is filled with amusing and fun suggestions for entertaining at home.

304 pgs.

The Spoon Sisters

Pound – Nail Party Picks – $9.95

Plain old toothpicks are such a bore — why not kick some party conversation with nail shaped party picks instead?

18 Reusable plastic picks
Foam base included
Every choice is 3″ long

Design Public

Normann Copenhagen 58 Degree N Salt And Pepper Set – $44

I’m not sure which is a better comparison: black with white or black ceramic with cork. In any respect, mixing all these ingredients together results in a pleasing and modern set of salt and pepper shakers.

Engineered ceramic, cork
Dishwasher safe if cork tubes and bottom plugs are removed
3.8 H x 1.6 Diameter

Also in the Houzz Donation Guide:
40 excellent gifts for cooks
40 trendy gifts for men

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How to Hang Curtains Yourself

Dressing up windows using curtains can completely revamp the décor in your living room or any other part of your home. There are so many different types of curtains in the market most of which come with unique designs. In case you are planning to purchase a few, then you must also learn how to hang them. The beauty of any curtain will totally depend on how it’s been hung.

Well, you don’t need to be a handyman Orange County to hang curtains correctly so here are some tips to keep in mind:

What You Will Need

Before you begin the job, there are some tools and supplies that you will need. First, get a curtain rod with brackets. You will also need some screws, a level, paper, pencil, tape measure, a screwdriver, and some wall anchors although they are not really necessary.

Measuring Curtain Panels, Brackets, and Rods

As you begin hanging up your curtains, you must make sure you have the right measurements for the rods, panels, and brackets. Start by measuring the total height right from the floor to the window frame. This will determine the size of the curtain that you need. Ideally, curtains should touch the floor and that’s why the measurement needs to be from the floor to the frame.

Secondly, you need to decide where the curtain rod will be hanged. The rod should normally be six inches above the window frame. Try to also measure the total depth of your windows. This will help you determine the size of curtain brackets to go for. Curtain brackets must extend beyond the window depth. As for the panels, the modern practice is to ensure that they are at least as wide as the width of the window. This will make it easier for the curtain to hold in place and to cover the entire window.

How to Hang Curtain Brackets

As soon as all the measurements are in place, it’s now time to hang the brackets. Any Orange County handyman can do this job in a few minutes. But it’s still important to have the right guide. The first thing here is to measure up the size of curtain panels using a tape measure. Use the pencil to mark curtain bracket placements at least six inches away from the window frame.

Once the marks are made, you will now install the curtain brackets. Use the screwdriver you already have to do this. The brackets on either side of the window frame must be leveled. Don’t hang the curtains until you are sure of this. Use the level to get this done. Finally, go ahead and place the curtains on the rod. This should be an easy thing for anyone. Once the curtains are on the rod, hang them on the brackets and that’s it.

Hanging curtains on your own is one of the easiest DIY projects you can do at home. You don’t really need to be a handyman Orange County CA for this. The simple guide above can help even people who have never hang curtains before get the task done.

Decorating Guides

New Icons: Kartell’s Bourgie Table Lamp

It’s so much fun when designers mash up forms with contemporary materials. In the instance of this Bourgie Lamp, designer Ferruccio Laviani crafted traditional Baroque shapes from a modern material, polycarbonate. The result is a modern lamp that provides a wink and a nod into a age where the more ornate something has been, the better.


Kartell Bourgie Table Lamp – $362

Laviani’s layout adds creativity into the mix. Its own lampshade is a matching polycarbonate, and the height can be corrected by adding spacers between the foundation and the shade.


This bedroom combines fantastic-plastic and Baroque style, and our small Bourgie is just the guy to tie the two together.

Side note: Wondering about these fab throw pillows? They are all by Hable Construction.


The Bourgie was an ideal choice for Swedish blogger Signed by Tina, who mixes traditional and contemporary bits in unexpected ways, as the lamp does.

Watch the rest of this Exceptional home


Tina also used Bourgie as a reading light, now in the chrome version. This is a woman who knows how to play with texture, and the metallic lamp emphasizes the reflective qualities of this background.

Simply Grove

Blogger Kirsten of Simply Grove is also a lover of matching the Bourgie with metallic background. Here it functions as a lamp.

Nicole Lanteri Design
The Bourgie is all up to the job as a desk lamp, giving light and style without being cumbersome.

Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

This Bourgie forges a solid relationship with the crystal chandelier, tying the dwelling area and the foyer together.

Peg Berens Interior Design LLC

Don’t want things to be this transparent? In addition to crystal, the Bourgie also comes in black, white, chrome, gold and white. Black definitely shows off his fine figure the most clearly.

Modern Icons: The Logico Lamp
Modern Icons: The Caboche Chandelier
Hot and Loaded Desk Lamps

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Let’s Hear It for Townhomes and Duplexes

While the majority of the thousands of photographs on Houzz pertain to single-family homes, a number of multi-family jobs can also be found. They offer alternatives in contexts but also in towns not only to homes.

These new methods of both retrofitting and infilling the suburbs are coming to the fore in the face of energy and climate crises. Multi-family home of even two units offers the benefits of more efficient heating and heating arising from shared walls and generally smaller house sizes, a decrease in water use for yards, and also the potential to generate enough density in an area to make walking a feasible alternative to driving.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

This development in Seattle, Wash. made by Eggleston Farkas offers an alternative to typical townhomes in the area, putting duplex units on the road with three broader units in the back of each building. The modern design in wood and concrete features generous glazing to provide the units plenty of natural light.

Seattle is also home to Pb Elemental, who have designed lots of multi-family jobs — a few “twins” with exactly the same or comparable plans mirrored on each side of a walkway or shared wall.

The second-floor volumes here articulate the openings differently to provide each residence its own individuality, while still making it clear that they are part of a single project.

These townhomes, also made by Pb Elemental, appears to be situated next to smaller homes. Turned 90 degrees to the road, using a driveway on the other side, the job fits a somewhat narrow bit and comes closer in scale to its neighbors. The modern design in timber is surely pleasing.

A previous Pb Elemental project comprises three live/work units with ground floor retail area. Pictured are two units in the trunk, removed in the road from the front building and also an area for parking. Notice the paving.

David Vandervort Architects

Here is a development using four townhomes, also in Seattle, which is more conventional in appearance, pitched roofs and all. Collective living need not mean stylistic antagonism; it can take cues in the local fashion whilst offering a lower ecological footprint and other 21st-century benefits.

Another Seattle development incorporates balconies and courtyards oriented to gardens and a water feature. The latter is a key draw to the job whilst creating a strong awareness of entrance via bridges on the road home.

Maltby Design

This duplex job in Vancouver, British Columbia comprises generous balconies facing the road and a rooftop deck. There is something striking and appealing about the yellow wood which makes up this particular elevation.

Contemporary house architects

As mentioned earlier, a common way of designing multiple units would be to mirror duplicate or similar plans. Here that is evident in the entrance to a couple units of a three-unit job. But seen overall …

Contemporary house architects

The entire job isn’t as symmetrical as the entrance in the previous photo would have us believe. The next unit gives it an asymmetrical form that almost makes it look like a massive house — if it weren’t for the three garages under the balconies.

Studio Momentum Architects, PC

Here is a duplex in Austin, Texas that also appears to be a large residence in the road. 1 unit faces the front, and the second one is tucked in the back, reached via the side driveway.

Zack|de Vito Architecture + Construction

This duplex in San Francisco, Calif. jobs one in front of another to provide each its own character supporting precisely the same garages. The backyard condition …

Zack|de Vito Architecture + Construction

… shows how the terraced backyard, shared by both units, gives privacy to each if desired. Multi-family home does require a particular social negotiation in regards to green space, but it is generally well worth it.

GLS Architecture/Landscape Architecture

The grade of the spaces generated through multi-family housing is surely important. This large job in San Francisco about a block in the love-it-or-hate-it Federal Building from Morphosis) features units facing the streets into the west and east whilst half of the units face the bamboo courtyard pictured here. A view from down on the walkway …

GLS Architecture/Landscape Architecture

Shows this space to be softer than the road fronts. I really could see the courtyard units becoming more desirable — and costly — than the units on the streets.

ON Design Architects

This development of townhomes is situated on a triangular site in Santa Barbara. The residences are oriented with this thoughtfully designed alleyway that looks like it could be a location for block parties and other social gatherings with all the neighbors. Whatever the circumstance, it is an amenity that arises from the density that is a portion of the evolution.

This previous instance, by Rhodes Architecture + Light, illustrates that even single-family homes can be created in improvements to bring their benefits closer to those of multi-family buildings.

Anderson Gardens includes four homes (three new, one renovated) that surround a massive garden. Previously a farmhouse, the property is currently home to a few more homes than another suburban context might support.

More inspirational architecture

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Your Floor: How to Shop for Tile

There’s a lot more to buying ceramic tile than finding a color and pattern that can function in an area. Each tile manufactured and sold has an intended use, and that intended use is made pretty clear on the label of a box of tile. But, it in code. Understanding this code can go a long way to helping you purchase the ceramic tile that is ideal for your project, and it might even save you money.

Ratings. There are four or five evaluations categories listed on each box of ceramic tile. Five when it is a glazed tile and four if you’re buying unglazed tile. Any time you’re preparing to purchase tile, make sure to read the label. Start looking for any particular tile grade, PEI rating, water absorption, coefficient of friction, frost tone and safety. Inside this Ideabook, I’m going to go through and discuss each of these categories and the reason why they’re significant.

Grade. The first class is a tile grade. A tile will have a grade from one to three. Grade one is the highest quality, grade two is similar to grade one but it will almost always be less expensive. Grades one and two are acceptable for flooring. Grade three tile aren’t thick enough to walk, and they are only meant to be used on walls. Although you are able to use floor tile as wall tile you cannot use wall tile as flooring tile. Make certain that any tile you’re considering for your flooring is at the very least a grade two.

Wear rating. The second category is something known as a PEI rating. PEI stands for the Porcelain and Enamel Institute’s wear rating. PEI rates a glazed tile’s ability to withstand abrasion and its suitability as a floor tile. Only polished tiles get a a PEI rating, if you’re buying unglazed tile you won’t find this class to the the label.


Daltile Continental Slate™ Asian Black – $5
Ceramic tiles ranked PEI I and II are appropriate to be used as wall tile only. They are normally decorative and cannot withstand foot traffic. Tiles rated PEI III offer moderate resistance to wear and they’re appropriate for most residential uses. Tiles that carry a PEI IV are highly resistant to wear and suitable for many residential and some light commercial uses. Tile rated PEI V would be the most resistant and therefore are appropriate to be used in heavy commercial places. If you can save money with a PEI III or PEI IV tile, do it. Anything ranked greater than that is overkill for residential uses.


Tau Galileo Collection – $10
Water-absorption rate. Another significant category to consider when you’re taking a look at ceramic tile is its own water absorption rate or W.A.. A tile W.A. rating will let you know whether a tile you’re considering is the ideal tile to use at a wet area or outdoors.

There are four categories from the W.A. rating plus they are expressed as a title and percent of water consumed by a tile.


Tau Ancona Collection – $7
Nonvitreous Vinyl absorbs over 7% of its own weight in water and can be inappropriate to be used outdoors or in a wet place such as a tub or spa. Semiviteous Vinyl absorbs between 3 percent and 7% of its own weight in water and it also is only suitable to be used in dry, indoor places. Vitreous tile absorbs only 0.5% to 3 percent of its own weight in water and it is a rating you want to see whether you’re using a tile outdoors or in an area where there’s a great deal of moisture present. The final group is high heeled also it consumes less than 0.5% of its own weight in water when subjected.


Azulev Slate – $9
What’s referred to as a porcelain tile isn’t really made from porcelain, but it is in that final category, impervious. A tile must consume less than 0.5% so as to be called porcelain. A lot of instances, that label porcelain carries a price premium and in the event that you’re able to save some cash by buying a vitreous tile (0.5% to 3 percent water absorption) you will be being a wise consumer. Tile categorized as vitreous has to be known as ceramic. Do not look away in the event that you find a floor tile that is not labeled as a porcelain tile. A vitreous ceramic flooring tile will do the job you want it to do in your home.


Daltile Fabrique™ Soleil Linen – $7
Slip resistance. Another significant rating is a given tile coefficient of friction, abbreviated as C.O.F.. The COF refers to a tile’s organic resistant to slip and it is measured by the force needed to slide an object across a surface divided by the object’s weight. Reduced C.O.F. numbers indicate less friction and the flooring will provide less traction. Higher C.O.F. numbers indicate that a flooring will be less slippery.

Crossville, Inc..

Crossville Tuscan Clay Series – $9
A C.O.F. more than .50 is suggested for standard residential uses. A C.O.F. more than .60 is needed for business uses and to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you’re seeking to tile a bathroom floor, listen to that C.O.F rating. The greater the number, the less likely you’ll be to slip when you’re getting from the shower.

Crossville, Inc..

Crossville Empire Series – $15

The last two categories are Frost and Tone. Frost is a simple either/or rating and it tells you if can withstand freeze and thaw cycles outdoors. If you’re using a tile inside, this rating doesn’t matter.

And finally, the final group is Tone. Tone only applies when there is deliberate variation from tile to tile to mimic the look of stone. If you’re looking for a tile with consistent color, toned tile isn’t for you. That class however, is definitely something to search for if you’re considering only tile samples.

More: Two More Tile Materials to Love
How to Locate the Ideal Stone Tile
How to Shop for Solid-Plank Wood Floors

See related


What to Know Before Installing Insulation

Regardless of the type of Aurora siding material that you choose for your home, the insulation has to be installed accurately by a professional in order for you to get the full value and benefit of what you’ve invested in it. In fact, it usually takes a full team of skilled workers to properly install insulation, and while your insulation contractor will be there to supervise the installation, they’ll be communicating and working closely with your builder as well.

While installing high-quality insulation is important, the way in which it is installed can make or break its performance. For example, if you install fibrous insulation material over a surface that has cracks, gaps and air voids, the expected performance of that insulation immediately drops by almost 50%. So, make sure you hire an experienced Aurora vinyl siding contractor to do the job, which you can find by asking your architect or builder for references.

Just make sure that they’ll be able to deliver the appropriate thermal protection (R-Value) required by your home, and they are familiar with the different types of insulation that are available.

Things to Consider During the Installation Process

At this point, your goal should be to make sure that your installer enables you to get the most out of your insulation’s thermal management properties.   

Basically, you should look out for the following:

Visit the construction site during the vinyl siding Aurora, CO installation to make sure that it’s not being forcefully smashed and compressed into the wall cavity, but rather installed properly and efficiently.

Inspect the junction boxes to make sure that there’s enough insulation around the back, around the pipes as well as the wiring. The best method usually involves splitting the insulation so that one side of it is wrapped around the wire and the other on the pipes to make sure that they’re fully sheathed. Failure to properly wrap insulation around the pipe will make it vulnerable to freezing.

Check to see if access points like bock grills and vents have not been blocked with insulation, as is often the case with hastily installed insulation. Blocking the ventilation system in your house with insulation can seriously compromise and eventually damage its functionality. Make sure to talk to your contractor about avoiding these areas before the installation starts.

Where Should Insulation Be Installed?

As a homeowner, you should also know where the insulation needs to go, and what types of insulation go in which area.

Typically, it’s recommended to install insulation in the following five areas:

Your attic, using fiberglass and/or cellulose

Interior and exterior walls, using rigid boards with a vapor barrier. For interior walls specifically, foam, fiberglass batts and cellulose work extremely well.

The floors, using traditional fiberglass batts and rigid foam boards.

Crawl spaces can be insulated with fiberglass, cellulose or foam.

The basement should be insulated with fiberglass and rigid boards for the best results.

As you can see, there’s quite a large variety of vinyl siding Aurora, CO materials to choose from, all of which work for different areas in your house. Just make sure to consult with your builder regarding which materials are better suited for the environment that you’re in because climate can also play a role in the type and amount of insulation required.