Eclectic Homes

How to Tile Beneath a Hot Water Heater

Tiling a space creates a finished appearance that you might want in a space like a utility room with a water heater. The most difficult task involved in installing tile under a water heater is currently removing it. The water pipes, vent pipe and hook-up has to be removed from the water heater. Without appropriate plumbing comprehension, the water heater might be ruined. Attain professional help if necessary prior to tiling the floor to eliminate the water heater.

Sweep the floor to eliminate debris. Put the debris in a trash container.

Measure along the bottom of every wall and set a mark at the point. Stretch a chalk line between two marks that are opposite and snap a line throughout the floor. Repeat the procedure with the remaining two marks. This is the middle of the space and the beginning point for tiling. Note: When tiling under the water heater, then snap the lines perpendicular to locate the middle tile placement.

Position and put are aligned with two of those chalk lines that were snapped. Assess the distance from each edge of the tile into the wall. Write down the dimensions. Divide the width of the tile and 1/4 inch to get spacer placement into the measurement to determine the width of the last tile. If the tile is less than two inches, move the middle tile to create a cut that is at 2 1/2 inches. Repeat the procedure on the remaining four components to ascertain the placement of the middle tile.

Square the tile with one of those snapped chalk lines. Put a straight edge on both sides vertical to the chalk line. Draw a line across the edge of the right edge. This is the tile’s placement. All tiles will be set up in the tile’s placement.

Spread a thin coating of tile adhesive using a trowel on a square region making sure to mark the starting point for the tile. Apply another coating, approximately using a notched trowel.

Gently put the tile in the designated location. Press down to the tile to set it. Twist slightly with your wrist back and forth to evenly disperse the adhesive beneath the tile. Put a straight edge along the border of the tile.

Press on a 1/8-inch spacer from the adhesive next to every tile corner. Set in place utilizing the press-and-twist procedure. Repeat the procedure until all of the complete tiles are set. More tile adhesive.

Determine the width. Put the tile and contrary to the wall. Mark the two opposite edges that overlap the established tile to fit within the spacers with the tile. Remove and join the marks using a straight border. Draw the right edge along to create the cut line. Cut the tile across the line. Install the tile using the procedure.

Until it’s the consistency of pudding before it sets, mix the grout. Apply a liberal quantity of grout into the tiled surface. Spread the grout above the tile and into the void areas between the tiles using a rubber-edged grout trowel. Repeat the procedure until the whole region is grouted.

Remove with the advantage of the grout trowel.

Wipe the surface of the tile using a wet fabric to remove excess grout, while being careful not to remove the grout out of the voids between the tile. Simply put more, if grout is eliminated.

Wipe the surface of the tile using a wet, lint-free cloth once a day for the next two times to remove grout movie.

Contact a plumber the water heater after the tile has set for 24 hours.

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Eclectic Homes

Do I Lock at an Interest Rate on an FHA Loan?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides competitive terms on adjustable and fixed rate of interest products. The FHA doesn’t issue loans to homeowners. The bureau’s loan plans provide investors and banks with confidence from the national government that every FHA loan is guaranteed. Many first-time house buyers use FHA loans to buy a house, taking advantage of the low down payment and flexible underwriting conditions. A borrower can receive a rate lock for FHA loans to buy or refinance a house.

Stop by the Quicken Loans or Lending Tree website. Submit info estimate. Compare applications from several creditors to find a competitive FHA interest rate.

Contact the lender who provides an FHA interest rate that satisfies your requirements. Tell the lender you need to proceed with an FHA loan. Your loan officer will begin financing package that you review and register.

Complete your program, as well as national and state disclosures for the FHA mortgage loan.

Request an FHA speed lock in the mortgage lender. A rate lock stipulates an arrangement from the lender that reflects your interest and any fees in writing. Your loan can lock in a rate for which you’re eligible.

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Renting and Tenant Rights

Where Could Complaints Be Filed Against Mortgage Companies?

Both state and federal governments regulate mortgage lenders. Federal and state laws designed to protect homeowners from unfair and illegal lending practices guide these bureaus. Nearly all states require licensure of mortgage broker businesses and individual home loan officers. Local and federal banks are governed by federal agencies tasked with making sure banks fulfill the fair lending requirements fixed by the federal government.


The Better Business Bureau, or BBB, is a nonprofit company that provides certification for businesses. Consumers trust the impartial information offered by the BBB about businesses around the nation. You can file a complaint with the BBB and they’ll forward it to the mortgage company to get a response within two weeks. The BBB asks the mortgage firm react within 14 days to your criticism.

State Regulatory Board

Each state regulates banks using their own banking agency. Originators and mortgage companies will also be governed by the state. All mortgage brokers must receive a license before originating any loans. Each state has its own agency that regulates this business. Some states use the same service to control banks and mortgage brokers, though other states regulate mortgage brokers employing exactly the same agency that regulates real estate brokers and appraisers. File complaints with the state agency controlling your mortgage company.

Attorney General

All states have an attorney general’s office. There are many laws, both state and federal, that mortgage lenders must abide by. The attorney general will investigate any reports or complaints of abuse, or violations of the lending laws.


The Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act, or RESPA, is a federal law which regulates the manner mortgage loans must be originated, disclosed, sold and serviced. You should report violations of your rights under RESPA to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD also enforces fair lending laws, making sure that people aren’t discriminated against when obtaining or funding housing. Both banks and mortgage brokers are subject to HUD’s authority.

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve asks consumers to get them with any complaints against a financial institution. Including complaints regarding lending mortgages and practices. The Federal Reserve will investigate complaints and will operate with the mortgage company to fix your issue.


If you suspect a mortgage broker or lender is committing fraud, get the FBI. The FBI has a specific task orce designated to investigate fraud. The FBI takes mortgage fraud seriously, and will prosecute those who commit mortgage fraud.

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Budgeting Your Project

Factors Affecting the Prime Rate

The prime rate is among the most important amounts for the U.S. economy. Lenders rely upon it to ascertain what interest rates they’ll charge on mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit and credit cards. This rate, which relies on the federal funding rates set by banks, fluctuates very little over time. There are some factors, however, that may make it fall or rise.

Federal Funds Rate

The biggest factor influencing the United States’ prime rate is the federal funds rate. Here is the rate that banks charge each other for the overnight loans that they create as a way to fulfill federally set funding requirements. Generally, the prime rate will endure about 3 percentage points above the federal funds rate. The U.S. prime rate really changes very little.

The Wall Street Journal

The financial newspaper The Wall Street Journal is actually the market of, and really sets, the prime rate. Before the end of 2008, The Wall Street Journal mechanically changed the prime rate whenever 23 from 30 of the nation’s largest banks changed their federal funding rates. Today, however, the Wall Street Journal bases its prime rate on the base rates charged by the nation’s top 10 banks. When seven of those 10 have changed their base prices, the paper changes its prime rate so. This has caused a stable rate: The Wall Street Journal has retained its prime rate at 3.25 percent since December of 2008.

Open Market Committee

According to the Fed (U.S.) Prime Rate Website, the prime rate is most likely to change after a meeting of the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee. This body retains its meetings eight times annually, though it may hold emergency meetings at any moment.

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Budgeting Your Project

What Do Landlords Search for on a Credit Check?

Many landlords possess the properties they rent out to tenants. If a tenant damages the property, or fails to pay the rent required to live inside, the landlord might be left with additional expenses related to the property. A landlord would like to ensure that he chooses a responsible renter who will take care of his house and pay the rent in time. Performing a credit check on a potential tenant may give a landlord a reasonable indication of what to expect from that tenant.


Landlords look at a potential tenant’s credit report for evidence that the candidate has created consistency, stability and predictability. Consistency is demonstrated by what a potential tenant does over and over fiscally. If a credit check reveals that a debtor has on-time payments with several accounts, over many decades, then she is consistent. Stability can be determined by a number of factors. The number of years at work, the number of accounts available, and the payment history all contribute to equilibrium. A potential tenant that can deal with her financial responsibilities and works for the same employer longterm is a financially secure individual. Landlords check credit reports to forecast the behaviour of the person who will be renting the house.

Rental History

Landlords can conduct credit checks to learn more about a potential tenant’s past rentals. The leasing history of a renter is utilized to ascertain a tenant’s behaviour in future lease situations. Any landlord who reports a tenant’s payment history to a credit bureau, will show up on a credit rating. Landlords can check a credit report to see whether any money is owed to your prior landlord. A landlord may use rental history information to determine where a tenant has lived and make inquires about those rental agreements.


A tenant’s debts have an influence on the tenant’s ability to pay for a particular lease. The tenant should be able to pay her rent together with all of her other financial obligations each month. A potential tenant’s credit to find out how much debt a renter gets may be checked by A landlord. When the landlord knows the potential tenant’s debt load, he can compare that to your income and ascertain whether she is able to rent the area.


Credit reports include both open accounts and closed accounts. Open accounts are usually revolving credit–where there is a payment due monthly until the whole balance is paid off–just like using a credit card. Closed accounts may either be paid in full or using a balance due to the creditor. Credit checks which contain”fulfilled balances” are closed accounts which have been paid in full. A credit score report detailing several accounts paid on-time greatly helps a potential renter come out ahead in a credit rating. Landlords seem to see that the potential tenant has more accounts paid more than reports which were not.


Landlords check credit reports to see whether there are any bankruptcies. Bankruptcies remain on credit reports for up to ten decades. A bankruptcy listing allows a landlord to observe all of the accounts and companies included in the potential tenant’s insolvency. There is a difference between a discharged bankruptcy (finished ) and also a pending bankruptcy (ongoing). A potential tenant having a discharged bankruptcy is typically a better risk than one with a impending bankruptcy. When a bankruptcy is pending, it is possible for a tenant to be relieved of all current financial obligations–such as any remaining rental payments because of a landlord. For this reason, landlords check credit reports to make sure that there are not any impending bankruptcy activities.


Some landlords may carry out a credit check to find out whether there are some foreclosures in a potential tenant’s past. A foreclosure is a legal act in which a lender repossesses a home. In many foreclosures, the borrower is left with a balance to pay after the land is removed and resold. A landlord may do a credit check to see if any monies are owed in the aftermath of a foreclosure proceedings.

Credit Bureaus

It is very important to be aware that there are three different credit agencies that a landlord may use to conduct a credit check on a potential tenant. These credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and Transunion. The credit bureaus are independent of one another and each can contain different information from a different bureau. A landlord may use any or all of the bureaus to check credit information of a potential tenant. Many landlords also charge a credit report fee to potential tenants.

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Coastal Style

Humor Lightens Up Midcentury Design in Dallas

Wayne and Lisa Moore love the clutter-free appearance of midcentury modern design. Nevertheless, when it came to decorating their Dallas house, there was one challenge. OK, make that three challenges. With three active young children, achieving a clean aesthetic with a youthful vibe took extra attention. The solution? A tiny bit of comedy. They repurposed cat scratchers as sculptural artwork, used Pac-Man decals on the stairwell and wrapped framed pieces of space-patterned wallpaper, all adjacent to pieces by Saarinen, Knoll and van der Rohe. “The purpose of home is to create family and friends happy and comfortable,” Lisa says.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Lisa Moore, a clothes designer; her husband, Wayne, an equity investor; and their 3 children
Location: Park Cities, Dallas
Size: 4,800 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

Hilary Walker

Saarinen tulip chairs surround a vintage Florence Knoll rosewood dining table with a brass base, one of Wayne and Lisa’s favorite midcentury pieces. “I really like the juxtaposition of a gorgeous wood grain against blank white vinyl,” Lisa says.

Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box serves as a fun centerpiece.

Table: Rosewood Dining Table by Florence Knoll, Sputnik Modern; chairs: Saarinen Tulip Armchair, Design Within Reach; pendant: Random Light by Bertjan Pot, Moooi; painting: by Leslie Wilkes, Barry Whistler Gallery

Hilary Walker

The classic chinoiserie cupboard in the living space, from Nick Brock Antiques in Dallas, was Lisa’s first major furniture purchase. A vintage artwork piece styled in a contemporary acrylic shadow box hangs above.

Sofa: Bantam Studio Sofa (Broad Weave, Red), Design Within Reach; java table: Maya Lin Stones (gloomy), Design Within Reach

Hilary Walker

The majority of the rooms centre around a bit of modern art. From the living room, a cobalt blue figurative bit by British modern artist Christopher Bucklow sets the tone.

Lisa hung corrugated cardboard cat scratchers on the wall as sculptural artwork. They match a Frank Gehry–designed corrugated cardboard side dining table that sits between two Saarinen womb chairs.

Chairs: Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen, Design Within Reach; Low Table Set by Frank Gehry, Scott+Cooner; cat scratchers: Cat Scratcher Lounge, Pet Fusion

Hilary Walker

Lisa considers the term “yes” has enormous favorable energy and placed a neon sign of this word in the base of the staircase. Pac-Man decals decorate the wall above, anchoring the space together with playful appeal.

Decals: Pac-Man Ghost, Blik, Fab; “YES” Neon Letters, Nest Dallas

Hilary Walker

A huge oil painting by Scott McDermott, Lisa’s first art purchase while at school, dominates the children’s downstairs playroom. The children use the space for artwork, practicing piano or playing video games. The vintage arcade game was a gift from Lisa’s daddy. “He likes nostalgic bits such as jukeboxes and arcades,” she says. Her mother found the green Panton mini-chairs that tie in perfectly with the portrait painting.

The tiger head above the arcade game symbolizes the funny layout style. “I love blow-up creatures for the swimming pool and rubber Halloween masks,” Lisa says. “The tiger head lands somewhere in the center. I’m not into creature mounts or taxidermy, so that I thought that this was a fun substitute.”

Blue seat: PS Lömsk Swivel Chair, Ikea

Hilary Walker

Artwork and self-portraits for every one of the 3 children frame a cupboard door.

Hilary Walker

Lisa purchased both blue bits in the family room on Craigslist for about $ 200. “I enjoy midcentury modern design, but always throw in some bright happy colours and artwork that’s simple not crafty,” she says.

Chairs: Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe, Design Within Reach

Hilary Walker

A portrait of Roy Lichtenstein by Chuck Close is Lisa’s most prized artwork purchase.

Hilary Walker

The Moores gave their spacious kitchen and dining room a facelift after they transferred in. They painted the yellow walls white, refinished the hardwood flooring and furnished the space with easy-to-clean furniture.

Coat stand: Splash Coat Rack, Blu Dot; framed paper cut-out artwork piece: Jim Hodges

Hilary Walker

From the kitchen, they included new granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and painted their traditional wood cabinets.

Hilary Walker

Lisa decorated the upstairs bonus room by framing space-patterned wrapping paper designed by Rodarte because of the Target collaboration.

Shelving: Cubitec Shelving (orange), Design With Attain; ottoman: Pentagonal Pouf, Missoni for Goal

Hilary Walker

The main bedroom epitomizes simplicity along with a clutter-free decorating philosophy. Lisa and Wayne maintained the colour palette accessories and colours as minimum as you can.

A DIY sculpture from the Nasher Sculpture Center hangs above the headboard. It’s made of interlocking ornamental plastic bits that can be rearranged.

Wall sculpture DIY kit: Algue, by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Nasher Sculpture Center Store

Hilary Walker

Lisa designed this acrylic desk a local plastic company then made.

Ottomans: Missoni for Goal; lamp: We Are 1976

Hilary Walker

They transformed the main bathroom with marble countertops and flooring and a modern bathtub.

Hilary Walker

Lisa painted a striped accent wall in every kid’s room for a fun and dynamic approach to have a consistent theme. Each child selected a bold colour to anchor their area’s design. This really is their son’s space.

Hilary Walker

Hilary Walker

Their older daughter went for hot pink, deep red and vibrant orange inside her bedroom. An aluminum desk, equal to Lisa’s, keeps things clean and simple.

Art printing: Brain Gibb from The Public Trust

Watch Brian Gibb and Misty Keasler’s midcentury house

Hilary Walker

The youngest daughter went with a periwinkle blue accent colour. White frilly bedding along with an antique carousel horse at the corner soften the space as well.

Hilary Walker

Lisa is pictured here with her youngest daughter.

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Coastal Style

Character, Color and Artistry at San Francisco

As a long-distance couple moving in together for the first time, Kelli Ryder and Timothy Lamb were confronted with the challenge of combining their fashions to reflect both of their characters. The solution? Humor and undermine. “We could mesh our styles together and compromise as it came to decorating,” says Ryder, a editor. “We like to have a sense of humor in our decorating; we do not take things too seriously.”

To maintain their apartment from becoming too gender biased, “we would call out each other when there were too many black and metallic items, or too many pink and sparkly things,” says Lamb, an artist. The result is a cozy, comfortable home that successfully blends their individual personalities and contains particulars worth a grin.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Kelli Ryder, Timothy Lamb and their cats, Roxanne and Leonard
Location: Panhandle area of San Francisco
Size: About 650 square feet; 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom

Shannon Malone

Ryder and Lamb already had a few basic pieces of furniture, like their couch, dining table and coffee table; they shopped at places like Ikea,, Target and West Elm for the remainder. “I love finding a good deal,” she says. The side table was a present from a friend.

Shannon Malone

Among the biggest design dilemmas the couple confronted was the positioning of the large JJ Villard painting in the dining area. “Our apartment is big by San Francisco standards, however it is still a very large painting for a flat,” Ryder says.

They moved the piece from room to room, however it was not quite right before the couple tried it at the dining area, where it stayed.

Rug: Revival Turquoise Rug, Joy & Revelry; candleholders: Jonathan Adler

Shannon Malone

“Tim really wanted a pendant light, and I wanted a chandelier” says Ryder, “This light is both, and it’s shiny!”

Quark Ceiling Lamp:

Shannon Malone

Among the unique features of the apartment is this multi-functional built in unit at the dining area; there’s also an abundance of closet space in the home. The few painted the dining area charcoal grey to specify it and give it character. “We love the stunning neutral grey; it really makes the built-in pop,” says Lamb.

A faux saber-tooth-tiger skull stays along with the device. “We got tired of our buddies asking if it was real, so we decided to spray paint it gold,” Lamb says. “I would paint everything gold when I could,” adds Ryder.

Wall Paint: Gunmetal, Benjamin Moore; “R/R” printing: McBess; skull: Saber Tooth Tiger Skull, Z Gallerie

Shannon Malone

A small animal figurine rests within a terrarium on the table. “It’s our cat Leo,” Ryder says.

Shannon Malone

Artist Jason Laferrera made this fox printing. “The print was Tim’s before I moved in, but I love it,” says Ryder. “My family has a cottage in the mountains near McCall, Idaho, and there’s always little foxes running around. This print will always be a staple in our home.”

Shannon Malone

Lamb picked each of the artwork from the apartment. “But it’s evenly divided on his tastes and mine,” says Ryder. The Barbary sheep trophy on the wall has been bought at Paxton Gate and was once employed as part of an installment at one of Lamb’s art shows in Los Angeles.

The coffee table characterizes their combined decorating fashions. “We love to mix rustic pieces with more contemporary, clean layouts,” Ryder says. “The dining table is rustic, but can be contemporary or feminine based on how we style it.”

Coffee table: Seguro Rectangular Table, Crate & Barrel; carpeting: Threshold Criss-Cross Shag, Goal; rockers: Vinnie White Cradle,; terrarium: Turning Triangles, Urban Outfitters

Shannon Malone

“After we moved to the apartment, everything was beige,” says Ryder. “Among the first things we did was pick out paint colours and paint the living room and dining area.” They envisioned this glowing blue on a whim whilst out to brunch on a Sunday. “We stopped at the hardware shop on the way home and painted it that night,” says Ryder. The color is a custom mix from Benjamin Moore.

“We love our living room as it’s comfy yet stylish,” says Ryder. “We did not want it to look like a showroom; we wish to have the ability to enjoy our home without worrying we’re going to mess it up.”

Shannon Malone

Ryder functions in the home for Rue magazine also writes for her blog, Leopard and Lavender, at this desk underneath bay windows. “It’s nice to have different nooks from the house to use,” Ryder says. “It keeps me from getting cabin fever.”

Desk: Parsons, West Elm; sheepskin: Rens, Ikea

Shannon Malone

Lamb spotted this rustic corner piece onto the side of a street and immediately grabbed his car and brought it home. “I love mixing in older pieces,” he says.

Shannon Malone

Large bay windows soften the bedroom, even though they left furniture positioning tricky.

Bedding: Alyssa Matelassé, Peacock Alley; mattress framework: Piper, Room & Board; drapes: Ikea; seat: Lina, Lulu & Georgia; table: Sculpted Geo Console, West Elm; pillow: Posh Polka Dot Charcoal, Society Social

Shannon Malone

“We’re really lucky with the design of our apartment,” Ryder says. “We can be at home without being in one another’s space.”

Kilim rug: eBay; desk: Go-Cart Console, CB2; bookcase: Expedit, Ikea

Shannon Malone

Ryder, shown here on the left, is glad that her long-distance connection between San Francisco and Boise, Idaho, is finished. “Tim [at right] had been going to tons of open homes, coping with the horrendous S.F. program process and competition, but I wasn’t able to help or provide any inputsignal,” she recalls. “We were really nervous that I’d need to move to a location and neighborhood I had never noticed before.”

With important luck, they scored this apartment when Ryder was in town to get a quick stay. “We came over and knew immediately it was the perfect place for us,” she says. “We filled out an application and a check immediately, and crossed our fingers.” Ryder got the good news while waiting in the airport security line on her way back to Boise.

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Eclectic Homes

Guest Groups: Decorator Chic

We might not be able to have a fancy decorator on call 24/7, but by learning from the pros you can nurture that polished decorator look by yourself. This month I have rounded up my top 20 favourite classic decorator touches. Insert one or add them all, and your home will be feeling chicer by the moment. Enjoy! — Laura from Lolalina


Bellini Side Table – $745

1. A shapely table. A little dining table, like this one completed in a fine wood with lovely lines, can be tucked in virtually anywhere and brings a little gravitas to a mostly modern room. A pair facing the couch could be beautiful.


Boston Terrier Figure – $28

2. A dog (or two). Foo dogs might be the classic choice, but decorators appear to be fond of puppy amounts in general, and also this little Boston Terrier has so much more personality! I would tuck one near the fireplace or at an entryway.

Tonic Home

Wire Dining Chair – $450

3. A modern cable seat. Bertoia’s side seat design from the 1950s is now such a classic, and it is possible to discover riffs on it everywhere. Decorators love the iconic form and will tuck one in anywhere, from a complete place in the dining table to one seat in a desk or as a spare at the living room. The brilliant thing about the wire chair is how easily it works into any style — a conventional home can handle one.

Tonic Home

Starburst Mirror – $325

4. A sunburst mirror. Mirrors, mirrors, everywhere! If ever there were a decorator’s maxim, that could be it. Mirrors enhance lighting, expand the feeling of space, and make the most of perspectives and artwork. Sunburst mirrors, in particular, are fabulous for adding a dash of drama. You can not fail with a single hung above the mantle.

Bunny Williams

Harvest Table, Marble

5. A round table. Round tables are way more flexible than rectangular ones. It is possible to use one as a dining table, sure, but they are also brilliant at a breakfast nook, full of sculptures and books at an empty corner or taking center stage at a big entryway.
This one, from famed decorator Bunny Williams, was featured on before (with the bamboo shirt), but that I could not help highlighting it again, this time in marble, because it’s simply so magnificent.

Bunny Williams

Nailhead Sofa

6. Nailhead trim. Add subtle definition to a shapely seat or couch with a row of nailhead trim. Ottomans, dressers and even desks can find the nailhead treatment too. Or for an easy DIY project, hammer your trim onto a linen-wrapped cork board.

Paris Hotel Boutique

Vintage Palace Hotel Service For Four – $375

7. White china. There’s something incredibly chic about easy white china stacked neatly on open shelves in the kitchen. Add even more kindly cachet with a set of vintage hotel china, like this collection from The Palace Hotel in San Francisco.


Antique Bust Of Godess Athena

8. A bust. Room feeling somewhat plain? Add important drama with a classical Greek or Roman bust. Historical reproductions are often reasonably priced and gorgeous. This one of the Greek goddess Athena would look amazing on a console at the entryway. I would give her a jaunty hat to add a dash of good humor.


Rosette Urn And Plinth – $800

9. An urn. Objects that look pulled straight in from the backyard are wonderful for adding a sense of background to the conventional “white box” apartment. An urn with a bit of patina, like this one from Terrain, is a excellent choice because it looks just as gorgeous with or without a plant indoors.


Parisian Blue Tablecloth – $128

10. Blue and white stripes. There’s something so crisp and refreshing about blue and white stripes. Every house should have them somewhere. This Parisian tablecloth receives the shade just right.

Gracious Home

Canister Uplight – $60

11. A canister uplight. Great lighting is critical to creating a room that feels comfy and welcoming. Try tucking these little canister lighting in a dark corner where a normal lamp will not match. When the corners are lit, the room feels larger — it is as simple as that.

Gracious Home

Matouk Jordan Towels – $43

12. Greek key trim. The sharp geometric lines of the ancient motif work superbly as a trim on everything from couches and curtains to sheets and towels, and in modern and traditional interiors alike. These plush Egyptian cotton towels are a fun update from standard white.

Gracious Home

Matouk Arcadia Throw – $174

13. A fancy throw. Virtually every room in the house can use a great throw, and this one gets bonus points to be decked out in a Greek key design. Twist one over the back of a couch, lay one at the foot of the bed or take it outdoors to flake out on a cold night.

Gracious Home

Olivia Small Tumbler – $27

14. Petite stemless glasses. In case you need to choose just 1 kind of glass to get at the house, make it little and stemless. Glassware like this is frequently used in the home in Europe instead of wine glasses, and they can easily handle anything out of juice and water to cocktails. I am particularly smitten with these hand-blown and delicately embellished tumblers out of Juliska. They’d look amazing lined up on shelves that are open.

Garnet Hill

Frette Classic Hotel Percale Bedding – $65

15. Hotel sheets. Colorful, printed bedding is fun, but if it is chic you are after, you can not get much better than trimmed and monogrammed resort sheets from Frette.

Garnet Hill

Garnet Hill Canecroft Flat-Weave Wool Rug – $68

16. Cane print. Recalling outdoor furniture and entertaining ’50s pool parties, cane print is a superb addition to the joyful chic home. This rug from Garnet Hill will be beautiful from the entryway or onto a three-season porch.

Calypso St. Barth

Apt. Pencil Tray – $92

17. A decorative tray. Decorators adore trays. Love them. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to think of one room in the house that may not benefit from at least one or two little trays. This one from John Derian will be perfect by the front door, holding stacks of mail or keys.

Calypso St. Barth

Two Elephants Pillow – $155

18. An exotic touch. Animal motifs, Indian prints and Moroccan cloths have staying power in the design world. Scoop up an accent bit like this pillow out of John Robshaw to include exotic flair to your mat.

Garnet Hill

Moroccan Leather Pouf – $348

19. A pouf. Poufs may be trendy, but they are so adorable and useful. There’s no doubt that they are here to stay. The classic version is leather and large in natural white or brownish. But these days it is possible to find any color under the sun, from hot pink to metallic silver and gold, so go with what you love.

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler X-bench In Tanzania indigo – $695

20. An animal print and an X-bench! This bit from Jonathan Adler has it all: a classic, versatile design and a fun animal print. Many decorators like to sneak in at least one thing featuring an animal print — it warms up a room like nothing else. Navy blue zebra might not seem versatile, but you would be shocked at how easily this little seat can match in!

Next: Get a Million Dollar Decorator’s Look for Less

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Decorating Guides

Slow Design: Today's 'Wabi-Sabi' Helps Us Savor the Moment

I have been examining the parallels between contemporary Western style and wabi-sabi, the early Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent and dated. We saw the way the philosophy paralleled modern layout and Arts and Crafts movements, as well as the Shaker.

Today wabi-sabi manifests itself at the Slow Design movement, founded in 2006 by Carolyn F. Strauss and Alastair Fuad-Luke to slow down the metabolism of people, resources and flows. Strauss and Fuad-Luke’s Slow Design manifesto urges designers to “fulfill real needs instead of transient trendy or market-driven needs” by producing moments to enjoy and appreciate together with the individual senses.

There’s also a push to design spaces for thinking, reacting, dreaming and musing. To put it differently, the idea adopts designing for people first and commercialization second, and it aims to balance the neighborhood with the global, the social together with the ecological — Overall, a transformation toward a much hierarchical method of living. This essentially mirrors the wabi-sabi strategy to style. Here are the six fundamentals of Slow Design.


1. Reveal. Uncover spaces and experiences in everyday life that are often forgotten or missed.

The manifesto urges people to “believe beyond perceived functionality, bodily traits and lifespans to think about artifacts’ real and potential ‘expressions'” This wall displaying artifacts is a good example. Dealing with materials is another.

Megan Buchanan

2. Expand. Slow design believes the real and possible “expressions” of artifacts and environments beyond their perceived functionalities, bodily attributes and life spans.

This principle asks designers to consider facets beyond aesthetics and shape, paying attention to the way we live and interact with spaces and objects. In their paper “Slow Design Principles,” Strauss and Fuad-Luke cite Swedish designer Ramiz Maze’s contention that “style isn’t only about the spatial or physical form of objects, but the form of interactions that take place — and also occupy time — in people’s relationships with and through [them].”

These stairs, that provide an enjoyable way for a child to learn to count, show this principle in action. The plan expands arrangement and more than just its structure.

Laidlaw Schultz architects

3. Reflect. Induce contemplation and “reflective ingestion”

“Product designers are questioning not only ecological values, but also perceptual and emotional experiences that the unique materiality of goods can provide,” Strauss and Fuad-Luke state. They encourage performers to emphasize ephemeral beauty that reminds us that everything is transient and short lived.

Strauss and Fuad-Luke cite Icelander Katrin Svana Eythórsdóttir’s biodegradable chandelier, made from highly reflective sugar droplets; it gradually disappears within months, “encouraging its owner(s) to relish each moment of its existence,” they say.

Waterfalls, like this one in Texas, are another means to take a reflective approach.

4. Engage. Share, collaborate and collaborate in an open-source layout process.

This home, by The Architects Collaborative, was designed following the group’s philosophy of camaraderie instead of hierarchy. Directed by Walter Gropius, eight architects’ team encouraged collaboration to produce the product.

Nowadays design charettes, in which several participants meet to brainstorm solutions to an architectural issue, are another example of cooperation.

Debra Kling Colour Consultant

5. Participate. Make everybody an active participant in the plan process.

Color consultant Debra Kling (whose job is shown here) is an advocate of the notion, and she constantly engages her customers in her designs. “Color consulting with my customers is always a very collaborative process,” she states.

Customers who participate in designing their homes normally get more pleasing outcomes.

Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects, Inc..

6. Evolve. Look beyond current requirements and circumstances to consider how good Slow Design can attest positive change.

Strauss and Fuad-Luke cite architect and societal designer Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates, in which conventional lawns are replaced with all productive domestic edible landscapes; the one here is a good example. Growing food instead of resource-intensive grass not only feeds households but addresses bigger problems of global food production also connects people with their surroundings and their communities.

On the most elementary level, planting a tree, that will provide shade, shelter and possibly food several years afterwards, is evolutionary.

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Coastal Style

A DIY Gold Mine at the Heart of Texas

French teacher, blogger and designer Camille Dickson is a DIY convert of the maximum order. There is barely a surface at the 1950s ranch home she shares with husband Kyle which they have not painted, scraped, re-surfaced or gutted themselves. “I guess if someone else could get it done for hire, we could do it for free,” she says. The home is a gold mine of home improvement inspiration, with jobs which range from a fully renovated kitchen and bath to an accent wall completely coated with book pages from a French study guide.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Camille and Kyle Dickson, their two kids and Boston terrier Rufus
Location: Abilene, Texas
Size: 2,000 square feet; 3 bedrooms, two baths

Sarah Greenman

A gallery wall consisting of nine frames showcases a map of Paris. Camille saw a large map costing over $1,000 at a favorite catalogue and produced a similar style for approximately $150 in her own living space using frames from Target.

Paint: Old Country Tan, Lowe’s

Sarah Greenman

A striking wall covered with book leaves greets visitors as they enter the home. “The pages are from books I had around the house,” Camille says. “Two were old French study guides; another two novels I have at Goodwill for about 50 cents each. I simply used my stapler from school to tack up the pages there.”

The piano, a present from Camille’s grandfather, is one of her precious possessions. “He gave it to our family when I was in third grade, and I took classes all of the way through high school,” she says. “I have lots of happy memories connected with it.”

Sarah Greenman

A gallery wall sets off a curated set of mementos and travel treasures in the foyer. “My personal style seems to be dictated by what I like at this time, and I feel that the things in your home should tell you and your family’s story,” Camille says. “Almost everything that’s on screen has some sort of significance behind it, if it be out of our journeys, a family heirloom or something that one of us has left. That’s in the root of the design philosophy.”

Table: Cost Plus World Market; side chairs: Thomasville

Sarah Greenman

The living room is a heavily textured and layered area achieved with time and patience. “We have lived here for almost 10 decades, and the home has slowly evolved to what you see now,” Camille says.

The dog mattress under the piano is from Holly Mathis Interiors. Mathis is a longtime friend of Camille’s, and also the design is named for Rufus, the Dicksons’ dog.

Coffee table:; place rug: Joss and Main

Sarah Greenman

A Boston terrier–print throw pillow onto a cornered slipper chair can also be a nod to Rufus. The table lamp is one of Camille’s DIY jobs; she gave the foundation an upgrade with silver spray paint.

Slipper seat:

Sarah Greenman

The French-inspired dining room is awash in light blue, softened with wheat-colored curtain panels and organic linen cushions embroidered with French words.

The table is from a regional antiques store and has been what Camille calls “a Marsha Brady yellow.” She gave the rounded ends a fast buzz using a circular saw, then stripped off the table and then stained it with Rust-Oleum Sunbleached Wood Stain. She subsequently painted the legs and apron white and sanded them down. Her cheap secret weapon for aging furniture: black and brown wax shoe polish.

Paint: Milk Pail, Home Depot; drapes: Ballard Designs; chandelier: Quoizel, Lighting Universe; place carpeting: 1 Kings Lane; chairs: Kmart

Sarah Greenman

Camille repurposed a timber plank out of her in-laws’ old fence and attached it to two antique corbels found at a store in Fort Worth to create this shelf.

Sarah Greenman

The tan and blue colour scheme continues in the primary suite, where a wooden sleigh bed takes center stage. “I mowed the footboard about 12 inches along with my reciprocating saw, because I had been frustrated by how it made the space look tight,” Camille says. “Now it’s like a panel mattress. Kyle thought I’d lost my head if he saw me sawing away, but he believes it works better today, also.”

Wall paint: Woodlawn Blue; ceiling paint: Manchester Tan, both by Benjamin Moore; quilt, duvet: Pottery Barn

Sarah Greenman

A little assortment of glass cloches found at Goodwill and Hobby Lobby adorns a dresser at the primary bedroom. “The one with ‘Gateaux‘ piled on the front was a recent buy during a visit to NYC, from the Morgan Library and Museum,” Camille says. “I lugged that thing around the Garment District while fabric shopping, then in my carry-on bag on the way home.”

Sarah Greenman

The couple completely renovated their previously pink-tiled, glittery-Formica-clad principal bathroom. “Everything in there was first and needed replacement,” Camille says. ” I love having two sinks instead of simply one. It makes mornings much more civilized.”

She created the dual vanity from an antique buffet found at a consignment store for $200. After painting it white, the few topped it with a Carrara marble remnant from a local stone lawn.

Paint: Wedgewood Gray, Benjamin Moore; knobs, pulls: Anthropologie

Sarah Greenman

Camille keeps clutter to a minimum with DIY business jobs like this framed jewelry corkboard in her bedroom. “I really don’t like a great deal of stuff in the home,” she says. “In actuality, I am known for cleaning up using a trash can in hand.”

Sarah Greenman

Camille renovated the kids’ hall toilet on a1,200 budget. She converted their tub to a dual tub and shower, painted the cabinetry, replaced the glitter-specked Formica counter with granite counter tops, tiled the ground and installed new lighting. “I learned a lot about constructing walls, carpentry and electrical, as I did it all myself,” she says. “However, I left the plumbing to the specialists.”

Camille discovered to tile by viewing her father and studying up on techniques and supplies. “It is not difficult but does take patience, especially in the event that you decide to learn using little bitty tiles, such as I did. Maybe not my smartest move. I utilized a manual tile for your toilet, then afterward a wet saw for my kitchen backsplash, and there is no wonder that the tile saw is much simpler to use.”

Wall paint: Rosemary, Walmart; tile: Lowe’s

Sarah Greenman

A 1970s-era credenza, purchased at Goodwill for $30, has been painted black and today serves as a buffet in the kitchen. “I added panels to the drawer fronts to add a little bit of detail and hide the recessed drawer pulls,” Camille says. “I added turned legs to the floor and an MDF top, then flashed the edge to give it a finished-countertop appearance.”

Buffet hardware: Hobby Lobby

Sarah Greenman

Two-toned cabinetry, subway tile and marble countertops give the kitchen a dressed-up vibe. Kyle reconfigured the kitchen by yanking out the first wall mount and retrofitting a slide-in range. He also replaced the cabinets, upper cupboard doors and countertops. “After those things were done, it really begun to feel like home,” Camille says.

The most recent upgrade to the home involved replacing the dining and kitchen flooring with hand-scraped walnut. “We had a major escape while we had been on vacation and were made to replace the flooring,” she says. “While we were in it, I chose to replace the carpeting in the living room and hallway with timber too. I think the biggest splurge so far is the wood floor we picked, but it had been worth every penny.”

The couple purchased the stainless apron-front sink on clearance. It sat patiently at the garage for a while before the renovation began. “I highly recommend large single-bowl sinks,” Camille says. “They could hide a good deal of dirty dishes.”

Upper-cabinet paint: Chelsea Gray, Benjamin Moore; sink:

Sarah Greenman

Camille made excellent use of the area over and around the cooking range. A hanging rack keeps pans and pots in the ready; it shares space with an open wall-mounted spice rack out of Ikea.

Wall paint: Rosemary, Walmart

Sarah Greenman

The back of an antique oven serves as a magnet board attached to a kitchen wall. “It had such a beautiful patina,” Camille says. “I needed to save it and turn it into something practical.”

Sarah Greenman

A large living room teeming with cushy seating and including an entertainment center is opposite the kitchen and enjoys views of the garden. “Truthfully, there are a great deal of things about our home that I would change if I had carte blanche, but we live here. Like, really live here,” Camille says. “I want for your kids and people who come around to become comfortable. So the ivory linen couch can wait. For now, we’ll watch films and put a little additional butter on our popcorn as we hit the sofa, which also doubles as a giant napkin.”

Curtains: Lowe’s; couches: Ashley Furniture; wall paint: Rosemary, Walmart

Sarah Greenman

A door, potted greenery plus a little Boston terrier sculpture create a welcoming vignette in the front entry. The doorway mat reads “Bonjour,” giving visitors a little taste of what’s inside.

Sarah Greenman

Kyle’s brother, who resides across the street, alerted him if the home went on the market a decade back. Then, about four years when they moved in, the house next door was purchased by their parents. “We’d like to call our neighborhood ‘the compound,'” Camille says.

Sarah Greenman

“There are many things to appreciate about Abilene,” says Camille, revealed here with Rufus. “True, there aren’t a great deal of trees and it’s quite hot and dry in the summer, but we do have a thriving arts community, including numerous museums and galleries, ballet, a symphony and lots and lots of great places to eat.”

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