What is "the considered home" ? Your new book is called a Manual for the Considered Home. Would love to know what that means!
This is such a good question. We spent a lot of time (and I mean a lot of time) trying to define our mission early on. We were influenced by the famous William Morris quote: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." To us that means that you should carefully consider (sometimes even agonize over) everything that you bring into your home. Whether it's choosing a big-ticket appliance like arefrigerator or a simple dustpan that will live in your utility closet. Sometimes the smallest things bring you the most pleasure, and I think that's easy to forget.
Hi--We are considering changing the color of our kitchen cabinets to a cobalt blue. Countertops are ash, floor is light wood, appliances stainless steel, walls white and white tile backsplash (with small cobalt blue square tiles as accents). Any suggestions for Benjamin Moore colors? Thanks!
This sounds beautiful! We're seeing more color in the kitchen right now, for sure. One of our favorite kitchen outfitters is called Plain English (plainenglishdesign.co.uk), and they recently teamed up with a color expert called Adam Bray. I would check out this post for inspiration: http://www.remodelista.com/posts/colors-for-cabinets-by-plain-english
He came up with 12 colors for the kitchen; I especially like his cobalt blue (it's called Starched Apron). I'm sure you know this, but you can have any color matched by a Benjamin Moore expert (I've done it many times!). Good luck!
I am redoing my living room to be modern in colors of gray and silver. I found a gorgeous dining room table that has a hammered stainless stell top and driftwood finish legs. It has a very rustic feel to it. Do you think it will look strange near my modern decor in the living room? The room is an l-shaped so you can see both rooms at once.
Your table sounds stunning, and modern in i's own right. I think it's the perfect solution and you seem to have a great aesthetic going.
I love Gardenista. Do you help with that site? Any gardening tips for winter, or holiday flower ideas?
I'm so happy to hear you're a Gardenista reader! It's been incredibly exciting to see the site evolve—to grow from an idea to a destination for all things gardening.I do work closely with Michelle Slatalla, who is our genius Gardenista editor (you may remember her column in the NY Times); right now she and her cohort Erin Boyle are doing a lot of posts on easy holiday flower ideas. We're doing a post in the next couple of days about one-ingredient holiday centerpieces, for instance. Hope this helps.
Having trouble getting inspired for my tablescape this Christmas. Dont want to spend a lot of money, but want to have something nice that isn't just the typical flowers.
I agree about not wanting to spend a lot of money on flowers; my favorite technique is to take a pair of scissors and go outside and cut sprigs of whatever happens to be available. I like to group tiny vases on my table and fill them with cheery sprigs of greenery. Another option: check out this post:
I would definitely try this for Christmas, and it's less than $10.
There's a new wave in the fashion and food industries- of artisan-made, high quality, handcrafted, back-to the roots goods for the conscious consumer. What is your view on this trend in home decor? Do you see it already as a part of home decor & improvement and what brands are investing in this trend? Do you see a future in it- a distancing from mass manufactured goods?
This is a question that's really close to our hearts at Remodelista. We absolutely think there's a future in artisan-made, high-quality goods for the conscious consumer. But I think we all need to buy less but buy better, and that's hard to do. It's painful to buy a $50 wooden broom when you know you get a plastic one for $10, but it pays off in every case (personally and environmentally). I'm really happy to see brands like West Elm (with their new Marketplace) and Crate & Barrel (with Clean Slate) embrace the trend. They're offering high-quality utility items that used to be hard to find and introducing consumers to artisan-made, high-quality household goods.
Really indecisive about what color to paint my young daughters room. She is enamored with bright colors but I'm sure that will change. Don't want anything too boring. Any tips? Also, what brand of paint do you like best?
This is a tough one! How about letting her choose her bright color but painting just one wall? I especially like the look of a painted wall as headboard--if you position the bed in front of the painted wall it almost functions as a headboard. Then, when she outgrows her color choice (and she will), you only have one wall to repaint. There are so many great paint companies right now that it's hard to choose--I like everything from Farrow & Ball to Benjamin Moore to a small company called Devine Colors.
I am completely gutting and renovating my house. Its about 3200sq ft. All I know is that I want rich brown wood floors, white quartz counters, and flat panel doors. I like modern but not its coldness. How do I move forward with some type of direction for my architect?
This sounds lovely! It sounds like you're going in a good direction, and I agree with you that modern can be cold. If you haven't already, you should get yourself set up at Pinterest and follow some pinners who gravitate toward warm modernism. A good one to follow is Diane Keaton; she has a great eye for rustic modernism and is an avid pinner! I've gotten lots of design ideas from her: http://www.pinterest.com/keatondiane/
Also, in case you're not aware, you can create individual pinboards, which makes it easy to sort and categorize your pins. Good luck!
Does anyone like passthrough "windows" from the kitchen to the dining room anymore? You used to see them everywhere. Now, it seems like people prefer completely open layouts, sometimes with a peninsula. At this point, would you advise against adding such a passthrough? As in, would you recommend removing a wall completely, adding some type of pony wall or peninsula, or going with a passthrough, in order to help open up a kitchen space?
Funny you should ask! My architect friend Jerome Buttrick just finished a house with exactly such a passthrough and it looks lovely. He and the homeowner sourced a vintage metal factory window that lets light into the kitchen, and, when closed, provides a sound barrier. I actually think there is a move away from the entirely open-to-the-living-space kitchens, where everything is on full display (dirty dishes included).
Jura, what was the coolest holiday decor/concept you saw this year at the White House? And what did you want to transplant to your own house?
My living room has sliding glass doors that open to a patio, but no windows. We could add a window, but it would face a lackluster view of the side of our neighbor's house. When we first moved here, I thought the room needed more light and felt a little too closed in (adding lighter wall paint helped). But now, I wonder if it would be worth it to remodel in order to add a window?
If you do go ahead and add a window, you could consider using a frosted glass or a ribbed glass (I have a ribbed glass window in my bathroom that lets light in but provides privacy and obscures the view). There's a company called Bendheim (bendheim.com) that makes architectural specialty glass for these situations. Good luck!
I know most people don't like formica counter tops these days, but stone just isn't in our budget. Any ideas? We have an island with about 40 square feet of counter top, and another 30 square feet in the work space.
This is a great question. Actually, I think Formica is just fine; especially if the edging is done right (I like it if you can see the sealed plywood edge and the Formica just reads as an overlay). Check out this post:
You could also consider a composite countertop like Richlite, which is less expensive than stone. I have it and it's great. Good luck!