Design Inspiration | A Studio in Laren

There is so much to love about this home in North Holland. Built in 1913 as an artist's studio, the interiors have no shortage of natural light, which pairs well with the contrasting white walls and the dark wood flooring. The decor is anything but boring and seems to consist of both functional and decorative one-of-a-kind paintings and ceramic pieces. Interiors aside, the thatched roof paired with leafy greenery and a Dutch door is just so endearing!

This story originally ran on vtwonen.
Styling: French Uyterlinde
Photography: James Stokes

Design Inspiration | A House in Brisbane

The home of photographer Kara Rosenlund defines a well-traveled-chic design style. The color palette is neutral and the decor is comprised of vintage pieces, rich textures, and the artist's own work. The focus and restraint deployed in styling this home is evident in the cohesion of each and every detail. Not one piece seems arbitrary or out of place. All that is missing is a chocolate Labrador Retriever curled up on the floor or perched on the arm of a couch.

This story originally ran on Architectural Digest.
Photography: Kara Rosenlund

Design Inspiration | A Melbourne Cottage

Every square inch of this small cottage in Fitzroy North is packed with vintage charm and inspiring architectural details. The use of exposed beams in the ceiling offers the perfect contrast to the simple kitchen and eating area and flows nicely with the egress to the backyard. The vintage posters hanging on the walls fit with the tone and style of the home offer a glimpse into the personality of the people who live there.  

This story originally ran on The Design Files.
Photography: Sean Fennessy
Production: Lucy Feagins/The Design Files

Design Inspiration | Walsh Street House

The Australian mid-century marvel that is Walsh Street House was designed by architect Robin Boyd in 1957. The home is divided into two buildings - a main house and a children's pavilion. Between the two buildings is a courtyard enclosed by a wall of dimpled glass window panes and sheltered by numerous tall, leafy trees.

Vibrant colors are in abundance throughout this home, from the artwork to the upholstery to the carpeting. It isn't often that I find myself coveting crimson carpeting, but how can I resist when I see it paired so perfectly with a black brick wall, gold-trimmed chimney piping, and floor-to ceiling windows? Walsh Street House offers a little inspiration for every design appetite, so enjoy!

This story originally ran on Plastolux.
Architecture: Robin Boyd
Production: Lucy Feagins/The Design Files
Photography: Eve Wilson

Design Inspiration | A Stockholm Apartment

This apartment in Gröndalsvägen, Sweden exemplifies how a few really great pieces can do a lot to carry a space. Whether you're a person who dislikes the task of painting, or if you live in a place where there are restrictions on painting, this apartment can offer some inspiration on how to add color and personality against a simple white canvas.

The kitchen is a particularly simple space. The counter tops are finished in a simple and oh-so-chic stainless steel and are offset with a slate back-splash. This is the epitome of neutral and would offer so many inexpensive opportunities for tenants or homeowners to add their own personal touches by way of kitchen accessories.

The bedrooms each have their own theme by way of wallpaper prints, and the furniture becomes more sparse and simple, which creates a balance that doesn't overwhelm the space.

Photos from Fantastic Frank.

Design Inspiration | A Tribeca Loft

I have seen many a loft that wasn't a loft at all. Too much carpeting and segregation of spaces. Too much clean and not enough grit. Too much focus on shiny new finishes and not enough use of the existing details. However, this loft in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan is everything a loft should be. It's light and airy and rustic and elegant and completely original. Sure, it comes with the high Tribeca price tag, but that doesn't make it an unachievable design inspiration for the other lofts of the world.

This story originally ran on Miss Design.

Design Inspiration | A Proper Accent Wall

Something that sounds like a good idea, but usually doesn't live up to the hype is an accent wall. Accent walls will often present themselves as options to apartment dwellers who either can’t paint, or don’t want to spend a lot of money on paint. They will also offer their services to people looking to implement “just a splash” of color into a space. Usually that color is dark mauve, and dark mauve is usually a mistake. Ergo, it is on the subject of accent walls that I present to you an example of two really good accent walls - two really good accent walls that aren't boring and virtually anyone is capable of recreating.

Consider the color used in this accent wall: black. No one sees black coming, but it is just such an obviously awesome choice if you're going for that "splash of color" statement. It's chic, it's sophisticated, and it goes with everything.

This accent wall works because it is paired with lighter colors and is used in a space that gets ample natural light. The wall also extends further than your typical one-wall accent. It's more of an accent group, and cleverly incorporated into that group is brick, which offers an unexpected change in texture.

Our next accent wall gives a perfect solution to the apartment dweller who can't paint because this accent wall is actually an accent panel.

Granted, if you're an apartment dweller, you should probably prop these panels against the floor rather than hang them, but either way, you can still layer the panels with pictures and then pack everything up with you when you leave.

So there you have it. Two accent walls that aren't terrible or predictable. Now decorate on!

Architecture: Amber Road
Styling: Amanda Mahoney
Photography: Prue Ruscoe

Design Inspiration | A Prospect Park Victorian

There is so much to love about this Victorian beauty located in Brooklyn, New York. From the architectural woodwork to the owners’ own furnishings, the home is a feast for the eyes. I am brimming with envy over the flooring pattern that carries throughout the entire home. And that kitchen! The ornate wood details are perfectly paired with a simple color palate and clean lines to create a sense of balance and sophistication. Très magnifique!

This story originally ran on Milk Decoration.
Photography: Andrea Chu


Design Inspiration | Garage Turned Studio Apartment

Originally a Merchant Builder garage, this small studio quarters has been thoughtfully designed such that every space is accounted for: dining room, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. The original brick walls and beams were preserved and gave a good baseline to design from. The majority of the windows and doors were either salvaged or sourced second hand, as well as the bathroom fixtures, counter tops, lighting, and sinks. The end result is a living space packed with delightful features, plenty of storage and work space, and lovely views. The kitchen and bath area are especially covetable. Who doesn't love a clawfoot bathtub?

Interior Architecture: Hearth Studio
Photography: Lauren Bamford

Design Inspiration | Sawmill Hostel

The Sawmill hostel is located on the High Coast of Sweden in Härnösand. The house offers 17 rooms and 33 beds and is designed as a location for tourists to get away to the country for rest and relaxation. Given the superb accommodations and waterfront location, it seems one wouldn't have to strain themselves too much to find enjoyment. Who wouldn't love to sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee followed by some afternoon sailing and end in an evening spent listening to live music? Sayonara, Chicago!

This story originally ran on Trendenser.
Styling: Lotta Agaton
Photography: Fantastic Frank

Design Inspiration | A Turn of the Century Flat

For as much of a woe as it is to see beautiful architecture fall to the wrecking ball or suffer a gut renovation, it is equally joyous to see it preserved and adapted into the present era. There is no modern replacement for vintage ornamentation such as crown molding and ceiling medallions. Certainly no replacement for original hardwood flooring. These elements add both monetary and aesthetic value to a home more so than a granite counter top or a stainless steel appliance ever could.

The six-story apartment building at Upper Husargatan 23 in Linnéstaden was built in 1899 by Swedish architects R. Hansson and KA Löfmark. The home still contains many of its original features, but did undergo a kitchen renovation in 2012. It is a beautiful example of layering eras to create a home that is fresh, elegant, and completely unique.

This story originally ran on Stadshem.

Design Inspiration | Brooklyn Apartment

There is something deliciously appealing about a concrete floor in a residential setting. It is often an overlooked material choice, as it is typically reserved for industrial spaces. However, it finds a serene balance in soft linens, green vegetation, and yellow sunbeams. This apartment in Brooklyn, NY offers an excellent example of how this industrial flooring material can add visual interest when used in residential design.

This story originally ran on La Buena Vida.
Designer: Farrah Sit
Photography: Nicole Franzen
Styling: Kate Jordan

Design Inspiration | Sydney Home

The Sydney home of jewelry designer Elke Kramer is an eye-catching amalgamation of vibrant colors set against a crisp, black and white canvas. Every little inch of this historic Victorian-style home exudes personality, yet by keeping the walls and flooring neutral, the home retains a sense of calm and cohesion, which balance the variety of colors and patterns splashed on artwork, rugs, and pillows. The furniture and decor are an assortment of modern, mid-century, and craftsman, proving that you don't need to bind yourself to a particular era when customizing your living space.

This story originally ran on The Design Files.

All photography by Sean Fennessy.

Design Inspiration | Ontario Street

Architecture: Owen and Vokes and Peters
Styling and Production: Lynda Evans
Photography: Toby Scott

The Ontario Street project by Owen and Vokes and Peters is a great example of playing with high contrast and daring to design with the oh-so-feared black paint. I love the way black, green, white, red, and brown are played off each other to create an engaging and vibrant space.

This story originally ran on

Design Inspiration | About a Dresser

In which a beautiful, vintage walnut dresser is found, and not painted. Instead, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel played off the dresser's gold details with other gold accent pieces as well as shimmery agate bookends, a watercolor painting, and a vibrant area rug. Well done indeed!

This story originally ran on Smitten Studio where you can see more of Sarah Sherman Samuel's awesome work.

Design Inspiration | Insanely Simple Bedrooms

Consider the bedroom. Psychologically speaking, it is the one place your mind can completely unwind and prepare for the next day. Therefore, it is important to spend a little time considering what that space should look like. You don't need to go overboard with colors and patterns and matching all the furniture together. You certainly don't need to lug a TV into the space. Beyond the college years, your bedroom should be as simple as possible. Below, I have compiled two ideas for simple and serene bedroom ideas. Whether you have a big budget, or a not-so-big budget, either of these styles are achievable. I have included a few stores where similar items can be purchased, however, we always encourage thriftiness and are quite sure similar items can also be found at your local thrift stores/garage sales/etc. Enjoy!

Design Inspiration | Ross and Lindsay's Home Renovation

Location: Normal Heights | San Diego, CA
Size: 2 bed & 1 bath | 780 SF
Year Built: 1972

Ross and his wife Lindsay have only been in their condo for a few short months, but in that time, they have gotten busy making some seriously awesome changes.

A real estate agent by trade, Ross is always around people selling their furniture. Some of the coolest pieces in their home have come from moving sales and estate sales, including their vintage ottoman made by Allen Industries in Detroit, MI.

Aside from the flooring installation, Ross seized the opportunity to tackle most of the renovation work himself, which involved blasting away at the existing popcorn ceiling and giving the original kitchen cabinetry a revamp. He attributes much of his handiness to YouTube videos and plan old common sense. “Seriously, everything you want to learn is filmed 17 times with step-by-step tutorials. Don't let the "daunting-ness" of it deter you -- almost everything can be figured out with common sense (except electrical...not somewhere you want to experiment with trial & error).”

I am certainly impressed with this dramatic transformation and have included a few before and after photos below. Enjoy!

living room/entry before

living room/entry after
see sources for: flooringtv cabinetcouchmirror

living room before

living room after
see sources for: flooringtv cabinetcouchmirror

bookshelf before

bookshelf after
see sources for: flooringtv cabinet, desk clock

kitchen before

kitchen after
see sources for: flooring, bar stools, cabinet paint

kitchen before

kitchen after
see sources for: flooringcabinet paint


Design Inspiration | Wall Art

Furnishing and decorating your home often entails a little tug-of-war between filling the space and cluttering the space. You might find yourself in the "less is more" camp, preferring to decorate with a few, well-curated touches. Contrarily, you might find yourself in the "more is more" camp, and prefer to decorate with many, well-curated touches. Don't ever let anyone tell you there is a right or a wrong camp to be in. Decorating your home is personal, so do what is pleasing to you. Whichever you choose, I have concocted a few contrasting inspirations, focusing on the subject of Wall Art. Happy Decorating!