Friday, February 25, 2011

DIY: How to Display Items on Open Shelves in Kitchen

A friend inspired me to write this post. She and her beau recently bought a fixer-upper and they are in need of remoldeling the kitchen - on a budget. She asked me if it was reasonable to put in open shelves in lieu of upper cabinets. And, yes you can! But since you can't just shove things in a cabinet and shut the door to make things appear clean and neat, you have to be a bit more organized yourself. There are some simple tips to help you get organized:

Tip #1
Arrange items in groups of similar colors, shapes or patterns.

In One of Martha Stewart's kitchens (I wonder how many she has?) white dishware unifies the look.   via Remoldelista
Tip #2
Arrange in groups of similar items; glasses next to glasses, spices with all spices, cookbooks all together . . . you get the picture.
Good looking brackets make this simple space spectacular. You can also hang similar items on the wall below your groupings as they have done here. {Via}

Tip #3
Dust frequently. Open shelves gather more dust than cabinets with doors. Only put items that are used frequently or have good visual value. Remove items and dust shelves once a month or use a light feather duster to dust more frequently in between items leaving major cleaning less needed. Metal shelves require less maintenance due to less surface to collect dust.
Open, metal shelves are durable and don't gather nearly as much dust and are available at many home centers and department stores. {Via}
Tip #4
Invest in a lot of the same storage containers or canisters. Clear mason jars are inexpensive and plentiful. Jars of flour, cereal, rice and the the like look great in clear jars. Baskets are a great way to throw a bunch of miscellaneous items together.

Source Unknown

A row of baskets gives visual grounding to these shelves and hold items that may otherwise be cumbersome. {Via}
Silverware is easily accessible and looks good in glasses or jars. If you have small children,  put up high out of reach. {Via}
Tip #5
If you are going to put food products out in their containers, place so that all labels face forward. They will be easy to find and looks more organized.

Tip #6
When storing kitchen items on open shelves take time initially to arrange everything designating specific spaces for each grouping. That way everything has its place and there's no thinking about where it goes; you already know. I do this with my cabinets and I have doors - it makes putting away items easy; there's always enough space and the whole family knows where it goes because it's obvious.



Open shelves work well in country kitchens . . .
. . . and modern kitchens. {Via}

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Can Chicken Wire be Chic?

Absolutely! Chicken wire takes on an industrial feel in these products and can be right at home in in both country and contemporary settings.

To have help locating and incorporating chicken wire into your interiors, whether they be country, classic, or contemporary, email me so I may help.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekend Funnies

The weekend is here! Cut loose and get your laugh on.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beauty Rusting Over

The Rust Belt is an area in parts of the NortheasternMid-Atlantic, and portions of the eastern Midwest States. It is an area of industrial decline. Detroit, one of the rustiest cities, has many beautiful buildings that have fallen in ruin, abandoned, or in some cases, used for other lowly purposes other than the grandeur for which it was intended. Being from the suburbs of Detroit, attending college and working downtown Detroit, it is sad for me to see such beauty decay without the money it takes to keep such gems alive. 
How incredible is (was) this?! United Artists Theatre opened in 1928 and was founded by Charlie Chaplin among others.  Via the
I first came across some of these photos on La Boheme. (A fabulous inspirational design blog, by the way) Photographer Sean Hemmerle has captured many once thriving locations throughout the Rust Belt. Some are hauntingly beautiful. All are sad.
The Michigan Theatre being used as a parking garage. Horribly pathetic. Photo by Sean Hemmerle via La Boheme.
The Waiting Hall,  Michigan Central Station. Photo by French photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre. Via The Denver Post
Michigan Central Station. Photo by Sean Hemmerle via La Boheme.

Lee Plaza Hotel. Photo by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre via The Denver Post.

The William Livingstone House. Via The Denver Post.
The abandoned aquarium on Belle Isle, a small island on the Detroit River. {Via}
This just looks fabulous to me. So dark, overpowering, foreboding and . . . archaic. A great scene for the movie, "Batman Goes to Hell". Okay, there is no such movie, but if there were . . . 
The Carrie Furnaces, Rankin, Pennsylvania. Photo by Sean Hemmerle.

Depot, Gary, Indiana. Photo by Sean Hemmerle

Abandoned homes in Detroit. I once heard that Detroit has some of the nicest ghettos because most of the homes were brick and had good bones. They now have brittle bones. Photo by Sean Hemmerle via La Boheme.

An abandoned house in Detroit. {Via}

Lima & Toledo Traction Company Bridge, Waterville, Ohio. Photo by Sean Hemmerle.
A melted clock sitting within a wall of peeling paint in the old Cass Tech High School. It was closed six years ago when a new school was built next store. Its' architectural style was Industrial Gothic. One of my very good friends, Barbara Jean, attended the excellent four year college preparatory school. Via The Denver Post.
Not all is lost. There are still some incredible buildings. 

The Fisher Building. I remember going to the theatre as a child with my Dad. {Via

The Guardian Building has long been a jewel of Detroit. {Via}

The banking lobby of the Guardian Building is now a shopping promenade. {Via}
The Fox Theatre has been painstakingly restored to its original glory. {Via}
I spent many, many hours at the Detroit Institute of Art. Photo via

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Win Scrapwood Wallpaper!

Describing Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek sounds contradictory; sleek and industrial :: vintage and earthy. He is a consummate artist, creating everything from furniture of reclaimed wood, to metal storage cabinets, to light fixtures. And now . . . wallpaper! Wallpaper that looks just like his reclaimed lumber pieces. And you have the chance to win a roll of his wallpaper by simply visiting another great blog, Vosges Paris. Click here to go directly to the post and follow the very easy steps for your chance to win. But, not before you check out some of the "wood" wallpaper photos:

Don't miss your chance to win! Visit Vosges Paris for details - and a peek at a great blog!

And to help you incorporate your new wood wallpaper into your home, email me so I may help!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011


It doesn't look like this outside my window (cold and snowy), but this scene looks like a beginning to a peaceful weekend, doesn't it?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rooms for Kids

Kids rooms are probably the most fun to design. Often, they are some of the least expensive to design, too. (Which is very good since a child's needs and preferences change as they grow older.) Here are some that I've come across lately.

A design borrowed from the children's section of the library that mixes practicality with aesthetics; books arranged in full are a key element in this design. Via Elizabeth Sullivan Design.


Via My Design Chic


This is a ingenious way to utilize an attic. Via My Design Chic

I designed an hourly daycare several years ago for children of ages 6 months to 12 years. It was one of my favorite all-time projects.
Let's Go Play!  "Town Center" via designhouse
Let's Go Play! front desk. Via designhouse

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