Step it Up

Jan 27, 2012

  Looking for that perfect pop of color in an unexpected place? This week, we’re taking our cue from the wildly colored staircases at the Uniqlo store in New York City and bringing you a variety of inspirations for these utilitarian, often-overlooked spots that are pretty awesome for trying out big, bold colors and patterns that would overwhelm a larger space. You can paint, wallpaper, or tile (and even faux tile) the risers, or paint or carpet the whole shebang. Our friends at...

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Passage to India

Jan 27, 2012

We’re always on the lookout for unusual sources of color-palette inspiration, whether they come in the form of a chic colorblocked outfit; a lunch salad with greens, fruits, and veggies in punchy hues; or a piled-high bin of Uglydolls at the airport gift shop. Annie shared these exuberant shots from her recent trip to India, proving that even everyday stuff like kitchen sponges, boxes of incense, and paper lanterns can be the jumping-off point for a room...

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Mmmm, Pop

Jan 27, 2012

Maybe it’s our nostalgia for Saturday mornings spent in front of the TV that made us want to turn cartwheels for this London apartment featured in the September 2011 issue of World of Interiors. Or maybe it’s the glossy turquoise floor, and the cartoon-printed sofa and table. Or the bubbly accents like the balloonlike red smiley face on the Pepto Bismol–colored pedestal, and the life-size absurdist sculpture with pink legs and Playmobil head. Whatever it is, we heart artist Misha...

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Carried Away

Jan 27, 2012

Traveling is one of our all-time favorite activities, but we’ve never subscribed to the luggage-as-utilitarian-item theory. Why go for a nondescript neutral or stand around for hours at the baggage carousel, praying to the airline gods that that black roller suitcase is your black roller suitcase, when you can amp it up with color and pattern? One of these cheery travel bags will make your next trip—from packing to trekking through massive airports on ludicrously long layovers (we’re...

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Wonder Boys

Jan 23, 2012

  Where to begin with this prewar Manhattan penthouse, owned and decorated by fashion-industry luminaries Mark Lee and Ed Filipowski and featured in the October 2011 issue of Architectural Digest? Let’s go with the living room, a veritable master class in Nuanced Neutral decor. From the shades of gray, silver, tan, ivory, and brown to the sophisticated textures (flannel, velvet, and Ultrasuede upholstery! Fur throws! A trio of rugged cocktail tables made from selenite and teak!),...

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Hot Potato

Jan 23, 2012

What would a winter meal be without creamy, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes? Sure, they don’t have a heck of a lot in the way of nutrients, and, depending on how many goodies you put in them, they’re not exactly calorie conscious, but mashed potatoes have several things we love: heartiness, tons of flavor, and endless variations. Oh, and carbs. For a classic take on this cold-weather favorite, we called on Carole Murko, collector of treasured family recipes, locavore guru, and...

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Block Head

Jan 23, 2012

  As textile-decorating techniques go, block printing is older-than-oldie, dating to ancient Egypt and Asia. It’s a distinctive touch, especially for the kitchen, where a printed tea towel adds a bit of pizzazz to a space that, unless you’re well-off or supremely handy with power tools, probably doesn’t get frequent overhauls. As it turns out, block printing on tea towels is also pretty easy and inexpensive to do. Bonus: it makes a cute, personalized hostess gift. For a true block...

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App Happy

Jan 23, 2012

Although we try to unplug and unwind as much as possible, we admit it: we love our smartphones and the thousands of apps on the market. Whether useful, efficiency enhancing, pretty, or just plain silly, we slogged through the many winter-themed apps for Android and iPhone to bring you this best-of list. Android Winter Live Wallpaper Decorate your home screen with falling snowflakes, rays of sunlight, and other stopping-by-woods wintry scenes.   Winter Wake-Up Set this app to wake you up...

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Ski Party

Jan 12, 2012

If we have to put up with snow for four months out of the year, you can bet we’re going to make the most of it by shushing down the slopes . . . in adorably cozy outfits and with a gorgeous Swiss instructor, followed by hot toddies around the lodge fireplace. So why not take that classic, ski-inspired style off the mountainside and into your wardrobe and décor? Check out a few of this season’s fun and fabulous...

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Show Us the Ropes

Jan 12, 2012

Sure, we know that rope—that hardware-store mainstay—is good for tons of practical uses, like hauling supplies, strapping down an overflowing car trunk, hanging laundry, and docking boats. But when we see rope, in all its toasty shades and thick-and-twisty weaves, we can’t help but wonder if it would look cute wrapped around that ugly old thrift-store lamp, holding three months’ worth of unread magazines, or even draped across walls and in hallways in a nod to nautical style. Our...

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Graphic and Novel

Jan 12, 2012

When faced with the huge rooms in this Naples, Florida, home (featured in the December 2011/January 2012 House Beautiful), designer Robert Couturier knew exactly what he wanted to do: fill it with large-scale objects and bold (and we mean bold) patterns that take up space. He settled on a classic blue-and-white palette and then went to town, layering textures, prints, and kindergarten-colored modern artwork. We are, in a word, swooning. The living room is packed with decidedly upscale...

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Felt Up

Jan 12, 2012

  Merino wool felt isn’t exactly the happy-go-lucky fabric that comes to mind when we think of quintessential preppy style. But somehow the design gurus at L.A.-based Gräf & Lantz have managed to turn a stodgy winter staple into a line of über-prep tote bags, iPad sleeves, cell phone cases, key chains, pouches, and even home décor. The company, founded by German-born structural engineer Holger Gräf and Daniel Lantz, who studied carpentry under a wa daiku master in Japan, focuses...

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