Full-story attics, in old houses, often housed storage rooms or servants’ quarters where slanting ceilings and small windows weren’t considerations. Those bedrooms were principally occupied at night. Over the last fifty years, many top-floor spaces have been modernized and converted into usable room of various types. Chief among these, I’m finding, are attic guest rooms where architectural quirks are often diminished or neutralized by introducing pattern on the walls. Most often, pattern is provided by wallpaper but fabric also can be backed in various ways and applied to walls and ceilings with the same effect.… Continue Reading
Hot or shocking pink is one of those colors that’s been more associated with fashion than home decor.
A high voltage, sometimes neon hue in the blue-red family, hot pink became shocking after fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli called her signature perfume “Shocking” in 1936 and marketed it as a signature color.
Of course, hot pink has been in the Indian palette for eons and it appears on building exteriors there, as well as other tropical countries. Shocking pink rooms are a different matter. Even for pink lovers it isn’t an especially easy wall color. Children love it so there’s an inclination to promote pink rooms for young girls or reserve it for a “mom cave.” Yet the stunning shocking pink walls in a New York bedroom [above] date back to the early 19th century when China’s Canton school produced hand painted wallpapers.… Continue Reading
Five pre-holiday kitchen cleaning must-dos. Five things that can wait. Plus some of my favorite kitchen cleaning products.
Families can get a little snoopy when they visit relatives especially during the holidays. Someone will open a kitchen drawer or a pantry cabinet and get a little judgmental about what they see. It rarely becomes a big deal but, as we all know, unless someone says “this is the cleanest kitchen I’ve ever seen,” a little offhand remark can sting. All this is on my mind since we’re having two family visits this week. And with Thanksgiving and Christmas in view, early Fall may be the best time to get the holiday kitchen cleaning list done so the house is ready for company quickly.… Continue Reading
Our granddaughter, Zoe turned six this week and it’s been a delight to hear details of her school party (brownies with oreos baked in), the hilarious menu for her sleep over (Indian food and pizza), and the various gifts she received (a waterproof shower radio and talking alarm clock in addition to a matching sweater for her favorite baby, Giraffy.) So its no surprise my attention turned to rooms for children and fun things to put in them. “Fun things” are, of course, a matter of taste and judgment.… Continue Reading
The concept of an accent wall is familiar in a bedroom, living room or dining room. There, no one hesitates to use contrasting paint, wallpaper, stenciling or even an arrangement of pictures to create a focal point. A bathroom accent wall is a different story because it would likely be tile. That requires a special design and makes it a more costly than a wall of big box subways. It also requires an aesthetic plan to justify the additional outlay.
Tile design is a little known specialty often ignored both by professionals and DIY practitioners.… Continue Reading
Red country kitchens are sometimes casual but always bold.
There’s something about red kitchens that makes them a little difficult. People who love red tend use it as an accent color since a little can go a long way. We saw that with the refrigerator cabinet in the Ikea Heartthrob Kitchen, one of my original Atticmag posts, and also on the red workbench island in the recent Updating White Kitchens piece. But my view is that a commitment to big color on the cabinets is usually the best option for red kitchens, which is what made the lacquered Chanticleer Red Kitchen so stunning and memorable.… Continue Reading