For a long time, I really didn’t understand what an alternate system like Apple TV or Roku does, or why it might be worth the investment. The only “streaming” I knew about centered on my kitchen sink faucet. But two of my friends know everything. One is my pal Tracy, who told me about her Apple TV and urged me to get one. Tracy is super smart and always right. I took her suggestion and now I want to pass along my experience here because, after six months, we cannot imagine life without our Apple TV.… Continue Reading
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Four years ago, I observed that the all white kitchens trend was over. Looking back, that was the beginning of the end.
Today, the white kitchen — often amusingly referred to as “the one true kitchen” — has been copied to death. Apart from light fixtures or other details, it’s often difficult to tell white kitchens from one another. In concept, they are very lovely but the look has become formulaic. The all-white kitchen [top] is typical of the genre as it has milk-color Shaker style cabinets with Victorian brackets and feet, and upper cabinets with glass doors. Another hallmark is the white subway tile backsplash that blends in.… Continue Reading
“Think of hallways as palate cleansers — the sorbet that’s served before diving in to the next course.” — Barry Dixon.
The concept of keeping things neutral in a hallway doesn’t mean bland or lacking in personality. Hallways say a great deal about the taste and creativity at work in a house. Few are so grand they need to make a statement — usually that’s reserved for the living room. However, an entry, landing, stairwell or other hall tend to be highly original when family photos or special collections are displayed.
Personalizing hallway picture walls can be done by using a strong color behind any arrangement of pictures.… Continue Reading
My idea of Turkish delight has nothing to do with candy, unless it’s eye candy — like the incredibly exotic sink faucet in a basin lined with stylized tulip Iznik tiles. Embellished, handcrafted, and clearly made of brass, the faucets are Turkish. I’ve been saving the photo because it’s so unusual (at least here in the US) as well as beautiful. This is likely a travel photo. But during the late 19th century, Middle Eastern themes and motifs appeared all across the decorative arts — from oil paintings to accessories — as Europeans traveled through that part of the world and many were used in Victorian homes.… Continue Reading
Ours is an old-fashioned, hand-built wood burning hearth. But I’m fascinated by sleek, contemporary gas fireplaces I’ve seen on TV — notably on ABC’s Castle — and in magazines. These come in a variety of shapes and widths and can be placed in non-traditional spaces — like the center of a wall. Most impressive is a contemporary bathroom fireplace installed between the bedroom and bath, or in a wall over a bathtub. Because the bathroom remains such an unusual location, a fireplace will upstage even the most dramatic tub every time.… Continue Reading
Finding the right LED light bulb became an exercise in absurdity this week. I thought I understood new lighting tech.
Two of the ceiling lights in our TV room burned out a few days ago. And while that may sound like a domestic detail hardly worth noting, what with beheadings in the news and the ebola virus spreading, this one small event has taken on a larger significance. So I hope you will indulge me while I break today from talking about kitchen design or chair styles. I want to explore why changing a lightbulb now requires a 22-year investment, a magnifying glass to read the fine print, and an email to the electrician to be sure the house won’t burn down.… Continue Reading