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    Elisa Ossino focuses on “the tactility of the material” for limestone V-Zug showroom

    Promotion: Italian architect Elisa Ossino has designed a “tactile” showroom in Milan for Swiss home appliance brand V-Zug.

    Overlooking Piazza San Marco in the Italian city’s Brera district, the space is organised into two areas – one that displays V-Zug’s home appliances and one that functions as an “interactive kitchen”.
    This was designed for visitors to “feel at home and experience appliances while enjoying good conversations”, the company said.
    V-Zug Milan overlooks Piazza San Marco in BreraOssino designed the space, which will act as V-Zug’s Italian flagship, using cocciopesto flooring and limestone walls rendered in soft colours inspired by the silver finishing of the brand’s appliances.
    “The narrative of the space focuses on the tactility of the material and the contrast between the mirrored surfaces of the V-Zug technological home appliances and the tactility of the stone, which is often sculptural,” Ossino told Dezeen.

    “All the materials in the space are on the one hand a search for the tactility of surfaces and on the other a search for colours,” she added. “Household appliances have mirrored surfaces that lend themselves very well to dialogue with any kind of material.”
    At the heart of the space sits a monolithic white limestone staircase, designed as a three-dimensional volume. A large porthole visually connects the upper area with the floor below.
    The interactive kitchen allows guests to experience V-ZUG’s home appliances in actionV-Zug wanted to challenge “the standard showroom” by offering guests an immersive experience during Milan design week, when they could watch chefs prepare dishes using the brand’s appliances in an interactive kitchen.
    Following the immersive experience, guests could browse an extensive materials library and sit around a long grey stone table while members of the V-Zug Gourmet Academy carried out demonstrations.
    “It is this theme in general that has somewhat suggested the entire formal layout of the showroom, which is played out very much on a balance between nature, matter and technology,” Ossino explained.
    A porthole visually connects the upper and lower areasV-Zug Milan was just one of several outposts opened by the brand in the past few months, following on the heels of showrooms in Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg and Sydney.
    “With the showroom in Milan, I tried to intercept some of the subtle themes that run through our imagination, our everyday life,” said Ossino.
    “We are witnessing on the one hand a great technological development – just think of artificial intelligence – in our daily lives. But at the same time we have a great need to reclaim something ancestral, a more humanistic design [that’s] closer to matter.”
    The architect also designed a series of installations for the space in collaboration with art studio Henry Timi, which were on display as part of this year’s Milan Design Week 2024.
    The studio is V-Zug’s Italian flagshipThe location of the brand’s showroom in Brera was not insignificant for the designer, who drew on the district’s “extraordinary” history when designing the space.
    “I would say that the whole space is about a meeting of matter, technology and craftsmanship,” she said.
    “In Italy, we have an incredible tradition in the world of craftsmanship and it is a knowledge that tends to get lost. There is a strong process underway at this time in history to valorise it, which is also very much linked to this ancestral need to reconnect with the material.”
    Guests can browse an extensive materials libraryThe space’s sleek lines and sculptural minimalism also pay homage to V-Zug’s Swiss roots.
    “For us, it was important to convey a sense of hospitality,” added V-Zug global interior art director Gabriel Castelló Pinyon.
    “We have tried to speak the language of the city: to be bolder and to work a lot with natural materials,” said the brand. “In Milan, people always expect something different. But it’s still V-Zug – it’s still minimalistic with clean lines.”
    V-Zug Studio Milan co-hosted an exhibition at Sala della Passione. Pinacoteca di Brera showcased an installation designed by Ossino in collaboration with Henry Timi. For more information, visit V-Zug’s website.
    Partnership content
    This article was written by Dezeen for V-Zug as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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    Ten kitchen design ideas from Dezeen

    Working on a kitchen as part of a construction or renovation project but not sure where to start? Here are 10 kitchen design ideas taken from Dezeen’s archive of lookbooks, featuring tips for colour, materials and layout.

    Since 2020, Dezeen has published more than 300 lookbooks providing visual inspiration for all kinds of interiors based on the stories we publish.
    Below, we organise 10 recent lookbooks into a useful guide that captures several of the key contemporary trends in kitchen design.
    Read on for 10 ideas and tips for designing a standout kitchen:
    Photo by Megan TaylorClad it in wood

    If you want to avoid the kitchen feeling sterile, wood is a reliable way to introduce a sense of cosiness and homeliness.
    Our lookbook on kitchens with wooden panelling and cabinetry features examples that use birch plywood, pale oak, salvaged cypress and pine – each providing a different level of warmth.
    Pictured is Curve Appeal, a 1920s house in London renovated by Nimtim Architects that combines wood with decorative arches.
    See more wood-clad kitchens ›
    Photo by Giedrius MamavičiusMake it pink
    While it’s not to everyone’s taste, pink always adds personality to functional spaces.
    Dezeen’s pink kitchens lookbook highlights various approaches to using the colour, from splashing rosy shades across all surfaces to more restrained pops on tiles and cupboards.
    Pictured is House and the River in northern Lithuania, where Vilnius-based studio After Party punctuated the monochrome cooking area with a salmon-coloured kitchen island topped in complementary terrazzo.
    See more pink kitchens ›
    Photo by Prue RuscoeBuild a breakfast nook
    If you have space to play with, squeezing in a casual nook for eating breakfast in can give the kitchen some coffee-shop charm.
    As our breakfast nooks lookbook demonstrates, they are usually tucked into a corner with banquette seating – though the concept can be adapted to work in a range of setups depending on room layout and size.
    Pictured is Budge Over Dover in Sydney by interior design studio YSG.
    See more kitchens with breakfast nooks ›
    Photo by Ralph FeinerUse metal
    If cosy isn’t the desired look, metal is an alternative material choice that affords a chic industrial feel.
    Gleaming stainless steel is tried-and-tested, but our collection of metal kitchens also features units made from black iron and weathered reclaimed sheets.
    In the project pictured, Berlin architecture studio Baumhauer chose to juxtapose a Swiss farmhouse’s vaulted ceiling with the clean, modern lines of a steel L-shaped kitchen with built-in appliances.
    See more metal kitchens ›
    Photo by Fionn McCannFit floor-to-ceiling cabinets
    Often employed to complement a minimalist aesthetic, floor-to-ceiling cabinets can represent an effective way to maximise storage space and reduce clutter in the kitchen.
    Our lookbook collects eight elegant examples in kitchens of various sizes.
    Pictured is a residential extension in Dublin by Scullion Architects, where tall oak-panelled cupboards conceal appliances and a pantry.
    See more kitchens with floor-to-ceiling cabinets ›
    Photo by Pion StudioInclude a waterfall-edged island
    Kitchen islands have become a staple of contemporary interior architecture – but the most sophisticated examples tend to a feature a surface that flows seamlessly from the countertop to the floor.
    Dezeen selected eight kitchen islands where waterfall edges create an impactful yet sleek focal point for the room.
    The image above shows Botaniczna Apartment, where Agnieszka Owsiany Studio formed a kitchen island out of travertine draped over oak cupboards.
    See more kitchens with waterfall-edged islands ›
    Photo by Benjamin HoskingEmbrace constrast
    Don’t be afraid to combine clashing materials to create a kitchen that really makes a statement.
    We collected eight rich-palette kitchens that juxtapose the rough with the smooth, the glossy with the grainy and the warm with the cool.
    Pictured is the pistachio-green units and red marble surfaces of the kitchen in a Melbourne apartment designed by architect Murray Barker and artist Esther Stewart.
    See more kitchens with colour and texture contrasts ›
    Photo by Lorenzo Zandri and Christian BraileyCombine wood and stone
    For a less ambitious but no less effective material combination, the natural textures of wood and stone are a practical and pleasing partnership.
    Dezeen put together a lookbook showing various ways to pair wooden units with stone surfaces, from demure limestone to dramatic marble.
    Shown above is Architecture for London’s kitchen extension to an Edwardian house in Muswell Hill.
    See more kitchens that combine wood and stone ›
    Photo by Nicole FranzenTile the worktops
    Tiles are a staple of many kitchens – particularly for splashbacks and flooring – but some designers go further and use them to add personality to surfaces.
    Our lookbook of kitchens with tiled worktops explores how the technique can create an eye-catching focal point or be more utilitarian.
    Pictured is a kitchen island covered in glossy oxblood-coloured tiles in an East Village apartment designed by GRT Architects.
    See more kitchens with tiled worktops ›
    Photo by Denilson MachadoAdd a touch of terracotta
    Rusty-shaded terracotta can be a handy tool for making the kitchen a more welcoming environment with a touch of Mediterranean warmth.
    In our lookbook on kitchens with terracotta tiling, we collect projects that use the earthenware material to create pleasingly textured floors and walls.
    At Hygge Studio in São Paulo, designed by Melina Romano, terracotta flooring teams up with tan brick walls to soften monochrome kitchen units.
    See more kitchens with terracotta tiling ›
    Dezeen’s lookbooks series provides visual inspiration from our archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring light-filled kitchens, kitchens with minimalist storage solutions and Scandinavian-style kitchens.

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    Eight kitchens with striking material palettes of contrasting colours and textures

    In this lookbook, we collect eight kitchens that contrast rough and smooth textures, glossy and grainy surfaces, and a variety of colours for an overall eye-catching interior.

    The kitchens in this roundup exemplify how a combination of seemingly clashing materials can create a rich and interesting palette.
    Some opted for contrasting a number of cool-toned colours with warmer hues, while others made a striking impact by setting colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel side-by-side, like greens with pink or red.
    Here are eight kitchens with eye-catching material palettes made up of contrasting colours and textures.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring eclectic hotel interiors, organic modern living rooms and homes where continuous flooring creates a connection between indoors and outdoors.

    Photo by Benjamin HoskingBrunswick apartment, Australia, by Murray Barker and Esther Stewart
    Architect Murray Barker and artist Esther Stewart opted for colours and materials in keeping with mid-century interiors when updating this 1960s apartment in Melbourne’s Brunswick neighbourhood.
    The duo reconfigured the apartment layout, creating an L-shaped kitchen with pistachio green units set against red Rosa Alicante marble on the tabletop, worktops and backsplash.
    Find out more about the Brunswick apartment ›
    Photo by Mariell Lind HansenSt John Street, UK, by Emil Eve Architects
    In its renovation of a London warehouse apartment, local studio Emil Eve Architects aimed to add warmth and colour to the interior without losing its industrial character.
    In the kitchen, the glossy and colourful surfaces of the dark green wall tiles and bright yellow pendant lights contrast with the rough textures of the exposed concrete structure and brick walls.
    Find out more about the St John Street ›
    Photo by Ruth Maria MurphyLovers Walk, Ireland, by Kingston Lafferty Design
    Dublin studio Kingston Lafferty Design also used a red-toned stone in this family home in Cork, Ireland.
    The kitchen was overhauled with red tones in various mix-matched materials, including ruby-hued timber cabinets with bright red trims and veiny red quartzite used in the island, splashback and countertops.
    This was contrasted with cool tones in the polished floor and steel-blue-painted ceiling.
    Find out more about Lovers Walk ›
    Photo courtesy of Locke and Sella ConceptLocke am Platz, Switzerland, by Sella Concept
    Smooth, red cabinets are set against a blue-green marble back and worktop in this kitchenette, which is located in a studio apartment in the Locke am Platz hotel in Zurich.
    London design studio Sella Concept used vibrant colours and an assortment of different materials throughout the hotel interior, with the aim of “juxtaposing modernism with a classic theatrical flair”.
    Find out more about Locke am Platz ›
    Photo by François CoquerelParis apartment, France, by Hauvette & Madani
    Green and pink tiles create a contrasting wall pattern in the kitchen of this Haussman-era Parisian apartment, which was revamped by local design studio Hauvette & Madani.
    Light pink wall cabinets and a bright green stove complement the wall pattern behind them, while a sculptural wooden table adds to the eclectic selection of mixed and matched furniture throughout the home.
    Find out more about the Paris apartment ›
    Photo by Seth CaplanDumbo Loft, USA, by Crystal Sinclair Designs
    This loft apartment in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighbourhood was renovated by interiors studio Crystal Sinclair Designs, which aimed to add European flair to the industrial space.
    The studio offset the cool tones of the steely appliances and grey-veined arabascato marble with a wooden farmhouse-style island and deep-red qashqai rug.
    Find out more about Dumbo Loft ›
    Photo by Prue RuscoeBudge Over Dover, Australia, YSG
    Paired-back hues in the terracotta brick flooring and Marmorino plaster walls provide the backdrop to a rich material palette in the Budge Over Dover house in Sydney, which was revamped by interior design studio YSG.
    The studio used a combination of raw and polished finishes in the open-plan kitchen and living room, with black-stained timber cabinetry and a kitchen island composed of a Black Panther marble worktop set atop an aged brass base.
    Find out more about Budge Over Dover ›
    Photo by Jacob MilliganJewellery Box, UK, by Michael Collins Architects
    Jewellery Box is a two-storey extension to a terraced house in London by Michael Collins Architects, which is characterised by vibrant interiors concealed by a subdued exterior.
    The kitchen features bright blue units that contrast with shiny gold backsplashes and slender handles on the tall cabinets.
    Find out more about Jewellery Box ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring eclectic hotel interiors, organic modern living rooms and homes where continuous flooring creates a connection between indoors and outdoors.

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    How to Get the Look of a Nancy Meyers Kitchen

    I have always loved the cozy timeless homes featured in Nancy Meyers movies such as Father of the Bride and Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated.
    Increasingly I’ve been receiving messages on social media from people saying they spotted my new kitchen in several online “inspiration” videos and Pinterest boards that people have labeled as the “Nancy Meyers Aesthetic.” Two more showing my kitchen were messaged to me just today, so it seems that I’ve inadvertently captured a trending “Nancy Meyers” style in my own home. I do love this classic look and always have. I’m happy to hear that people love a timeless look as much as I do (but of course I wish people would at least credit my photos when they feature them.)
    I know it helps to break elements of a room down so you can see what it is that achieves a certain style, so that’s what we’ll do here today!
    Sources: Rattan Cart // Click here for all above sources
    The real magic behind “Nancy Meyers” style in many of these movies is that her kitchens are always feel so warm and welcoming. Don’t you agree? They feel like a place where people want to gather and make memories. Each kitchen is different, but there are some common threads that make these spaces feel like home to so many people.
    Choose appropriate architectural elements
    If a kitchen renovation is on the horizon for you, I think one of the keys to getting this “come in and make yourself at home” style is in selecting a mix of classic, interesting elements that are also appropriate for the home.
    In each Nancy Meyers movie, you can sense the feeling of being welcomed into the home as you go from room to room and into the kitchen. If the kitchen style didn’t make any sense with the rest of the home, you’d feel like you walked onto a different set! To get that same feeling in a real home, the elements chosen for a kitchen should make sense within the style and context of the rest of the home.
    The style of my own home was influenced by traditional cottages on Nantucket. We carried this same style through to our kitchen with choices that will make our home feel cohesive and welcoming for years to come.
    Architecture is a place where you can get creative in a renovation, but you really want to select elements that will make you feel at home there years from now, too. We’re still talking about Nancy Meyers movie kitchens decades later!
    Sources: Wood Oval Tray // Scalloped Lampshade Lamp and more
    Incorporate elements that aren’t pretentious
    Nancy Meyers kitchens are very nice, but they never feel pretentious!
    Regardless of your style you want to add a mix of elements that will feel warm and inviting so they feel lived in.
    For our new kitchen, we chose timeless elements such as honed Carrara marble and soapstone. A nickel faucet. Tongue and groove paneling. Creamy white cabinets in a traditional style. Timeless elements can feel classy yet unpretentious. They always feel like a home that has been around awhile, rather than one designed around the newest looks from a designer show room.
    It is true that organic finishes such as marble or soapstone will show the patina of age. While many people fear those signs of life, I embrace them because to me patina from daily use feels more welcoming and unpretentious. I wanted our own kitchen to feel like it has been in our family for years. Those signs of life will simply be evidence that our kitchen is enjoyed and has been a gathering place for family. (I wrote more about our countertop decision in this post.)
    Sources: Farmhouse Sink // Nickel Faucet (linked the same brand, finish and style of faucet I have but I bought mine through deVOL Kitchens, it appears to be a special deVOL edition and the price I paid was far less than the version on Amazon) // Rug: World Market (washable, Niko Blue and Rust Distressed Rug) or here is another similar washable rug, and one other similar rug // Kitchen Hardware // Brass Pendant Lights (other finish available)
    Include an inviting center island
    You sense that a Nancy Meyers kitchen is a gathering place. Whether it is large or small, or built in or free standing, center islands offer a sense of invitation. Islands are a destination where people can gather around to help in the kitchen or talk about the events of the day.

    Add nooks for display
    Nancy Meyers kitchens feel lived in by real people! Built ins or free standing furniture such as a little nooks or shelves, a bar cart, bookcase, plate rack or china hutch will bring a sense of personality, warmth and character which is essential in the “Nancy Meyers” kitchen aesthetic.
    We added several book nooks in our renovation so we can have our collection of books and cookbooks, art and other pretty pieces within reach and to add style through the ever-evolving seasons.
    Favorite Cookbooks // Favorite Home and Garden Design Inspiration Books
    Sources: Toile Cafe Curtain and how I hung it // See the stool niche behind the curtain here // Click here for all above sources
    Try Touchable Textures
    A variety of touchable textures help create more interest in a kitchen. Look for ways to bring in softness, color and personality through fabrics, curtains or rugs. In our kitchen we added rugs, pillows on the nearby banquette bench, as well as cafe curtains on our “stool niche” and window. We also incorporate a variety of other textures that add to the “touch-ability factor” such as such as a mix of marble, bamboo, rattan, soapstone, and wood.
    Click here for above sources
    Bring in plants and flowers
    Flowers and plants bring a sense of life to a kitchen which creates a more welcoming atmosphere. Put them into collected vases, pitchers and pots for an additional sense of character.
    Source: Rattan Basket
    Set out bowls of fruit and vegetables
    A bowl of fruit or vegetables adds to the simple charm of a lived in kitchen. Whether they are real or not, they make you feel like this is kitchen where people cook and eat real food!
    Sources: Toaster (color options) // Gold Frame // Kitchen Hardware
    Decorate with plates
    Plates are a classic element that can be used for more than just a meal! Hang them on the wall, stack them on a shelf or a plate rack to give it that charming “we live here” Nancy Meyers’ kitchen mood.
    Related Post: How I Hang Plates, Platters, and Bowls on the Wall
    Put every day on display
    A Nancy Meyers kitchen doesn’t feel cluttered or messy, but a glimpse into the every day lives of the people who work in that space makes it feel so much more like home. Hide what isn’t attractive but if your toaster is pretty, don’t hesitate to leave it out! If you use your stand mixer often, let it sit on the counter.
    Incorporating glass front cabinets for pretty items you don’t use as often will help items stay clean but still allows you to enjoy them as part of your decor.
    Place cooking or serving tools into stylish crocks, baskets or other containers. This adds style and but also organization and practicality where everything needed is within reach.
    And no need to fear of everything getting dusty. Items stay cleaner when you use and wash them often so if dust is a concern, reserve display for every day items!
    Find kitchen accessories here in my Amazon Storefront and more at the end of this post!
    Sources: Pendant Lights (similar to mine) // My Pendants
    Invite in lighting
    Pendants over islands, wall sconces or lamps on a counter are an opportunity to add personality as well as make a kitchen feel warm and welcoming even at night.
    Paint cabinets
    A soft or creamy white cabinet never goes out of style. You see them in several of Nancy Meyers movies. Her own real life kitchen is a soft white, so similar to the Something’s Gotta Give kitchen! We chose a soft creamy white for our English Tudor kitchen years ago and I still love that classic look today so we chose it again in our current kitchen!
    Paint is a “simple” way to update any kitchen. Not always cheap or easy, but much simpler than a renovation.
    White isn’t the only option for a Nancy Meyers look, try a color you love. Or mix in traditional wood tones for cabinets or islands!
    Someone had messaged me years ago after seeing “The Intern” movie because the kitchen cabinet color and subway tile reminded her of my own kitchen at the time. My kitchen had been updated before the movie ever came out. Dark painted cabinets were not yet trending at the time of my renovation, but I just felt like that darker color contrasted with classic white subway tile is what my builder grade kitchen needed. The email sender was convinced my kitchen inspired Nancy’s movie kitchen! Wouldn’t that be funny? Perhaps it did. The power of Pinterest …. and classic kitchens.
    My cabinet and wall paint color is Classic Light Buff by Sherwin Williams.

    Keep it classic
    I’ve loved designing all of my kitchens with classic elements and I love them all still! Over the past 17 or so years I’ve been messaged about ALL of my kitchens at one time or another feeling like a Nancy Meyers kitchen. We definitely share a love of classic kitchens! (Take a tour of my last kitchen here, and the kitchen before that here)
    The truth is that a Nancy Meyers kitchen incorporates the elements of so many classic kitchens that have been around for ages, long before the movies came out. Yet it is so fun that we can all watch and rewatch these movies and fall in love with them over and over again. They are timeless so they will continue to be loved by so many! These kitchens have captured our hearts and the longing we all have for our homes to be warm and welcoming.
    I hope you are inspired by all the ways you can create a kitchen you love by incorporating classic elements found in the Nancy Meyers aesthetic.

    White Lamp with Scalloped Shade (several color options and 2 size options)
    Patterned Rug (washable)
    Brass Hanging Bells
    Bamboo Roman Shades (see photos of these in our home here)
    Spode Blue and White Sugar Bowl
    Blue and White Striped Linen Napkins
    Stoneware Crock
    Wood Salt and Pepper Mills
    Wood Cutting Board
    White and Wood Kitchen Island (Freestanding)
    Tea Kettle (many color options)
    Landscape Artwork
    Woven Scalloped Bowl
    Pendant Lights (similar to mine)
    Faux Boxwood Topiary
    Looking for more of my kitchen sources and details? Find them in my Kitchen Reveal + tour post here!
    More Get the Look Sources below (click the thumbnails for details): More

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    Decorating for Spring in My Kitchen

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    Now that we are well into spring, I have gotten around to showing you how I added a few old and new decorative items to my kitchen to infuse new springtime energy into the room.

    You know I like to decorate with white, not only because it is cheery and bright, but also so I can accent a room with seasonal pops of color and not worry that the colors won’t coordinate.

    For spring this is easy to do since spring is blooming with so many vibrant and happy colors. I chose to decorate using my favorite colors… blue, pink, purple and green in the kitchen.

    Bye-bye fall and winter accent colors. See ya again in the fall.

    Spring Decor for the Dining Table

    Let’s start with the dining table. My kitchen is small with the meal prep and dining areas separated by a peninsula counter.

    I have had this kitchen table for years. The original top was smaller. Since we don’t have a dining room in the house with a large table we needed a larger kitchen table.

    My husband and I made a larger round kitchen table top to replace the old one. We placed it on the original metal base. The larger wood plank top makes a huge difference on the amount of serving dishes and items we can place on the table and how many people can fit around it.

    After adding the new blue and white area rug in the living room last week I wanted to carry the blue color to the table. I found a blue and white cotton throw for $10!

    I love it not only for the price, but it is reversible so when I want to see a new color – presto-chango!

    I always like to have a throw blanket by the table since I work here most of the time on my computer and like to feel comfy cozy, even in the summer when the AC is on.

    Here is what the throw looks like up close. It is very nicely made and quite the deal.

    I created the centerpiece for the table by removing faux blossoms from their stems and placed them around a large candle in a wood bowl.

    Decorating the Open Shelves in the Kitchen

    Next up is how I styled the open shelves I created in the kitchen when we first moved into the house. When standing in front of the cabinet doors, they swung out too far which made you have to back up. Not good for the user experience and daily function, so I removed them.

    I have always kept the plates and bowls we use everyday on the lower shelves and part of my collection of white pitchers on the upper shelves.

    This spring, after cleaning out my kitchen cabinets and discarding items we no longer need or use, I had empty cabinets to fill so I moved the everyday dishes to the closed cabinets which left the open shelves empty.

    Now I am decorating the shelves as if they were a china hutch or cabinet where I display decorative items – no stacks of plates or bowls anymore. I used a few white ceramic pitchers and blue and white plates that I collect.

    I have gathered the collection of blue and white plates and pitchers over the last 30 years. The pieces are from Walmart, HomeGoods, TJMaxx and thrift stores.

    To add instant sunniness, I added a dash of yellow in the way of bunch of wildflowers.

    Open Kitchen Shelf Styling Tips

    Start with a blank slate. Set everything aside and clean the shelves.

    Leave space between items so the shelves don’t look cluttered.

    Instead of lining up all of your objects in a row, try creating depth. You can do this by placing some items deeper into the shelves and other closer to the front.

    If using cookbooks, stack them horizontally and vertically. Place items on the stacked books for added interest.

    After you have the items on the shelves, take a step back to make sure if you have distributed color throughout the shelves. For instance, make sure if you have a blue item on the upper right side top shelf, that there is another item on a lower shelf that is blue and on the left side. Doing this helps everything look cohesive.

    Stand back and edit and move as well as remove items as needed until you like what you see.

    Simple Spring Decorating Ideas for Kitchen Counters

    I like to add pink, purple, or yellow flowers to low vases on the counter. Seeing the vivid colors against the white makes me so happy.

    Even when I don’t have a big bunch of flowers, I often clip a smaller amount and use and place in a small glass under the window by the sink. They look especially nice in the morning when the sun shines into this side of the kitchen.

    When I don’t have flowers to place by the sink, a pot of herbs is my second choice.

    I bought my first waffle weave dishtowel a few years ago and will never use another type. Their texture adds interest which I like to see.

    I have found blue, green and yellow at HomeGoods. For other colors, check out the all the waffle weave dish towel colors Etsy sells.

    Display Spring Color in Unexpected Ways

    And lastly, adding spring color to any room doesn’t only mean it has to be a decorative item. I displayed the spring issue of my favorite decorating magazine on the step stool I keep handy in the kitchen.

    Why hide all the pretty spring colors on the cover when they can add to the springtime vibe I created in the kitchen.

    More Springtime Decorating Ideas

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    Decorating With Area Rugs in My Living Room

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    There is a new color underfoot at my house, not only in my living room, but also. in my kitchen.

    One good thing that came about while being sick last week was that I spent most of the week snuggled under a warm throw on one of the comfy recliners in my living room. In this state, I daily had my sights on the living room into the dining area.

    Not to be totally unproductive, I visually played around with a few ideas each day on how I could update the room decor for spring and the warmer weather months ahead.

    Living Room in 2019

    Of all the rooms in my house, the living room is the room that I have changed the decor multiple times over the years in both major and minor ways. I like everything I have done to the room.

    The only reason I have made so many changes is that I have too many ideas I want to try. The living room is the place where I do just that – try out and experiment with ideas.

    All through the dozens of changes to the room, the seagrass area rug has always stayed. It is such a durable “go with anything rug” that we brought with us from our previous home.

    The only change I had made to this rug is when I did a color tweak after I started using more blue in the room. The rug border used to be green, so I painted the area rug border beige.

    If you remember back in the fall I added a patterned area rug over the existing seagrass area rug in my living room to cozy up the space for the cold months of the year.

    After the holidays, I added blue accents and a new X side table. I liked this look very much.

    Back in 2019 after we had the hardwood floors refinished was the only time I removed the area rug. Since it was summer and the floors looked perfect, I liked the simplicity and enjoyed the floor for a while without the area rug.

    Fast forward to this past week. I wanted to lighten things up again since spring is here and summer soon behind. When I was finally feeling better, the first thing I did was to roll up and store the dark area rug until next fall.

    After some online shopping I found this very affordable Tommy Bahama Marlin Transitional Indoor/Outdoor Rug to layer over the seagrass for a Modern Coastal look.

    Normally when I am looking for a color change in a room, I do it with paint – but a gallon of paint these days is so darn expensive! I am finding area rugs can be a less expensive option depending on what the rug is made of and the size.

    My new blue rug (7′-10″ x 10′- 2″)is slightly smaller than the seagrass (9′ x 12′)so layering was easy.

    I unrolled it and centered it right over the seagrass. As you can see the rug hasn’t flattened completely yet, but this photo was taken right after I unrolled it. It has flattened since.

    The new rug is just what I was envisioning – a little coastal, a little modern.

    I have been leaning to using blues in the room and really like the mix patterns of the large pillows I covered the no-sew way with the blue texture print fabric. They give the sofa a modern coastal vibe.

    New Kitchen Mat

    While I was changing the area rug in the living room, I also wanted to replace the green GelPro mat I had in front of the kitchen sink with a blue one.

    I have been using anti-fatigue mats instead of a small decorative throw rug to stand on when I am in front of my kitchen sink for years. They are the best and worth every penny! I have had a few different brands.

    I like my GelPro ones the best. I have a green one for the fall/winter and bright blue check for the summer. Since I rotate them seasonally, they last for years.

    Now I have this Lucky Brand Anti-Fatigue Wellness Mat that I found at HomeGoods, (also sold on Amazon). It is thinner than the GelPro brand, but for $15.00 it was worth a try.

    Anti-fatigue mats make standing less tiring, promote better posture, circulation and muscle conditioning, plus they are skid resistant and so very easy to clean.

    Seeing new color around the house for spring is making me feel cheery and ready for the warmer weather.

    Over the last few years I have embraced the slow living method to life and that includes decorating. I love to decorate and make things look pretty and updated, but I do it now at a much slower pace. I still have a few more spring tweaks for both the kitchen and living room that I will share with you in my next few posts.

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    Eight inviting breakfast nooks for easy-going mornings

    For our latest lookbook, we’ve rounded up eight kitchens with welcoming breakfast nooks of different shapes and sizes that provide a relaxed place to enjoy a meal.

    Typically tucked into a corner in or near the kitchen, breakfast nooks offer compact dining spaces that are more casual than a formal dining room and cosier than an island bar.
    They are usually characterised by banquette seating fixed to the wall with a freestanding table and chairs, but the examples in this lookbook show how the idea of a breakfast nook can be adapted to suit any size space.
    From L-shaped benches in awkward kitchen corners to curved banquettes under bay windows, read on to see how a breakfast nook can be nestled into any home for the perfect morning coffee or casual meal.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring homes with oversized windows overlooking lush views, houses with closed staircases and interiors that embody the “bookshelf wealth” trend.

    Photo by Carola RipamontiTeorema Milanese, Italy, by Marcante-Testa
    Design studio Marcante-Testa overhauled an apartment in Milan with a rich mix of colours and materials, creating a clear separation between the kitchen and an adjoining breakfast nook with its choice of surfaces.
    Geometric floor tiles in the nook contrast with the marble kitchen floor, but the two spaces are tied together with the sea-green colour of the tiles and kitchen cabinets.
    Find out more about Teorema Milanese ›
    Photo by Prue RuscoeBudge Over Dover, Australia, by YSG
    This breakfast nook sits in the corner of an open-plan kitchen and living area, next to bi-folding doors that open onto a pool terrace.
    Interior design studio YSG designed the nook’s banquette seating to follow the curve of the wall and upholstered it in brown and green fabric to suit natural surfaces in the Sydney home, including terracotta floor tiles, dark wood accents and marble tabletops.
    Find out more about Budge Over Dover ›
    Photo by Daniëlle SiobhánZwaag home, Netherlands, by DAB Studio
    Generous U-shaped banquette seating wraps the walls of the nook in this kitchen, situated in a home in Zwaag, the Netherlands, that was renovated by Dutch interior design practice DAB Studio.
    The studio chose grey upholstery for the seating and placed an Arebescato Orobico marble table at the centre to balance the expansive use of wood on the floor, ceiling, walls and kitchen cabinets.
    Find out more about the Zwaag home ›
    Photo by Anson SmartPacific House, Australia, by Alexander & Co
    A circular skylight illuminates the curving breakfast nook in this oceanside home in Sydney, which architecture studio Alexander & Co renovated to make it more suited to family life.
    Aiming to create a calm and contemplative space, oak built-in seating was tucked against a concave window that overlooks a swimming pool in the garden.
    Find out more about Pacific House ›
    Photo by Lorenzo ZandriSteele’s Road House, UK, by Neiheiser Argyros
    Steele’s Road House is a Victorian terrace in London that was renovated and extended by local studio Neiheiser Argyros to increase natural light in the home.
    A breakfast nook was added to the kitchen, with curved bench seating built below a bay window offering a more casual place to eat than the separate formal dining room.
    Find out more about Steele’s Road House ›
    Photo by Jan VranovskyNagatachō Apartment, Japan, by Adam Nathaniel Furman
    Designer Adam Nathaniel Furman nestled an L-shaped breakfast nook in the kitchen of the 160-square-metre Nagatachō Apartment in Tokyo.
    The tabletop adjoins the cabinets in the U-shaped kitchen and extends along a herringbone-tiled wall. Pink shelving was built over the nook to provide additional storage in the compact apartment.
    Find out more about Nagatachō Apartment ›
    Photo by Benjamin Hosking.Brunswick apartment, Australia, by Murray Barker and Esther Stewart
    Architect Murray Barker and artist Esther Stewart created a breakfast nook in this 1960s Melbourne apartment by tucking an L-shaped fixed bench into the corner of the kitchen.
    The kitchen was originally too small for a dining table, so the duo removed a wall that separated it from the living room and added the custom-made table and seating, which is lit from above by a square skylight.
    Find out more about the Brunswick apartment ›
    Photo by Tamara UribeCasa Pulpo, Mexico, by Workshop Architects
    Local architecture studio Workshop Architects added a breakfast nook when renovating a Spanish colonial house in Mérida, Mexico, aiming to add a sense of cosiness.
    Seating was built in the corner of the kitchen between two archways that lead to the living room and a storage room. On the opposite side of the kitchen, glass doors give views of two purple concrete dwellings that were built in the garden.
    Find out more about Casa Pulpo ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring homes with oversized windows overlooking lush views, houses with closed staircases and interiors that embody the “bookshelf wealth” trend.

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    Eight kitchens with floor-to-ceiling cabinets that cleverly conceal clutter

    Kitchens can often be difficult to keep tidy, but this lookbook demonstrates how floor-to-ceiling cabinets are an effective way to streamline and create clutter-free backdrops for food prep.

    Traditionally, kitchens are designed with floor and wall cabinets dropped below the ceiling to ensure they are reachable. However, today many architects and interior designers are opting for full-height solutions instead to maximise storage space.
    The examples in this lookbook show that floor-to-ceiling storage solutions are suited to kitchens of any size and style, and can be used to conceal clutter, appliances and even doorways.
    A bonus is that these cupboards also minimise areas for dust to gather, requiring less time spent on cleaning and leaving more for cooking.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with net floors, mid-century modern furniture and perforated brick walls.

    TS-H_01, Switzerland, by Tom Strala
    This minimalist kitchen, belonging to a home near Bern, features floor-to-ceiling storage concealing not only clutter but also a doorway to a garage.
    The white wall of cabinets is dotted by circular handles lined with smooth timber and forms a slick backdrop to the chunky prep counter, raw plaster walls and pale wooden floorboards.
    Find out more about TS-H_01 ›
    Photo by Fionn McCannChurchtown, Ireland, by Scullion Architects
    Oak-panelled cabinetry runs through the light-filled kitchen of Churchtown, a residential extension in Dublin informed by Victorian conservatories.
    While maximising storage, the cupboards are designed to conceal appliances and a pantry. The warmth of the oak is complemented by cool-toned white terrazzo on the floor and worktops.
    Find out more about Churchtown ›

    Sacha, France, by SABO Project
    Full-height birch plywood joinery is used to store the contents of this kitchen, designed by SABO Project within a Parisian apartment.
    The cupboards are almost disguised as a solid block, with small arched cut-outs subtly demarcating each door. One of the panels features a larger arched opening, which opens into a cosy nook for the owner’s cat.
    Find out more about Sacha ›
    Photo by Eric PetschekThe Amagansett Beach House, USA, by Starling Architecture and Emily Lindberg Design
    The floor-to-ceiling units in this kitchen help draw attention to more playful design details in the room, including a sculptural custom island animated by exaggerated forms.
    Finished with wood and a lack of handles, the cabinets also blend into the floors and ceilings, disguising them as walls and creating a pared-back aesthetic for the room.
    Find out more about The Amagansett Beach House ›
    Photo by Eric PetschekBarbican Apartment, UK, by John Pawson
    Designer John Pawson used full-height storage in the compact kitchen of this London apartment to help achieve his signature minimalist aesthetic.
    The abundance of storage ensures the space is uncluttered, while a lack of handles on the cabinetry allows them to blend into the background. The rest of the home, which is located in the brutalist Barbican Estate in London, is designed with the same pared-back aesthetic.
    Find out more about Barbican Apartment ›
    Photo by Johan DehlinThe Parchment Works, UK, by Will Gamble Architects
    Matte-black cabinets with brass handles define the kitchen of The Parchment Works, which Will Gamble Architects created from the shell of an old cattle shed in Northamptonshire.
    Stretching from floor to ceiling, the kitchen units slot in beneath rows of timber joists belonging to the original structure. Their dark colour ensures focus retains on the tactile wooden surfaces above, as well as the adjacent whitewashed masonry walls.
    Find out more about The Parchment Works ›
    Photo by Pion StudioBotaniczna Apartment, Poland, by Agnieszka Owsiany Studio
    Polish studio Agnieszka Owsiany Studio married wood and marble throughout the interior of this apartment in Poznań.
    In the kitchen, full-height oak cabinetry lines one wall, punctured by a marble-lined recess containing a stove. The cabinets are finished with long handles in matching oak.
    Find out more about Botaniczna Apartment ›
    Photo by Kevin ScottPortage Bay Float Home, USA, by Studio DIAA
    These storage units follow the gabled roofscape of The Portage Bay Float Home, which Studio DIAA co-founder Suzanne Stefan created for herself in Seattle.
    The wooden cabinetry sits flush with a cooker hood above the stove, which is finished with juxtaposing stainless steel that has a brushed look.
    Find out more about Portage Bay Float Home › 
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with net floors, mid-century modern furniture and perforated brick walls. 

    Read more: More