Tag Archives: colors

The Quirky Kitchen

Colorful colander, bowls, measuring cups and spoons by Joseph Joseph
Image from Joseph Joseph

Food and design are intrinsically connected. Design influences the way food is prepared and crafted, whilst food has always been a great source of inspiration for designer, spawning iconic design objects. In the design enthusiast’s home, cooking  can be more fun when you have the right tools and tableware that can add a little more interest to the preparation.

Karate chopper

Novelty knifeVia Fing Kisher

The Karate chopper makes chopping lettuce enjoyable and as easy as breaking plywood boards. A giant hand-shaped cutter, this will definitely get the kids to enjoy making their own salads (and hopefully get them to eat their veggies too!).

OCD Chef

Image via Swiss-Miss

This cutting board is definitely on my household item wishlist, and will appeal to many who are avid crafters and designers. The board is made from bamboo but features a grid and etchings reminiscent of a rubber cutting mat. It even has angle measurements! The board is from Fred and Friends, a company that makes functional objects that are also highly entertaining.

Joseph Joseph Nest 9

Colorful nesting utensils from Joseph JosephNesting kitchen tools from Joseph Joseph

Images from Joseph Joseph

This set is a great way to keep some basic kitchen tools organized while adding color to your kitchen. The set includes a strainer/colander, two mixing bowls, a sieve, and a set of measuring spoons. It was designed to stack together with a perfectly flat top, so that it occupies the least amount of space while forming a complete spectrum! This would definitely make a great housewarming gift.

Pantone Mugs and Cups

Colorful mugs from PantonePantone mugs look great on the shelf

Images by Renee Alfonso

And speaking of adding color to your kitchen and cupboard, the Pantone mug series would definitely be at home in any design enthusiast’s kitchen. Each ceramic mug is designed like a Pantone swatch, complete with the color number! Apart from the standard mugs they also come in espresso mug size.

Vintage Pyrex

Scene from Mad Men

Scene from Mad Men

Retro Pyrex serving bowls
Image from I ♥ Pretty

No household has been complete without a Pyrex dish since the mid twentieth century. For the vintage enthusiasts or those looking to add a little vintage flair into the kitchen, classic Pyrex is definitely the way to go! Vintage pyrex sets are functional, and fun, going straight from the stove or oven top to the table, and will give any kitchen that trendy Mad Men like flare.  Pyrex has come to have somewhat of a cult following in recent years, and many people collect them.

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Funky Floors

As an art history student, I spend my days examining exquisite ancient mosaic floors. But I must admit that when I consider the materials available to the modern home-owner, I tend to limit myself to the more mundane choices: hardwood, laminate, or tile. A few weeks ago, I received an email about a more unusual option: old leather belts.

Floor texture created by old leather belts(Photo: Ting)

Inghua Ting, a London- and Los Angeles-based designer, makes amazing bags and accessories using reclaimed leather. However, she has also branched out to unique home furnishings including custom flooring. I love how the example above mimics dark hardwood but with the added textural twist of the belts’ tooling. The effect looks equally awesome on stairs.

Tiled stairs(Photo: Ting)

I have never been a big fan of parquet floors but the Swedish design firm Tham and Videgård Arkitekter might have made me a convert. Their bold use of colour in parquet, which even travels up the walls, is a fanciful take on traditional flooring.

Dining room with colored parquet(Photo: Tham and Videgård Arkitekter)

They designed the client’s apartment to reflect the changing colours of the leaves in a nearby park, which makes quite the statement in the floorplan below.

Colorful floor plan(Photo: Tham and Videgård Arkitekter)

I’m not sure I could take a whole house of this though, even if the concept is spectacular. However, for those who would like to add a splash of colour to decorative wood flooring, the British company McKay Flooring offers a rainbow of hues to choose from, as well as special parquet graph paper on which to lay out your dream design.

Blue parquet(Photo: McKay Flooring)

By now, concrete has become almost old-hat as a modern flooring choice. I have always loved it in loft-like spaces but it can come off as cold and impersonal. However, there are many concrete dyes and stencils on the market now to help customize this material. In addition to all-over patterns, Modello Designs offers a series of stencils made to look like exotic antique rugs, such as their “Shanghai” shown below. Nothing cold and impersonal about that room!

Cement floor with an intricate stenciled design(Photo: Modello Designs)

I really do yearn for a mosaic floor though and there are companies out there that do reproductions, at a cost that better reflects a Roman Emperor’s budget than mine. New York Design Firm Roman and Williams took a slightly more creative (and frugal) approach when they laid the floor of the Standard Grill with a penny mosaic. The variegated pattern formed by the coins’ patina is stunning.

(Photo: Curbly)

While the material costs would be low, I cannot imagine the man-hours necessary to lay that floor. However, if you have a jar of pennies lying around and would like to try this technique, Laura at Happy Roost blogged a tutorial after transforming her bathroom floor with about a hundred dollars-worth of pennies.

Have you done something different with your floors? While I’m sticking to traditional for now, I’m eyeing our sad-looking laminate with whole new ideas for its eventual replacement.

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Paint Chip Projects

I am still settling into my new place and so far the biggest stumbling block, besides having the delivery guys unceremoniously dump my couch three floors below my apartment door, has been trying to choose paint colours.

paint chip samples

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Before I moved in, I was sure I knew the perfect hues and collected a small sampling of paint chips from my local store. But now that I have been in the space for a while, none of my original picks seem right for attic rooms with sloping ceilings and little natural light. So it’s back to the paint store for a few more chips.

Bicycle with rainbow wheels
Photo: Buzznet

Not only am I ready to give up and pull a random colour out of a bag like Rachel Berger did for her 100 Colors, 100 Writings, 100 Days project but I’m also feeling a little guilty about all those wasted swatches. Since they can’t be recycled, I wanted to find a way to reuse them in a way that wouldn’t resemble a third grader’s art and crafts activity.

Pantone swatch mosaic rendition of a Manet painting

Photo: Tim Fraser Brown via Shape + Colour

This awesome reproduction of Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Berger took designer Tim Fraser Brown and his friends four days and 5000 Pantone chips to make. This is definitely not a third grade project but it is perhaps an overly ambitious goal for my limited palette of chips.

Coffee table with paint chip top
Photo: Ready Made

An internet search reveals hundreds of amazing projects. One of my favourites is this table treatment, which would be an excellent way to disguise a scratched surface or to dress up an inexpensive piece of furniture like IKEA’s Lack table. By using double-sided tape, as Ready Made suggests, you can change it up whenever you like.

Box and bow made with paint chips
Photo: Style With a Smile

I’m always trying to cut down on using store-bought gift wrap, so I can’t wait to try Jonathan Fong’s paint chip box and bow to jazz up a birthday present.

Coaster craft project using paint chips
Photo: Crafty CPA

The trick to projects like these is to make something that you will actually use, which is why I love the Crafty CPA’s paint chip coasters. And the bonus is that you don’t need to go steal dozen of cards from the paint store to make these; you can just add to your coaster collection when you are done with your latest samples.

Shredded paint chips on a wall
Photo: Babble

While I may be no closer to choosing colours for my walls, at least I have some ideas about how to reuse all those pretty paint chips. What do you do with your colour strips once the decision has been made?

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2012 Trends for Interiors

image via apartment therapy

A whole new year means a whole new list of trends that designers and experts have forecasted to make their way onto shelves and into your homes in the coming months. As usual you’ll see a lot of crossover of fashion into interior design, so the colour you might be wearing might also be on your walls (I’m looking at you tangerine tango). Today I’ve compiled a condensed list of a few of the newest trends and some ideas on how to add them to your space straight away.

image via house and home

Unfinished Wood

The unfinished wood trend is one that isn’t going anywhere this year. With people still looking for furniture made of reclaimed wood, and wanting to avoid toxic finishes, the warmth and texture of bare wood is definitely appealing.

How to add it now: A dining room table with an unfinished wood top. It’s a long lasting piece that will add natural beauty.

image via house to home


Gold, silver and bronze paired with greys, blacks and neutrals will be everywhere in the coming months. We are also seeing far more coloured metallics in home accessories. Metallic wallpaper also seems to be popular right now.

How to add it now: Accessories like throw pillows, vases and ornamental decorations are the way to go with a trend like this; with a look that may or may not last a few seasons you may only want to make a minor financial investment to implemented the style you’re after.

image via anne sage


The past will be a big source of inspiration for interiors this year; eighties glam, seventies futuristic and sixties palm springs will be showing up in both furniture designs and paint colours.

How to add it now: There is a lot of retro inspired lighting out there and it can be easily added to most of your existing decors with striking effect.

image via decorati access


Pantone’s colour of the year is called tangerine tango and you can expect to see it popping up everywhere. I love it when Pantone releases their colour forecast because it gives a great overall idea of the general mood in design.

How to add it now: Orange isn’t a colour that most people can handle in large doses, but it can be fun in a small space like a bathroom or a guest room. Try pairing it with white and light coloured woods.

image via cherry blossom world


Industrial details like castors and roughed up metal are big this year in furniture. Picture a New York warehouse space with heavy duty furniture and oversized art. However, industrial doesn’t have to mean humongous, it can still be incorporated in smaller spaces by adding details of concrete, metal and wood.

How to add it now: A tarnished metal light fixture or an object like an industrial fan displayed as art are fun options for adding this look on a small scale.

Natural Linen and Cotton

It is fitting that natural textiles are in vogue, because like unfinished wood they exude calm and a return to nature.

How to add it now: If you don’t want to commit to a whole linen-upholstered couch, draping a linen throw over your existing couch will give you a similar effect.

image via french by design

That’s it for our list. The nice thing about many of these styles is that they are very open to interpretation and can be implemented in small and big ways.  What do you think of these trends? Are there any that you could see adding to your home?

Happy Friday everyone!

Embracing Colour In 2012

In just a few days we will ring in 2012. The New Year is traditionally a time for fresh starts and that is especially true for me this year.  Next week I will begin teaching a new class and working on the next stage of my degree. But more importantly, I am moving into a new apartment. Today.

(Photo: Avolli)

While I’m thrilled with the new opportunities in front of me, I am still exhausted from last week’s holiday preparations and celebrations. The last thing I want to be doing is packing and unpacking what seems like an endless number of boxes. The only thing keeping me going at the moment is the growing excitement about decorating my new place, even if I am limited by a student’s budget.

(Photo: Toronto Standard)

Paint is probably the easiest and cheapest way to transform a space and I must admit that I am in love with PANTONE’s 2012 Color of the Year: Tangerine Tango. Not for the faint of heart, this warm, spicy reddish-orange reminds me of exotic Eastern spice markets.

(Photo: Barbara Gilbert Interiors)

I adore this vibrant hue and think it would work well with my dark hardwood floors but I am still not sure that I’m ready to commit a whole room to it.

(Photo: Z Gallerie via Pinterest)

This bedding set would still provide the wow factor and the pattern has the same Moroccan vibe that I get from Tangerine Tango without being too overwhelming.

(Photo: CB2)

I don’t know what I love more about this chair, its colour or its shape. This statement piece would really wake up a neutral room but I think you could work the mod angle and pair it with other strong colours, like an equally intense blue.

(Photo: Musings by FLOR)

While no one would call me timid, I have tended in the past to stick to paler shades. But even if I don’t go all out for Tangerine Tango, I really do want to find some accent pieces, like a lamp or some pillows, to help warm up my cozy attic apartment.

(Photo: Tom Dixon)

What do you think of PANTONE’s pick? Will you be tangoing in 2012 or is this a fashion fail in your books?

(Photo: Marabou Designs)

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