It’s rustic. It has character. It’s picturesque. Follow the lines that cross each other at 90 degrees on the table top, and you’d see the intelligent, thoughtful design that went into the table. Four pieces of beautiful, symmetrically cut pieces of wood that converge to resemble a blooming flower. Just squint and picture it upside down!
I’ve been thinking about four-poster beds lately, and if it’s right for our bedroom. What’s been holding me back is the fact that ours is a smallish bedroom. I must admit that there’s something regal about these beds, but they also seem to eat up visual space. In any case, I’ve decided to look into them a little more closely. Canopy beds are close cousins of the four-poster bed. They’re different in that they have an overhead roof-like structure covering the bed. I read that these beds were designed more out of utility than luxury. Medieval barons often had attendants sleeping in the same room, so four posters with curtains helped create a room within a room.
The warmth and coziness that this photograph emits almost has me convinced.
Here’s an interesting, modern twist to the four-poster bed by New-Zealand-based designer, David Trubridge. It doesn’t serve the purpose and intent of the original poster bed, but it’s, nevertheless, visually appealing. I hope to write a separate post some time soon on some of his other amazing designs.
You could play around with the posts and side rails to introduce intricate designs and detailing into your room.
That rustic, unpolished finish (or lack of it?) looks good on everything, even four-poster beds!
Here’s another endearing poster bed that complements a white background amazingly well.
What do you think of four-poster beds? Are you for or against them? I’ve never had one, so I would love some thoughts on it.
Pretty bread baskets instill images of The Sound of Music and Little Red Riding Hood. Don’t ask me why! Flat baskets are very versatile and needn’t just be limited to serving bread. I could think of using them as a fruit basket, a medicine box or to store odd things around the dining table. I didn’t look at bread baskets designed exclusively to fit baguettes because, well, I don’t always eat baguettes!
Had I not gone looking for beautiful bread baskets, I surely would not have stumbled upon Reiko Kaneko, this incredible British-Japanese tableware designer. I love her east-meets-west approach as she effortlessly design bone chinaware that fuses oriental and European influences. She calls this bread basket “The Boat”, and that’s just so apt. She sells The Boat with rope handles in different colors, but nothing beats the natural tone of the one below, if you ask me.
I cannot decide if I’d use this basket for bread or fruits, but it really is wonderful! This one’s hand-woven from the fiber of natural date palm leaves, and it definitely looks less coarser than regular wicker.
Aren’t they pretty? I like the idea of being able to change the ribbon every once in a while, or perhaps, to match the dress I’m wearing?!
I’d posted sometime ago about a cork coaster that was shaped like a slice of bread. Adding to the same amusement is a bread basket that’s made to look like brown bread. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the bread basket was actually edible? Like edible ice cream wafer cups? Well, I’d definitely be a taker if someone came up with it!
If any bread basket can make my heart skip a beat, it has to be this asymmetric, burled wood bread basket that I simply adore! There’s beauty in imperfection, and that’s precisely what even burled wood is all about.
Eureka! I just found the most beautiful vase in the world. Or the most beautiful umbrella stand? Or the most beautiful urn? Call it whatever you like, but this is a classic example of how dull, boring colors can be put together artistically to create something of a master piece. Not only does the rope change colors after every seven or eight rounds, but it creates tiny patterns as it winds its way up. However did they manage that?!
I’m not done with kitchen organization ideas just yet! You cannot say your kitchen is organized unless you have labels to identify some, if not all, cooking ingredients. That’s not an empty statement, mind you. It comes with disastrous cooking experiences! Like a brownie that was baked with rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. Like using baking powder instead baking soda for fritters. And the (unintentionally) healthy cake made out of whole wheat flour instead of self-raising flour. It may be silly to label things that just take a quick look to identify, but that’s seldom the case with flours and powders. And so, the pursuit of kitchen labels becomes top priority! I didn’t look towards sticker labels much because they start peeling off in no time, and that would just annoy me. So it’s all about stable labels!
This is probably the simplest, neatest and easiest labeling idea that I can think off. Just pick up that marker, and write neatly. The person who did this as a DIY project did use a stencil, but the only stencils I’ve found at stationery shops are hard plastic ones that won’t bend around much. But how hard can it be to just write a few alphabets in full caps? So even if your handwriting looks like the scrawl of a drunken spider, don’t hold back! Just do it!
I attended classes to make paper bags last year, and one of the things I found fascinating is how metal eyelets are fixed onto the bags! I’m sure there are machines which automate the whole process, but we poked the the eyelet in with a driver and then hammered the back side till it was flat and secure. And if I could use those skills to make tags for my kitchen containers, I would grab the opportunity without a second thought! Of course, you could also just punch a hole and string a pretty thread or ribbon through it. And though this one’s dipped in blackboard paint, I’d probably use a strip of lovely handmade paper for the tags to beautify it even more!
Do you remember that day in school when someone showed you how to wet chalk and make it write differently? I still remember, and I’m still thrilled by it! So once when I visited a Korean bakery that had its front windows beautifully and intricately sketched with wet chalk, I was so happy to find out that someone had invented a chalkboard marker! The best invention of this century! I mean, who cares about televisions, cell phones and the internet! As soon as I get one of those markers, I’m going to get a tin of blackboard paint, and implement this project. I saw it last year, and I’ve been so tempted to try. It’s easily the most versatile label idea. This one’s actually a sticker, but you could as well just apply blackboard paint directly onto the jar.
Another variation of the blackboard idea that I took an instant liking for!
Etching cream is like the fairy-god mother of mason jars. One touch and those mason jars are transformed into elegant, understated beauties that you’d think were store-bought. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with etching cream much though, because it seems rather expensive and available only in large quantities. But they’re definitely my first preference for glass bottles and containers.
What’s the one thing in the house that guests are forced to notice from up close? I would say the faucet. Still, a mundane faucet can go completely unnoticed. A beautiful and unique one, though, will register even as one goes about a task as mindless as washing hands. And boy, are there some breath-taking faucets out there!
And if you thought it can’t get much better than that, well, you thought wrong! A cascading faucet almost has something zen-ish about it, doesn’t it? I can almost hear the soothing the sound of the water falling gently. Sigh!
Do you see it or am I just delusional? I could swear that this faucet’s modeled after a tulip. I love designs that borrow from nature.
This faucet from Kohler is simply stunning. I wouldn’t really be bothered about getting a wash basin with matching designs.I think it’d be best with a white sink, because I’d want my faucet to get the full attention that it deserves!
I’m not sure if you’d be impressed by the faucet below after all that you’ve seen already. But I still like it for its curvy yet minimalistic design.
I’ve realized only recently that there is almost nothing in the house that can’t be subject to design scrutiny. Think of all those little things in your house that you barely notice is there. Take a minute off to ask yourself whether those humdrum elements could look or serve you better. And I’m willing to bet that the answer is going to be in the affirmative!
I’m not going to be mean to refrigerators. I don’t think they’re particularly ugly, but they can look drab if the rest of your kitchen is spectacular. Seeing all the different ideas people have used to camouflage the refrigerator makes me aware that I’m not the first one to go down this road. I do have my reservations on many such ideas though. A popular way to make a refrigerator vanish seems to be to build it into your cabinetry (click here to see what I’m talking about). So the same laminate that’s used for the the cabinets is stuck onto all the doors of your inbuilt fridge to make it look like just another cabinet. Here’s my problem with it. Your kitchen cabinets are very likely to outlive your fridge. Will refrigerators be the exact size, say, 10 years down the line? A salesperson at a modular kitchen store told me that the standard sizes of refrigerator have, in the past, changed by a few inches. So when you do buy a new fridge later, it’s either going to make room for dust if the fridge is a tad smaller, or it might just not fit into the space dedicated for the fridge. And will you still have extra laminate lying around? Even if you do, since your existing cabinets have been out in the open for a while, they’re definitely going to be a few shades darker (or dirtier) than the laminate that’s going to be stuck on the new fridge.
I’m also averse to the concept of an under-counter refrigerator. It makes your fridge disappear, alright, but the convenience you’re trading off is simply not worth it. You will not only have to bend to reach out for the vegetable pan, but for everything else too! And a full-fledged under-counter fridge would necessarily mean that you have three or four separate fridge units. When you can’t remember where you’d kept that bowl of lasagna, you’re going to have to open all of those units to find it. And of course, under-counter fridges are definitely more expensive than the regular ones. I’d be happy to pay a premium on an innovation that makes my life easier, but that definitely isn’t the case here.
So today’s post stays clear of ideas that involve structural alterations to your kitchen. I’m just focusing on the fridge! Can’t there be ways of prettifying your fridge instead of tucking it away somewhere? Of course, there are! If you can draw fairly well, then you should definitely think about sketching on your fridge with a permanent marker. And it’s not as risky as drawing on a wall or using paint. A swoosh of thinning solution or a nail-polish remover is all you need to wipe away your mistakes and start all over. This one’s the most amusing fridge sketch I have seen!
Another option is to turn your fridge into a sophisticated chalk board. I love this idea for so many different reasons. Chevron stripes on my fridge is like a dream come true! The dull colors are just right if you don’t want to draw attention to your fridge. And when someone does notice it, you’re sure to be flooded by compliments! If you like the idea, click on the photograph to check out step-by-step instructions on how to make this your fridge!
Now, this fridge sticker has given me a sketching idea that I’m giving a very serious thought to. If you like an organized fridge, then you probably have a floating idea of what kind of food goes into which row in the fridge. How about drawing that out on the fridge door to make it easier for the hubby and kids? I’m talking about drawing three rows of food art. So let’s say you draw a milk carton, bread, cheese, and desserts on the top row. Fish and meats on the second. Salads and pasta on the third. You not only have an artsy fridge, but written instructions for the rest of the family to follow when they’re putting things back in! Two birds with one stone, I say!
If you can’t sketch or paint for nuts, then look towards full-size sticker! There are shops and people selling fridge stickers, and you might find interesting ones like these!
I haven’t ever lived with wallpaper, so I’m not sure if it’d be very high-maintenance around food. You don’t usually make much contact with any part of the fridge besides the door handles, a food stain from a spill doesn’t seem far-fetched. But wallpaper definitely throws open a whole world of decorative patterns and prints for your refrigerator.
With all that I can do to beautify my fridge, I am convinced never to go in for an inbuilt or under-counter fridge. For anyone who thought fridge art is just about fridge magnets, I hope this has been an eye-opener! But, sure, you could have art and fridge magnets too! Fridge art will surely need a touch-up at some point of time. But if it’s just about darkening a sketch with a permanent marker, how hard can it be? So what’s stopping you from grabbing that permanent marker?!
This is probably the most gorgeous platter that I have ever laid eyes on. People will tell you that mango wood is cheap and inferior wood, but don’t listen to them! I love the deep grains that are characteristic of mango wood, and I’m yet to see more beautiful ones in any other kind of wood. Imagine how awesome this platter would look against a white or gray counter top! Simply splendid!
Every house should have a memory wall. A wall filled with photos that make memories come pouring back in. We’ve had one for a while now, and believe me, we never get bored of looking at it. They’re time machines that transport you back to a day you never thought you could revisit. There’s always an expression in the photos that puts a stupid smile on your face. They make you count your blessings and be thankful for them everyday. And of course, every once in a while, you notice things that you had never before in all those years.
You’d never believe how these photographs have been made to hang. From a curtain rod. Yes, a curtain rod! Isn’t that delightful? Not only can you avoid drilling nails into your beautiful walls, but you can rearrange them like furniture when you think you need a change. I also like how every photo frame overlaps another – it makes it so engaging and mildly mysterious. And I think they’d look just as nice with photographs of people and places.
This one’s more like a corner of frames rather than a wall full of it. It’s nevertheless an unusual way to create a corner stand and to display photographs at the same time.
This is a project that I definitely want to give a try. I suspect that the right placement for each of the twelve photographs would be a matter of simple 7th grade geometry that I have long forgotten! I doubt I’d have the patience or skill to try this entirely by myself, but if I ever do, I’d definitely first try my hand at making a small, regular-size DIY clock.
And now for some (unprecedented) mushy stuff. I wouldn’t hang it around the living space for the fear of guests turning diabetic with all that sweetness. But I’d sure love to have one of these made to hang within the privacy of my bedroom.
Can a photo frame turn left at a junction? Apparently, they can! I love it! It reminds me of how those kids in the Matrix bend spoons with their minds! And just like that bit of science fiction, I haven’t really figured this one out either! Are there two glass slabs on each frame or are there none? Is the photo cut or is it just folded? You can almost be sure that the edge or corner of the wall can distort a face pretty badly, so you’re probably better off avoiding close-up photographs with these frames.
A wall of photographs is also a fabulous way of making a corridor look longer or to break the monotony of plain walls with a personal touch. And they’re perhaps the only conversation starter that you never get tired of!
Product design is usually all about combining functionality with aesthetics. On rarer occasions, it offers the designer a chance for some tease and mischief. They say that opportunity comes knocking at our doors in all forms, and clearly, even in the form of a humble milk bottle. With some etching cream and a stencil, this would now be a fairly simple DIY project. But I continue to be awed by the kind of ideas and thinking that go into these products the first time they’re rolled out. I sometimes envy the deviously creative minds, and I wish I could rent it from their owners just once in a way!