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December 08, 2009

Simple chic Christmas

Bill 1 Finding yourself pressed for time (and cash) this holiday season? Award–winning interior designer, and host of the weekly lifestyle series Moment of Luxury, Bill Stubbs tells us how to have a simple and chic Christmas:

Once upon a cold, sad time some years ago, back in the 20th Century, I was not prepared for my first Christmas as a single father of two. Christmas Eve was upon me and I had no tree or decorations. I went to sleep asking God for help.

Christmas morning I awoke with the idea that someone would discard a tree before my children arrived. I went to the dumpster and waiting there was a beautiful 7-foot tree complete with a stand! It occurred to me I could create decorations with white printer paper, so I found the scissors and went to work. Paper snowflakes, paper chains and angels transformed the tree into a vision in white -- all done for a cost of $3.00.

My children remember that Christmas with great fondness and laughter the year Dad found a tree in the dumpster and decorated it with white paper!


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Winterize Your Home with Bill Stubbs, Handmade Modern Holiday, The Lux for Less

-- allie

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December 02, 2009

Designer for a day!

Flor Wish you could custom create an area rug for your space?

Use FLOR’s design tool to mix-and-match styles to create just the look you’ve been dreaming of and email it to FLOR. Winners will receive their FLOR design complementary plus be featured on Entries due December 7, 2009.


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Floors Uncovered

-- allie

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June 30, 2009

Top Ten Modern Beach Houses


Looking out the window onto a gray rainy day and dreaming of these modern getaways - they're the top ten coolest beach houses. Each one features a modern layout, plenty of windows and is sitting on an ocean. The prices start at $12,000,000 and they're worth it.

Check them out here: Top 10 Luxury Beach Homes

Posted on June 30, 2009 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2009

Summer-ize your home

Francine Francine Gardener, owner and founder of Intrieurs, has a few afforable tips to update your home with the change of the season.

Perk it Up with Accessories: Changing your room’s accessories is an easy way to reflect the season and revitalize your décor with minimal cost. With summer coming, enhance your room with throw pillows and rugs of pretty floral and solid light colors. Remember to keep your darker colored and striped accessories on hand, as they are ideal for the fall.

Fresh Walls, Fresh Look: For a fresh summer look, paint your walls with a new white coat. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try some warm colors, like peach, rose or light yellow. For fall, paint your walls a cooler color, such as light green, pale blue or beige. Also try changing your artwork to reflect these colors as a simpler method to keep your home up-to-date with the season.

Give your Couch an Alter Ego: The proper slipcover can make your furniture look new in an instant. Use a crisp cotton or linen slipcover in a light, airy color for summer. For fall, use a deeper color of brushed cotton, velvet or wool.

Flower Power Your Home: Buy an inexpensive mixed bouquet from your local store for an easy, refreshing look. In summer, buy a bouquet of dahlias mixed with ivy. In the fall, pick bouquets that are bright, bold and rich. Calla lilies, hydrangeas and deep colored roses are particularly ideal for autumn.

Style yet Soothe Your Bedroom: If you have a wood floor in your bedroom, remove your rugs to make your room feel fresh and open. Use white bedding, particularly linen embroidered sheets, to enhance the summer feel of your bedroom. Cotton fabrics of subtle colors are perfect for autumn bedding.

Check out Pure Contemporary's Modern Home Makeovers!

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-- allie

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Posted on May 16, 2009 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

April 09, 2009

Ugliest Room Contest

The perfect forum for snarkiness and atonement, the Ugly Room Contest rewards decorating disasters while giving armchair designers abundant chances to be critical. I know I'm looking forward to seeing those pictures posted. Here's the info:

Just in time for spring cleaning, Apple Core Hotels (a group of five budget-friendly properties located in Manhattan) has decided to assist the design-challenged with the “Ugliest Room Contest."  Recently undergoing their own renovations, Apple Core Hotels wants others to join in their re-design excitement by giving fans a chance to win a little cash toward their own improvements.

For those with less than dashing digs, the process is simple.  Applicants are required to submit a photo and a brief description of their “ugly” rooms online here.   The site’s photo gallery will be regularly updated with cringe-worthy room nightmares.

The “grand prize” winner will receive a $75 American Express Gift Card; one randomly selected runner-up will receive a $25 American Express Gift card.

The contest is now open and closes on June 30th at midnight.  For more information about Apple Core’s Ugly Room Contest, please visit

Posted on April 9, 2009 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2009

Farmhouse Functionality

The kitchen of this house was built in 1740, and thus had lasted past its prime. We spoke with designers Sarah and Patrick Weber for the inside scoop!

Read full makeover


Before 3 

Before 4 

Before 5





1 vert

3 vert

5 vert

6 vert

-- allie

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February 17, 2009

Modern DIY

Sick as I may be about talking about penny-pinching, it's a reality for all of us. But being on a smaller budget doesn't have to mean forsaking style -- or home improvements.

My husband and I have FINALLY began to finish our basement a bit at a time. We're going for a funky, urban entertainment area. Bar, sleek sofa, low-lying coffee table, and artwork.

We have the sofa (a white three seater to be slip-covered in black, $79 from Ikea!), a glass-top coffee table (removed from our small-ish living room due to large dog), and my favorite find -- a 1960s buffet with sliding doors left by the previous homeowners, and now filled with various martini glasses and barware. This weekend I sanded it, painted it charcoal and white (remnants from my office remodel), and applied lacquer for a nice sheen. The only thing missing was wall art.

It may not seem like a big deal, but large artwork can become extremely costly. And then...

Wall art

Welcome to Textiles Art, a site loaded with fabrics, wall hanging kits, shower curtains, etc -- everything needed for those of us searching for mod, funky, inspiring textiles.

For $100 the Kippis design (above) in 44" x 54" and wall hanging kit is mine!

-- allie

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January 21, 2009

Tips for Modern Changes in Small Homes

Michelle With the dormant housing market and sluggish economy, many homeowners are making the decision to downsize to both save money and keep their homes. Smaller houses bring smaller living spaces that call for some creative design and decorating ideas. Michelle Rohrer-Lauer from Michelle’s Interiors in Grayslake, Illinois has the tips to the make the most out of small spaces in your home.

Brighten Things Up. One of the most important elements of making a small space appear larger is the choice of wall color. A bright color on the walls allows the natural and artificial lighting of the room to enhance the space and create a sense of openness. This does not mean that homeowners have to resort to desolate, white walls. Bright, organic colors, such as warm yellows and oranges or light cool blues and greens can bring an emotion into the space. Don’t forget that wallpaper is also making its comeback! Light, monochromatic wallpaper with a slight texture adds depth and brightness to a room.

Create an Optical Illusion. Decorating a small space should be approached strategically. Small spaces require an interior design that is somewhat simplistic and devoid of clutter, but that does not mean the room has to lack décor. Try one large piece of wall art or a decorative mirror to make the room appear larger. A mirror that reflects the entrance of a room gives the illusion of a larger space.

Be Selective about Furniture. In a small space, the choice of furniture pieces is all about keeping the eye level clear. So a few scaled, low pieces such as a simplistic love seat or sofa allow clear wall space and create the illusion of a larger space. Multifunctional pieces such as an ottoman or low table also fit the smaller-scaled criteria and can double as sitting space.

Posted on January 21, 2009 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

December 19, 2008

Gift Ideas for Modern Men

If Lifetime has taught us anything about men it's that we can't change them. When it comes to Christmas, that means we might as well just give them what they want, and new information shows that what they want is a "Man-Cave."

If they don't already have one, chances are their buddies do. According to a poll by, 40 percent of the respondents say there’s now a “Man Room” or “Man Cave” in their home.  Another 13 percent said their cave is in the planning or construction phase.

If your man already has an at home Cave, think about giving him a Man-Cave accessory like upgraded speakers, a contemporary recliner, or modern ottoman. If he's sharing an entertainment space with the rest of the family, think of something that would give his personality an imprint on the space. One big idea...76 percent of poll respondents say a flat screen is a must for their Man-Cave.

Looking for ideas on Man Cave decor? Check out this over-the-top designer Man Room.

Posted on December 19, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2008

Modern Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Time to think about table decor if you're entertaining for the holidays, or just like to get into the spirit.

We've been looking for modern centerpieces that will add style without taking over. Our criteria were simple: it had to be simple to make from easy to find items. Here's what we've come up with so far...

Martha's Modern Touch:
Oh, Martha, you're rarely if ever mentioned over here, though we've long admired everything you do. Thanks for serving up these modern tablescape ideas.


A cluster of towers made from stacked patterned ceramics forms a graphic, sculptural centerpiece that will decorate your table day in and day out -- no green thumb needed. If you don't have an extra set of dishes lying around, you can buy great inexpensive rice bowls at an Asian outlet or pick up mixed sets at flea markets.  See more from Martha here


Although they are traditional fall-decorating fodder, these gourds manage to look surprisingly fresh -- evocative of modernist ceramics. Mixing painted bowls made from dried gourds with a pair of whole crook necks gives the autumnal standbys a life beyond the Thanksgiving table. Once you've arranged the gourds themselves, fill the bowls with natural, textured accents, like nuts and leaves, as well as a few shiny trimmings (such as the gold seed-pods shown here, available prepainted at craft stores) for even more color and contrast. More like this from Martha here

Dwell Studio's Thanksgiving Table-setting:


Christine Lemieux's of Dwell Studio is taking a laid back, sophisticated approach...

I decided on a simple, monochromatic backdrop; I plan to use our Sketch place mats and runners, paired with Bodoni napkins - the subtle, graphic black and white are the ideal starting point for any table setting. To warm things up, I’ll add some vintage brass flatware, and serving bowls with a beautiful gold interior. Remember, dinner is the center of attention, so I’ll use a monochromatic centerpiece: a grouping of white vases and vessels I have around the house, plus some gourds, spray painted white.

What are you up to, dear readers? Snap a shot of your Thanksgiving table and Email Me.

Posted on November 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (3) | TrackBack

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