Monthly Archives: July 201627

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How to Achieve (and Love) Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

Like Skippy or Jif, Team Edward or Team Jacob, everyone seems to have a firm opinion about open shelving.

Some love the modern trend; using open shelving not only in the kitchen, but throughout their homes displaying nicknacks, keeping track of necessities, and storing collections in a creative way.

Others abhor the open option; I’ve heard their concern about grease, bugs, and worse of all, clutter. Are these cons worthy of consideration? Yes. Are they deal breakers for the open shelving design trend? Absolutely not.

Image: Tipfords

When done right, open shelving does double duty as both storage and decor in the kitchen. It makes locating and grabbing often used dishes and utensils a breeze. It creates a brand new look with things you already own.

Here are some of my favorite ways to achieve open shelving in your kitchen:

Make the most of your most-used

Plates, bowls, glasses, and mugs. The things you use every day should be the things that play starring roles on your shelving. Not only does this make things easier to get at daily, it also combats the biggest complaint of open shelving: dust and other icky things finding their way into your tableware. Constant use will keep them clean, as most things should end up going through the dishwasher in a weeks time. Keeping your open shelves further from the stove also will keep the grease down.

Stay accountable

We could all use something to keep us a bit more accountable, right? Give editing your clothes a break and take a turn filtering through your kitchen collection. Putting your items on a display means you’ll have to curate what you have to keep from looking cluttered. That’s a designer’s way of saying you need to get rid of things that aren’t useful or necessary.


Image: Pinterest

Embrace the ease

Open shelving gets a bad rap because we tend to associate things that are artistic and arranged with being fragile and permanent. Lay out your open shelving in a way that makes sense to you. Get a stepstool if you need to for reaching higher shelves. Make things convenient, and change them up if they aren’t. After all, this is how restaurant kitchens do it (and they’re in the business of making cooking easy).

Make room for the ugly

While you’re “being accountable”, don’t worry too much about pitching every kitchen staple. It won’t all look good on display, and that’s OK. In my ideal kitchen, a mixture of cabinets and open shelving wins out — a bit of relief from having everything out in the open. My Tupperware doesn’t need to see the light of day.


Image: Pinterest

And the heavy

Inconvenient, unattractive, and dangerous. Three reasons as to why you shouldn’t be putting your blender, your Kitchenaid, or other heavy items up on an open shelf. Save the bulk for the bottom, where it’s easier to retrieve when you need it and hide when you don’t.

Showcase your serveware

Open shelving is a way to decorate with your dishes. Chances are you still love the dining set that you got from your wedding or scored from a sale at Crate and Barrel. Personally, I dream of a kitchen with a few pops of color a la Anthropologie bowls. Vary the heights of your objects, and don’t be afraid to color coordinate your collections.


Image: James Dixon

Buy in bulk

Save all kinds of green — both your wallet and the environment benefit when you buy dry goods in bulk. Find a few perfectly mismatched glass jars, or take a trip to The Container Store and give a new home to your pastas, nuts, beans and other pantry essentials. Your investment in a few reusable, stylish storage containers will more than pay off in the long run.

Get artsy

Open shelving shouldn’t cause stress, it should inspire creativity! Perhaps the best part about it is the way you can personalize it with small decorations. Cookbooks, vases, and my favorite of all, plants, are all simple ways to jazz up your kitchen. Change up the details with the seasons, or with your mood. Above is my ideal setup — I adore all-white kitchens.

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with open shelving, or what you plan to do with your kitchen storage in the future. Reach out to Freshome on social media or in the comments below!

Want more? See more tips and inspiration for open shelving from Freshome here: Clever Open Shelving Ideas to Divide and Conquer Your Space

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A Charming Marmalade Factory Conversion in Poland

Loft in Marmalade got its quirky name from the building’s history as part of a marmalade factory in Szczecin, Poland that was active until the start of WWII. The design firm Loft Szczecin went to pains to keep much of the original character of the building for an outcome that is unexpected and unique.

Loft Szczecin’s design centers on connecting the updated space to its rich history and maintaining authenticity. They preserved the original wooden floors running through most of the apartment’s four separated spaces. Historic flooring complements the warm character of the its exposed brick archways and barrel vaulted ceiling.

Barrel Vaulted Ceiling

The design firm sourced décor from the 1950s and 60s in countries around Europe, including Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland, and the Netherlands. These mid-century modern pieces add to the loft’s vintage cred. For the kitchen, they custom built furniture out of a light plywood that contrasts beautifully with the floors and made counter tops of classic white marble. [Photography and information courtesy of Loft Szczecin]


Side table





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14 Simple Shibori Projects To DIY This Summer

Tie-dye is all grown up and back in our homes. Long gone are the rainbow hues that are admittedly more boho than chic. Here to stay are the subdued, intricate, and unique patterns of shibori dying.

Call it the older, cooler sibling of the classic childhood tie-dye projects, or just call it the new way to decorate your home. Either way, we think shibori is the dip-dye style that is here to stay.

Image: from HonestlyWTF

The king of all shibori tutorials on the internet come from this blog, with an endless number of ways to twist, pinch, scrunch and tie eye-catching dye designs for any of the below projects.

Shibori Throw Pillow DIY from Room for Tuesday

This intricate and interesting how-to shows us the many ways to create shibori patterns with things already laying around the house.


Image: Altard State

DIY Shibori Indigo Tapestry from Altard State

Go big or go home. Or go to college, or a new apartment, because this DIY wall hanging is perfect for transforming a wall without paint or gaping holes.


Image: the nest

DIY Shibori Tablecloth from the nest

The nest blog used this geometric-meets-bohemian tablecloth as a holiday table staple, but it wouldn’t be out of place come summer. Simple dishes and a bright centerpiece (they used a bowl of oranges) and this table is ready to party.


Image: Sweet Paul

Shibori Lunch Bags from Sweet Paul Magazine

Hand sewn lunch bags are already just about as cool as it gets, only one-upped when first dyed in shibori style. Make a few, as we think all of your coworkers will want one as well.


Image: Alice & Lois

DIY Shibori Indigo Bookmark from Alice & Lois

What will you do with all of the scraps from your larger shibori projects? Enter these bookmarks, which can be made in a flash with minimal materials. The suede tie is a great finishing touch on these book bound beauties.

Shibori Tie-Dye Cloth Napkins from A Beautiful Mess

This Crate and Barrel hack is sure to add a bit of print and a lot of conversation to any dinner table. The tutorial for this also includes a napkin dyed pink; not technically “shibori”, but definitely stylish.


Image: jojotastic

How to Ice Dye by jojotastic

Another faux-shibori look is probably the project I’m most likely to try first. Mostly because it’s one of those DIYs that requires zero hard work, which are hard to come by. A little ice, a sprinkle of dye, and a bit of patience results in a dramatic throw blanket.

Indigo Tea Towel DIY from Francois et Moi

A few flour sacks and a dye kit are all you need to create these fun tea towels, which bring a pop of pattern to any kitchen.

DIY Boho Shade Sail from Frugal Living Adventures

Sticks and stones… can create a backyard focal point? This sail gives plenty of shade, a cool bohemian look, and a reason to host an outdoor party ASAP. Pair with string lights for the ultimate ambiance.


Image: Whitney Donae

DIY Indigo Wall Art by Whitney Donae

Adding art to a room can make a space go from looking dumpy to designer. These wall art pieces can be made quickly and like all shibori has infinite possibilities for pattern play. Even small framed pieces are sure to make a big statement.


Image: Lovely Indeed

DIY Indigo Shibori Dyed Placemats from Lovely Indeed

Throw down these placemats on an outdoor table for instant summer style. They may even make spills and drips a little less noticeable, too. I’m going to need the dipped wooden flatware in this blog, as well.


Image: Alice & Lois

DIY Shibori Wall Hanging by Alice & Lois

Weaving for wall art seems like fun, until about row five. Give your walls a touch of textile faster and easier with this simple wall hanging tutorial. This is another great project for those who can’t do permanent damage to walls — lightweight fabric means that one small nail gives life to a large piece of art.

Indigo Blue Textile Kit by Yellow Owl Workshop

Save yourself a confusing trip to the craft store and grab this all-in-one kit from Yellow Owl Workshop, our go-to for all kind of craft kits. This one comes with a dripless applicator, so the technique is a little different from traditional tie-dying, but a lot less messy, too.

Did you give any of these DIYs a try? I’d love to see pictures! Send us your shibori successes on social media, or reach out to us in the comments below.

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NYC Hotel Feels Like Your Own Apartment on Park

It’s not easy to stand out in the renowned NYC hotel market, but Maramara Park Avenue has caught travelers’ attention with rooms that feel like your own New York apartment on Park and a spa straight out of the Mediterranean. The company enlisted a team of NYC designers for this project, architecture firm Ismael Leyva Architects and interior designer Joe Ginsberg.

The spark that lit up the Maramara is its range of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and penthouse options that all take away the feeling that you’re in a hotel. This homey vibe brought in celebrity Elle Macphereson who called it her “home away from home” for New York business trips.

NYC skyline

The opulent lobby and spa, however, make sure guests have all of the glamour and amenities of a traditional New York City hotel. An arched vestibule of 670 pieces of faceted steel centered over a large bronze door makes for a stunning entryway. This is one of many artistic pieces that were custom-designed for the hotel by artisans in New Jersey and New York, including Ginsberg himself.

The basement spa links this hotel to the Turkish roots of the Maramara chain with its traditional white marble Turkish hammam for luxurious baths. [Photography courtesy of Joe Ginsberg and The Maramara and information courtesy of Travel + Leisure, The Wall Street Journal, and Cool Hunting]


Glass vestibule


Birds sculpture

Dining area

Art and bedroom

Living area


Living area 2

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Complex Holiday Home Overlooks the Indian Ocean

Named Beachyhead, this complex modern residence by SAOTA makes the most of its privileged location in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The site slopes down to the beach and has uninterrupted views over the Indian Ocean, Robberg to the South East and the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance towards the North.

The clients approached SAOTA to design a family holiday home that responded to the site, especially the views. “They wanted a relaxing, yet elegant home that would be comfortable when entertaining many guests whilst also feeling intimate and cozy when few people are around”, said director and project leader Phillippe Fouché.

modern residence (1)The house was conceived as a simple box, floating over the dune, capturing and framing the views. The outer shell of the box is finished in a rough textured concrete, contrasting with the smooth reveal and soffit that tapers to create a delicate frame.

All living spaces are concealed on the lower level, with the bedroom wing floating above. The stone plinth below accommodates a games room, large guest suite, audio-visual room and service spaces behind.

The main bedroom is placed on the higher part of the upper level to take advantage of the ocean views. All bedrooms’ en-suite bathrooms and dressing rooms open up to the ocean views. Timber shutters provide privacy to the gallery-like bedroom passage, while protecting the façade from the afternoon sun. [Photography by Adam Letch; information provided by SAOTA]
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Bright Red House Nestled in a Norwegian River Valley

Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects (JVA) completed Red House in a wooded river valley outside of Oslo, using a concept and color that vividly stand out in this natural setting. The house is positioned perpendicularly to the river to accentuate the slope of the land and minimize obstructing views for their neighbors up the riverbank.

Living space is divided between two floors with the majority of activity occurring on the second floor. This area was designed to frame views of the wide river valley to the south. Large glass windows run across the length of the second floor to connect indoor living with the scenery outside.

Red House

In contrast, the lower floor with children’s bedrooms is oriented north toward the numerous trees in this area. Long windows are used here on the opposite side of the house to pull attention to the woods outside.

A bright red exterior adds to the dynamism of JVA’s double orientation concept. They explain that it “reflects the temperament of the client.” [Photography and information courtesy of Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects].

S design




Snow patio

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For California Jamba Juice, Fresh Inspiration is Just Outside the Door

Jamba Juice’s recently opened Innovation Bar in Pasadena, California showcases a fresh new design idea completed by Bestor Architecture, one that combines branding with local influences. The idea is to make stores stand out from the generic, repetitive experience found at most chains.

Bestor noticed similarities between the bright colors used in Jamba Juice stores and those used by the late Deborah Sussman in her eye-catching Los Angeles designs from the 1980s. Bestor’s design updates this palette of vibrant colors by blowing it up into supergraphics on the wall. These play well with the restaurant’s seafoam green walls and light wood accents.

Wooden bar

The store’s location has a rich history. This building itself served the community as a drugstore in the 1940s and has a landmarked exterior. Bestor embedded that character in her design with a tin ceiling and deep moldings that evoke the structure’s historic roots.

The real goal of Jamba Juice’s Innovation Bar is to build part of the community. So while paying homage to local designs, Bestor also tried to create a space where people can work and relax. She calls it “slow casual.” [Photography and information courtesy of Fast Company]

Chatting in the afternoon


Fresh veggies

Cash register



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Seattle Artists Turn Their Unused Horse Stable into a Studio Space

The owners of this property outside of Seattle, Washington—a UX designer and the head of a non-profit with a knack for painting—moved to raise their daughters in the Pacific Northwest. The Bridle Trails Neighborhood where they landed is dotted with horse stables that were of no use to the family, but it gave SHED Architecture and Design’s plenty to work with in their Stable Conversion project.

Work space

The detached space functions primarily as a studio for working and painting, but yellow barn doors slide across the room to reveal an extra sleeping area for visiting grandparents, a bathroom, and other hidden surprises. They are a thoughtful link back to the building’s original function and a central element of the design with 15 different position combinations for flexible use.

The front, western-facing wall includes thin windows bring light into the space for a functional and relaxing work space. In the evening, they are perfectly oriented for Washington’s wonderful sunset views. [Photography and information courtesy of SHED Architecture and Design, Dwell, and This is Paper]


Relaxing space

Main room

Barn doors


Outdoor space

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Chic Apartment for Young Couple in Taipei

This chic, modern apartment located on the outskirts of Taipei, Taiwan was tailored to the lifestyle of a young couple working in the product design industry. The idea behind the project was to have a flexible space for living, as well as for the designers to bring their ideas into play.

“The clients often have business trips, so they are quite accustomed to the hotel-style rooms and traffic lines,” the developing team at Ganna Design said. “Therefore, they hoped to have a quiet space back in Taiwan.”
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The layout of the initial apartment was significantly improved: “We changed the original four bedrooms to three bedrooms, including two bedrooms and an open working area which can be used as a guest room,” the architects said. “In addition, we exchanged the position of the kitchen with the guest bathroom in order to expand the scale of the common area and to smooth the overall moving lines.”

The hostess likes black, white and grey and wanted to mix these hues creatively inside her home. A lounge chair in bright yellow, orange and red adds a twist to the open plan and monochromaticity of the living room. On top of that, extensive use of wood makes the apartment feel welcoming. An array of display cabinets ensures flexible storage options throughout. Enjoy the virtual gallery and let us know what you think! [Photography and information provided by Ganna Design]
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Vivid Apartment in Singapore Inspired by Pop Imagery, Street Art

This vivid apartment design in Singapore was inspired by street art and pop imagery. Envisioned by KNQ Associates, for a restless bachelorette, the project successfully integrates a collection of toys, art and wacky objects.

Upon entry, one is struck by the blue of the metal cladding the walls that extend around the corner to the living area. Perforated screens provide a ventilated facade for shoe storage besides the main door. “Imagining the whole space as a street, we brought in humble materials like concrete, cement screed, bricks (white-washed and stripped down) and pavers to tell the story,” the architects said.

The street lamp post lends a whimsical touch to the ‘al-fresco cafe’ dining corner while the graphical patterns on the rug in front of the sofa remind one of a collage of ceramic tiles on the floor. Prints by UK street artist Eelus inject the interiors with bright pop hues.
modern apartment (1)A window opening created on the kitchen wall offers a glimpse of the action in the hall and illuminates the cooking space. The accent square tiles provide visual stimuli with the seemingly hand-drawn graphics. A weathered timber panelling hides the house shelter door from view.

One of the three bedrooms is a clear tribute to Piet Mondrian’s compositions with red, yellow and blue. In the study room, doors in various looks group together in a seemingly haphazard arrangement on the overhead storage unit, a move which is inspired by the works of contemporary Swedish artist Michael Johannson.

In the bathrooms, images by Italian painter Piero Fornasetti add an element of surprise and challenge the notion that bathrooms should look either formal or opulent. [Photography and information courtesy of KNQ Associates]
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