Home Library Design in Any Space

Incorporating a home library design into your space can be extremely appealing to the eye and add a lot of warmth to any apartment or house. However, it can pose some challenges. For example, what do you do when you live in a small apartment or studio, or have no shelves to put the books on? That’s when you need to get creative because a home library design can involve anything from putting up shelves yourself to buying the correct piece for the space.

Fill the Space

Now, if you are living in a studio or apartment there is one thing each of these has in common, walls. There are always bare walls that need to be filled. A great way to help make a library blend into the room is by matching it to the same color as the walls. For example, take two stand alone bookcases and push them together to fill a bit of unused wall space. Pushing them together makes it look more like one piece of furniture verses two separate bookcases. Once pushed together, feel free to spread out books, artwork, small trinkets from traveling, and other items to make it your own. If you are crafty, go out and buy two cabinet doors and add them to the bottom of the bookcase. This will create the illusion of the bookcase being more of a focus piece and will also allow you to stash some items in it — great for storing items you don’t want people to see.

Going Up

Another creative idea is to go vertical and use the wall space in terms of height. A lot of people forget how much space they have if they were to add shelves or do something nontraditional, like adding shadow boxes. These can go anywhere, take up no room, and require very little installation. If you buy small shadow boxes, they can be installed in minutes with only two screws. It keeps the books organized, gives you more storage space, and doesn’t take up floor space. You can group the storage cubes or put them above a desk. Again, take advantage of their design and use them as a focal piece by painting them a different color or hide them by painting them the same color as the walls.

Finally, you might want to think about installing a floor to ceiling bookshelf. Although it will take up some space, it also provides limitless opportunities for you to show off your items. The bookshelves can be customized with some shelves being larger than others, making it look like it was made for your apartment. You can also take some cute baskets and add them throughout the bookcase. This allows you to still be able to hide stuff and makes your items look less cluttered. Consider adding a painting or some modern art to help it feel like an addition to your space.

For more ideas on home library design try visiting some creative websites like Architecture Art Design or Lus Home. Good luck!

Image Source: Flickr/brewbooks

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Home Tip of the Day: Valentine’s Day Home Decor Ideas

Decorating your home for Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Here are some simple ways to make your home feel more romantic this Valentine’s Day.

For other helpful home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

*Header Image Courtesy of: Randy Heinitz

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Designer Homes: Wearable is the New Liveable

We wear designer labels, we eat in designer restaurants, we stay in designer hotels, so it’s only natural that we now can live in designer homes. Luxury fashion brands like Fendi, Versace, Armani, and Missoni are trying their hand at home design with beautiful results. In the September issue of Previews Inside Out®, we caught up with Women’s Wear Daily senior fashion features editor Marc Karimzadeh to get his take on this phenomenon.

Karimzadeh talks home decor, branded real estate trends and general wearable design. He even spills the beans on some of fall and winter fashion trends to watch for! Though, one of my favorite parts of the interview is when Karimzadeh talks about Fendi’s first branded real estate project in Miami and the one surprising thing missing from the designer home.

Check out this month’s issue of Previews Inside out to find out if Karimzadeh predicts that we’ll see more of these kinds of concepts in the future. For all of us fashionistas out there, I hope so!

You don’t have to buy a designer home to live in luxury. The exceptional awaits at coldwellbankerpreviews.com.

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10 Design Ideas to Help Freshen Up Your Bathroom

One of our favorite boards on our Pinterest page is our gorgeous bathrooms board. This collection of bathrooms from coldwellbanker.com listings includes an interesting variety of modern, traditional and unique decor styles that inspired us to create a round up of our favorites. Whether you are looking for ways to refresh your decor or seeking remodeling ideas, this compilation has a little something for everyone.

Medina, WA 

Issaquah, WA 

Chicago, IL

Bellevue, WA 

Westport, CT 

Bellevue, WA 

Portland, OR 

Bellevue, WA 

Portland, OR 

Lake Country, BC 

To see more lovely bathrooms check out our Pinterest page.

Follow Coldwell Banker’s board Gorgeous Bathrooms on Pinterest.

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Optimizing Your Small Kitchen to Reach Its Potential

Contribution by Andrea DavisHomeAdvisor

Small kitchens can be difficult to work in, especially when you need to cook meals for families or host parties. You need everything to be accessible, and you don’t want to be squeezing past others as you’re preparing meals. You’d like a bigger space, but the cost of a complete kitchen remodel might not be in your budget. So how do you compromise?

The answer: small kitchens can be bigger if you’re willing to make adjustments and downsize in a few areas. Here are some recommendations for optimizing your small kitchen space so everyone can cook without compromise:

Create more storage space

To make sure all of your spices, herbs and dinnerware are easily accessible in a small area, optimize your cabinets by installing lazy susans and pull-out shelves. That way you can easily roll them out without having to be right in front of the cabinet, and you’ll have more room for storage than just what you can reach in the cabinet with your hands. It’s quick, efficient and doesn’t require installing new cabinets.

Install built-in cabinets

image via Guthrie Kitchen and Bath Plus, LLC

To save on space around the kitchen and avoid hitting your head, built-in cabinets are an effective storage option. They are long and tall, but they’ll be a bit thinner. A cabinet specialist can also cut out a space in the wall itself for additional shelving. That will maximize space while still optimizing for storage. Other built-in cabinet options include underneath the countertops, sink or an island. They should open up space for more storage rather than eliminate room.

Add more by decreasing sink size

Sinks are good for washing vegetables, meat, fruits and sometimes dishes. However, they don’t need to be as large as they often are when installed in kitchens, especially small ones. Consider replacing your large sink with a smaller one to save counter space. You will still have room in the sink to wash vegetables and meat, and there’s an even better appliances for washing dishes: a dishwasher.

Consider a pull-out countertop extension

image via Kopke Home Enhancement, Inc

If you need more countertop space for preparing meats, pastries or other dishes for dinner, it’s always possible to have a pull-out countertop installed underneath the edge of the counter to use when needed. That way you optimize the kitchen space while having the added luxury of more prep space. It will take a countertop professional to install this, but it won’t take them long or require being out of the kitchen like a remodel would.

Replace some appliances with their smaller counterparts

Large appliances—stoves, ovens, ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators—take up a good amount of space and can take away from other items living in a small kitchen. It might serve you better to replace some with smaller alternatives. If you don’t need to do dishes very often, it might be better to have a smaller dishwasher. If you don’t need a lot of groceries at any one time, consider a smaller refrigerator. The same applies if you don’t cook very often with stoves, ovens and ranges. One of the best options for microwaves is to install a built-in one above your range, which will save on countertop space without compromising on kitchen necessities.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine

See more of the home featured in the cover photo here.

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DIY Garden Decor Ideas

If you love spending your weekend at home nestled within your garden, primping and perfecting each flower and shrub, you’ve come to the right place. In honor of the Summer season, here are some beautiful and outrageously cute garden and yard decor inspirations.

My favorite garden design has to be the potters made from colorful children’s rain boots. What’s yours?

 

How could you resist hopping scotch on this pathway!

 

Align these little feet along side your garden’s entrance. 

 

These old cans are perfect for kids to create their own designs on. 

 

How cool?!

 

Yes, I consider this corn wreath decor. And it serves a duel purpose!

 

Succulents are all the rage right now. Their beautiful and unique shapes and sizes are perfect for adding something special to your garden. 

 

The holes in colanders are perfect for draining your plants’ excess water. 

 

Characters made from planters, perfect for Halloween as well. 

 

Put old rain boots to good use by making them into pots. A great recycling idea.

To see more landscape and garden inspiration check our Pinterest page.

Follow Coldwell Banker’s board Landscape and Gardening Inspiration on Pinterest.

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14 Incredible Outdoor Living Spaces

I’m not sure about you but I adore being outdoors during the summer months. Imagine with me, if you will, the beautiful feeling of a breeze grazing your skin and how great the sun feels too. Magic! Pair that with being surrounded by family and friends and you’ve got perfection.

Here are 14 incredible outdoor living spaces, pulled from Coldwell Banker listings, that I think embody what it means to have the ultimate outdoor living space.

First–keep in mind if you are pondering over whether to add an outdoor living space or kitchen to your home, the potential, or lack thereof, for return on investment. If you happen to live in geographical areas that don’t experience many warm months you might end up losing in the long run. If the outdoor space will not be a feature used much, it won’t be very valuable to the home.

 

Pacific Palisades, CA $11,380,000

 

Honolulu, HI $3,900,000

 

Malibu, CA $11,750,000

 

Medina, WA $4,588,000

 

San Antonio, TX $675,000

 

Mercer Island $5,695,000

 

Malibu, CA $24,950,000

 

Traverse City, MI $5,500,000

 

Boca Raton, FL $4,999,000

 

Heath, TX $2,275,000

 

Prospect, KY $895,000

 

Woody Creek $5,995,000

Miami Beach, FL $19,000,000

 

Aspen, CO $19,500,000

To see more beautiful outdoor spaces and kitchens check out our Pinterest page!

Follow Coldwell Banker’s board Outdoor Living on Pinterest.

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The Best New Luxury Design Showroom in Manhattan

The following is a guest blog post from interior designer, Brian del Toro.

When starting a project with a new client and budget is an issue, clients begin to show me things they like from catalogs and websites. But everyone is looking at the same sites and catalogs, so it makes it hard to find unique pieces that can really set your room apart. This is why I was so happy to find a new favorite resource for stylish, affordable items that don’t look like they came from page 5 of “you-know-that-catalog.”

Michael Dawkin’s new showroom on east 59th street is the new gem in New York’s Upper East Side design district. Mr. Dawkins, who for many years has been known for his jewelry designs, opened an interior shop in Miami seven years ago. His exciting new shop, here in New York had its grand opening in January.

A chic, limited palate in white, black and beige allows one to take in all the details of the furniture from Italian and American sources, as well as one of a kind pieces, accessories, and art work, without distraction.

There is an unmistakable nod to classic items, as well as much more gallery-like, unique pieces that allow for a an interior with a not-your-cookie-cutter look. Upholstery can be custom ordered and many items are in stock or have short lead times.

Some of my favorite items include the “Cain Chair” which is made of indoor/outdoor materials, so it works equally well on a covered porch, around a pool, or even as a stylish accent piece in an interior space and is priced at $2,125

MD rug

The shop has some wonderful rugs, always a necessity for starting a stylish room, and difficult to find when one is trying not be break the bank and still keep your chic quota up. Their “Chris Cross Rug” at 16′x16′ which is $15,500 is a room size rug in a graphic lattice pattern. The soft, aged quality of its black and white stitched fabrics are a perfect quality to offset the more ridged quality of the pattern, making it the perfect starting point in a room. It would be beautiful to add color in ones furnishings sitting on this rug, to make, for example, and black white and baby blue living room.

image

The “Spin Table” with a black oak top and blackened steel base is useful, perfectly sized table. We all love a round dining table, but if they are too big, your guests will feel too estranged from the person seated across from them. I’d love to see this table used as in a semi-formal dining room with either antique or contemporary chairs around it. It is $7,500.

 

MD tray

Accessories are terribly hard to find, and trays, which I find incredibly useful are even more so. One of my favorite they offer is made of nickel and a very heavy acrylic. Aside from their many uses in entertaining and serving, I love to use trays on top of upholstered ottomans when coffee tables, so along with being able to put ones feet up, you have a place to put your cocktail. In the very useful 31.5″x 19.5″ size it is $1,935!

I’m pleased to have Michael Dawkins new shop in my list of go to stops! This shop allows one to choose a variety of stylish, contemporary pieces that are not out of the box, nor do the break the bank. There are pieces here that have a variety of uses, from a sophisticated apartment in the city to a update casual beach house. Mr. Dawkins shop is a wonderful alternative to all the sources out there which are readily recognizable, and will give an interior a one of kind look.

 

Started in 2010, Brian del Toro INC is a small interior design firms that offers design services ranging from decoration, renovations and architectural design, all focused on creating classic, livable, friendly spaces. The firm specializes in personalized service, specifically tailored to each project, allowing clients to achieve interiors that are reflection of them and their lifestyles, in a stylish, comfortable way.

Brian has over 20 years of experience working on projects of all scopes and sizes, and has worked with some of the most venerable firms of the 20th century including, Parish-Hadley, David Kleinberg Design Associates, and Bunny Williams Inc. Brian’s website is http://briandeltoro.com/

 

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5 Design Trends from ‘American Hustle’

To many Hollywood insiders, the race for the “Best Picture” award for this year’s Academy Awards has come down to ’12 Years a Slave’ and the 10 time nominated film, ‘American Hustle‘. Centered around the 1978 “Abscam” scandal, the film features a world class cast set in a perfectly recreated late 1970s landscape – colorful shirts, perms, velour couches and all.

As is usually the case with all things design, we seem to revisit the past often and use it as inspiration for the clothes we wear and furniture we buy. Over the better part of the last 7-8 years, our obsession with 1960s vintage fashion, music and home decor has dominated the American aesthetic. As the 1960s craze tapers off a bit, the colorful and diverse palette of the 1970s has begun to creep its way into design and the wildly popular and superbly art directed ‘American Hustle’ has only fanned those flames.

Here’s a look at 5 interesting home design and decor trends from American Hustle to keep an eye out for in 2014:

Patterned Wallpaper 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

The set designer of ‘American Hustle’ attempted to highlight “Rosalyn’s”  over-the-top personality by designing a home for her with an equally bold aesthetic that still felt real. While you’d be hard pressed to find a home with such bold decor choices in it; the patterned wallpaper is a trend we’ve seen in more and more homes hitting the market. Take a look at this $925,000 home in Pine Township, PA that highlights the return of this oft forgotten trend.

Pine Township 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Bold Pops of Color 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Amy Adams’ character is less rooted in the more blue collar design trends of the 1970s and instead opted for more clean and timeless choices in her home. While her NYC apartment is dominated by stunning oak floors and white sofas, she wasn’t afraid to add spice to her spaces by adding bright pops of color. Of all the trends from the 70s that have begun to make a comeback, bright color choices is the one catching on in a big way. Take a look at this stunning $3,950,000 estate in Bainbridge Island, WA for a spot on example.

Washington home 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Carpet Makes a Comeback 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Carpeted floors seem to have gotten a bad wrap over the past decade or so for being hard to clean and easy to dirty. With that being said, they are pretty comfortable to walk on and they do add a certain warmth and coziness to a room that’s hard to get with solid wood floors. Carpet aficionados fear not, it appears as if there may be a comeback imminent!  Take a look at this stunning $3,395,000 home in Minnetonka, MN for an example of the the resurgence of carpet!

Rug2 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Warm Woods and Dark Browns 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

You can’t have a discussion on home decor from the 1970s without bringing up warm woods and the color brown! According to The Decor Lounge, the usage of modern and warm woods and browns “was impacted by the continuing inspiration of Space Age technologies and the availability of new materials.” Wood floors have been “a thing” for a long time but the confluence of clean lined wood and browns all together in one room have been seldom seen until recently. Take a look at this $5.5 million waterfront home in Edgewater, MD for a great example.

Edgewater 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Patterned Tiles 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

While all white subway tiles have had their heyday as of late in the design world, colored and patterned tiles (especially in bathrooms) are a trend to keep an eye out for in 2014. This bathroom from the club scene in American Hustle depicts a bold dark look with three distinct patterns on the floor and walls. While this multi-layered approach to tile work may seem a bit strong, we’ve begun to see scaled down versions of this look and even more jaw dropping uses of colored tiles in bathrooms. Take a look at this truly unique $17 million estate in Weston, MA for an example of out of this world tiling.

Rug 2 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Well there’s a look at the top 5 1970s inspired design and decor trends from ‘American Hustle’. As you can see from the various listings you can find on coldwellbanker.com, it seems as if the 70s are indeed coming back. Be sure to tune in to the Oscars this coming Sunday for a look at the debut of our “Your Home” ad.

*Images Courtesy of Domaine Home and The Decor Lounge

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’500 Days of Summer’ Inspired Home Design

During a recent rainy fall weekend I re-watched the 2009 indie hit 500 Days of Summer starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt. Now that I am in full fledged furnish my new home mode (more to come on that later); I was impressed with how the film used apartment design and decor to amplify the subtleties of the two main characters.

The film is bathed in an appreciation of all-things quirky and vintage but without being too contrived or “thrift shoppy”. This is no more evident then in the apartments of the two main characters Tom Hanson and Summer Finn. Searches for ‘Apartments from 500 Days of Summer’ or ‘Summer Finn Apartment’ yield tens of thousands of results on Google, and that’s because these two homes have some really unique and striking design elements that could be easily replicated.

Here are some of our favorite design items from 500 Days of Summer:

Tom’s Chalkboard Wall + Headboard

The staple of Tom’s bedroom and the central part of one of the coolest montages in the film is the huge chalkboard wall he has behind his bed. Tom uses his talent for drawing to the fullest by drawing a headboard and using the wall as a canvas for his drawings that serve as the inspiration for his return to architecture. Seeing how I can’t draw at all, I would use the chalkboard to pen inspirational daily quotes, to-do-lists and even intersperse posters and cool art throughout.

You could achieve the chalkboard wall look fairly easily by purchasing some high quality chalkboard paint from your local hardware store.

500+apartment 500 Days of Summer Inspired Home Design

tumblr m6v5rpHAaI1qbwjnko1 r1 1280 600x249 500 Days of Summer Inspired Home Design

Pops of Color and Wallpaper

Contrary to Tom’s apartment, Summer’s home is full of energetic blues and refreshing white colors throughout that really open up the space. While the fictional character has great taste in colors, the real tour de force here is the unusual and bold blue toile wallpaper you see throughout the home. According to Casa Sugar, “French toile patterns date back to the 17th century, and they saw a rejuvenation in popularity about 10 years ago, when an antique or country look in interiors became popular.”

While blue wallpaper may be a bit much for most spaces, consider the impact it would have as an accent wall or as a companion piece to accentuate otherwise muted pieces, like duvets, pillowcases or even curtains. Ikea (a favorite hangout from the film) has a very similar duvet cover set.

fashionblogcococouture 500 Days of Summer Inspired Home Design

love and velvet 500 Days of Summer Inspired Home Design

Lights as Decorations

From her clothes to the color on her walls, Zooey Deschanel’s character in the film has an infatuation with the color blue (so do we!), and she ties it all together in her bedroom by tying funky but understated blue lights around the head of her wrought iron antique bed frame.

high heelfoot 500 Days of Summer Inspired Home Design

In the famous “Reality vs. Expectations” scene towards the end of the film, we see an expert use of ambient lights and lanterns on her roofdeck to set the right atmosphere. While the rooftop lights look great during the day, they look even more magical during the night. How would you use lanterns and lights inside and outside (backyard/patio/roof) to set a festive and relaxing ambiance?

Roof Deck 500 Days of Summer Inspired Home Design

These ’500 Days of Summer’ inspired design ideas can be achieved for little investment and can be implemented on your own for the most part. The philosophy behind the decor from the film seems to be one rooted in a vintage aesthetic powered by what speaks to you most. For example, if you’re really into literature or art, find cool ways to pull aspects of your favorite story into your decor somehow; like how Summer has an old top hat on her coffee table with an apple on it as an homage to her favorite painting from René Magritte.

*First Image Courtesy of: Emily Henderson / *Second Image Courtesy of: Lost and Fawned / *Third Image Courtesy of: The Stylish Fashion Blog / *Fourth Image Courtesy of: Lost and Fawned / *Fifth Image Courtesy of: High-Heeled / *Featured & Sixth Image Courtesy of: Apartment Therapy

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