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16 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

7 Ways to Stop Hating Your Small KitchenImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

 

So what if size isn’t on your kitchen’s side? You know the old “fake it ’til you make it” saying? Well, it applies to kitchen design, too! So, if your cook space’s dimensions have got you down, try these easy, foolproof tricks to make your kitchen feel and look bigger than it actually is.


1. 
Install a Vertical Backsplash

Install a Vertical BacksplashImage Source: Annie Schlechter for Domino

Want to visually increase your room’s dimensions? Simply turn subway tile on its head. Laying out the tiles vertically (rather than horizontally) draws the eye upward, making a kitchen ceiling appear taller than it actually is.

2. Open the Room Up With Open Shelving

Open the Room Up With Open ShelvingImage Source: Jeremy Liebman for Domino

Too many upper cabinets can make a tiny kitchen look top-heavy. Try removing a few and replace them with open shelving instead. Not only will your kitchen instantly open up, but you can show off prized cookware and accessories, too.

3. Lengthen With a Runner

Lengthen With a Runner
Image Source: House*Tweaking

For a quick and inexpensive way to make a kitchen look longer, simply add a graphic runner. Occasionally changing out the runner will give your kitchen a new look with little effort.

4. Save Space With Stools

Save Space With StoolsImage Source: domino

No room for a spacious kitchen table and chairs? Choose a narrow dining table with stools or benches that can tuck under the table. This set-up allows for better traffic flow while avoiding over-crowding your kitchen.

5. Get Your Shine On

Get Your Shine OnImage Source: domino

Even if you are shine-inclined, subtly reflective materials can help a kitchen feels larger by bouncing around natural light. Our faves: lacquered cabinets and reflective backsplash tiles.

 

6. Work With What You Have

Work With What You HaveImage Source: domino

Studio living can be tricky, especially since your living and sleeping quarters are limited to one room. This kitchen makes the most of the space with open shelving, a gallery wall, and even a TV! With clever arranging, you can cook and have your cable too!

 

7. Think Up

Think UpImage Source: hoto by Ditte Isager. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2010.

Short on space? Think up! Pot racks are a great way to free up limited cabinet and counter space. If you’re on a budget, consider this affordable option.

 

 

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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


If there’s one thing that gets a bad rap in design, it’s the studio apartment. Often a rental with very little in the way of space, studios must do it all without room to spare. While it is a tall order, we found a place that does it just right. Tucked away in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this studio is just as relaxing as it is energising. Keeping rental restrictions and their client Jamie’s laid-back style in mind, designers Lindsay Boswell and Ali Levin of LABLstudio created an urban oasis filled with ideas that anyone would sacrifice square metres for.Mixing earthy and glamorous touches, this “hidden gem” evolved into a room suitable for sleeping, living, and entertaining. Getting creative with the space, Boswell and Levin incorporated unexpected pops of colour using removable wallpaper and made sure every piece served a variety of purposes. The result proves that size isn’t everything! Keep reading for a full studio tour and Lindsay and Ali’s favourite tricks for decking out a small space.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

POPSUGAR Home: How do you create a space for both living and entertaining, especially in a studio? LABLstudio: In studio apartments, it's really important to make sure that you carve out distinct areas for sleeping, living, and entertaining, even if they're all in the same room. Whenever possible we like to make sure there is a proper living area (i.e., a sofa, side table, coffee table), as well as a place where you can sit, eat, or work. Sometimes this means sacrificing some of the "bedroom" to make for a larger "living and entertaining" area.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

POPSUGAR Home: How do you create a space for both living and entertaining, especially in a studio?

LABLstudio: In studio apartments, it’s really important to make sure that you carve out distinct areas for sleeping, living, and entertaining, even if they’re all in the same room. Whenever possible we like to make sure there is a proper living area (i.e., a sofa, side table, coffee table), as well as a place where you can sit, eat, or work. Sometimes this means sacrificing some of the “bedroom” to make for a larger “living and entertaining” area.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: How do you make a studio livable without looking cluttered? LS: Make sure that all of your main pieces serve multiple purposes. For example, the console that we placed between the windows doubles as a place where two people can comfortably dine, a place where Jamie can sit with her laptop, and a place where she can put her makeup on in the morning.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: How do you make a studio livable without looking cluttered?


LS
: Make sure that all of your main pieces serve multiple purposes. For example, the console that we placed between the windows doubles as a place where two people can comfortably dine, a place where Jamie can sit with her laptop, and a place where she can put her makeup on in the morning.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
Similar to the living space, the bathroom uses pops of colour to reflect the apartment's earthy, glam vibe. For a personal touch, the designers even switched out the vanity knobs.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

Similar to the living space, the bathroom uses pops of colour to reflect the apartment’s earthy, glam vibe. For a personal touch, the designers even switched out the vanity knobs.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: We love the wall art. How did you do that? It is from your Femme and Gem collection? LS: The one wall (next to the bed) is wallpapered in our "Gemma" print (in Sapphire) from our "Femme and Gem" collection. It's removable, and you can hang it yourself! For the other walls, we hand painted watercolour pinstripes to add personality and to tie everything together. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: We love the wall art. How did you do that? It is from your Femme and Gem collection?

LS: The one wall (next to the bed) is wallpapered in our “Gemma” print (in Sapphire) from our “Femme and Gem” collection. It’s removable, and you can hang it yourself! For the other walls, we hand painted watercolour pinstripes to add personality and to tie everything together.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
The entryway is proof rental lighting doesn't have to be boring. For an industrial touch, you can find a similar light fixture here.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

The entryway is proof rental lighting doesn’t have to be boring. For an industrial touch, you can find a similar light fixture here.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

LS: The goal was to give Jamie a cool place to call home — a space that was relaxing yet energizing and a space that reflected her personality. We tried to make the apartment feel as large as possible and use fun and unexpected pops of magenta and purple throughout.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio LS: The goal was to give Jamie a cool place to call home — a space that was relaxing yet energizing and a space that reflected her personality. We tried to make the apartment feel as large as possible and use fun and unexpected pops of magenta and purple throughout.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
LS: In this apartment, we opted to place the bed in the corner and mount a shelf on the wall rather than a bedside table. This allowed for a larger living and entertaining space. If you make the bed the priority, the apartment ends up feeling like a bedroom rather than a real place where you can hang out with friends and entertain. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio LS: In this apartment, we opted to place the bed in the corner and mount a shelf on the wall rather than a bedside table. This allowed for a larger living and entertaining space. If you make the bed the priority, the apartment ends up feeling like a bedroom rather than a real place where you can hang out with friends and entertain.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
To maximise space, Ali and Lindsay choose side and coffee tables that double as stools for additional seating. To add personality, they hung a magenta juju (African feather headdress) above the sofa. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

To maximise space, Ali and Lindsay choose side and coffee tables that double as stools for additional seating. To add personality, they hung a magenta juju (African feather headdress) above the sofa.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: Any tips for renters looking to add a personal touch? LS: Do not be afraid to paint your walls or hang some wallpaper! So many people who rent end up leaving their walls bright white. If you keep all of your walls this colour, your place will look like a rental and not like a home. There are so many removable wallpaper options out there to personalise your space. Get your hands dirty and paint or hang the paper yourself — make a day of it, invite a friend or two over to help, and open a bottle of wine! Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: Any tips for renters looking to add a personal touch?

LS: Do not be afraid to paint your walls or hang some wallpaper! So many people who rent end up leaving their walls bright white. If you keep all of your walls this colour, your place will look like a rental and not like a home. There are so many removable wallpaper options out there to personalise your space. Get your hands dirty and paint or hang the paper yourself — make a day of it, invite a friend or two over to help, and open a bottle of wine!

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: What is one piece of advice you could give city dwellers? LS: Living in a big city can be hectic and overwhelming at times, and it’s important to make your apartment feel like a real home, especially if you rent. Good design doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money or take up a lot of your time. These days, there are a lot of affordable design options out there. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: What is one piece of advice you could give city dwellers?

LS: Living in a big city can be hectic and overwhelming at times, and it’s important to make your apartment feel like a real home, especially if you rent. Good design doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money or take up a lot of your time. These days, there are a lot of affordable design options out there.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Lucy Feagins via domain.com.au

Who: Milliner Carla Murley, her husband Troy, and their young children Ruby and Oscar

Where: Beaumaris, Victoria

What: Sympathetically updated mid-century home

The Beaumaris home of the Murleys encapsulates many of the best attributes of mid-century design.The Beaumaris home of the Murleys encapsulates many of the best attributes of mid-century design. Photo: Eve Wilson

The Beaumaris home of Carla Murley, her husband Troy, and their children Ruby and Oscar perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture. It’s a relaxed, robust home, honest in its materiality, with a strong connection to the outdoors.

The Murley family moved here in November 2013. At the time, it was a small 1950s house on a corner block, slightly run down but full of potential. “The bones of this little mid-century house were perfect. The existing house only needed minimal updating to bring it up to scratch,” Carla Murley says.

The original house was built in 1958 using a “small homes service” plan published in The Age and modified slightly by a local builder.

Milliner Carla Murley and her young kids Ruby and Oscar.Milliner Carla Murley and her young kids Ruby and Oscar. Photo: Eve Wilson

In the early 1960s, it was extended to include a studio for the original owner, who was a graphic designer. “It was the owner’s studio that sold the house to us, the brick floor sealed the deal,” Murley says.

The couple was keen to preserve the mid-century character of the house, while adding a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family.

A year after moving in, they extended either end of the existing house, creating a central courtyard. This gave them an extra bedroom and bathroom, and a home studio for Carla Murley’s millinery business, Murley & Co.

The home perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture.The home perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture. Photo: Eve Wilson

Having created a courtyard visible from almost every room, landscaping became a top priority for the Murleys once the renovations were complete. Luckily, the family inherited a treasure trove of mid-century plants from a local development site.

“I rang the developer initially and asked if he had any plans to keep the many mature agave americanas on his development block, which was just up the road from us – some were over 50 years old!” Murley recalls. “He just laughed at me and said, ‘take what you want’.” The couple spent three weekends removing and replanting the lot.

Furnished with an eclectic mix of mid-century treasures and vintage finds in every room, there’s a lot to love about this bright and breezy, relaxed family home.

The couple added a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family.The couple added a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family. Photo: Eve Wilson

With its original red brick floor, optimal orientation for sunlight and airflow, and strong connection to the garden, it’s a home that perfectly encapsulates so many of the best attributes of mid-century design, thoughtfully updated for contemporary family living.

The Design Files guide to brick

Wait long enough and every design trend comes around for a second (and third, and fourth) moment in the spotlight. Now, the humble brick is having a renaissance.

  • Bricks are a robust, low-maintenance material that requires no sealing or finishing for most applications.
  • Anywhere you might typically consider tiles, bricks are an option.
  • Bricks retain heat in winter and keep the house cool in summer.
  • If you’re not sure about the colour of a brick wall, consider painting it a neutral colour (we’re loving white painted brick). Be sure to prime bricks before painting.
  • Mortar can have a big impact on the look. A safe option is a colour as close as possible to the bricks (mortar can be colour-matched).
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