Friday, 24 February 2012

there's something about tolix chairs

Remember this post where I talked about the tolix chairs in the last picture? Well, at the time I didn't know it was called a Tolix chair was, and as I continue to collect photos, I seem them used in rooms a lot.

Here's a page talking about the history of the Tolix.

What's beautiful about Tolix chairs is that they can fit right in in any room and give it that extra edge a soft and feminine room needs.

Here are some photos of beautiful rooms featuring the Tolix chairs.

Via The Vintage Rose
 Tolix chairs and wickers baskets and open shelving. Don't they make a lovely combination?

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I love the elegance of the room in the image above. With the Tolix chairs, it gives the room a rustic and grounded edge.

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A white room and white Tolix chairs. The worn paint on the chairs bring in the beauty of imperfection in this Swedish room.

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I love the details of the chair that this photo shows. The numbers painted on the back makes you wonder where these chairs came from and what is their history.

Have a great day ahead!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

open shelves

I've decided (well, for now before we really start renovation) that we'll be going for open shelves. It's cheaper than having upper cabinets (yes, we have a budget). And since our kitchen is rather small, upper cabinets may make it look smaller than it already is.

With open shelving, however, you need to be extra organised and only put your best dinnerware on show.

Here are some of my favourite open shelving looks. Check it out.

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The kitchen above features black iron shelving showing off pretty silver trays and pots and books. Lovely!

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I really like this kitchen. With the white shelves, they feature plates and bowls of the same blue and white stripes. Pretty!

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This modern kitchen features white shelves without brackets and it also has light fixtures below them to highlight the shelves below. I love how they used white and grey cups and plates to fit in with the whole white-grey theme of this kitchen.

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This kitchen utilised its corners with open shelving. I love white shelves. Ain't it pretty?

More white shelves
A Country Farmhouse
Beautiful dinnerware mixed and matched with glass and trays and flowers in a vase. Lovely!

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I love the airiness and open concept of this kitchen. The use of mixed materials - wood table, fabric skirted sink, concrete countertops, and stainless steel oven stove makes this kitchen unique and beautiful. I saw this house in the book Decorate, and I fell in love with it.

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Another beautiful grey and white kitchen with open shelves.

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White and light-coloured wooden shelves!

So what's your take on open shelving? Are you ready for it?
Image taken from here
Have a great day!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

coffee table ottomans

I am making a confession...our living room does not have a coffee table and its been that way for over a year now.

So when guests come over, we serve our drinks on the dining table. Our remote control sits on the side table, or on the arm of the sofa. So do my books and magazines.

I've never really considered the coffee table as a necessity, and never really thought it was practical for bigger families for these three reasons:
1. they take up floor space which is a problem if you don't have a huge living room
2. our toddler likes an open space to toddle on the carpet as we watch TV
3. it's not really kid-friendly as kids may bump and hurt themselves on them.

So I have long been considering using ottomans as an alternative to the traditional coffee table. They are more friendly to children, can double up as extra seating and look great too.

Here are some of my favourites.

Image from here
This ottoman is more of an upholstered bench. I love the colour and the shape. It's a good size too to fit in your serving tray and some knick knacks.

Image from here
In this image, this ottoman could be the focal point of the room!

You can also have 2 smaller ottomans so that they can be easily moved to the side when you need extra seating and space:

Image taken from here
Or you could even have it both ways - an ottoman AND a coffee table layered on top! How pretty is that? It reminds me of those breakfast in bed trays:
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The next time you scout for a coffee table, do consider ottomans for their multi-functionality!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

sofa guide

I received a request from a reader to write a post on sofas. Which was good timing because I had recently visited Macy, a store here in Malaysia selling sofas at affordable prices and nice sofa designs. A store like this is hard to find here - sofas are either pretty but expensive or cheap but not-so-pretty. Click here to view their website.

Here's a list of my personal preferences on looking for a sofa - those gathered from my obsession of collecting photos of beautiful rooms :-)

1. Shape
I like sofas with clean lines, no bulkiness and simplicity. Like the sofas featured in this room:

Image source Velvet & Linen
 This has to be my all-time favourite living room. I love the streamlined shape of the sofas. I'm also in love with the colour palette.

2. 3-seater or 2-seater?
While you can get value for your money when you purchase a set of sofas, I find that its nice to mix and match. If your budget allows, opt for a 3-seater with several wingback chairs in complementing colours and patterns.

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This room has a 3-seater in a solid statement colour and four 1-seaters in complementing neutral colours.

3. Colour and Pattern
For your main sofa (usually the 3-seater), I would prefer a solid neutral colour with no patterns. That way, you can accessorize with pretty throw pillows. You can also mix and match with other chairs in the room.

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A pretty turquoise sofa dressed up with bold patterned throw pillows.

One of Phoebe Howard's rooms. A neutral-coloured sofa dressed up with blue-gray and yellow throw pillows:

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Patterns are also great in hiding stains and dirts. I'm not a floral-fabric kind of gal, but if you do like them, keep the pattern on your main sofa only.

Stripes are also making a comeback these days. But make sure your other seating doesn't go overboard with too many stripes.

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4. Material
I've recently become a fan of slipcovered sofas. I find that they are practical and convenient for families with children - they can be slipped off to wash and slipped back on. And, it could be an option for people who like their sofas white so you can easily put them in the wash every time they get dirty (though this might mean you'll need several sets of slipcovers!).

Linen is a popular material for slipcovers at the moment - if you like that crumpled, casual look. Just remember that linen must be prewashed before you get them made into slipcovers as they do tend to shrink.

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More slipcovers:

house beautiful

Leather is also a good material that ages well. I'm not a big fan, but here is a photo of a pair of leather armchairs. I really like that fabric on that table, too.

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5. What about L-shaped sofas?
Yeah, what about it? L-shaped sofas are quite popular here in Malaysia - I think mostly for it being able to accommodate more people on it and its practicality for falling asleep in front of the TV :-)

You can consider this if you have a big family. Here's a nice one.

Cosy family sofa contemporary living room

Do share with me your personal preferences in getting a sofa! I'm sure there are more aspects that I have not covered! Love hearing from you!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Best of grey kitchens

The kitchen is probably the biggest investment you make on your whole house. Since we'll be starting renovation work on our house soon, I've been looking for photos of kitchen on the internet for inspiration.

I think white kitchens are over-hyped. Yes, it's beautiful and everything, but being a practical mother of a rambunctious toddler, I don't think having a white kitchen would be a good idea.

So my best bet for this compromise?

Grey kitchens. It won't show dirt as obvious as white kitchens, and they're beautiful too.

These are some of my favourites that I've gathered on Pinterest for my future kitchen. I also added some notes for me to remember. I hope you find them useful too!

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Aren't the wood panelled walls lovely? I love that the cabinets look like they're made out of aged wood panels too. The lamp on the island is gorgeous, but may not be a good idea in the kitchen. When I cook, I need all the counter space I can get!

Note: A lamp may look good on the island, but my not be too practical. :-)

Source unknown
I love a kitchen with lots of sunlight like in the photo above. Unfortunately, our house lacks sunlight in the kitchen with only one window. I may have to forgo the idea of having upper cabinets so that my countertops get all the light they need. Which could be better for our budget!

Note: A kitchen with not a lot of sunlight would look good with less upper cabinets.

Velvet & Linen
I love this kitchen above. I think I've featured it in my previous post, but never mind. Chalky greys, aged wood and patina... lovely!

Note: Grey looks good with natural wood too.

Another view of the same kitchen. Dreamy. I love the details such as that basket of onions under that island. But I can imagine my son diligently emptying the basket of onions on to the floor if I had that in my kitchen.

Martha Stewart's studio kitchen
Do you watch The Martha Stewart Show? I do, and I've always admired her studio's kitchen. I tried looking for a good picture of it on the internet, and this is the best I could find. I love the open shelves, the white bowls on the island, the white marble countertops and the simple knobs on the drawers.

Note: Open shelves must be kept neat - show off your favourite plates and books on them. 

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That looks like stainless steel countertops, but I can't be sure. I love that the kitchen cabinets and tops have a modern feel to it, but the designer used concrete floors and a wooden table to ground the look. And I love those vintage breadboards on that shelf!  

Note: mix modern with vintage for a unique and warm look.

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This kitchen mixes up white door cabinets with greyish-green doors on the island. Gorgeous!

Note: A kitchen island would look great in a different colour that complements the colour of your kitchen cabinet doors. I love Ikea's freestanding islands for those smaller kitchens:


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Lovely white marble tops with grey cabinets again. Love those cabinet door handles.

Note: Cabinet door handles and knobs can be the highlight of a simple kitchen.

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Open shelving! They give such an airy feeling to a small kitchen. I would love to consider having these white shelves in that corner of my kitchen.

Note: Consider open shelves for small kitchens.

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I love this grey kitchen and all the wicker baskets! It makes it look nice and cosy.

Note: Add wicker baskets for texture in a kitchen that lacks texture.

I hope you've been inspired with my favourite photos of grey kitchens! Have a great day ahead!
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