Design Trick: Switching It Up

If I had to name my favorite interior design trick it would be using an unexpected element in one way or another. Even in spaces that are modern or minimal, incorporating an unexpected item, color or material is what makes a space interesting and unique rather than bland and generic. 

This vacation home uses a flaw as an opportunity for just that. The old hardwood floors would have taken weeks of back breaking work to refinish. If you've done it you know how daunting a task that can be. And while they turn out beautiful, I love how these cabin owners dealt with their old floors. Instead of the popular wood floors and white walls they switched it up by painting the floors white and adding unfinished wood to most of the major walls. The results are a simple color palette with a warm feel.

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Finally, I just had to add this beautiful dining room that really switches up the materials. The floors are concrete, the walls are brick and the wood is on the ceiling. 

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Sources: Photography of cottage by http://www.terencechin.com/

House Tour: Earthy Meets Modern in Greece

The Lycabettus Penthouse by Athenian architecture firm esé studio is a stunning example of how to make a super modern home feel warm and inviting. It's common to see concrete floors and an accent wood wall or two in a modern home, but this penthouse brilliantly flips that. Leaving the bleached wood on the ground so the floors are warm and inviting to walk on, and puts the concrete on the walls to keep an industrial modern look. Since the floor is such a light wood, it's still easy to incorporate a couple dark wood, textured walls like this beautiful one in the living room.

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The only pops of color are in the pillows and of course the beautiful blue Acapulco chair.  This room perfectly mixes shapes and textures. I also love the idea that art doesn't have to be on the wall, those petrified wood spheres are gorgeous sculptures.

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I love the subtle colors of the built in storage and the dining room. The mismatched wishbone chairs add interest while keeping the room muted. The George Nelson light brings all the white pottery in the room together. No matter how modern the space, a rocking chair always makes it feel inviting.

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The sunken bed actually makes a lot of use out of the small space and the light flooding in the enormous windows does too. I also love that soft pillow clock. I think I know what I might do my first DIY post on...

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In my opinion, anytime an office can be in an open and airy place rather than in a room, it should be. This one has great storage as well, both hidden and open. I think the patchwork rug could look shabby chic in an average home but in this modern space it gives the room character.

The main design triumph this house accomplishes is that each room is tied to the other effortlessly, which unifies the house. I think sometimes we focus on decorating each separate space in our house as if they were islands and we forget that the home should feel unified in some way. Apparently the Greek have this down.

Design Swoon: Tom Dixon Copper Shade

I can promise you that there will be more Tom Dixon Design Swoons in the future but I thought I'd start with the most classic: The Copper Shade. I love the unique texture and color that it brings to a space. For a room to look beautiful and interesting I think something shiny is always needed and the the copper shade is the perfect bling for literally any room. The very simple and clean design also means that it can fit seamlessly into many design styles. It also means that you can layer many shades for a big impact. First, here are some beautiful examples of the copper shade in dining areas.

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In living spaces they work especially beautifully in groups because you have enough space to play with. They reflect light in the day time and imagine how they illuminate the room at night. I love both these examples because they exemplify how versatile the copper shade can look in different spaces.

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Finally, the copper shade is the perfect calming accent in a bedroom. Especially in such a soft one as this.

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The Tom Dixon Copper Shade is one of those classics that will never go out of style. From his website:

"A light made using copper, a material more commonly associated with solar cells and microwave radiation. The Copper Shade is created by exploding a thin layer of pure metal onto the internal surface of a polycarbonate globe. The result is a highly reflective surface with a warm metallic glow. "

It's like interior design candy. For more information on The Copper Shade and other beautiful Tom Dixon designs click here for his website.  

House Tour: Monochromatic & Unique in Finland

Scandinavians do minimal best and this house is shining example. Known as the Northern Light this home was my personal favorite from the annual Finnish design event called Housing Fair Finland. The perfection starts with the base essentials in the architecture, big open spaces with light flooding every corner. Then, the designer plays with textures and patterns rather than color. A feat that takes much more skill to pull of but as you can see, when it's done right you have spaces that are soothing but still incredibly unique and interesting.

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The designer sees every surface and object as an opportunity to use a different material, look and texture. He also doesn't over accessorize any of the spaces leaving the house a calm a soothing place to come home to. Oh and don't even get me started on the black wood ceilings!