BHG Centsational Style

September 2012

Of all the spaces in our home, the kitchen is one where we all crave the smartest storage solutions.  Any kitchen designer will tell you having a place for everything is the key to organization and efficiency.

If you’re fortunate enough to be designing a kitchen from the bare walls, the best thing to do is make a list of everything you plan to store in your kitchen and create a space for those necessities in the design plan.  Absent that luxury, there are still organizing solutions that can be incorporated into existing kitchen layouts.  Here are twelve ideas to consider for maximizing storage in your home’s kitchen space.

Multitasking Baskets. Pull out baskets break up a long row of cabinets and introduce another texture while also serving the purpose of storage for frequently used items or food that doesn’t require refrigeration.

baskets in cabinets bhg

pull out baskets in cabinet bhg

 

Ready to Go Rods.  You can find mini metal storage units designed for spices or utensils at many retail stores specializing in home organization, or create one of your own with a basic metal pipe and brackets from a home improvement store.

shelf on island bhg

 

metal rod utensil display bhg

Behind Closed Doors.  The back of a cabinet door is the perfect place to install a memo board for coupons, reminders, or even office supplies.

door pinboard bhg

pantry door organizer bhg

 

Well Designed Disposal.  Trash and recycling fill up quickly in kitchens, so rather than purchasing freestanding bins, dedicate or convert a cabinet into dual purpose trash and recycling center.

pull out garbage and recycling bhg

 

pullout recycling and garbage bhg

Practical Pullouts.  Reaching for a pot or pan couldn’t be easier with a smart pullout system built into a multitasking cabinet.

pullout pot organizer bhg

pullout pot storage bhg

Cutting Edge.   We all need a place to store cutting boards – dedicate a small cabinet with vertical racks or dividers for grab-and-go convenience.

cutting board built in bhg

cutting board divider bhg

Harmonious Herbs.   A spice drawer next to the cooktop is a chef’s best friend, especially one with drawer organizers designed for this purpose.

spice drawer bhg

 

spice drawer in kitchen bhg

Appliance Garage.  Life’s everyday appliances need a special storage spot too.  Squeeze them into their own garage for easy access when blending, toasting, mixing, or juicing.

appliance storage niche bhg

 

appliance niche bhg

Divide and Conquer.   The power of separation is a great tool for keeping drawers uncluttered.  Make yours just as organized with cleverly placed dividers or pegs.

dividers for pots bhg

plate drawer dividers bhg

Not So Lazy.  Corner cabinets can become wasted spaces, but with some help from a lazy Susan, storage of mixing bowls, colanders, and platters becomes more efficient.

lazy susan in corner bhg

Extra Extra!   Anywhere you can think to squeeze in an extra drawer for kitchen miscellaneous is a smart design element especially for towels, placemats, cookie sheets, or other flatter necessities.

pullout drawer under cabinet bhg

 

drawer below cabinet bhg

Close At Hand Cleaners.  Sanitation and cleanup are key in any kitchen space so install a rack inside your sink cabinet to house your daily cleaning essentials.

pullout rack for cleaners bhg

 

metal back of door organizer bhg

 

A well organized kitchen makes cooking, cleaning, socializing, and meal sharing much more enjoyable.  What savvy storage solutions have you incorporated into your own kitchen space?


Yes, it’s in the air, can you feel it?  Autumn has arrived!  The air is getting cooler and the leaves are beginning to change.   Nature puts on the best show this time of year and provides us with plenty to work with when creating seasonal centerpieces.  Here are my favorites to inspire you this season in creating a beautiful display! 

A branch stabilized in moist floral foam and wrapped in burlap sack makes an stately centerpiece on a simple fall table.  Pair it with smaller arrangements of flowers in fall colors.

 

autumn branch centerpiece bhg

 

Pine cones purchased at a craft store or collected on an autumn walk make perfect vase filler.  Add mini ornaments suspended on simple branches to complete the look.

 

vase with pinecones bhg

 

 

Natural acorns make charming ornaments too, you can even add craft paint to the shells for a fun pop of color.

 

acorns on manzanita branches bhg

 

What is fall without pumpkins?  Silver painted minis make elegant candleholders on top of mercury glass candlesticks.

 

mercury glass candlesticks with mini pumpkins bhg

 

Dip leaves in a golden bowl for color and float candles on top for ambiance.

 

bowl with leaves and candles bhg

 

The bounty from your annual apple picking tradition surrounds a pillar candle in a large glass bowl.

 

candles and apples bhg

 

Nuts and berries in tiered bowls and urns bring nature’s treats to your fall table.

 

urns with nuts bhg

 

 

A collection of mini pumpkins and walnuts forms an easy natural vignette on top of a pretty beribboned cake stand.

 

cake stand pumpkins bhg

 

Cinderella pumpkins make a beautiful tiered display when stacked in varied colors and sizes.

 

stacked pumpkins on table bhg

 

A simple rectangular white tray corrals a changing collection of pumpkins, flowers, and stems.

 

pumpkins and flowers on tray bhg

 

White pumpkins faux or real can be carved out to form vases for fresh flowers in seasonal shades.

 

white pumpkin vase bhg

 

Branch clippings truly are the easiest centerpiece such as festive green acorns.

 

acorn branches bhg

 

Bowl of pears or figs from the market and some branch clippings for an effortless display.

 

clear vase with fall leaves bhg

 

Are you inspired by this season in decorating your home?  What are your favorite autumn accents to bring indoors?

 

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I fell in love with tufted sofas years ago when I saw them appear time and again in the classic movies I love from the golden age of Hollywood.   Button tufted sofas date back to the 19th century when the style became popular in the Victorian era.  Over the decades, the tufted sofa has been reinvented in different ways, with manufacturers reshaping the look of the sofa but preserving the classic repetition of tufts created by tightly pulled buttons. 

Always tailored, never slouchy, a tufted sofa is a timeless piece that can mix and mingle with modern pillows and accessories with confidence. 

 

tufted mustard sofa bhg

 

Modern or mid-century inspired tufted sofas incorporate square lines and metal or tapered legs.  Rolled armrests and carved or bun feet give a tufted sofa a more traditional look (think of the classic Chesterfield), as does a tailored skirt.  

 

tufted sofa bhg

 

I finally found the perfect tufted sofa for our own living room earlier this year, this one made by Sherrill Furniture (see the link at the very bottom).  It’s the perfect accent for a wall in our more more formal living room and I couldn’t be happier with this timeless piece.   

 

kates tufted sofa

 

In the market for a great tufted sofa yourself?  Here are a ten terrific styles from traditional to modern that will bring serious style to your home!

ten tufted sofas bhg

 

From top left:   Chesterfield Sofa, Pottery Barn, $2,099+; Shoreditch Sofa, Jayson Home, $2,696; Petrie Apartment Sofa, Crate + Barrel, $1,599; Scarlett Settee, Horchow, $1,329; Cherry Grove, Coach Barn, $2,545; Two Seat Descartes, Sofa.Com, $1,290+;  Royce Sofa, Z Gallerie, $1,699; Anson Leather, Room and Board, $3,199; Quincy Leather, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; Sherrill Tufted Sofa, Sherrill Furniture.

 

Are you a fan of tufted sofas?  Which one is your favorite? 

 

 

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I discovered IKEA five or six years ago and ever since I did, I’ve been a big fan of their affordable products.  We’ve turned their Billy bookcases into built in shelving, used IKEA kitchen cabinets to make a window seat, and their Vittsjo shelves to store books and games too. 

IKEA products have been popping in homes featured in Better Homes and Gardens for years!  Some of their units have been discontinued but other popular pieces like the Expedit and the Maskros ceiling pendant are still available. 

IKEA’s Expedit shelf is a popular choice for its contemporary clean lines and functionality.  When paired with the Knipsa basket, it makes a great organizer for the home office or playroom.

 

expedit with knipsa basket bhg

 

Since the piece is finished on both sides, it works equally well as a room divider.

 

expedit room divider bhg

 

Consider it for your collection of dishes, bowls, and ceramics for an open display in a dining space. 

 

expedit in dining room bhg

 

Some Lack shelving units (since discontinued) were turned sideways to create a unique storage center in the dining space below, but today’s narrow Expedit could achieve a similar look. 

 

lack storage in dining bhg

 

Stand it straight up to maximize vertical space in a small room in need of storage.

 

ikea lack storage bhg

 

The IKEA Maskros chandelier for makes a big statement in a bedroom, dining room, or office. 

 

ikea maskros pendant bhg 

IKEA’s Majby woven chairs are no longer available but there are few similar rattan chairs in stock that work in any casual dining or gathering space. 

 

ikea majby chair

 

Navigating an IKEA is practically an all day event when you visit their design center, but I’ve learned if you know what you want before you go, you can find the larger pieces by bin or aisle number online, saving yourself valuable time by heading straight for the stock room.

 

Here are 12 very versatile IKEA staples for the home!

versatile ikea picks

From top left: Maskros fixture, $90; Byholma chair, $90; Jonsbo Barby table lamp (three colors), $60; Vittsjo shelf, $70; Bjursta table & 6 chairs, $899; Stockholm coffee table (2 colors); $199 Billy bookcase (with doors); 149; Expedit shelving (five colors), $90; Ektorp chair (five colors), $150; Nordli bed, $249; Hemnes dresser (four colors), $299; 5 x 7 Alvine rug, $199.

Have you shopped at IKEA for your home?  What is your favorite piece?

 

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Everyone knows a brown sofa is extremely practical, which is why so many retailers sell them and so many of us buy them!  Dark brown is most forgiving when it comes to dirt and stains and for those of us with active families, a brown sofa is a smart choice. 

One complaint that accompanies the ownership of a brown sofa is an assumption that the color is blah or boring.  Not true!  Here are five ways to style a brown sofa so that it remains fresh and modern.

 

Lighten Up.   A dark brown sofa will not dominate a space when surrounded by lighter elements.  Paint the walls a pale neutral then choose artwork, accessories, and accent furniture in lighter or colorful hues to balance the darkness of the piece.  

 

brown sofa patterened pillows bhg

 

Crisp white ceilings and trim also keep the space light and bright.

 

brown sofa light trim bhg

 

Welcome Warm Tones.  Brown is a warmer neutral that plays well with wood and other warm tones, just think of all the colors of fall!  Choose accent hues in autumn colors such as deep red, mustard yellow, or burnt sienna to pair naturally with a brown sofa.

 

brown sofa colorful pillows and rug bhg

 

warm tones brown sofa bhg

 

Cool It.   Brown works equally well with cooler blues and greens.  Use accent chairs, window panels, or colorful pillows in cooler tones to add calm and color to a space anchored by a brown sofa.  

 

cool tones brown sofa bhg

 

brown sofa green accents bhg

 

Console Yourself.    Although this sofa is tan not brown, the same design principle applies.  Pull the sofa into the center of the room, layer a console table along the back, then fill it with books or other objects to take the eye away from the sofa and toward the decorative display.

 

tan sofa console table bhg

 

Embrace It.   Add accent chairs that pick up the hue of the existing dark sofa and cover the sofa with decorative pillows to lighten the visual weight of darker furniture. 

 

brown sofa and accent chairs bhg

  

Work with the existing piece by painting the walls a similar hue.  Use the power of contrast to create impact between light and dark with crisp white ceilings and trim.

 

chocolate brown sofa light pillows bhg

 

Brown sofas are cozy and stylish too when paired with pops of fresh color and the contrast created with white.   In what ways do you style your brown sofa or dark upholstered furniture?

 

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We remodeled our kitchen five years ago, and I recall the initial difficulty of choosing the hardware for the space.  In the end, I chose knobs and pulls from three different suppliers and even though they are slightly different styles, they all work together because they share the same finish.

Kitchen cabinets rarely come with pulls or knobs so it’s a big decision left to the homeowner to choose a style and finish that works with the space.  A reader recently wrote to me asking about the process of choosing kitchen cabinet hardware.  Here are a few tips for making the final choice.

Contemporary kitchens look best with streamlined pulls, and sleek tubular or rectangular options are a perfect complement for this modern style.

 

contemporary kitchen pulls bhg

 

contemporary kitchen sleek pulls bhg

 

Old World inspired hardware works well in traditional or European style kitchens.

 

traditional kitchen and hardware bhg

It’s important to consider the finishes on the light fixtures and appliances in the space.  There’s no need to match every finish, you can mix chrome with brushed nickel, or oil rubbed bronze with brass, just be sure the finishes will complement each other.  With white kitchen cabinets, the good news is that any of the available finishes for knobs and pulls will always look great!

 

satin nickel pendants and chrome pulls bhg

 matching sheens in hardware and fixtures bhg

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