Floors Like Patchwork Quilts in Eixample, Barcelona

House Tours, Stunt Double

Often one of the most charming features of older buildings is the flooring. Case in point: this Eixample apartment in Barcelona, Spain, has amazing, intricate quilt-like floor tiles. In all the rooms!

Espacio en blanco Eixample Barcelona Bathroom

Espacio en blanco

The space was designed by interior design studio Espacio en blanco, but I can’t tell whether they just did the furnishings or also floors, other surfaces and fixtures as well. Whatever the case, the white walls and ceilings are the perfect backdrop, because otherwise it would get too busy.

My favorite is perhaps the dining room floor…

Espacio en blanco Eixample Barcelona Dining

Espacio en blanco

…although the bedroom floor has some lovely blue in it:

Espacio en blanco Eixample Barcelona Bedroom

Espacio en blanco

Just think how amazing it would look like if you had floors like this and made a matching quilt for your bed?

Found via Desire to Inspire.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Blue, Turquoise and White Ombre Effect Wall

Colors, House Tours

I was leafing through a home dec magazine looking for something else, when this wall with an ombre mural in blue, turquoise and white caught my eye. It’s from the home of designer Petri Hiltula in Finland.

Avotakka 04 2015 Ombre Bedroom Wall1

Sameli Rantanen / Avotakka magazine, April 2015.

Featured in the Avotakka magazine (April 2015), the wall was designed by Susanna Sivonen. The name of the design is Origami kasvoi taivaalle (‘an origami grew into the sky’). The mural replaces the headboard in the bedroom.

Avotakka 04 2015 Ombre Bedroom Wall2

Sameli Rantanen / Avotakka magazine, April 2015.

Gorgeous. At places the effect almost looks cloud-like due to the shapes in the paint treatment. The wall looks especially good in contrast to the plain white bedding, the original, exposed square log wall and wide plank floors. I think the extra-wide floor moulding is unusual these days, too, which contributes to the charm. Kudos!

I love the sense of blue sky the mural creates; it’s especially nice at the end of winter. I’m hoping spring will come early this year!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Colorful Kitchen Backsplash from Unique Tiles

Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials, House Tours, Room of Awesome

Oh, this is brilliant! The ceramic backsplash built from hexagonal tiles is from the home of Finnish ceramic artist Heini Riitahuhta and of her own making from beginning to end.

Gloria Heini Riitahuhta keittion valitilan laatoitus1

Design Heini Riitahuhta; photo by Jaanis Kerkis / Gloria.

The backsplash took 343 unique tiles (plus scraps for the edges). They are mostly prototypes and other test pieces for techniques or colors from Riitahuhta’s past works.

Gloria Heini Riitahuhta keittion valitilan laatoitus2

Design Heini Riitahuhta; photo by Jaanis Kerkis / Gloria.

Via Gloria.

It’s not quite a pure ombre, but there’s enough of a graduating effect from one hue to another to be arresting and interesting. Love it!

Although, if I’m entirely honest, I’d never want this exact backsplash in my kitchen because I really hate cleaning grout. It would probably be easy to achieve a similar effect with a stencil and paint, though; no grout lines involved. 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Canal Boat Cum Cottage

House Tours

I’m fascinated by the thought that goes into making extremely small interiors work. Sure, decorating a space is (reasonably) easy. But when you need to take not just aesthetics but also economics, ergonomics and pragmatics into account, the challenge increases as the available space decreases.

Occasionally you find spaces that make functionality on multiple levels look supremely easy. Case in point: Velvet Morning, a canal boat available for overnight stay (Airbnb-style) in Maida Vale, London.

Look how adorable it is:

Plum Guide Velvet Morning Living Kitchen

There are small heart cutouts in multiple places, the black iron hinges draw attention to the age of the boat and the doorways are elegantly arched.

Plum Guide Velvet Morning Kitchen

Looks are not the only attraction, however: the kitchen looks fully equipped with a gas stove and oven, fridge, multiple cupboards and what looks like an apron-front sink. Little corner shelves increase the storage capability.

In the bathroom, there’s a tub, a drying rack, and – incredibly – a radiator AND towel rack squeezed between the tub and the wall, and a tiny backsplash behind the sink:

Velvet Morning Bathroom

(Visit the the Plum Guide site for for Velvet Morning for additional photos, including one with the bath tub, towel rack and radiator.)

There’s even a tiny woodstove and a set of fireplace tools:

Plum Guide Velvet Morning Woodstove

I don’t think I’d have any qualms about staying there, the details are obviously so well thought out. Appropriately, the owner / operator advertizes it as having “all the comforts of a cosy cottage and a steampunk vibe.” I can see the comforts so ingeniously built in, but I’m not sure I see the steampunkishness. What do you think?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Potential for DIY Knockoff: Dragon Mosaics

Arts & Crafts, House Tours, Room of Awesome

Did you see the listing for the almost unbelievably ornate, wizard-esque custom house that’s been making rounds on the Internet? (Here it is on Zillow; found via Little Things.) This single-family house in Ashland, Oregon, is huge, HUGE – almost 9,000 square feet (about 825 square meters) – and has hand-carved woodwork, river-rock accents, sculpted banisters that look like trees, cloud-shaped windows and other organic designs, to name a few features.

Just look at the entry:

Ashland OR Custom House Entry

Via Zillow.

Wow. Clearly a lot of effort and skill went into building it. My favorite is the fireplace with two entwined mosaic dragons:

Ashland OR Custom House Dragon Fireplace

Via Zillow.

While most of the house’s custom work is out of reach for regular people with regular salaries, dragon mosaics might not be so far-fetched. Among the many gorgeous examples I found online is this glass mosaic of a dragon’s head by jocarra on DeviantArt


jocarra at DeviantArt.

…and this dragon mosaic by Lynn of SiriusMosaics, posted on Flickr, also made of glass:

Lynn Flickr Dragon Mosaic

Lynn at Flickr.

And this ceramic dragon by Greensam17 on DeviantArt has a bit of the same shape as the Ashland custom house dragons:


Greensam17 at DeviantArt.

Even if it’s smaller than the fireplace dragons, it shows you how you could achieve a similar effect on your own. I even found detailed directions of how to make your own dragon mosaic on StormTheCastle.com.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Back to School with a Harry Potter Theme

DIY, Geek out!, House Tours, Room of Awesome, Thumbs Up

Reddit user 86thdj shared their wife’s classroom, which she decorated with a Harry Potter theme. And it’s magical!

Reddit User 86thdj Imgur Potter Classroom1

Reddit User 86thdj on Imgur.

Reddit User 86thdj Imgur Potter Classroom2

Reddit User 86thdj on Imgur.

Reddit User 86thdj Imgur Potter Classroom3

Reddit User 86thdj on Imgur.

Reddit User 86thdj Imgur Potter Classroom4

Reddit User 86thdj on Imgur.

Make sure you see the rest of the photos on Imgur.

I just love the 9 ¾ door and the flying envelopes – very low effort but big impact. And that’s not all – first of all, every student will get their Hogwarts letter, and, later in the year, the kids will be quizzed and sorted into houses. The discussion on Reddit also touches on the kind of teaching that this room is meant for, so it should be helpful for other teachers.

Looks like it will be a lot of fun both for the teacher and the kids! I can’t but echo one of the commenters – “So awesome!! Keep being amazing!!”

Cross-posted from Co-Geeking.

Subtle Steampunk Sanctuary

House Tours, Inspiration

These two photos of a loft apartment stopped me on my tracks:

SGM Photography Industrial Loft1

Scott Gabriel Morris.

SGM Photography Industrial Loft2

Scott Gabriel Morris.

The industrial elements – metal, rivets, exposed pipes and brick – plus the patina of the wood and corrugated metal, combined with chunky leather sofas and a few large plants, deliver a certain old-world sentimentality. The result contains a subtle hint of steampunk while retaining modern comforts. Beautifully done! From the residential interiors photo collection by Scott Gabriel Morris at SGM Photography; found via Desire to Inspire.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Minuscule in Manhattan

House Tours

Jourdan Lawlor and Tobin Ludwig created a home in a teeny, tiny Manhattan apartment. It’s only an incredible 242 square feet or approx. 22.50 square meters. You can tell that the apartment is a small one from the photos. Every basic home function has a place, however, and that makes all the difference.

The living room sofa hides a Murphy bed:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 4-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 5-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

The sofa / Murphy bed sits right next to the apartment door:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 6-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

Past the sofa / bed, there is a fold-away dining area:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 13-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

With the sofa / bed and the apartment door to the left, a look towards the surprisingly large (for the space) kitchen. Note the shelf with a sliver of a counter space along the wall in the right corner:

Lawlor Ludwig Manhattan Home 15-23

Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes.

All images by Max Touhey via Curbed NY / Yahoo Homes. Found via Yahoo Homes.

How about that! The arrangement is one of the best I’ve seen. I also love the fireplace-as-storage-nook. Kudos for making such a small space work so well.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Medieval House in Modern Belgium

Colors, House Tours

Rooigem is a Belgian interior decoration and antiques company headed by Jean-Philippe Demeyer. Rooigem House was built in the Early Middle Ages as a moated courtyard house just outside Bruges. After being restored, it’s now both a home and place of business for Mr. Demeyer.

There is an abundance of incredible spaces. While the past is unquestionably there, it’s not overwhelming. Neither is the present, which asserts itself in the strong colors and bold motifs.

Tudor front door:

Rooigem tudorpoort

Tudor door. Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

Entrance porch:

Rooigem entrance porch

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The north room:

Rooigem Chinese room

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The orangerie:

Rooigem orangerie

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The hall:

Rooigem The_hall

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

What makes these rooms stand out is the care with which Mr. Demeyer fills – or, strictly speaking, doesn’t fill – the areas: there is a pleasing amount of unclaimed space, rather like an art gallery. Additional oomph comes from the consistent use of massive historical and modern furnishings, fearless combination of old and new and, of course, the colors.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Jewel Tones in an Apartment

Colors, House Tours

Colors. There’s nothing quite like colors to trigger a home decoration dilemma, especially if more than one person is involved. I stumbled upon this past post from Desire to Inspire that features a riotously colorful apartment. Below are a few of the least(!) vibrant ones.

Living room:

Red and pink living room


Blue study

Computer room:

Manhattan wallpaper


Blue and brown bath

Wow, right? It’s clear that the owners love red, and can deal with a lot of color. They’re also clearly bold and unapologetic, if these were the photos they chose for their apartment-for-sale ad. I couldn’t live with that intensity of color myself. I do, however, admire the owners for investing in colors they so obviously love. Plus, the parrot wall is kinda awesome.