A California Kitchen Boots Out Beige

A down-and-out kitchen catches the joy wave and turns up the fun for a social family of 5

These homeowners aren’t fans of bland. After moving from the Midwest to embrace the laid-back vibe of the West Coast, the frequent entertainers wanted to bring spunk to their neutral kitchen.

Now new white cabinets and counters keep the room light, while vibrant yellow window trim, funky hardware and custom tile in retro colors jazz it up. Click HERE for the full story…

Crush of the Week: Outside the Box Wallpaper by Porter Teleo

This week seems to have revolved around all things “big”. A big snowstorm hit Denver; a big rainstorm floods Houston; and (like it or not) big wins for presidential candidates at the New York caucus. Here’s another, certainly happier one — Porter Teleo’s Outside the Box wallpaper. It’s this week’s Crush of the Week!

Inspired by artist Mark Rothko’s Color Field paintings, Porter Teleo’s rendition on handmade Japanese paper is boxy and bold. Artist Kelly Porter and interior designer Bridgett Cochran, the duo behind the Porter Teleo line say, “Through the use of simple shapes and unexpected color combinations the pattern explores the elements of balance, depth and composition.  The result is a large scaled statement for the boldest of spaces.”

Aside from an adventurous spirit, you’ll also need a relatively high floor-to-ceiling dimension to make Outside the Box work for your space — at least ten or eleven feet, like shown above.


The minimum order is three rolls, but here is an illustration showing how the patterning of five rolls will play out.

On the left is “Geranium”, my favorite of three colorways. On the right, artist Kelly Porter hand paints the design using rich pigmented inks onto the paper. The inks are multi-layered and added in various levels opacity and at different stages of drying, resulting in a surface that appears multi-dimensional. The paper background color remains consistent.

Porter Teleo also has several other wallpaper patterns as well as a bespoke hand-painted fabric line. Check the rest of their collection here!

Crush of the Week: Marbled Stripe Pillow by Rebecca Atwood


I’m a sucker for swirly patterns. While the only marbled item I own are some multi-colored vintage graniteware bowls we used for popcorn when I was a kid, marble designs make me swoon. This week, I came across this beautiful linen marbled stripe pillow made by artist Rebecca Atwood, making it this week’s Crush of the Week.

Rebecca created the marble design by using India ink in the suminagashi technique (“sumi” means ink and “nagashi” means floating in Japanese). She scanned the paper design into a computer and elongated the pattern to resemble the water of shoreline ripples at low tide. The resulting pattern is then digitally printed onto linen with water-based pigments.

The pillow is dual sided. Named Marbled Stripe Pillow in Lagoon, a solid marble pattern graces one side, while the other is a silver linen with an applique marble stripe. Measuring 12 by 16 inches, it comes with a 25/75 down feather insert.

Rebecca Atwood Designs is based in Brooklyn, NY where she creates an original collection of table linens, textiles and wallpaper.

Springing into Spring

Ready to trade in gray skies and snow shovels for spring colors and new life? So are we!

When thinking of spring, we usually concentrate what’s going on outdoors – the blooming of daffodils and the flitter of wildlife in the yard. What about the inside of your home? Do the stacks of firewood and plaid wool throws still have you in the throes of winter?

From pinwheels to cherry blossoms, here are five ways to close your home’s door on winter…and spring into spring. Click HERE for the full story!

Bringing Home The Luck O’ The Irish

Everyone’s a little bit Irish, as the saying goes. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and to celebrate, you might find yourself wearing green, attending a St. Paddy’s Day parade — or looking for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Why limit the search for good fortune to one day a year? Here are five ways to attract the luck o’ the Irish in your home all year long. For the full story, click on CLOVER!

The Tactile Beauty of Braided and Hooked Rugs

Though born of frugal Colonial-era circumstances, braided and hooked rugs are still spiffing up floors today. These time-honored textiles are attractive and durable, and they look great in home styles ranging from log cabin to modern condo.

Learn more about their construction, material choices, patterns and pros and cons. You might just get hooked. Click HERE for the full story…

Crush of the Week: Moroccan Circles Tile

Moroccan Circles tile by Mercury Mosaics in Marshmallow and Driftwood

Moroccan Circles tile by Mercury Mosaics in colors Marshmallow and Driftwood

I love when two seemingly unrelated things converge, resulting in an “aha” moment. I’m just starting working on a new quilt and after a lot of back and forth decided on an orange peel pattern.

For you non-quilters out there, it looks like this picture (below). Admittedly, this stunning quilt isn’t mine, but it served as inspiration.

Orange Peel Quilt via Squares and Triangles

Orange Peel Quilt via Squares and Triangles

Today, I came across Mercury Mosaics’ Moroccan Circles tile, and it looks a lot like my orange peel quilt pattern. Okay, you need to turn the motif a little bit, but you get the idea. Naturally, it was love at first sight, so Moroccan Circles tile is this week’s Crush of the Week.

What makes the Moroccan Circles pattern particularly unique is that its appearance changes drastically depending on the colors and contrast chosen.

Here’s the pattern in a single color of tile, called Seaglass. The thin line of the grout joints creates a more subtle pattern focused on outlines.

Moroccan Circles in Seaglass

Moroccan Circles in single color: Seaglass

Opposite of gray and white image at the top, this installation below places the lighter value tile as the “pinched square” in the middle, and the darker for the outer “wedge” shapes.

Switching the values creates a completely different effect, as your eye focuses more on the middle shape rather than the rounded wedge shapes. Dark grout makes the value contrasts between the tiles even more pronounced.

Moroccan Circles in Patina and Olive

Moroccan Circles in 2 colors: Patina and Olive

Here’s the same pattern is shown in a more random mix four tile colors: Black, Antique Pewter,  Deco White & Fog (a retired color).

The pinched square centers alternate like a checkerboard between light gray and white. The surrounding wedge colors are irregular, some black and some dark gray.

Moroccan Circles in "Zebra" option of Deco White, Antique Pewter & Black

Moroccan Circles in 4 colors: Deco White, Antique Pewter, Fog & Black

This is a kitchen backsplash installation, so you get an idea of the tile’s scale.

Moroccan Circles and all of Mercury Mosaic’s other tile shapes are available in about 140 colors. Contact them directly for pricing.

A longtime fan of Mercury Mosaics, I wrote a separate article a couple of yearsago on their fun penny round tile .

Thanks for visiting Design Salad!

Crush of the Week: Wishbone Chair by Hans J. Wegner

Hans J. Wegner’s 1949 Wishbone Chair is this week’s Crush of the Week. Like a favorite movie, I never get tired of this piece. Wegner designed the CH24 Wishbone Chair for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1949, and it has been in continuous production ever since.  At sixty-seven years old, its clean, graceful lines and simple design attest to its longevity.

The Wishbone Chair is lightweight, has a characteristic Y-shaped back and a seat made of about 400 feet of  hand-woven paper cord treated with wax. In fact, making one chair is a one-hundred step process.  The frame is made out of sustainable hardwood and available in a several different wood species and finishes.

Oak species in soaped finish

Oak species in soaped finish

The Soaped Wood Finish has a close appearance to raw wood and is made by mixing vegetable oil-based soap in water and rubbing it into the wood and wiping it off.

Walnut species in oiled finish

Walnut species in oiled finish

With a darker, rich patina, the Oiled Wood Finish is  a hand-rubbed vegetable-based oil which will heighten the grain and character. Oil finishes will darken over time.


If color pulls at your heartstrings, there are twenty-six eye-popping painted finishes. A few favorites include Orange Red Lacquer, Spring Green Lacquer, and Black Lacquer. Shown above are some blue options, but here’s a link to all the available hues.

Each chair costs between $600 (for painted) and up to about $1,450 for lacquered walnut. While it’s nothing to sneeze at, for hand-crafted, high-quality iconic furniture, the price is warranted.

Wishbone chair detail, frame shown in Orange Red Lacquer color

Wishbone chair detail, frame shown in Orange Red Lacquer color

Beware of the many knock-offs on the market. One of the most telling signs of a fake is the woven seat material. Cheaper replicas often use synthetic cording, like nylon. The weaving should be tight and at near 90-degree angles balanced on all sides, like shown above.

Detail of authentic chair label

Detail of authentic chair label

Authentic chairs are also labeled. This is the current label, but older models are slightly different.

Crush of the Week: Beija Flor Vinyl Floor Mats

rolled up

This week’s Crush of the Week are some cool vinyl patterned floor mats made by Beija Flor. I love these because they mimic cement tiles, are flexible and easy to clean. Patterns range from simple geometrics to intricate Moorish designs — and colors from black and white to wildly colorful.

These vinyl mats are ideal for messy spaces, like kitchens, but will also look terrific in a dining room, living room or entryway. They might also garner the attention of pet owners who might have shied away from conventional area rugs because of wear and tear.  Beija Flor vinyl floor mats are unique and offer more pattern diversity than conventional indoor-outdoor rugs, which can often ring industrial — in a bad way.

Antique Tiles_So1-AN-P1Based in Isreal, Beija Flor finds inspiration for their designs in geometric patterns and antique tile designs from the past. Their most popular mat size, 60 by 100 cm (about 24 by 38 inches) is even based on the golden section.

I spotted these mats in Zurich. However, they sell and ship them worldwide and will also have a US distributor in the near future.

Check out the sixteen different patterns, sizes, prices and ordering information for Beija Flor vinyl floor mats on their website.





Crush of the Week: Furry Friends Delft Tiles

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Crush of the Week, but I’m happy to announce it’s back!

While researching an article on how Vermeer’s Work Can Make Its Mark in Your Home, I found these great Dutch tiles featuring our favorite furry friends.

Made in the Netherlands by Harlinger Aardewerk, they’re 5″ by 5″ and hand-formed like they were four centuries ago. After they’re baked for the first time, the tile is glazed, and while still wet, hand-painted then baked again with a layer of tin gaze.

Sold by Nelis’ Dutch Village at $69.95 each, the price isn’t anything to sneeze at, but worth it considering they’re unique and hand-made.

Here are some of my favorites…

While the cat and dog decorative tiles are my favorite, others featuring owls, farm animals, tulips and boats are available too — and your choice of a plain or crackle finish. You’ll need to install these with Harlinger’s coordinating field tile to match the thickness and finish.