10 Easy Pieces: Kids’ Modern Beds


Copyright © 2020 Remodelista, LLC. All rights reserved. Remodelista, Gardenista, 10 Easy Pieces, Steal This Look, 5 Quick Fixes, Design Sleuth, High/Low Design, Sourcebook for the Considered Home, and Sourcebook for Considered Living are ® registered trademarks of Remodelista, LLC.

The Remodelista editors provide a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration. Clicking through to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a commission.



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Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, September 10, 2020


Mortgage rates reached a new record low this week to average 2.86%, from 2.93% the prior week. That’s the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of the mortgage survey. Given that mortgage rates usually track with the 10-year Treasury note, the spread between them is still above average. Thus, mortgage rates may fall further.

With these ultra-low mortgage rates, the real estate market is recovering faster than expected from the pandemic. Existing and new home sales have already ramped up to pre-pandemic levels.



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10 Easy Pieces: Everyday Stainless Steel Flatware


Copyright © 2020 Remodelista, LLC. All rights reserved. Remodelista, Gardenista, 10 Easy Pieces, Steal This Look, 5 Quick Fixes, Design Sleuth, High/Low Design, Sourcebook for the Considered Home, and Sourcebook for Considered Living are ® registered trademarks of Remodelista, LLC.

The Remodelista editors provide a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration. Clicking through to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a commission.



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10 Easy Pieces: Black Handled Door Levers


Copyright © 2020 Remodelista, LLC. All rights reserved. Remodelista, Gardenista, 10 Easy Pieces, Steal This Look, 5 Quick Fixes, Design Sleuth, High/Low Design, Sourcebook for the Considered Home, and Sourcebook for Considered Living are ® registered trademarks of Remodelista, LLC.

The Remodelista editors provide a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration. Clicking through to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a commission.



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The New Unsuburban Kitchen Booth, 10 Favorites


Recently, we identified the kitchen booth as a trend to watch. Defined as an L- or U-shaped banquette or two facing benches (think 1950s diner), the new kitchen booth is on the rise. Here are our current favorites.

An L-shaped booth in oil-finished white oak by designers Space Exploration from Kitchen of the Week: An Ikea Kitchen with an Elegant Upper Cabinet Solution.
Above: An L-shaped booth in oil-finished white oak by designers Space Exploration from Kitchen of the Week: An Ikea Kitchen with an Elegant Upper Cabinet Solution.
A corner booth is created from a built-in bench and partial glass wall by architectural designers Studio Oink in a Washington, DC, remodel. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista; styling by Alexa Hotz from A Luminous, Euro-Style Row House in Washington, DC, Courtesy of Studio Oink.
Above: A corner booth is created from a built-in bench and partial glass wall by architectural designers Studio Oink in a Washington, DC, remodel. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista; styling by Alexa Hotz from A Luminous, Euro-Style Row House in Washington, DC, Courtesy of Studio Oink.
A booth created in a kitchen dining nook by Tamar Barnoon. Photograph by Laure Joliet from Kitchen of the Week: In Los Feliz, A Moody, Romantic Spanish Modern Update.
Above: A booth created in a kitchen dining nook by Tamar Barnoon. Photograph by Laure Joliet from Kitchen of the Week: In Los Feliz, A Moody, Romantic Spanish Modern Update.
A Copenhagen kitchen features Dinesen Heart Oak furniture (and floors) for a built-in booth. See more of the kitchen in Remodeling data-src=
Above: A Copenhagen kitchen features Dinesen Heart Oak furniture (and floors) for a built-in booth. See more of the kitchen in Remodeling 101: The L-Shaped Kitchen.
Designed by architect Thomas Kroeger of TKA, the Hofhaus Kitchen in Düsseldorf, Germany, features a mustard yellow built-in booth.
Above: Designed by architect Thomas Kroeger of TKA, the Hofhaus Kitchen in Düsseldorf, Germany, features a mustard yellow built-in booth.
Designed after the wood booths at restaurant Chez Panisse, Jim Rosenfield created a booth from untreated strips of fir at the Marin Country Mart Office. Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista from Marin’s Most Beautiful Office Space?.
Above: Designed after the wood booths at restaurant Chez Panisse, Jim Rosenfield created a booth from untreated strips of fir at the Marin Country Mart Office. Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista from Marin’s Most Beautiful Office Space?.
Designer Kara Rosenlund created a built-in U-shaped booth at the end of her kitchen. See more in Kitchen of the Week: A Blank-Slate Queensland Cottage Kitchen for a Stylist.
Above: Designer Kara Rosenlund created a built-in U-shaped booth at the end of her kitchen. See more in Kitchen of the Week: A Blank-Slate Queensland Cottage Kitchen for a Stylist.
A custom-built cherry booth in the Oakland, California, house of photographer Aya Brackett from Kitchen of the Week: Aya Brackett’s Hippie House Update in Oakland.
Above: A custom-built cherry booth in the Oakland, California, house of photographer Aya Brackett from Kitchen of the Week: Aya Brackett’s Hippie House Update in Oakland.
A booth-style seating area designed from antique church pews in the British Standard-designed kitchen from Kitchen of the Week: A Brightly Colored (and Cost Conscious) London Kitchen.
Above: A booth-style seating area designed from antique church pews in the British Standard-designed kitchen from Kitchen of the Week: A Brightly Colored (and Cost Conscious) London Kitchen.

For more kitchen design trends, see our posts:



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10 Easy Pieces: Modern Metal Toilet Paper Holders


We’ve all learned never to take toilet paper for granted. Now it’s time to give the humble, hardworking toilet roll holder its due. Here, from couture to off-the-rack, 10 ways to lend your bathroom a little lift while dispensing TP in style.

Patinated Brass

Fog-Linen-brass-toilet-paper-holder. Above: Fog-Linen’s satisfyingly simple, made-in-India Brass Toilet Paper Holder is $30.
Lostine-Roland-toilet-paper-holder Above: Lostine’s brass and maple Roland Toilet Paper Holder, $55, is a scaled-down version of its Roland Paper Towel Holder, $65.
KBH brass toilet paper dispenser. Above: From Remodelista favorite KBH Københavns Møbelsnedkeri of Copenhagen, the KBH Paper Holder comes in two finishes: brass (as shown) and dark brass; €206.

Bright White

Curva toilet paper holder. Above: WS Bath Collection’s painted aluminum Curva Toilet Paper Holder is $91 from Modo Bath.
Kroft-white-modern-toilet-paper-holder Above: We love small Canadian company Kroft’s hooks and bathroom accessories, including the Modern Toilet Paper Holder, $79, of powder-coated steel and solid wood.
Petrified Designs toilet paper holder Above: Petrified Design of Austin, Texas, makes its Toilet Paper Holder, $50, in 12 powder-coated colors.
Sibella Court The Citizenry Banded Toilet Roll Holder Above: The Banded Toilet Roll Holder of powder-coated cast-iron and brass, $50 AUD, is one of several TP dispensers of note from Sydney, Australia’s, The Society “captained” by Sibella Court.

Modern Black

CB2 Rough Cast-toilet-paper-holder Above: From CB2’s Rough Cast bathroom accessories line of rough-hewn aluminum, the Black Toilet Paper Holder is $24.95.
New Made LA toilet paper holder Above: NewMade LA specializes in “affordable vintage-inspired home goods made in Los Angeles.” The NMLA shelf-style Metal Toilet Paper Holder comes in six powder-coated colors, $55, and brass, $65. Madewell also offers it in black, white, and yellow for $55.
Ferm Living toilet roll holder. Above: The Ferm Living Black Toilet Paper Holder of powder-coated metal and black-stained oak is $35 from Burke Decor.

We have a longstanding interest in the mundane things we use the most. Here’s our 2017 roundup of Indie Toilet Paper Holders.

Also take a look at:

  • 10 Easy Pieces: Classic Robe Hooks
  • 10 Easy Pieces All-Glass Storage Containers
  • 10 Easy Pieces: A New Wave of Organic Laundry Soaps



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10 Easy Pieces: Bedside Alarm Clocks


As an alternative to your smart phone alarm clock, here is a roundup of our favorite small-scale bedside alarm clocks that work just as well for travel.

At Schoolhouse, the Flip Clock in White is made by TWEMCO, one of the original flip clock manufacturers since 56; $99 at Schoolhouse.
Above: At Schoolhouse, the Flip Clock in White is made by TWEMCO, one of the original flip clock manufacturers since 1956; $99 at Schoolhouse.
The Jasper Morrison-designed Punkt AC 0data-src=
Above: The Jasper Morrison-designed Punkt AC 01 Alarm Clock has glow in the dark hands and comes in white, black, or red; $185 at Luminaire.
Designed by Arne Jacobsen, the classic Station Alarm Clock in black is $data-src=
Above: Designed by Arne Jacobsen, the classic Station Alarm Clock in black is $129 at the MoMA Design Store.
The Newgate Clocks Cubic Alarm Clock in black is $48 at Food5
Above: The Newgate Clocks Cubic Alarm Clock in black is $48 at Food52.
One of our editors swears by this simple alarm clock: the Lexon Flip Travel Alarm Clock designed by Adrian & Jeremy Wright, is turned on or off depending on which side you flip it to. Finished in silicone rubber and available in seven colors; $30 at the MoMA Design Store.
Above: One of our editors swears by this simple alarm clock: the Lexon Flip Travel Alarm Clock designed by Adrian & Jeremy Wright, is turned on or off depending on which side you flip it to. Finished in silicone rubber and available in seven colors; $30 at the MoMA Design Store.
The Alume Cube Clock is encased in wood with an LED screen that illuminates when touched; $48 at the MoMA Design Store.
Above: The Alume Cube Clock is encased in wood with an LED screen that illuminates when touched; $48 at the MoMA Design Store.
The Wideboy Alarm Clock is a retro-looking analog clock in a matte-finished acrylic case; $50 at West Elm.
Above: The Wideboy Alarm Clock is a retro-looking analog clock in a matte-finished acrylic case; $50 at West Elm.
The Braun Classic Analog Quartz Alarm Clock (BNC00
Above: The Braun Classic Analog Quartz Alarm Clock (BNC002WHWH) is an icon of modern design. Available in white for $35 on Amazon.
The Karlsson Chunky Alarm Clock, shown in Black, is made of polyresin and a gold finish; $ at Royal Design. Also available in Sand or Grey.
Above: The Karlsson Chunky Alarm Clock, shown in Black, is made of polyresin and a gold finish; $27 at Royal Design. Also available in Sand or Grey.
Again, a flip clock from TWEMCO, but with a more simplified design. The Alarm Flip Clock AL-30 comes in seven different colors including Beige (shown) for $9 at Time Will Flip.
Above: Again, a flip clock from TWEMCO, but with a more simplified design. The Alarm Flip Clock AL-30 comes in seven different colors including Beige (shown) for $149 at Time Will Flip.

For more on walls clocks and clocks as decor see our posts:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 20, 2010.



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10 Things Nobody Tells You About Shiplap


7. With its strong lines and handcrafted feel, it works almost anywhere.

Not just for cozy charm: shiplap in a clean-lined, sparse bath in Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Townhouse Reinvented with Style—and Restraint.
Above: Not just for cozy charm: shiplap in a clean-lined, sparse bath in Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Townhouse Reinvented with Style—and Restraint.

Advises architect (and shiplap enthusiast) Sheila Bonnell: “Because it creates texture in such a clean, unfussy way, it can work just as well in a contemporary setting. In fact, one of the things I love about shiplap is that it works both ways. Because it is handcrafted, it can add warmth to what might be a more austere modern setting. Or, conversely, because it has a very clean line, particularly when painted, it can be used to make a historical setting feel more contemporary.” Read more about the many ways to use shiplap in Expert Advice: The Enduring Appeal of Shiplap.

8. Top down or bottom up?

Painted shiplap in Provincetown Eclectic: A Design Duo Channels P-town’s Storied Past to Create an Utterly Original Seaside Home. (Note the baseboard moulding at the bottom, which helps account for any unevenness.) Photograph by Justine Hand for Remodelista.
Above: Painted shiplap in Provincetown Eclectic: A Design Duo Channels P-town’s Storied Past to Create an Utterly Original Seaside Home. (Note the baseboard moulding at the bottom, which helps account for any unevenness.) Photograph by Justine Hand for Remodelista.

Experts say you can’t go too wrong with installing shiplap: so long as everything is measured with care, it’s fairly forgiving. Whether you start with the top board and work your way down, or start with the bottom and work your way up, just be sure the first board is level, since the rest will follow suit. (Keep in mind that your boards may not fit evenly top to bottom, depending on the width of the boards versus the height of your wall; if you’d rather have a full board at the top, start there.)

8. Paint with care.

Shiplap adds warmth to a bath in A Cottage Reborn in Coastal Maine. Photograph by Justine Hand.
Above: Shiplap adds warmth to a bath in A Cottage Reborn in Coastal Maine. Photograph by Justine Hand.

The charm of shiplap comes from the visible gap between the boards. If you choose to paint yours, paint with care to be sure the paint doesn’t fill in the gaps.

9. Obsessed with shiplap? There’s a tee shirt for that.

As a testament to just how popular shiplap has become, Magnolia Home (by Chip and Joanna Gaines or Fixer Upper fame) now sells a #shiplap tee shirt for $26.

10. The downside: dust.

A detail of shiplap in Sheila Bonnell‘s guest room; photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, as seen in Remodeling data-src=
Above: A detail of shiplap in Sheila Bonnell‘s guest room; photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, as seen in Remodeling 101: The Ultimate Wood Paneling Guide with Jersey Ice Cream Co.

If you install shiplap horizontally, be aware that the small gaps that give shiplap its charm are also perfect little spaces for dust to collect. Give your walls a once-over with a duster or cloth every once in a while to be sure they stay dust-free.

For much more on shiplap, see:



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10 Easy Pieces: Classic Reading Sconces


It’s surprisingly difficult to source over-the-bed reading sconces; there aren’t many that pass the style and utility test. Here are ten we like (and use).

From Brooklyn-based David Weeks Studio, the classic Shell Sconce No. 6 comes in Black Satin, Grey Gloss, Ivory Satin (shown), and White Satin, with Polished Nickel or Brushed Brass hardware. Contact David Weeks Studio for ordering information.
Above: From Brooklyn-based David Weeks Studio, the classic Shell Sconce No. 206 comes in Black Satin, Grey Gloss, Ivory Satin (shown), and White Satin, with Polished Nickel or Brushed Brass hardware. Contact David Weeks Studio for ordering information.
The Original BTC Stirrup 3 Wall Sconce comes in Black or Natural Aluminum (shown) for $885 each at Lightology.
Above: The Original BTC Stirrup 3 Wall Sconce comes in Black or Natural Aluminum (shown) for $885 each at Lightology.
A longtime Remodelista favorite, the Original BTC Hector Medium Dome Wall Light designed by Peter Bowles, comes as a hardwired style for light switches or with a switch on the light itself; $9-$5 at YLighting.
Above: A longtime Remodelista favorite, the Original BTC Hector Medium Dome Wall Light designed by Peter Bowles, comes as a hardwired style for light switches or with a switch on the light itself; $269-$285 at YLighting.
The affordable Skurup Wall Lamp in black is designed for an LED bulb; $.99 at IKEA.
Above: The affordable Skurup Wall Lamp in black is designed for an LED bulb; $14.99 at IKEA.
Kenneth Grange&#8
Above: Kenneth Grange’s Type 75 Mini Wall Light designed for Anglepoise is $145 at YLighting.
West Elm seems to always have a classic-looking wall sconce available. Their latest is the Sculptural Glass Cone Sconce in Milk with four choices of hardware finishes; $79.
Above: West Elm seems to always have a classic-looking wall sconce available. Their latest is the Sculptural Glass Cone Sconce in Milk with four choices of hardware finishes; $79.
The essential Tolomeo as a sconce: Designed by Giancarlo Fassina and Michele de Lucchi for Artemide, the Tolomeo Classic Wall Spot Light is $5 at YLighting. For a new design idea involving this sconce see our post Design Sleuth: The Tolomeo Takes a Turn.
Above: The essential Tolomeo as a sconce: Designed by Giancarlo Fassina and Michele de Lucchi for Artemide, the Tolomeo Classic Wall Spot Light is $205 at YLighting. For a new design idea involving this sconce see our post Design Sleuth: The Tolomeo Takes a Turn.
The Jielde Signal Wall Sconce SI300 comes in  different colors and is available with or without a switch; $3 at Horne.
Above: The Jielde Signal Wall Sconce SI300 comes in 23 different colors and is available with or without a switch; $320 at Horne.
The Bestlite BL7 Wall Sconce comes in black or white with a Chrome (shown) or Brass finish; $4-$495 at Horne.
Above: The Bestlite BL7 Wall Sconce comes in black or white with a Chrome (shown) or Brass finish; $425-$495 at Horne.
Another one from Original BTC, the compact Ginger Wall Sconce comes in White (shown), Cream, Chrome, or Black for $359 at Lightology.
Above: Another one from Original BTC, the compact Ginger Wall Sconce comes in White (shown), Cream, Chrome, or Black for $359 at Lightology.

For more wall-mounted lighting see our posts:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 30, 2011.



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10 First-Time Home Buyer Blunders To Avoid


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Homeownership is one of the central tenets of contemporary life. Most of us dream of a familiar, comfortable place to call our own, and buying a home is a rite of passage into adulthood, and into our own piece of the American Dream.

But until and unless you’ve been through the process at least once, there are plenty of mistakes many people make on their journey to property ownership.

If you’ve made any of these yourself, don’t feel bad—it can happen to the best of us. And if you’re an aspiring homeowner who wants to get ahead of the curve, take a look at the following things NOT to do when buying your first home…so when it’s time to pull the trigger, you’ll be ready to go!

1. Ask an agent to go see houses before getting pre-approved

It’s tempting to visit properties the minute you’ve made up your mind that you want to buy, but putting the cart before the horse can backfire spectacularly.

If you haven’t actually qualified for financing, you should hold off on going to look at houses with a real estate agent (or even going to open houses), since there’s no guarantee that a mortgage company can lend you the money. There’s no greater let down than finding a house you love, and finding out you can’t be approved for a mortgage in the price range of that house.

Besides, many sellers and their agents won’t even consider your offer if you don’t include a pre-approval letter. So, you should have it in hand in order not to lose precious time when you find “the one”.

Bottom line is…getting pre-approved is the first step in the homebuying process, so always start there.

2. Buy a home you don’t feel great about because of pressure from others

We’re all influenced by the people around us, whether it’s friends, parents, significant others, or even people on the internet. But don’t let the opinions of others guide your decision making when it comes to buying a home.

Everyone has their own taste, but at the end of the day, you’re the one that will be paying, and, more importantly, (literally) living in your decision. Make an offer because you want to, not because you think it’s what someone else wants you to do.

3. Pass on the perfect house over a trivial cosmetic feature

Real estate can be quirky, and there are plenty of aesthetic choices homeowners make that won’t work for everyone else. But if everything is great except for some cosmetic features, don’t walk away from the deal over something that can be changed later on.

Location is about the only thing you can’t change about a house, but everything else can be removed, remodeled, and replaced, so don’t pass up something that might be a great fit just because it happens to have an eyesore, or isn’t quite your taste.

4. Get hung up on properties outside your price range

The thing about dream homes is that they’re usually pretty darn expensive. And, it’s just human nature to want as much (or more) than we can afford. So, it’s pretty common for home buyers to find themselves longing for that perfect house that’s usually a few hundred thousand (or million) dollars outside their price range.

Don’t let these properties get you down. If you look hard enough, there’s going to be a great option within your price range. And who knows, maybe sometime in the future, that dream house might actually be within your budget.

5. Assume that your offer will be accepted

Making your first offer is a big deal, and you might think that since you’re putting so much money on the line that there’s no way someone could possibly turn it down. But the reality is a little more complex.

In a competitive market, sellers will often get multiple offers, or hold out for a higher price than you might be willing to go. There are a lot of moving parts, and there’s a good chance that if you saw something you liked about a house, some other buyer might have seen the same thing too. But don’t get discouraged—negotiations are common, and, if it doesn’t work out, another house will eventually come along.

6. Assume that once an offer has been accepted, the deal is done

An accepted offer is an important milestone, but it doesn’t mean the deal is done.

Between an accepted offer and closing, there are lots of moving parts and boxes that need to be checked: from financing, to inspections, to the title search, to seller’s circumstances—and unexpected things can happen throughout the process. While the overwhelming majority of accepted offers turn into closed deals, you should never assume that just because the buyer and seller have agreed, that the deal is finalized.

7. Make a big purchase or take out new debt before the closing

This has been the kiss of death for many real estate transactions. A buyer gets their offer accepted, starts the mortgage process, and then goes out and buys a car, or finances a bunch of new furniture for their new place. Then, once the mortgage company checks the credit report before closing—as they always do—the buyer no longer qualifies for the mortgage since they now have new debt that changes their debt to income ratio.

There’s a simple solution to this potential problem…don’t do it!

8. Forget to get an estimate of how much money you’ll need at closing

Many people do back-of-the-napkin calculations, or use an online calculator, to figure out how much money they’ll need to bring to closing. But it’s important to get accurate estimates from your mortgage lender, because if you don’t, you run the risk of being unpleasantly surprised, or worse, coming up short.

There are many fees associated with a real estate transaction, from closing costs, to state taxes and fees, to attorney’s fees, and you should be aware of all of them well before the closing day. You won’t be able to get an exact amount on your closing costs until you are close to your closing day, but you can and should get a good handle on how much to approximately expect.

9. Try to mislead the mortgage company

Most people wouldn’t do this, of course, but not only do you run the risk of not being approved for financing if you try to mislead your lender, you also might end up facing some legal issues down the road. There are some who—in an effort to get approved—might embellish, or flat-out lie on their mortgage application, but the only one that will ultimately be hurt by these lies is the borrower. Mortgage companies have rigorous screening and validation processes, and they usually uncover deception when it can’t be backed up with the proper documentation. So make sure you tell the truth, it’s the only way to go.

10. Work with an agent who doesn’t care

A real estate transaction is a complicated, sometimes stressful experience that requires a knowledgeable and level-headed professional to help guide you through the process. That’s why picking the wrong agent can have devastating consequences. Even worse than hiring an agent who doesn’t know the answers, is working with someone who doesn’t care. A great agent has empathy, and will make sure you feel good about things as you go through the process. So don’t be flippant about who you decide to work with, because the consequences are more impactful than you might think.

At the end of the day, buying your first home should be an exciting and rewarding experience. It’s a rite of passage, and you should be proud of yourself for getting there!



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