Does Your Home Need a Running System?

Home automation technology is out there, but barely anybody uses it. Sure, there are lots of home automation products, and serious fans. Nevertheless, the average home stays prominently manual.

To your average Silicon Valley engineer, the reason is obvious: lack of standards.

The issue is that different home automation products use different, incompatible and frequently proprietary technologies to make their magic occur. If you purchase two products from two companies, they usually won’t work together. Standards groups such as Z-Wave and Zigbee Alliance have attempted to create industrywide standards but have been ineffective so far.

The computer technology businesses are now rushing into this vacuum of standards to provide them. Leading the charge is none other than Microsoft. Best known as the manufacturer of the Windows operating system for personal computers, Microsoft views the entire home as a “computer” and is creating a working system for this.

Microsoft’s HomeOS, since it is called, is designed to bring law and order to the lawless frontier which is home automation. Perhaps most importantly, there are indications that Microsoft’s HomeOS will encourage existing standards, so even home automation goods already bought may utilize HomeOS.

How can HomeOS work?

The majority of us don’t have to think about what makes a computer system triumph, but Microsoft does.

Computers have a working platform, which can be software that orchestrates interaction between the hardware and the application program. By way of instance, you’re reading this with a web browser or in a mobile program, both of which are application software applications. This program does not really put these words on your display. It sends requests to the operating system, which frees up all of the components necessary to show text and photos on a display.

Actually, many of the items that application software appears to do are in reality accomplished by the operating system.

That is one of the biggest benefits of Microsoft’s HomeOS. A number of the jobs that home-automation appliances may want to do can be done by HomeOS. Rather than each appliance manufacturer and software manufacturer reinventing the wheel, they can simply make requests of the HomeOS and have the job done for them.

That signifies a small company can create an appliance much more easily and reliably. Let us say, for instance, that a company wants to create and sell a lamp which dims when the TV is still on. Rather than needing to create the technology to know when the TV is on, the lamp manufacturer can simply utilize the printed instructions for HomeOS for being informed by the machine once the TV is still on.

A standardized platform boosts the automation of houses making it simpler for organizations to make home automation products.

The idea is that Microsoft will try to convince home-automation organizations to create both software and hardware that supports HomeOS. Consumers will get these goods, which are likely to comprise all of the items one might automate: sprinklers, lighting, home-entertainment systems, enthusiasts, doorbells, heaters, air conditioners, coffee makers, dishwashers, robotic vacuum cleaner and home security systems.

Along with products which encourage HomeOS, you would purchase a host, that would be a small computer system which everything would connect to, largely wirelessly. You would control your home automation with a wise phone. This really improves the experience, as as this picture shows, you can view camera feeds on your phone, which is probably going to be together with you.

And finally, the coolest thing of all : a HomeOS program store.

The HomeOS program store

So you’ve got your HomeOS server, and you’ve got some devices that encourage HomeOS. Now what? Microsoft is about to offer a HomeOS app store, where you can browse and download software which will automate your home.

This makes sense coming out of the world’s biggest software firm. This screen capture shows a control panel, where you are able to assess the status of all wise devices in the house. This was not created by Microsoft, but by a supporting partner for another platform that Microsoft makes. A “control panel” category of programs is merely one that is going to exist at the HomeOS app store.

By way of instance, some firm might offer an program that sets the video feed out of your security system up on the TV when it detects motion. Another firm might offer software that sends you a text message when someone arrives to a door. Another may develop software that plays music based on who’s in the area (by discovering your mobile phone).

Nobody knows what software will be available on the HomeOS app store. And that’s the point. Hundreds or thousands of software makers can provide more variety than any one company alone.

As one instance of a very favorable application, Microsoft researchers are developing something named HomeMaestro.

The HomeMaestro thought

A Microsoft research project named HomeMaestro is working on making it easier to control devices in your home.

The approach uses regular language, rather than complex controls. The idea is an old-fashioned if-then statement shared to basic software programming: If something occurs, then create something else happen.

At a video demonstration, HomeOS researchers utilize the easy instance of: “If I open the door, then turn on the lighting” This command is referred to as a rule, and it is controlled on your smartphone.

The HomeMaestro project does a neat trick. As you construct these rules, you use the action to alert the program. By way of instance, you tell the program to create a guideline. You then open the door. “The door opens” appears at the upper box.

Then you click the Then box, and then turn on the lamp. “Turn on the lamp” appears in the Then box. You conserve your principle, and automation has been set. Later on, when you open the door, the lamp will turn on.

The HomeMaestro project would have all home automation work this way — for instance.

While the door-and-lamp case is very simple, the rules for home automation could be very complex: Should I see a show, don’t record it. If the air temperature outside is below 50 degrees between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., turn off and warm up the car when I make coffee. When everybody is in bed, turn off most of the downstairs lighting and appliances.

The possibilities are infinite. Especially since the HomeMaestro project envisions social sharing of rules — a “rules store” where you are able to browse and download rules created by others for your own use.

When is HomeOS coming home?

Microsoft has been growing HomeOS for years and has been testing HomeOS in real houses. It is called on pupils and Microsoft programmers to create programs for the HomeOS app store.

Up to now, Microsoft has not announced a product launch date, pricing or other details, so that means we won’t see products available on the market this year. But with other competitors also preparing comparable offerings, such as search engine giant Google, I would be surprised if next year didn’t see a large launch of the new Microsoft HomeOS merchandise, and a tsunami of home appliances that encourage it.

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A trellis is a almost vertical, or vertical, grid composed of metal or wood strips set in a frame. It provides support.

APLD, Susan Cohan

A trellis can be a frame with latticework panels.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

Or it may be far more complicated. This trellis combines lattice, fretwork and arches at a finished product that stands out without plants covering it.

Anne F Walters Company

Putting a trellis against a wall gives scaling vines a construction to cling to, saving the wall out of poisonous roots that may weaken it.

Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

When vines or other climbing plants are placed close to a trellis, their spiraling tendrils automatically catch onto it. Freestanding trellises permit you to grow vertically even when a permanent structure isn’t offered.

Amy Renea

This wooden lattice, place on a diagonal, is an angled version of a traditional trellis. It is a fantastic alternative for supporting many fruits that are manicured, like cucumbers or cantaloupes.

Browse more trellis photographs

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Guest Groups: Elegant Master Bedroom, An Earthy

Developing a master bedroom which manages to feel feminine and relaxing without alienating my spouse is like looking for the Holy Grail. I find mixing strong, earthy components with some subtle glam notes such as furry pillows and gilded accessories strikes the perfect note. Herewith is a bedroom which will make us both happy. — Joslyn from Simple Lovely


Woodland Slumber Canopy Bed, Beige – $2,998

This contemporary take on a canopy bed manages to feel masculine and intimate at the same time, which is not an easy feat.


Woods Poster by Debbie Carlos – $50

Debbie Carlos’s giant”Woods” poster is dreamy and a little mysterious. I’d splurge on a giant gilt frame and hang on this on the bed.

West Elm

Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover – $54

These pillows manage to feel organic and luxe at once. I particularly love that dove gray.


Arimatsu Quilt – $98

This Shibori-dyed quilt feels unique and handmade. It injects some spirit to the space.

Design Within Reach

Møller Model 63A Bench – $760

An iconic, streamlined bench will be perfect perched at the foot of the bed.

West Elm

Glazed Pillow Cover – $24

I’d mix these gilded pillows in with the furry ones to temper the earthiness and up the glam ratio!

Pottery Barn

Scallop-Knit Throw – $99

This throw is chunky and practical but nevertheless sports a fairly scalloped edge.


Jensen Chair – $1,128

I’m crazy about DwellStudio’s new furniture line. I’d really like to put one of those chairs in the corner of the bedroom for hanging out and studying.


Round Manage Basket: Large – $40

A big basket next to the bed to get stashing magazines and blankets is an essential in each bedroom.


Driftwood Console – $3,295

This console is amazing, dramatic and surprising for a bedroom. I’d put it across from the bed and arrange a salon-style wall of art over it.


Abstract Painting by Swalla Studio – $59.95

This little jewel of a painting adds a bit of subtle color to the space.

The Summer Project

Tokalon II – $150

The blush pink in this painting is just the ideal amount of feminine without being on the top.

West Elm

Wood Tiled 3-Drawer Dresser – $699

I’d really like to find these on both sides of the bed doing dual duty as nightstands and individual dressers. The timber tile detail on front is extremely unique.

Lamps Plus

Elexis Stained Crackle Porcelain with Gunmetal Table Lamp – $429.91

I’m crazy about the detail on this lamp. I think one on both sides of the bed would add so much personality to the distance.

Luke Irwin

Luke Irwin Ikat 14

Luke Irwin’s rugs are true heirlooms; they’re like art for your floor. I’d use this to anchor the entire room.

J Schatz

J Schatz Ridge Nesting Bowls – $180

I’d use this gorgeous J Shatz gold nesting bowl to stash rings and bracelets.


Waving Stripes Curtain – – $108

These drapes are thick enough to obstruct morning lighting without feeling jarring.


Numi Candle Holders – $4.95

I’m a massive fan of those delicate glass candle holders from CB2. I’d buy several to group on the dresser. And the price is great too!


Iron Taper Black Candle Holder – $7.95

I’d mix some of these little iron taper holders using a few glass ones to add a rustic element.


Succulent Plants by Tall Poppy Gardens – $16.50

Low-maintenance succulents are perfect near a bright window in the bedroom.

Next: More delightful bedroom finds

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Modern Netherlands Stream-Side Home

When Jacob and Liesbeth van Balen moved into their new house, they desired to leave behind their traditional style and adopt an updated, modern aesthetic. The couple hired Netherlands interior design company Nu interieur | ontwerp to make a light and spacious family home which would unite conventional design styles with a clean, modern appearance. “The house was built to support our way of life,” Jacob says. “It’s a comfortable and warm family home, with sufficient distance and the play of light through the windows”

in a Glance
Who resides: Jacob and Liesbeth van Balen, with their two brothers
Location: Maasland, the Netherlands
Size: 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

Holly Marder

The clean-lined walnut dining table was one of the few items that the couple wished to bring with them from their previous home. Coupled with black leather armchairs and a sculptural lighting fixture, it creates a comfortable location for parties and family dishes in the kitchen.

The kitchen was one of the most important rooms, since the van Balens prefer to entertain and spend a lot of time here together as a family. Stainless steel built in Miele appliances, such as a built in coffee maker, keep the space feeling comfy, spacious and functional.

Holly Marder

The open layout provides a place to float right from the kitchen and a little area for watching TV. Double doors lead out to a patio.

To the right, a wall of built-in closets disguises an extremely spacious hidden closets and storage area.

Holly Marder

A wraparound countertop offers ample prep space in the kitchen and also a location for the couple to leave their keys when entering the house. A built-in book. A five-burner gas stove offers extra cooking space to their regular dinner parties.

Holly Marder

Granite countertops, crisp white cabinets and sleek handles make for a decidedly modern kitchen. Low cabinets make sure that the room keeps a bright and airy texture.

Holly Marder

The van Balen family enjoys gathering to unwind on this oversize charcoal grey sectional from Cartel Living.

Interior designers Tessa Weerdenburg and Nathalie Fransen brought in fundamental furnishings so the couple’s own traditional pieces would tie in without the more recent pieces stealing the show. “We were going to get a peaceful, relaxing feel in this room,” Weerdenburg states.

Sofa, armchairs: Cartel Living; curtains, rug: custom made by Interieur Decor Delft

Holly Marder

The huge sofa is a superb location for unwinding before the television, which can be displayed atop a narrow white TV cupboard.

The designers delivered the coffee table into the company who made the floors to provide it the exact same pale end as the smoked oak floorboards. The outcome is a look.

Holly Marder

This sideboard was one of the very few items the van Balens wished to bring along with them from their previous home, so it functioned as a staple piece in producing the property’s theme. “The warm color of the sideboard, with a touch of red in it, was the beginning point for the remainder of the house in terms of the furnishings,” Weerdenburg states. “To make it even more modern, we combined it with browns, tons of white and gray.”

In regards to designing the home’s layout, one of the highest items on the couple’s wish list was supposed to separate the kitchen from the living room. Double glass doors today lead from the living room into the kitchen.

Holly Marder

Along with a glass panel beside a pale oak staircase adds visual interest to a region that is often overlooked.

The lamp over the stairs is by Scandinavian company Secto Design.

Holly Marder

The pale oak tones across the remainder of the house are carried through the toilet, in which this family of four stocks a modern double vanity with several deep drawers for keeping bathroom solutions.

Holly Marder

The master bedroom is a calming area for Jacob and Liesbeth to unwind together as a couple. Pale tones of white and beige, and a mix of modern and classic furniture, make for a relaxing getaway.

Since the couple’s previous home was conventional in style, the designers were originally surprised that the couple loved their decidedly more minimalist concept. “They took a danger in embracing a whole new style for themselves, but they’re now very pleased with the new look,” Weerdenburg states.

Chair: York, Cartel Living

Holly Marder

Writing a letter, sitting down in the notebook or getting prepared for the day can all be achieved at this smart, minimalist wall unit by Keijser & Co.. Round the corner is a spacious walk-in cupboard.

Wall unit, chair, chest of drawers: Keijser & Co..

Holly Marder

This comfy nook makes the perfect escape for studying a book or just taking a rest from a hectic day. The modern chaise lounge is by Keijser & Co.. Several windows clean the room with light during the day, and in the warmer months, the couple enjoy the use of a little balcony away to the right, along with gorgeous views of the forest outside of their backyard.

Holly Marder

The bed and side tables are by Keijser & Co.. With simple white bed linens and minimal accessories, the look is clean, fresh and modern.

Holly Marder

A sleek sideboard makes for a simple and refined TV stand.

Sideboard, bed: Keijser & Co; bed linens: Ikea

Holly Marder

The redbrick exterior has a traditional gable roof, along with the patio keeps a lovely connection between the indoors and outdoors. During the summer months, many a summer evening can be spent at the backyard, on the neatly dressed terrace.

Holly Marder

The rear patio is as pretty as it is sensible for entertaining, with big stone pavers, immaculately groomed garden beds and lots of seating. A stream runs along the rear of the house, and a forest beyond that. “We love the freedom of living in this neighborhood. To have a little forest in our backyard in a very crowded and populated area is quite special,” Jacob says.

Holly Marder

The lady of the house, Liesbeth van Balen, enjoys the view on the garden from her living room.

c: Do you have a creative, modern home? Share it with us!

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Gabled Dormers Put Homes

With a concentrated summit on top and a roof which slopes downward on each side, a gabled dormer creates usable space in the roof of a house, adding headroom, ceilings and architectural attraction. Built in a variety of sizes, gabled dormers can accommodate a single window and behave as an architectural punctuation mark or feature three windows within an whole second-story addition.

Brooks Ballard

The dormer with this gabled roofline brightens the face of this traditional-style house while providing headroom and natural lighting in the next narrative.

Avenue B Development

A gabled dormer provides a front-and-center focal point for this Craftsman house.

When to Paint Your Door Yellow

Emerick Architects

Knee braces support both the side and front gables with this Northwest shingle house.

Duxbury Architects

A house may comprise multiple dormer styles. This shed dormer and gable dormer unite to make a striking roofline.

Heartwood Corp

A view from inside shows how gabled dormers allow for light-flooded rooms and extra living space.

Noel Cross+Architects

A gabled dormer combines with knee straps, squared-tapered columns, a shed dormer and a Craftsman-style front door to make an exterior rich with architectural attraction.

Plattner Custom Builders, LLC

The front facade of this home features three front gables and a Sherwin-Williams color scheme, with the siding in Chatroom 6171, both the board and batten accents in Hardware 6172 and the fascia and trim board in Dover White 6385.

The Design Build Company

Centered over the entry, a gabled dormer draws the eye upwards with this San Diego house.

Inform us Has your house been enhanced using a gabled dormer?

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Spacious Farmhouse in Virginia

This motivated manor is home to a retired couple who have a severe passion for animals. They wanted to build a house where horses, dogs and cats had room to roam till they found permanent homes.

The home sits on a 1,000-acre slice of land in the Green Springs Historic District, a shielded agricultural landscape sprinkled with historic farmhouses and manors, and the couple wanted to make sure their house would blend in. Joel Barkley, John Ike and Thomas Kligerman of Ike Kilgerman Barkley Architects worked with interior designer Renée O’Leary to create a colorful, cheerful and light-filled house that looks as if it’s been there for centuries.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their nurture horses, dogs and cats
Location: Louisa, Virginia
Size: 5,000 square feet on 1,000 acres
That’s intriguing: The home is an irregular H shape to allow for maximum all-natural light.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

The entire Green Springs Historic District is a protected agricultural arena. It is composed of more than 14,000 acres of exceptionally fertile land (a sharp contrast to this poor soil surrounding it), and historic manors and farmhouses.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Since this was one of the biggest homes built in the area since the late 19th century, it was critical that the home mix in with its environment. Barkley and his team wanted the home to keep inside the individuality of the historic district but nevertheless reflect the design style of their customers.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

A columned entry portico greets the homeowners in the end of a long drive round the 1,000-acre home. The home is within an irregular H shape, which made in part to allow for the constant flow of light.

Windows: Marvin; columns: Chadsworth; chairs: Weatherend

Ike Kligerman Barkley

The steady was a very important portion of the couple’s wish list. Since part of the reason they constructed this home was to take care of retired horses, they needed enough space to house the animals and their caretakers. Ike Kilgerman Barkley made the layout based on a classic English profile they admired for its timeless and functional look. The stable can accommodate up to 28 horses, and its own center peak has living quarters for its horses’ keepers.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Indoor-outdoor living proved to be a big priority on this project. A “service” porch with a fireplace and a screened-in dining porch allow the couple to enjoy the grand grounds yearlong.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Interior designer Renee O’Leary needed the house to feel traditional but have a pleasant, open, colorful and relaxing vibe that would signify its farmhouse roots. Earthy tones, exposed forests and large windows in each room help achieve this look. White and black marble floors give the entry a dab of formality.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

The bunk hallway bridge across the porte cochere (the arched structure over the driveway, also referred to as a carriage porch) is Barkley’s favorite room in the home. Here, daybeds are placed at the end of this space with bookshelves tucked below and in each end. “The manner by which the measures in the hallway isolate this area make it comfy, protected and nap causing,” says Barkley.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

A country-style kitchen feels current but reflects the timeless quality of the house. Granite countertops were installed for ultimate durability, and glass-faced upper cabinets offer more storage without restricting the open quality of the space. A huge window over the sink opens into a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

“The single-room depth of the floor plan lets sunshine all day to the home. The triple-hung windows allow you to push the sash and walk out everywhere you would like,” says Barkley.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

A casual living room area bathed in oranges and yellows sits outside the kitchen. A fireplace keeps it comfy in winter, while open access to the back porch allows for an indoor-outdoor living space during the summertime.

Loveseat cloth: Nobilis; armchair cloth: Bergamo; orange carpet: Odegard; lamp: Holly Hunt

Ike Kligerman Barkley

O’Leary was passionate about her color choices. “She knew the living room and library had to be Clydesdale Brown by Benjamin Moore,” says Barkley. “She loves horses.” The boxed white and bay bookshelves within this room create a bright focus contrary to the earthy brown paint.

Couch: Donghia; carpeting: Stark

Ike Kligerman Barkley

An upstairs gallery alongside the master bedroom hallway allows for clear views into the Blue Ridge Mountains. A gold grass-cloth wall covering maintains the warm inside vibe and overlooks the brilliant greenery outdoors.

Artwork over mantel: Ted Larsen; curtains: Cowtan & Tout; wall covering: Decorators Walk

All pictures by Durston Saylor

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Wood Home Exteriors Branch Out

An extremely important consideration when designing a new house is discovering the materials for your exterior. Glass is a certainty for windows, but solid areas can be clad in brick, concrete, stone, metal, wood or even a combination of these and other materials.

This ideabook requires a peek at some homes that are covered in wood or predominantly feature wood on the exterior. The focus is on the design impact of the substance and its articulation on the facade, rather than on its technical characteristics.

Frank / Architects

This little house in the redwood forest of Sea Ranch in California is a great example of a construction that integrates itself through the utilization of wood over the entire exterior. Little windows predominate on the upper exterior, but a large window off the living room attracts the forest inside.

Frank / Architects

Another view of the house in the forest accentuates the integration which comes not only with covering the construction in wood but also from articulating it vertically, parallel to the redwood tree trunks.

Frank / Architects

Inside the same house, more vertical wood planks, combined with hardwood flooring, ceilings and construction, further the integration and create the spaces hot and extremely inviting.

chadbourne + doss architects

Wood is also a great material to use selectively. It can be a suitable contrast with other exterior materials, especially when the colours are dark and light. This wood cladding is shaped to frame the huge window and dark surface below.

chadbourne + doss architects

Another look at the same house makes it clear this framing is three-dimensional. Apart from raw cedar, cement and steel panels are used for the exterior. The three materials seem to interlock, accentuating the home’s quantity and imparting some verticality into it, especially with the wood.

christopher jeffrey architects pllc

The top two floors of the house in New Jersey have vertical boards of a grayed wood involving various-size windows in placements that are irregular. The big window on the floor wraps the corner towards a cantilevered balcony, a bit that brings the most attention.

christopher jeffrey architects pllc

A nearer view of the wood skin demonstrates how the dimensions of the bits is an important factor in the way the construction appears.

This exterior uses horizontal wood planks, and it is clear why. The long and low construction exudes the landscape, accentuated by the flat lines of the ground and roof, and from the orientation of the wood.

From the other side of the house, the flat pattern of the wood also strengthens the management of the home’s volume. But the articulation of the various forests — a mixture of browns and grays — lets the house also integrate itself with the landscape.

Randy Bens, Architect AIBC

Given its lightweight nature, wood can also be used for screens that filter daylight as it enters inside spaces. Wood Cabinets add interesting detail layered over glass and other materials. The angled display hung in front of the building is particularly striking.

Randy Bens, Architect AIBC

Note the difference in impacts between daylight (this photo) and following the sun goes down (previous photograph ). During the daytime the display looks almost solid from the exterior, but in the day the glow from inside is filtered, the opposite of if the sun is out.

Randy Bens, Architect AIBC

This display and its construction are closely detailed: Painted white slats are mounted to paired vertical supports which are bracketed into the roof above and horizontal framing below.

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Guest Picks: Setting the Chinoiserie Table

I am sure many of us will be entertaining family and friends over Thanksgiving and the approaching Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa holidays. Add elegant and chic chinoiserie touches to your own table with these products for a really memorable dining table setting. Best of all, there’s no need to replace your china — only put in a few chinoiserie tabletop accessories.
Beth from Chinoiserie Chic


Pagoda Salt and Pepper Set – $60

Pagodas are a very hot trend in interior design. These hand-painted gold and red pagoda salt and pepper shakers are excellent additions to the chinoiserie dining table. They would work superbly with simple white linens and china.

Contemporary Serveware – $120

Peacocks are a timeless chinoiserie touch. This gorgeous pair of peacock salt cellars is constructed of pewter and comes with matching pewter feather spoons. Fill them with your favorite gourmet sea salts.


Plum Blossom Matchbox – $3.50

Light the candles on your dinner table with games out of this very elegant plum blossom matchbox. Fill a vase with pink spray orchids for the centerpiece.


Die-Cut Chinoiserie Toile Blue Place Cards – $8.50

Place cards add such an elegant touch to a dinner celebration. These blue and white chinoiserie toile ones are timeless.


Elephant Place Card Holders – $21

If you follow my blog, you know I love elephants. These place card holders come in gold or silver. Very nicely priced, they are perfect for a wedding, bridal shower, baby shower or elegant dinner party.

Kneen & Co..

Fancy Monkey Place Cards – $15

Singerie is a French expression for monkeys aping human behavior. These golden, engraved location cards with a fighter holding a parasol are a magical example. They would be a lovely finishing touch to some fancy chinoiserie tabletop.

Kneen & Co..

Lobmeyr Flower Vase with Chinoiserie Light Green – $261

This multi-colored crystal chinoiserie blossom vase is an ideal height for the dining table. Orchids or parrot tulips would be fantastic floral choices.


Five-Piece Pewter Faux Bamboo Flatware Setting – $160

Faux bamboo is an iconic chinoiserie component, and also this pewter flatware would be an extremely chic selection for your dining table. I really like pewter flatware; it is an elegant and modern alternative to silver which doesn’t require polishing.


Set of Four Silvered-Metal Bamboo Napkin Rings – $70

This pair of silvered faux bamboo napkin rings can add a bold sculptural note for your desk. These will certainly dress up simple white napkins.


Turquoise Etched Blossom Glasses – $85

What can be prettier to your chinoiserie table compared to this pair of turquoise glasses etched with cherry blossoms? They would also make candle holders that are stunning.


Flair: Exquisite Invitations, Lush Flowers, and Gorgeous Table Settings – $19.70

Joe Nye’s marvelous book Flair is a gold mine of inspiration for placing the chinoiserie dining table with style and creativity. I refer to it for inspiration.


Pandora Design Reusable Plastic Chopsticks in Coral – $24

Dress your Chinese takeout (or any meal) with those very chic, reusable plastic chopsticks in coral pink. I have these and love them! They are so much better than these gruesome free hardwood ones.

The Well Appointed House

Dransfield & Ross Pagoda Napkin Rings – $152

All these pagoda napkin rings are favorites of mine. Offered in silver, gold or clear, they will be the focal point of your table setting.

Neiman Marcus

Four Greek Essential Place Mats – $75

I much prefer place mats over tablecloths — that they have a more modern appearance and so are much less problem. These posh raffia ones possess a Greek key border and are offered in four colours for a great appearance.

Neiman Marcus

“Woven” Charger Plate – $75

This charger plate is constructed of wood with a dark finish and would be a stunning addition to the chinoiserie dining table. Chargers are a brilliant way to dress up white china.

Neiman Marcus

Reed & Barton “Sarong” Flatware – $65

This Reed & Barton stainless steel flatware was designed to look like bundles of bamboo. It is very chic and dishwasher-safe, and they do not need polishing.


Printed Cocktail Napkins – Monkeys with Umbrella – $70

Iomoi has come out with a set for Matouk, and it is delightful — much like this pair of four linen cocktail napkins with monkeys and umbrellas. You have to check out the whole collection that superbly captures the pleasure and whimsicality of chinoiserie.

Tiffany & Co..

Bamboo Bowl in Crystal – $75

This bamboo crystal bowl by Tiffany & Co. is a classic. It’s a lovely addition to your table and makes an ideal wedding gift.

Tiffany & Co..

Cirque Chinois Dinner Plate – $950

The Cirque Chinois set from the Tiffany & Co.. Paris Studio is completely sensational with its chinoiserie vignettes. Have a look at the degree of detail on the whole collection of dinnerware.

Ralph Lauren

Myra Bamboo Pitcher – $95

If you adore blanc de Chine, try out this lovely bamboo pitcher from Ralph Lauren Home. It’s just perfect for iced tea or lemonade, or you may use it as a vase.

Crystal Classics

Camelia Avenue Posy Vase, Pink – $25

This sexy pink Kate Spade vase is a perfect height for the dining room table because it doesn’t obscure your guests’ viewpoints. Group several together and fill each with a spray orchid for a gorgeous chinoiserie centerpiece.

Crystal Classics

Camelia Avenue Posy Vase, Green – $25

The Kate Spade vase can be accessible kelly green use it with all the hot pink for a preppy chinoiserie dining table centerpiece. What a way to dress up white linens and china!

Luxury Home Goods Online

Dransfield & Ross Bird In Covered Cage Mirror Placemat – $136.50

These mirrored”Bird in Covered Cage” place mats are the ultimate in luxury for that Hollywood Regency chinoiserie look. They are very glamorous.

Luxury Home Goods Online

Dransfield & Ross Mirrored Bird Placemat – $126

This is another set of amazing mirrored place mats for quite a glamorous table. I’ve a set of these, and the way that they reflect the light from candles or a chandelier is gorgeous.

Jill Rosenwald

Jill’s Key Cocktail Tray – $128

This super-chic cocktail bowl and dip bowl set with a Greek key design is lovely for the serving. If you are not familiar with Jill Rosenwald’s beautiful handmade pottery, you are in for a treat.

Leontine Linens

Leontine Paprika Linens with Charcoal Thread – $55

For the ultimate in luxury, invest in a pair of Leontine linen napkins embroidered with an Asian-inspired monogram. These are true works of art and therefore are of heirloom quality.

Number Four Eleven

Dragon Napkins – $125

These incredible and magnificent dragon napkins are available in six colour combinations.


Worcester Porcelain – Bengal Tiger Plates

Add some lovely antique or classic chinoiserie plates like these to your china set. Have a look at 1st Dibs, eBay, Etsy, antique stores, auctions, flea markets and estate sales. You do not need an whole set — look for a few salad plates, dessert plates or bowls to mix and match with your current china for a modern and diverse appearance.


Table Settings – $37.80

This is a gorgeous book on placing the table with a lot of chinoiserie inspiration. It would be a great book to give as a gift.

Michael C. Fina

Pagoda Gold Plated Napkin Rings – $145

These gold-plated pagoda napkin rings are like jewelry for a really elegant chinoiserie dining table.


Chinoiserie Soup Plate – $248

One of the most gorgeous collections of chinoiserie china is by Alberto Pinto. The attention to detail and colours are magnificent.

Traditional Candles And Candle Holders – $9

Creative Candles are my favourite candles. They are offered in 44 sophisticated colours, so you may select the colour to coordinate with your chinoiserie dining table setting. With spans up to 39″ and long burn times, these can turn into your candles of choice also.

The Pink Daisy

Mottahedeh – Blue Dragon China – $35

Mottahedeh’s Blue Dragon china is a classic classic, yet it has a daring and modern feel. You will never tire of this superb blue and white layout.

The Pink Daisy

Mottahedeh – Imperial Blue China – $30

Mottahedeh’s Imperial Blue is another great classic, and it mixes beautifully with the Blue Dragon china. Every colour of tablecloth, napkin and blossom looks great with blue and white china.


Irish Linen Hemstitched Cocktail Napkins with Plum Blossoms and Bees – $40

These linen cocktail napkins are embroidered with chinoiserie bees and blossoms in lovely colours.


Felt-Backed Bamboo Place Mat – $9.50

This place mat with a green bamboo trellis pattern is a chinoiserie classic which will give white china a fresh and modern chinoiserie look.

L.V. Harkness & Co..

Meissen Black Ming Dragon Five Piece Place Setting – $1,600

Meissen Black Ming Dragon is a very sophisticated choice of china design with its hand-painted dragons in black and gray. It’s also available in crimson and in green.

Tabletop Designs

Chinese Tigers Green Dinner Plate – $40

This is my marriage china — Wedgwood Chinese Tigers in green and I adore it. Even though it is discontinued, you may still find it on eBay and at replacement china online stores.

Beth Connolly Interiors

Red Pagoda Salt & Pepper Shaker Set – $20

These salt and pepper shakers fit together to form a pagoda — quite enjoyable!


Jason Lightfoot House Placemats – $39.85

All these Lightfoot House placemats from the Colonial Williamsburg Collection will also be in my collection. They are classic blue and white, elegant, chinoiserie and easy to care for — just wipe them off.

Next: More Asian-inspired ideas for each room in the home from Beth of Chinoiserie Chic

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How to Take Care of Your Countertops

It is almost here. The cooking day of champions, also called Thanksgiving. This feast involves a great deal of slicing and dicing and roasting — no matter what vegetable sides or pies are tradition to share around your family table. Here are the dos and performn’ts to get caring for your counters while they’re the hub of holiday cooking.


1. Granite is most certainly the most popular countertop option. Maintain your granite countertop looking good by wiping down with a damp cloth and a pH-neutral stone cleaner.

2. Prevent soap, abrasive cleansers, and citrus cleansers when cleaning granite countertops — those alkaline solutions can etch the stone.

3. Steel wool isn’t your counter’s buddy. It will scratch most counter tops.

4. Butcher blockcountertops are generally made of maple or walnut and come in wide plank or thin strips in terms of style. The wide plank design is more apt to warp.

5. Be sure to use only food-grade mineral oil to stop the wood from warping and drying out. Steer clear of olive or vegetable oils for your butcherblock countertop — those oils may turn rancid.

6. Reapply mineral oil whenever the wood appears dry. You will want to use a generous quantity of mineral oil — continue reapplying until you find the timber is no longer accepting any more oil.

Warmington & North

7. Cooking oil bottles may in fact leave ring marks on stone surfaces that could be hard to remove. Use coasters or a menu beneath bottles to stop marks.

8. Take care of the counter from vinegar, lemon, tomato, and other acidic foods, that will etch marble.

Walker Shop

Modern-Twist Studio Trivetz – $12

9. Every countertop — even rock — requires a trivet as protection from hot pots and pans. Burn marks are permanent, so it’s ideal to be safe than sorry.

10. Kitchen Cabinets often become germ-keepers. It is ideal to use dishrags instead. But if you are fond of your sponges, don’t use the identical sponge to wash dishes and your countertop.

More: 10 Alternatives to Granite Countertops
Alternatives to Granite Countertops, Part II
Alternatives to Granite Countertops, Part III
Brighten Up That Space Under Your Sink

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