Friday, March 2, 2012

Realistic Home Inspiration

I've been having a bit of an adverse reaction to Pinterest lately.  Don't get me wrong, I am still totally obsessed with the visual bookmarking site and could/do spend hours happily pinning.  Most of the time I'm pinning outrageously beautiful home spaces - perfectly styled laundry rooms, bathrooms dripping with carrera marble and kitchens larger than most city apartments.

It all started with this kitchen image. Amazing?  Sure it is.  But seriously, who has not one but TWO ten foot islands in their kitchen?!?!

I love to ooooh and aaaaah over these rooms as much as anyone but it got me thinking -

Not every kitchen has room for an island and many people are struggling with renovating older homes to get that open floor plan look.  This is a classic example of how to do that.  There was very likely a wall separating this room from the dining room where the kitchen peninsula is. 


What a difference a great stove, a little bit of graphic tile and nice counters can make.  There's nothing special about those (dated) cabinets but I still love the way this small kitchen looks.

Beautiful slate floors ground the whole space but you don't need much of it to transform this small room.

I love what Lauren Liess did with her 70s style kitchen with just some paint.  The before and after is really inspiring and proves you don't need to spend a ton. 

I posted about the light in this next kitchen here but the entire room is worth reviewing. It's not huge but boy is it beautiful.  See the full transformation here.

I love my walk-in pantry but I am VERY aware that the majority of people don't have the luxury of so much space for food storage.  So I love seeing uber-organized reach-in pantries like this where every inch is being utilized to the max. 


Gorgeous laundry rooms are all over Pinterest but how many of you out there have to drag yourselves down to the basement to do laundry?  Not exactly inspiring right?  I love this next image precisely because it's so clear that it IS a basement yet it's still a bright, happy space.  


Sometimes you have to make unorthodox decisions in order to get convenience into your life.  Laundry in the kitchen?  How very European of you!  Sure, you'll have to give up some kitchen cabinet storage but I know lots of people who would prefer this over a basement laundry set up.  

This bathroom is doing double duty as a laundry room.  Hey why not...the plumbing is already there so if you have the space, make use of it!

I am obsessed with mudrooms.  OBSESSED.  Probably because we don't have one.  I would gladly give up a bedroom in our house if I could move that square footage downstairs for a mudroom.  But I can't so I'm always on the lookout for ways to create a mud "space" without an actual room.  Love these next images for that exact reason.  

A small mud nook.  I love that it looks real.  Hats, shoes,'s all out there and still looks cute.  Also note the oil drip pans tucked underneath for the shoes.  Brilliant to catch all that outside ick.

I am a firm believer that no matter how outrageous and over the top a room is, there's always something you can take from it and incorporate into your home.   It could be as large as the perfect light fixture or as small as how to creatively place accessories on a bookshelf.

But isn't it nice to see images of beautiful AND attainable spaces sometimes? A realistic image can inspire ACTION.  It can get you measuring and hammering instead of pinning and wishing.  And while I recognize that we all have different definitions of  "attainable" is, I think we can all agree that these rooms are at least more in the realm of possibility than a kitchen with two ten foot islands!