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Date: June 2013
Balancing Work-Life in Your Home Office
Interior Collective 6.26.13    
The home office sounds like a dream – the ultimate way of living and working. If you’ve ever actually done it, you know that creating the right balance of work and life can be tricky. There are the everyday distractions of laundry, dishwashing, babysitting, getting mail, etc. The ULTIMATE preference of an outside studio space sometimes just isn’t an option, so here' a few tips for balancing out work/life/design for your home studio.
One Wall
If a full room is not an option for your studio/office, try and arrange just one wall. Like a skyscraper, build up. You’ll maximize your space by utilizing stacking shelves, which also creates visual interest.
If you can’t devote one wall to your “office,” then work with the existing living spaces you already have. Find beautiful organizational furniture pieces so that they won’t be an eye sore to the rest of the space. Another great example is the split-level office/living space on the right. Sure, we may not have such a unique space to begin with, but it’s a great example of combining two different functions within one space. Plus it only takes up a small portion of the room.
Maximize What You Have
There are some great gadgets and furniture to help you maximize your space. Check out this fold-up desk on the bottom left; it comes with built-in storage. The shelving unit on the bottom right is also a great space saver, and comes with take out shelves to use as project boards. Additionally, the top left image shows a series of clips for the purpose of displaying work or reminders, freeing up desk space. Lastly, get creative with where you would usually put things on the ground, like in the top right image. Rather than stick papers in a tub on the ground, with just a few hooks you can attach them to the back of a door.
What are some ideas you have for balancing your lifestyle and office?

Information source: Interior Collective

How to Pair Countertops and Backsplash
The Interior Collective 6.6.13    

It’s an age old dilemma when remodeling a kitchen: how does one properly pair a backsplash and countertop material? Like most things in design, there are no hard and fast rules, and if there are, many of them are meant to be broken, but here are some of my favorite combos that will be winners every time. 

Butcher block counters add more warmth to a kitchen than most stone-type surfaces, which is why I think a wainscot style of beadboard backsplash is perfect for butcher block counters. It continues the woodworking theme and the beadboard option doesn’t have quite the same classic country affect with any other counter top option.

Butcher block in any color also looks great with a white ceramic tile backsplash. Using different shapes such as 4 x 4 squares, subway tiles, or hexagons will add more or less interest to this simple, but classic pairing. This is a great option for anyone looking for something simple without being boring.

Quartz has the beauty of stone, but comes in a variety of colors to fit my needs depending on the backsplash that I choose. Because it is more consistent in pattern and movement than other stones, it fits equally well into traditional, modern, or eclectic homes, which then allow the ultimate style of the space to be determined by the backsplash selection. My favorite combinations are Caesarstone quartz paired with Moroccan tile (photo at left, above) for a more eclectic and colorful vibe, and Caesarstone paired with glass tile which takes it in a more sleek and modern direction.

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