Kitchen Pantry Ideas for a Seriously Stylish

The key to a spotless kitchen is a well-organized pantry. These two spaces make a perfect team, with the kitchen doing the heavy lifting in terms of prep and the pantry providing plenty of room to stash tools, ingredients, and serving pieces. While storage is the centerpiece of the pantry and should be the main consideration when it comes to design, the space can do double duty as a bar or a secondary prep area for food and floral arrangements. It can also serve as a showcase for collections of glassware and china, on open shelving, in glass-front cabinets, or even on the wall. See how Steven Gambrel, Barbara Westbrook, Ray Booth, and other designers have created highly organized and beautifully functional pantry spaces.

In the pantry of a Bridgehampton, New York, home designed by Steven Gambrel, a white-oak ladder by Putnam Rolling Ladder Co. makes the tall shelves easily accessible; polished-nickel pendant lamps by Hudson Valley Lighting illuminate the space.

Antique Wedgwood and Coalport china is stored in the pantry of architect Jim Joseph and musical theater composer Scott Frankel’s upstate New York home.

The pantry of architect Alison Spear’s Hudson Valley, New York, home is outfitted with a 1930s pendant light and heirloom china; the dishwasher is by Miele.

Tips for Makeover Your Home

Being an interiors journalist has given Claire Bingham insider access to many incredible homes, and she’s learned a thing or two about great design along the way. In her new book, Modern Living: How to Decorate with Style (TeNeues, $55), she reveals how to think like the top interior designers whose work she’s witnessed. “Yes, you can devise a scheme based around a gorgeous new cushion, but it is best to think less about colors or details. Focus more on the mood and emotion, instead. Homes should make you happy,” Bingham writes. She walks us through the decorating process room by room, with tips and tricks for overhauling a space or just making a few quick upgrades. Here, we share some of her most memorable pieces of advice.

Once you’ve come up with an overall idea for your living room and determined your furniture needs (and where those pieces will go), it’s all about adding character, says Bingham. Here, an old sofa was reupholstered in a funky floral fabric that matches the wallpaper.

“Comfort comes first in the bedroom, so make your bed the priority,” writes Bingham. “Go for extra wide and get the best mattress you can afford. To make your bed extra inviting, introduce an extra set of satin pillows to crisp white cotton linen and layer with velvet and wool throws.”

Give your work space just as much attention as the rest of your home, Bingham says. And while an aesthetically pleasing spot is important, the real must-haves are a tidy surface, good task lighting, and a comfortable chair.

Kitchens for an Easy Home Renovation

Embarking on a custom kitchen renovation? Before you drive yourself crazy with cabinetry fittings and countertop consultations at stores all over town (or the Internet), consider the benefits of a ready-made kitchen. Convenient and in some cases surprisingly affordable, all-in-one kitchen designs can be customized to suit any-sized space (measurements are key) and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles, from Italian modern to country traditional and everything in between. Here, AD rounds up 17 stunning examples that let you choose every element—think hardware, finishes, and more—in one shot, streamlining the design process without compromising on beauty and functionality.

Downsview
The brand provides an extensive range of kitchen components, including these Modena cabinetry doors in a milk-paint finish and a handsome credenza in wire-brushed oak.

Arclinea
The sleek new Principia kitchens by Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio for Arclinea feature handsome wood-grain cabinetry and specially treated stainless steel in three finish options.

Snaidero
LOOK by Snaidero was designed as a canvas that allows homeowners to create their unique kitchen vision. The wooden worktop has adjustable heights and widths, while pantry units come in several sizes to accommodate different layouts.

Spaces will forever change your opinion of soft hues

Easter eggs aren’t the only things that look good in pastels—your interiors are a natural place to experiment with springtime shades and pale hues. Once confined to nurseries and tropical spaces, pastel colors can be surprisingly versatile: Pink goes from baby-doll to boho-chic thanks to woven textures and grounding neutrals; paired with clean lines and tailored upholstery, a plum room feels contemporary without being intimidating. What’s more, the understated color profile of pastels creates an adaptable backdrop that holds up against bold prints and patterns in a more interesting way than plain-old white, and a more subtle manner than statement-making jewel tones. Perhaps that’s why softer palettes have made a comeback in recent years. With spring just around the corner, Architectural Digest has rounded up 30 pastel rooms to lighten your mood and get you ready for the season.

Shown: In the master bedroom of designer and architect Dmitry Velikovsky’s Moscow duplex, the ornate piece atop the headboard was originally the back of a 19th-century Burmese monk’s chair; the lamp is by IKEA. The Indonesian mask on the side table is surmounted by a small landscape painting by Nikolay Dubovskoy and a photograph by Nikolai Kulebiakin; the walls are sheathed in faux suede.

Interior designer May Daouk’s late-19th-century villa in Beirut is oriented around an expansive antiques-filled living room painted a striking lilac. The table at left displays ceramics found at John Rosselli Antiques. The purple armchairs are from Ann-Morris Antiques, and the large Oushak carpet is 19th century.

A Walton Ford painting spans one wall of the living room in a Dutchess County, New York, farmhouse designed by G. P. Schafer Architect; the lamps are by Vaughan, the Gustavian chairs are from Evergreen Antiques, and the circa-1880s Sultanabad rug is from Beauvais Carpets.

Minimalism Home Design

Do you believe less is more or more is more? Do you like to stick with the essentials, or do you bring home something new from every excursion? Do you prefer a foundation of serene neutral hues, or are you drawn to no-holds-barred color? Basically, are you a minimalist or a maximalist? Ultimately, there is no wrong answer—there is beauty in both the thoughtful simplicity of a minimalist space and the eye-catching mix of tones and textures in a maximalist one—but many designers (and design lovers) have a preference. So we asked a few top designers to weigh in on why they love one or the other. Here’s what they had to say.

“Though not necessarily minimalist, we define our style as ‘layered modernism’—a refined aesthetic that combines clean lines with luxurious materials and finishes, creating warm, sophisticated, and comfortable spaces. We do appreciate minimalism’s long unbroken expanses, simple details, and soft color palette—these act as a visual palate cleanser. As a society, we are assaulted every day by a barrage of visual stimuli—it’s overwhelming. A reductive environment allows the eye, the mind, and the soul to rest and rejuvenate. A successful minimalist setting, highlighting form and line and free of superfluous detailing, can be utterly sublime. What I don’t think people appreciate about minimalist design is that it’s not as easy as it looks—in fact, it requires rigorous precision in planning and execution. With traditional detailing, errors in measuring can be masked with thick moldings and flounces of fabric. With minimalism, everything has to be ‘perfect’; adjoining materials, walls, and floors, have to be exactly straight—any deviation shows terribly.” —Russell Groves of Groves & Co.

“Minimalism in architecture is a movement. Maximalism is a lifestyle of living in an unimprovable space that can’t be altered structurally so one must overwhelm the senses with objects, pillows, and color. True minimalism uses the refinement of materials and the poetry of intersecting planes with the relationship of objects and their proximity to each other. Maximalism is hedonistic and bohemian in its message. If you can’t hide it, paint it red.” —Simon Townsend Jacobsen of Jacobsen Architecture

“Minimalism allows beautiful objects to be seen in their most sculptural and pure form whether they are modern or antique. What is essential, though, is that a space be comfortable and warm—a chair should have a lamp nearby for good light for reading, and sitting areas should be conducive to good conversation.”

“Abhorring my parents’ modernist taste in furnishings and decoration happened very early in my childhood—1935! Very much like today’s younger generation, everything was quick delivery and off the shelf. There was no regard for the past or Granny’s best. My take for the past was immediate. My yearning to collect went along with that, as my mother was to nickname me Collyer (after the famous Collyer brothers) by the time I was eight years old. I loved the romance of being a collector.” —Mario Buatta

“There is a joy in designing a space without limitations and restrictions, where excess is encouraged and unlikely pairings create beautiful and unexpected harmonies.” —Kelly Wearstler

“A layered, maximal interior is hard to photograph. The camera cannot always take in all the detail, and they can look garish. However, in life the good ones are wonderful and always make things a bit more piquant. One gets to play with so much: color, texture, scale, juxtaposition, and multitude of objects through the centuries. Minimalism is the thing that takes discipline.”

 

Steps to an Organized Garage

A garage is a natural place to hide away anything you don’t want cluttering up the inside of your home, whether it’s a box of holiday ornaments or outgrown clothes. The problem is that over time, the space can start to look like a dumping ground. “If you can’t fit a car or two in the garage, you need to reassess what you’re keeping in it and how it’s organized,” says Amelia Meena, owner of Appleshine, a New York–based organizing service. She recommends doing a thorough garage reorg twice a year, as your storage needs will change seasonally. Here’s her five-step plan for getting the job done.

Put it on the calendar
While you can probably chip away at cleaning up your closet, tackling an organizing project like a garage is better handled all at once, says Meena. For most people, she recommends setting aside a weekend for the project. “If you commit to overhauling the space and setting up a system, any future changes become much more manageable.”

Consider your ideal layout
Before you start organizing, set your priorities for the garage, says Meena. “This will help you figure out how to best divide up the space.” For some people, the main goal may be to clear it out enough to park two cars inside; others may be looking to set up a dedicated area for tools or garden gear. Determine whether you need everything to be easily accessible or are okay with a stacking system that may leave less frequently used items difficult to reach.

Home in on a strategy
To kick off the project, Meena works with clients to determine how they work best: Some people prefer to start with the hardest organizing tasks, to get them out of the way; some people like beginning with the easiest job; and some choose to focus on the spot where change will make the biggest impact. “Figure out what would be most motivating for you and keep you going,” she says.

Sort, purge, repeat
Now comes the hard part: figuring out what to keep and what to let go of. “You have to differentiate between what really belongs in a garage and what’s just taking up space,” says Meena. For most people, tools, outdoor gear, bikes, and seasonal decorations all make sense in a garage. What doesn’t? Anything you put out there because you didn’t know what to do with it. “Often people decide they have too much stuff, box it up, and just put it in the garage,” she says. “Those items—books, old clothes, decor items—are typically ready to be put out to pasture”—i.e., donated or recycled.

 

Best Paint Colors For Great Home

As summer wraps up and the air cools down, it’s natural for everyone’s design inclinations to shift, too. We swap T-shirts for chunky knits and airy linen bedding for cozy quilts, but nowhere is this transition more evident than in the world of color, where we all tend to move away from beachy pastels and gravitate toward richer, deeper, moodier hues. But which shades should you choose? With that question on our minds, we asked interior designers to share the paint colors they’re drawn to this season, plus how they’d use their picks to bring autumn indoors.

“We love Benjamin Moore’s Palmer Green. We like to think of it as more of a foundation or neutral that complements so many colors. We recently used it in a client’s library and paired it with teal accents. It really is so versatile and will transition into spring and summer when paired with a fresh pea-green.” —Jennifer Hunter and Georgie Hambright, J + G Design

“Mardi Gras by Benjamin Moore reminds me of an early fall sunset and works great with burnt orange, aubergine, and steely gray blue. It’s a fresh color, not an expected one.”

“There is something about Ralph Lauren’s Gramercy Green that feels like autumn to me—the vibrant green of summer about to be overtaken by the oranges and yellows of fall. I like the idea of this color for the walls in a den with a fire roaring in the evening. A collection of blue-and-white vases would sing with this color as their backdrop.”

Kitchen That Stays True to Its History

When Mass Design Group cofounder Alan Ricks decided to remodel his Boston apartment, he had a lucky head start: Ricks’s unit, on the top floor a charming 1850s brownstone, came chock-full of original architectural features. But there was still plenty of work to do, specifically in the kitchen; the dark exposed brick wall and wood trusses, previously stained a deep brown, didn’t jibe with Ricks’s dream of an airy gathering area where friends could mingle while a meal bubbled on the stove. Ricks promptly whitewashed those moody elements and stuck to a limited color and material palette, instantly brightening up the room and creating a simple backdrop for special elements to shine. “The idea that design affects behavior is true for the home as well,” he says. “Creating this open kitchen layout, for example, shapes the social dynamic and creates a bright, welcoming space that is great for entertaining.”

Mass Design Group has a “LoFab”—locally fabricated—approach to design, and Ricks applied the same philosophy to his personal project. “Design decisions were developed collaboratively with the craftsmen who would do the building, sourcing materials regionally wherever possible and taking opportunities to highlight the craft of construction.” Case in point: the kitchen’s custom stairwell. Another advantage of the apartment’s elevated perch—and what convinced Ricks to buy the home in the first place—was access to the rooftop. However, to appreciate the valuable outdoor space, you had to climb up a perilous folding ladder. No longer. Ricks worked with expert carpenters and metalworkers to create wood steps that rise from the floor to blend directly into the kitchen island, then curve up into a matte-white spiral stairway. “To achieve this in one piece, the stair had to be craned into place,” he says.

 

The modular answer to a home without a built in wine cellar

Wine cellars are a luxury most city dwellers don’t expect to find in a home, but soon that might change. To make the amenity more accessible, one company is digging deep, literally. Spiral Cellars specialize in exactly what their name suggests—vertical wine cellars that are wrapped around a cylindrical opening beneath your floorboards. The design, created from engineered concrete, allows for the storage of 1,900 bottles of wine, without compromising on square footage.

It’s a wine lover’s dream, as it’s not only an über-luxurious way of showcasing your collection, it’s also practical. The storage unit has a commercial-grade climate-control system, which means that bottles can be kept at the ideal temperature as the ventilation setup swaps out warm air for cold.

Best of all, though, is how easy the unit is to install. The in-home process only takes three to nine days when done by Spiral Cellars. Plus, it doesn’t require any foundation work or breaking into belowground, as it can be housed within a basement or crawlspace.

Of course, collecting wine as a hobby is going to cost you—so it might not be a shock that Spiral Cellars run between $23,000 and $67,000 each. Take a deeper look at what goes into making one below.

 

Working with a Virtual Decorator

Over the last few years, the rise of online decorating services has made a once-rarefied world much more accessible. Companies that offer personalized, virtual interior design ideas—Laurel & Wolf, Home Polish, Decorist, and Havenly, to name a few—have made hiring a decorator as easy as shopping for shoes online. It no longer requires deep pockets, a lengthy research process, or even an in-person meeting. But is online decorating right for everyone—or every room? We turned to a couple of experts to find out how to get the most out of the experience, and get the (real life) space of your dreams.

DO the groundwork
The more information you can provide from the outset, the better. Complete the online quizzes and style assessments to hone in on the look you’re going for. And when it comes to describing your current space, go overboard. “More is more when it comes to working virtually,” says Kimberly Winthrop, a designer with Laurel & Wolf. “The more communication, photos, measurements, and inspiration references, the better your designer will know you and the better your project will flow.” In addition to taking full-room shots, “take photos of details that make your space unique, like moldings, so that your designer can factor them into the design,” says Emily Motayed, co-founder of Havenly.

DON’T be a stickler
The decorators working with these services are vetted—a great reassurance that you’re working with a pro. Look through online portfolios to get a feel for a designer’s work before you hire him or her, but keep in mind it’s better to see that they can work within a range of aesthetics rather than deliver a highly specific look. “Their style may not be exactly your style, but any good designer should be able to deliver what you like,” explains Winthrop.

Home Inspiration and Ideas

“Sometimes I feel like a chef at a farmers’ market,” says decoupage artist John Derian, amid the vast collection of antique etchings, engravings, and manuscripts in his studio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “What’s available is what I end up using,” he says of the prints, which he finds at estate sales and flea markets and fashions into his signature creations. For more than two decades Derian has sold his own plates, lamps, and other objets alongside a selection of artisan-made home goods at his eponymous shops in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Now his favorite images—from delicate 18th- and 19th-century botanical and animal studies to charming children’s drawings—have come out of their storage bins (Hermès boxes and vintage suitcases) and onto the pages of his first tome, John Derian Picture Book (Artisan, $75). “It’s like a self-portrait,” he says of the volume. “These images have been part of my life for so long, they’re like friends.” On the occasion of the book’s publication, we paid a visit to Derian’s studio to discover the pictures, patterns, and objects that color his imaginative world.

“The two gloxinias were a natural fit together,” says Derian of an exuberant floral spread in his new book. “The left image is from an early-20th-century French magazine, and the right from a 19th-century Belgian horticultural journal.”