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DIY: Black Beeswax Tapers for the Autumn Table

*N.B.: In a later attempt, I left the candles in the mold to cool for 24 hours, then placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes. They came right out, thus eliminating the need for the daunting boiling water dip below. Phew! Above: With the candles stuck in the molds, I tried the boiling water method. Step 9: Using boiling water to extract tapers is tricky: You have to work quickly and it’s messy. (Don’t wear your best oven mitts.) First, find a pot that’s larger than your mold, fill it with water, and bring to a boil. While the…

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Kitchen of the Week: A Study in Black by Designer Nicole Hollis

A while back, we featured the 5,000-square-foot darkly glamorous studio of San Francisco interior designer Nicole Hollis, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory. (See A Noirish Studio for a San Francisco Design Star.) We were especially taken by the kitchen, which Hollis outfitted almost entirely in shades of black (white walls and a touch of white marble notwithstanding). Let’s take a closer look: Photography by Laure Joliet, courtesy of Nicole Hollis. Above: In the studio’s communal staff kitchen, floors are custom dark gray concrete and walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White—the same finishes used throughout the rest of the studio. Above:…

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Beyond Water Heaters

What’s the first image that pops into your head when you see the term “water heating”? It’s probably a water heater tank. Depending on your interests or what you have in your home, perhaps it’s a tankless or solar water heater. For most people, hot water is all about the device that heats water. Water heating is a system, however, and the water heater is merely one component. Water heating inputs The water heater has two inputs: water and energy. The hot water that comes out of the water heater has to travel through a distribution system to reach the…

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Kitchen Cabinets That Won’t Go Out of Style

Though fun and exciting, a kitchen renovation is bound to be a time-consuming and pricey proposition—so you’ll want results that you’ll love right now and down the road. That may mean choosing classic cabinets. As the literally in-your-face aesthetic statement of your kitchen, cabinets shouldn’t make you wonder “What were we thinking!?” when you grab your coffee mug each morning. In your research stage, as you peruse ornate millwork, unique textures, and bold colors, take a breath and consider the options here, all likely to retain their appeal for a good while. Classic Kitchen Cabinets Styles With one of these…

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10 Easy Pieces: Modern Halo Chandeliers

We’ve long admired the modern—yet simultaneously medieval—halo chandelier, designed with wood, iron, stainless, and even chainmail components. Here are our all-time favorites: Above: The West Elm LED Hoop Chandelier Antique Brass is $499. Above: The Ochre Artic Pear Chandelier Round is available in five different sizes. Contact Ochre for ordering information. Above: Oversize, two-tier iron Mate Chandelier by Oakland-based blacksmith John Sarriugarte of Form & Reform originally designed for the late Camino Restaurant in Oakland; contact Form & Reform for ordering information. Above: Designed by Paul Loebach for Roll & Hill, the Halo Circle Pendant Light, shown in Brushed Brass,…

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Steal This Look: A Darkly-Designed Dining Room with Antique Charm

When Annie first wrote about the neo-Gothic renovation of a historic house in Omaha, Nebraska, she noted the way in which the Brooklyn-based firm, Ridge House, was able to at once preserve and modernize the space. White walls? Nope. Bright brass fixtures? Not even close. While bucking all design trends du jour, Ridge House layered shades of gray and dark wood with original fixtures and antique furniture. Here we detail their exact sources, where applicable, and a few of our own look-alikes for a similar effect overall. Above: The designers restored the original woodwork from floors to trim. Photography by…

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