Friday, February 27, 2009

just when you thought stainless steel was the coolest thing ever

Amana comes out with this.
I'm a fan of the Twilight blue model, but I get the overwhelming feeling that whatever color gets the nod will be our generation's Harvest Gold or Avocado Green. I sincerely hope the striped one doesn't get put into production.
Personally, I think the standard white works best because it color-coordinates with all your fridge magnets, grocery lists and kids' drawings. Don't want macaroni drawings cluttering up the clean lines of your kitchen? Get a stainless steel model. (But you were probably going to do that anyways)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reconciling 'car people' with 'art people'

I'm one of those car guys. The major downside to that aspect of my personality is that it's hard to bring that into design. Most car posters are perfect for garages or the bedroom walls of teenage boys. As a former teenage boy, I admit it worked well for a while.
Now I'm trying to keep things classier. And nothing says class better than rather expensive rugs. (except for caviar, roses, well-pressed tuxedo shirts and Gary Cooper).
Behold, the Oto rug from the Nought Collective

Part of me wonders why a room would need most of a 1970's station wagon on the floor. Part of me thinks that the iconic meaning of that image transcends the seemingly random nature of the design choice. And the last part of me would buy it in a heartbeat, were it either cheaper or me wealthier.
In the meantime, I'll go about seeing if I can't get a super-sized print of this image made.

Image credits:
Apartment Therapy, whom I love and adore.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fun little test: What's your design style

A simple 5 minute quiz from Sproost will answer what your design preferences are. The first time I took the test, the result was 60% Contemporary, 40% Vintage Modern. There's a lot of wiggle-room, and the test is about as scientific as your horoscope, but it's a great weekend time-waster.

So readers, I'm curious to figure out how y'all score.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sometimes customizing IKEA furniture works

Given the proper lighting, I think something like this could work. Or if you need more openness and less color, remove the back panel altogether. I don't have any firsthand knowledge of how stable these things are. A back panel might be necessary for maintaining structural integrity.

Sometimes, plans don't go as well as expected.
One lantern is cool. Two is less dramatic, but still has sufficient presence. Ten is an invasion. In the case of this photo, an alien invasion. I, for one, welcome our new lightly flammable lantern overlords.

These images lovingly stolen from Apartment Therapy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I believe this is what they call a 'shout-out'

So, readers of my blog, one of us has recently announced a new line of upholstered furniture. As though he's not getting enough kudos and complements, I must say I like what I've seen so far. So, a big congratulations are in store to Angelo Surmelis!

More details are available at his blog. (and its a great read, so be sure to check it out)
In the meantime, check out this picture, which I've lovingly stolen from his blog. I really like the pattern: its bold without being gaudy, and works really well with the lines of the piece. I've always felt that stark, contrasting colors work best with simple patterns like this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Taking things outside

I don't have the luxury of having my own driveway. If I did, I think I'd go for these tiles from Solarium Revestimentos.
I'm not as up to date on my landscape design as I should be, but I've been a big fan of permeable driveways. For my money, they're a great way to get the functionality of a driveway without losing the green space of your yard and if you've got an especially small yard, that can be crucial.

Thanks to The Designaddict Blog

Friday, February 13, 2009

A few things I like.

There is a lot of design out there, and trying to keep on top of all of it is a full-time job. I haven't been able to find TOO much I'm morally opposed to, which is a good sign.

This brings me to the following few things that I really like. These Hovis tins from Pedlars. These are the perfect thing for a windowsill garden: clean lines, substantial size, and they'll take on a great patina with age.

This tealight/candle holder from Bald Man Mod. I know the picture shows four, but at time of publishing, there's only one left. I'm a big fan of the color; its the sort of grey that goes with virtually everything.

BAI design clocks
if using the word 'timeless' when describing a clock is wrong, then I don't want to be right. It's got retro style, but it would still look great in a modern kitchen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just say NO to shag

Shag rugs are making a comeback. They've got a lot of things going for them: they're an easy way to add texture to a room, and they're really soft to lie on or walk across in bare feet. But if there is any chance a small child will enter your house, don't buy one.
Here's what will happen: You'll buy the shag rug, and maybe it'll tie the entire room together. So your well-meaning relatives will have to come over and see it. Odds are good that someone will be bringing a small child. All very small children eat cheerios, because they're easy to eat when you don't have fine motor skills. All small children drop cheerios, or whatever small, crunchy food they're eating.
Small children are very good at running away from you. Give the slightest indication that you're chasing after them, and away they totter.
Cheerios have a particular quality where they're able to break down into their component atoms with just the slightest pressure of your foot.

To summarize: Small children WILL enter your home, they WILL spill food on your new shag rug, and it will NEVER be clean again.

This leaves you with the following dilemma: How do you tactfully ban small children from your home? Especially when they're family?

"Oh, come on," they'll say, "it's just a rug"

And that's just it. As funky as they are, shag rugs were never designed for the real world.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pillow Talk

The most diplomatic word I can use to describe this pillow is 'funky'. It's got color and the pattern is the same sort of shape that screams 'Las Vegas neon sign'. The bad news is we're talking the Fat Elvis era of Vegas.

I think that unless done right, this pattern will look garish. Unlike stripes or other simple geometric patterns which mix well with other things, this one will take a lot more careful planning. Keeping it constrained to a pillow makes the job easier.
Image taken from Design Milk
Pillow is from Johnathan Adler

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wallpaper, part 4 of many

It'll never work, they said. But he showed them. A house, entirely from Lego. Construction would have gone a lot faster if they could only find that red piece that they saw like fifty times when they didn't need it.
Image from Apartment Therapy

Friday, February 6, 2009

How not to bring nature into your home

from The Daily Telegraph,
A designer has come up with the idea of a bath-mat that is made of moss, and will be hydrated by the water dripping from your body.
It's non-slip, its good for the environment and it needs minimal care. However, it's the answer to a question that nobody ever asked, nor would ever ask. Something about this strikes me as similar to the Flintstones, where animals would do menial tasks. Absorbing moisture seems the perfect task to outsource to a plant.
Though knowing just how good running barefoot through grass feels, if this is just as soft I'm half-tempted to get one.

Trends of 09 part 2

In my mind, the best way to describe this trend is 'plant silhouettes', but I really hate that word silhouettes... I can never spell it right. In any event, the photos will show what it is that I'm talking about:

Mode Wallpaper

TreeBomb Wallpaper

Fern Pillow from Ferm Living

Pine Tree Sticker from Ferm Living

It's a blend of art and nature. However, it's all about the beauty of natural shapes. Keep it simple and it'll work best. Which is to say, I don't like the first two; they seem a bit too busy for my tastes, but sometimes its hard to get a good sense of scale in wallpaper photos.

So readers, what do you think of this trend?

Thanks to:

Desire to Inspire
Wallpaper from the 70s
frivolous necessities(do check this blog out!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fornasetti: The Next Big Thing?

Comparison shopping for auto insurance has never been a favorite thing of mine. New (to me) car means time to look around and see if I can't get a better deal from the other guy. That took most of my lunch hour, but its one less thing to worry about.
I have been noticing one particular artist getting some attention: Piero Fornasetti, the noted engraver. His work hasn't quite hit the saturation level of the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' posters, but it very well could.
Fornasetti's most known works revolve around the image of the operatic soprano Lina Cavalieri. The images are astounding, but also a little bit haunting. Its like those paintings where the eyes follow you around the room.

One can purchase a limited edition DVD of hundreds of the images, suitable for background entertainment at a party.
Personally, if the Oceania of Orwell's 1984 was run by the Avant-Garde, I think their posters of choice would be these. "Lina Cavalieri is watching you" is a little more unnerving than big brother.

This image and design idea (which can be seen at photographerMark Roskam's website) does not bode well in my mind. It's the feeling of being watched, multiplied by thirty three and served for breakfast and at every meal. If there ever were a way to give yourself paranoia, this would be it.

Image credits: Design Milk
Desire to Inspire