Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not digging it.

Restoration Hardware has a new catalog out for their fall lineup. They heavily tout a couple chandeliers, and I've got to admit... I'm not really a fan.

I think I can pinpoint exactly why I'm not digging them. Were it a single bulb in a birdcage (which is totally a thing) I'd be cool with it. That's a fixture where the birdcage takes up space in an interesting way.

For the restoration hardware piece, I can see how they'd go for an interesting juxtaposition of the sparse birdcage with an ornate and lush chandelier. But for me, something's lost in the fusion of the two into a unified element. The other way to create that tension is to actually juxtapose sparse, aged and somewhat mechanical elements with lush and decadent ones. Of course, that's an interior design solution, not a furniture making solution.

Also, that placement is WAY too low. When you stand up to get into or out of the sofa, you're IN the chandelier. Bad designer/catalog creative director! Bad!

Image lovingly stolen from Restoration Hardware. Original inspiration via MadeByGirl

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Two of the long-standing problems with my apartment have been fixed. I now have both a working outlet by the comfy chair, and a working vent above the stove. How happy am I?

That happy. Thanks Etsy

But now, some other switching things around happened at the apartment.

The 99 cent art? fixed.

The homemade pop art? Hung.

The Aesthetic Apparatus poster? Moved to the kitchen.

The housewarming went well. 11 people fit in my apartment. And they all had places to sit.
Handles? Coming this weekend, allegedly. Refinishing the 4 cheap chairs? Slow but steady progress. Very slow progress.
Anyone have any tips for sanding complex curves in furniture? There are some very tight nooks and crannies I need to get all sanded.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Part of a long-term side side side project I'm looking into. So what are the things I'm studying most right now?

This is a concept for whiskey aficionados called the Johnny Walker House. Built in Shanghai, the three-story construction is designed to be a sort of feast for the senses; a sort of experiential building.

The tasting alcove idea is hardly original, but it looks good. Solidly masculine, the overhead lighting fills the overhead space so it feels intimate, yet also leaves enough breathing room.

I'm a sucker for rich aubergine colored walls.

Not all of the rooms are hits, this one strikes me as bizarre, reminiscent of a bad 70s lounge.

Really? We're using top hats as lighting fixtures now? It falls more along the lines of kitschy than classy.
If you read the press release (which is basically ArchDaily's coverage of the space) you can kind of understand what they're getting at.

images lovingly stolen from ArchDaily.
In an entirely unrelated note, my sources tell me that the Missoni for Target collaboration will be available online (and possibly in some stores) as early as the 12th, not the 13th. If you want that bike, better get there early.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is this how to live in 125 square feet?

One of the recent Apartment Therapy posts on small kitchens featured images from a small studio apartment. How small? 125 square feet. Let's look at what you can fit into a space that small.

I don't like it.

I think it does a great job of illustrating a particular design point of view. I think that if Kristen was in one of those HGTV Design Star white box challenges, she'd get major points for showing her aesthetic in a way that's unmistakeable and visually arresting.

But how are you supposed to live in this space? If you make any sort of accommodation that means you can have guests over and entertain, you lose the visual effect. It feels like a design exercise more than a liveable apartment.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Repotting a succulent for dummies

I decided to visit the local hardware and garden supply store today, to tackle a couple smaller projects, and get the materials for a larger project.

And now, you get to meet Prince.

Of my four plants, Prince was the one doing the best. So well he'd outgrown his pot. So I got him a bigger and better one. It's one those things where the ceramic pot looks nicer than the plastic pot he came in, and the potting soil is of a higher quality. There's also that weird moment where I said to myself You live in an apartment, you don't even have your own outside to plant things in, and you're buying dirt. You're serious about this, aren't you?


The one thing I've learned about Echeveria, it's that you have to remove the outermost leaves from time to time, because they'll get mealy bugs in them if you don't. Also, water the soil, not the plant. Water will get trapped in the rosettes and cause the plant to rot. This happened to Kermit, my other Echeveria (who's green, not purple). Poor thing's still recovering.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The stoves have eyes

Good news on the landlord front. After a month and a half, my non-working outlet has been fixed. This just leaves the oven (fire hazard) and stove vent (non-existent, would be nice to have).

The landlord and I have a teensy communication issue. We use different words for things. So when the maintenance man came 'round to check out the stove, the landlord told me the issue was maybe with the stove's "eyes". Knobs? Burners? Turns out that he thought the issue was with the burners, when the issue was with a stain above the broiler. I drew him a map to the stain, so we'll see if it gets resolved.

Inspired by this progress, I decided to see what else *I* needed to do in the apartment.

Hang photo above bed/sofa

Living room:
Hang small Chinese art (Fixed it! Now all I need is a nail)
Sell chairs
Install curtains (I really hate the vertical blinds, and the landlord gave me the ok)
Put Prince in a larger pot (It'll make sense when you see the photos)
"Restore" fake Eames lounger
Re-finish folding chair. (Paint?)
Figure out how to get a TV in here.

Replace handles (en route)
Mount poster on fridge (just need some magnets)
Project to add some color to the space (planned, probably happening in a couple months)
Organize drawers

Dining room:
Get some flowers for the table
Hang up homemade pop art poster (again, it's the little things you don't realize you need until you don't have them. Like nails)
Hang up other planned poster (it's a secret!)(sort of)
Re-finish chairs

Install handles (en route)
Art for back wall?

More organization (tie rack, tidy things up a bit)

It's a pretty good-sized list for a small space. It's not like a lot of these are things that *need* to be done, it's just me wanting to take it to the next level.

Hope y'all are having a productive weekend too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shaking things up

Shaking things up at this little corner of the web. Trying out a new layout, something a little cleaner and a little classier. That's the good news.
The bad news is that the formatting of all my older posts is going to be a bit off. Also, I'm taking care of some other changes to keep things so fresh and so clean clean. Re-working the logo, trying to add in some features and headers. We'll see how it works out.

Of course if you get the RSS Feed you don't need to worry about any of this. And if you don't get the RSS feed, why not? It's free! And that's cheap at half the price.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Getting back to my roots

When I started this blog, I was not an apartment-owner. I was not covering the slow transformation of a space. I was covering ridiculous product shots.

I'm baaaaaaack
Today's questionable product shot comes courtesy of Design Milk
This is one of a series of lamps made by Enrique Romero de la Llana. Made from recycled newspaper, the lamps are delicate, lightweight and very green.

Apparently, they're also bloodthirsty.

This is another one of those uncanny valley images. However, this is what popped into my mind:

Image lovingly stolen fromDesign Milk