Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quick update

Much as I enjoy making fun of design trends and motifs I think are a little bit weird, I actually have an apartment and career to consider.

Exciting news #1 I purchased a vintage poster for the apartment. Should arrive soon. My pop art was kind of lonely all by itself.

Exciting news #2 I found some leftover initiative in the back of the fridge and I looked into a design-based masters program. Their head of admissions liked what I had to say. It's in interior architecture, which is like actual architecture divided by knowing how to build a building. So, I can make a building, but only the inside parts. On the other hand, I'm told one of the million dollar designers only hires from this program. Nothing's set in stone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

If looks could kill

Anytime they suspected their dinner guests would overstay their welcome, they prepared in advance by wheeling out the minotaurette statue. By the time the dessert course came out, even the most stout-hearted guest would check their watch and anxiously eye the door. No-one was immune to the steely gaze of the minotaurette.

Image lovingly stolen from Desire to Inspire

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Being green is not hard. Really.

Apartment Therapy recently trumpeted green as a great way for people in the northern hemisphere to keep that sense of spring and summer alive into the colder months. Some of the suggestions were less successful than the others. Without further ado, I present a little version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good:
The character and aged patina of the cabinet plays well against the white walls, while the more abstracted floral motif in the wall hanging is echoed in the plants on top of the cabinet.

The Bad:
The green carpet and very light and clean feeling office furniture keeps this feeling very 60s. But not in the cool retro kind of 60s, more like the 'isn't it about time they renovated?' 60s. Not a fan of the green carpets.

The Ugly:

If the green carpets were the early, business-like, Mad Men 60s, these walls are the 1967 Summer of Love long hair kind of 60s. And it's a bad trip, baby.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And now a beautiful moot point

One upside about living alone in a very small apartment in a temperate climate zone is that my energy bills tend to be pretty low. My only guilty pleasure is that I enjoy long, hot showers. I'm sorry planet. I'll make it up to you somehow.

If, however I didn't have all those advantages, I'd want to have a way to keep the bills low, the planet from becoming all hellish and apocalyptic, and most of all, I want it to look pretty. This is where Nest comes in.

Nest is like that beige box that's connected to the heating and cooling in your space, except they made it look pretty. One dial, a screen and some graphics. It's straight out of the Dieter Rams school of design. Mainly because it's been designed partially by the man behind the iPod.

Here it is in action, if you like the youtube.

The best part is it's a learning robot. It has either an advanced computer algorithm, or straight up magic that learns when you do and do not use the heating/cooling system and it turns the dial for you. It's like Skynet, but instead of being evil, it keeps you warm when it's cold out, and cool when its hot out. I'm totally installing one of these in my future hypothetical house, once I get things like money.

Image lovingly stolen from Nest.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Windows, vista

A bit of backstory: When I toured the building, I had the option of two apartments: one in the middle of the building with one window in the main room, and one at the back of the building with two. Not wanting to lose out on the building with the shortest commute, I decided to put a claim down on the one I thought was less desirable that nobody else with better credit would beat me to. I miss windows. The one window doesn't provide all that much ambient light. In that vein, let's look at this inspirational image, lovingly stolen from Design Milk

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In which I accept that I am a bad housekeeper

Ideas? loads of them. First steps towards those inroads? Usually pretty good.

Follow-through? Not so much. For a case study on my procrastination, consider my Case Study cabinet.

As seen on Apartment Therapy!

I purchased this because I decided what my apartment really needed was a little more of a work surface in the kitchen. Plus I did some measurements and it was going to fit well in the kitchen. It's where my recipe books and (eventually) big ol' Kitchenaid mixer will go.

The problem? One bolt was missing.

The lovely folks at Modernica said they would provide a replacement part. Keep in mind that I'm not the original owner, and they still offered me the missing part. That's customer service.

The point of this story is that I had this email in my inbox telling me to come pick up the replacement screw for probably 2 months. I picked the screw up today. Has anyone else ever let a small task like this go undone for a long time? Or are y'all the sort of get it done now types?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's reasons like these I made my blog

I hate to be a cynic or a curmudgeon. I try my best to see the most positive attributes in things. But New York Social Diary you make it so so difficult. If you read The article you learn the residents have a substantial and wide-ranging collection of art and artefacts, including a harpsichord. The apartment, though small is filled with accoutrements that are interesting (and probably pretty pricy, given how much name-dropping NYSD is doing). The fixtures are all very high quality. Even the cord above the chandeleir is silk-wrapped. But they painted the walls this color.
This is one of those times when I'm kind of okay with the ridiculously crowded gallery wall because it means there's less of that color showing through.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


When I dream, spaces take on lives of their own and come together in ways that are non-traditional, but make sense in that dream. This house reminds me of the kinds of architectures I construct in my dreams. This house was built in Japan for a family of four, with a very specific goal: divisions where each family member could have their own individual space, but which kept the feel of a single space, rather than a collection of rooms.
I think they've accomplished that. One space, but with clear divisions. Here's a reverse angle:
Stairs wind up to each bedroom. Not the most efficient, but it offers a unique way to preserve the sense of space, and offer each bedroom access to the shared space. If any of this is hard to visualize, here's a floorplan for the upper level of the house:
Could you live in a house like this? When you dream, what do your dream houses look like? images lovingly stolen from ArchDaily

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Concert posters are one of those well-designed and unique ways to introduce some art into your space. Now a company called BetterWall looks like they're doing gig posters for the public radio crowd. BetterWall sells outdoor banners used to advertize art exhibitions at museums in major cities (LA, NY, Denver... sadly no Minneapolis).
I'm a huge fan of the Ruscha banner, but then again he's probably my favorite living artist.