Friday, January 29, 2010

A Bit of Humor for the Weekend

In college {as an undergraduate}, my friends and I would spend hours on end making up stories for people we saw daily but didn't know.  We had complete life stories for the people we knew by sight in the dining commons, regulars at coffee shops and the "townies".  They all had descriptive nicknames as well for easy identification.

I came across Unhappy Hipsters, a website doing a modified version of this but using photographs from Dwell.  It totally made my day so I had to share.

Two of my favorite posts:

You can come out when you can properly explain the differences between Modernist architecture and postmodern ornamentation.

He tried to focus on the novel, and not how much his bedroom reminded him of a plywood coffin.
{photos: Dwell via Unhappy Hipsters}

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Two Years Later....


...and I still think about this dining room designed by the Gerald Pomeroy Design Group for the Boston Design Center's Dream Home {2008 I think}.  It's traditional but not stiflingly so and it had the most beautiful silver cherry blossom wallpaper.  I think I tracked down the source at the time but have since forgotten, I wish I still knew.

{photo: press flyer by Gerald Pomeroy Design Group}

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hotel Altstadt, Vienna, Austria

I really enjoy hotel design, not only designing them but browsing designs of hotels all over.  I came across the Hotel Altstadt in Vienna, Austria and I really enjoy the glamour of the spaces designed by Matteo Thun.

The corridor is very dramatic with a great damask wallpaper.  It's traditional but modern.

The Felix suite is has a gorgeous chandelier, wooden herringbone floors {which I would love to have someday myself}, an over-sized tufted headboard and an en-suite bathroom on a platform.  Luckily the toilet seems to be tucked into a separate space.  I've never really been big on the bathrooms completely exposed to the bedroom, it looks great but functionally I'd rather they be separate.







 The Leonie Guestroom is another of my favorites.  I love the dark colors, dueling damasks and see-through bathroom with the option of privacy.





{photos: #1, 3-5, 8-12 - altstadt-vienna; #2, 6 & 7 - kussler/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0}

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Barn Renovation Week 1 :: Mouse-sicles

Here is an overall shot of the upstairs of the barn.  It's almost 700 square feet which is a pretty large open space {much larger than my last apartment was anyway and it was divided up into 4 rooms}.

Right now the room is being used to store extra furniture {and my gigantic drafting table, 4' high by 5' wide, which I have convinced my sister will make a great cutting mat}.   We spent the day cleaning.  There were the aforementioned spiders and egg sacks everywhere {gross}, one mouse-sicle {even more gross}, and plenty of roofing shingle bits from the new roof.  The photo is a bit dark since we got a late start and then got side tracked.  The lighting, and really all the electrical in the barn, is a bit on the scary side so it took a while to figure out where to plug in the lights.  There are a lot of fluorescent fixtures dangling everywhere but it's a crap-shoot as to which ones you can get on.  The wiring as you can see in the photo below, is a disaster.


There are dangling outlets, some of which were nailed directly to the roof.  The were removed so none of the roofers electrocuted themselves pounding nails in but now are just hanging


This is some more "fancy" wiring in the barn....and a random roll of insulation which also came with the barn.


If you look closely at the photo below you will see a wire just hanging out on the shelf.  Not sure what it is attached to....

Needless to say, someone will eventually be redoing all the wiring.  What is there is frightening and randomly placed but for now that's what we have to work with - though it's turned off at the circuit breakers when no one is inside just in case.


Another big issue is the flooring.  There is a double layer of plywood on the back half of the second floor {where the furniture is sitting}.  The other half is only a single layer and it's pretty flimsy.  You can see clear to the first floor in some sections and it feels like some of the pieces might just collapse when you walk on them.  I walk around on tiptoes, like a fool, only where I see nails since hopefully there is a beam underneath.   The last thing I'd like to do is wind up on the first floor without meaning to.


If you look closely you can see where a circle has been drawn so you know not to walk on that spot.

The first order of business, since we will be doing fairly substantial renovations, is to go to the Town Hall and get a building permit.  It's not the most fun part of the job, but an essential one.  We will hopefully get a good idea of the expectations of the town and when they need to inspect {after the electrical is installed and at the end for sure, but perhaps there are other times I don't know about}.

In the meantime, now that all the roofing material and dirt have been swept up, we have to determine how many pieces of plywood to replace.  If there are only a few {I originally estimated 15 boards} we will be able to start fairly soon. Hopefully we will only have to replace a few and the old boards will do, we're getting an opinion on that this week.  If we have to wait a bit it will just mean more time to design!  That's the fun part though so I wouldn't mind too much.

I'll be measuring and putting together the floor plans over the next couple of weeks so I'll be certain to share them.  I'm hoping to put the design into 3D for my sister to be able to see the design before committing to anything.  I'm learning a new program but I may just use SketchUp since I'm familiar with it {though it has it's quirks and a tendency to make me crazy}.

Here's hoping that next week's update has photos of a completed floor!

{photos: jeanine}

Friday, January 22, 2010

Barn Renovation

My newest project is more hands on and intensive than anything I have done before.  I have always done the design on paper and visited the site while construction is taking place or visited workrooms to check on other people's work.  I haven't yet participated in a project, doing actual construction work, from start to finish.

That is about to change since my sister has decided to renovate her barn and I will be helping.  It's a scary-spider {and cute little woodchuck} filled barn with the upstairs floors you think you will fall through - there are circles drawn around the worst spots.  The deadline for this to be completed is June 1st.

The plan for the space is to have car parking, storage and a work bench downstairs.  Upstairs there will be a playroom, exercise room and crafting area.

It's quite an ambitious project and an even more ambitious schedule but I think it will be fabulous in the end.  I have been compiling a folder of images for a few months now {when the project was in the "wouldn't it be great if....." stage} and it will be nice to see the completed project.  Plus my sister will have a huge addition to her little hobbit house.

I will hopefully be posting updates every Sunday night about the project's progress and/or setbacks.  The first work day is tomorrow, we will be clearing out the spiders and doing a bit of organizing, so stay tuned.

{photo of a different barn:  mema_nh/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0}

Dixie Furniture Co.

I found this little end table/commode on Craigslist by the Dixie Furniture Co. and picked it up last week.

There was no mention in the ad that it would stink like someone had locked themselves in a closed room with it and an unlimited supply of cigarettes for a year.  I loved the inset panels on the front and it's general mid-century happiness so I took it anyway {it was super cheap which helped a lot}.  Since then it has spent a week in my trunk airing out, today I took it out and it will be spending days in the sun and nights in the garage for another week while the weather is good.  After that I think I'll bleach it and lysol it before I start work on it.

I was doing a bit of research on the piece - I'd hate to go crazy painting it white and {perhaps} adding knobs if it was a nice piece - but it seems heavy enough to be made completely out of MDF and my research is turning up nothing so far so I think I'm safe.

I can't wait to start sanding and painting!

{photo: jeanine}

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Distracted by Wallcoverings

I really love the Pemberley Wallpaper from Graham & Brown.  My old excuse being late for work was that I had become distracted by shiny things.  It was never actually a reason I was late for work {traffic was the culprit} but I really am distracted by shiny things.

This Darcy Wallpaper would also qualify for something distractingly good.  And the paper below is called Tempting, which I do believe is appropriate.


{photo: Graham & Brown}

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bench Cushion

I finally finished making this little bench cushion for the window seat/bookshelf I am making.  I bought this fabric online at Design Diva Fabrics a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately, I thought the scale was going to be much smaller than it actually was {I forgot to check the repeat, it was late} so I couldn't use it for it's original intended use.  When I'm doing projects for others I always get a sample, I don't know why I can't follow the same rules for myself. Perhaps I secretly like the surprises.

Luckily I was able to use the fabric for the bench cushion and I'm quite happy with it.

The guts of the cushion is made up of tons of squares of foam I had lying around that I had originally intended to use for something else so I bound them up with some batting and sewed them in.  I used two layers of really thick batting so you can't tell it's more than one piece of foam in there.

I'm hoping having the cushion on top of the bench will be nice for the cat.  Maybe it will keep her from shoving my laptop off the ottoman she has decided I can no longer use.

{photo: jeanine}

Monday, January 11, 2010

Comet Pendant Light

I was up early today to update my computer.  The update wouldn't finish due to an error but I did find this crazy Comet Pendant Light at Horchow.  I have been zooming trying to see if the 'crystals' would look like cut glass or cheap plastic beads in person, but I just really like the light, so perhaps it wouldn't matter.

One link led to another and I found this oval mirror.

And realized that I have found almost $1,000 worth of things I really want before the sun is even up so I'm turning off the computer now and backing away slowly.

{photo: Horchow}

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm Stalking This House

I have $1 and I know people do it somehow.  I check on it monthly to see if it's still there and it is.  I think the boards over the first floor windows are new but it looks as lonely and abandoned as always.

If someone sells it to me for $1 I promise to fix it up all pretty.  :)

In all honestly, it's in an excellent location near a cute New England downtown but it's in a neighborhood of million dollar homes and I wonder if I would even want to pay that tax bill when it came.  It will be an amazing home someday though.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Design Research Exhibit, Cambridge

 A Design Research exhibit has temporarily moved into the old Design Research building in Brattle Square that Crate & Barrel was most recently occupying.  The exhibit marks the 40th anniversary of Design Research {1969-2009}.

The information accompanying the exhibit reads:

What was Design Research?  Before lifestyle was a buzzword, architect Benjamin Thompson (1918-2002) sold it - his version of the most up-to-date way to live - from a Brattle St. store called Design Research.  What it sold was a warm, eclectic, colorful, and international version of modernism, one that mixed folk art with designer products. 

D/R pioneered the idea of one-stop shopping for tools to eat, to sleep, to dress, and even party in a beautiful way.  D/R became an everyday statement of Ben's philosophy of life; comfort for the body, beauty for the senses, and power for the imagination.

At the time there was nothing like D/R - a store that invited customers to celebrate the 'art in everyday life'.  D/R would eventually add eleven more locations across the US, and extend and extend the design approach to other communities.

This unique retrospective represents the forward-looking furnishings, products, fabrics and fashions introduced to the American marketplace by Design Research International from 1953 through 1978.





The exhibit has the usual suspects including Marimekko, Iittalia, Aalto and Knoll.  All in all, I think the exhibit is worth visiting if you are in the area.  I love the overabundance of lanterns in the first photo and the simplicity of the different areas that is livened up by the addition of the Marimekko fabrics and other textiles.

The last picture has a lot of glare in it but I couldn't resist adding in a picture with the wooden rocking horse {deer?}.

{all photos: jeanine}

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stealing Ideas from Across the Pond - v.1

It's no secret that I love Living Etc magazine.  If I were allowed, I would move into any {and every} home featured.  At the end of their home articles they have an ideas to steal with sources from the UK but I wanted to put together a idea board with how to get the look if you are in the States.

Inspiration Photo.  This room was from the January 2008  issue {which I never bought but wish I had}.

Design Board:

#1: Townsend Sofa a less expensive sofa can be found at IKEA.
#2: Chandelier.
#3: Red Brindle Cowhide Rug.
#4: Alpaca Throw.
#5: Nabucco pillow.
#6: Thai Silk Scooter Pillow.
#7: Flower Pillow.
#8: Floating Wall Shelves if you back them with glossy black painted plywood you have the same look. 
#9: Venetian Mirror or a more affordable & simple version or an extra large leaning floor mirror.
#10: Coffee Table but I think I would use something a little more glamorous {and 1/3 the price}. 

Some of the pillows are a bit on the expensive side but pillows are something that anyone can make if they can sew a straight line and then the possibilities are really unlimited as far as the design.  I recover pillows when I want a quick change in a room and the pillow covers can be stored for later use next time you are feeling bored with your room.

{photos: #1 - LivingEtc, #2 - jeanine}

Monday, January 4, 2010

Craigslist ♥

I ♥ this chandelier.

Christmas has passed and my birthday is half a year away.  Besides I don't think I know anyone who could afford to splurge on a $3500 chandelier for me just because I am in love with it.

If anyone is interested, you can find it on Craigslist in Boston.  There are some unaffordable sconces too, darn it!

Winter Windows at Barneys

I would never think to put any winter holiday and the 35th anniversary of Saturday Night Live together, but that's just what Barneys did this winter.



I suppose the only way these are holiday windows is due to the saying around the edge.  It reads, "have a witty holiday".   Though I haven't regularly watched it in years, I did love SNL back in the day and it was interesting to see which characters were selected for the windows.  The slightly surreal and misshapen faces do creep me out a bit though.

{photos: jeanine}

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lzf Lighting

I found myself in love with these lights from Spanish company, Lzf Lamps. This is another image from my ICFF trip last year that I hadn't yet put up.

I love the Pod & Poppy pendant lamps shown below, especially in red, designed by Burkhard Dämmer.  They are simple but certainly not hard on the eyes.

I also enjoyed the Link suspension lamp designed by Ray Power {white is my favorite here}, I generally find myself drawn to items with curves rather than straight lines and this lamp is no exception.

They have some amazing installation photos to browse in their site so take a look if you have some time.

{photos: jeanine}

Friday, January 1, 2010

Trove Wallcoverings

I found this photo I had taken at the ICFF last year.  The wallcovering is from New York based Trove, which has some amazingly beautiful large-scale patterns.  {The pattern that is most prominent in the photo is called errai.}

It looks like they are now producing vinyl window films, which are so much nicer than much of what is out there, lighting and wood veneer wallcoverings.  There wasn't much detail about the new products on the website so I guess I will just have to wait until May to find out more.

I really like the large scaled patterns and the fact that some are a bit sparse.  This is very nice for large spaces or when you don't want a typical wallcovering pattern, some of them almost seem more like paintings than a wall covering.

The only downside I can see it there are so many fabulous patterns I can't decide which I like best!

{photo: jeanine}

Happy New Year!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful New Year and thank those who read this blog (I think there are a few of you).  I'm glad you think enough of this site to stop by.

{photo: xkimjoanne/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0}
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