Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bookshelf: Flea Market Style

For today's Bookshelf I've picked four books on decorating with flea market finds. Clockwise from top left: Flea Market Style by Emily Chalmers (which I have and love), Paris Flea Market by Herbert Ypma, Old + New by Katherine Sorrell, and Junk Style by Melanie Molesworth. Looking at these makes me want to dash off to the flea market this weekend to do some serious browsing. If you have a favourite flea market find, please share!

Books At Home

Books At Home is a blog about bookshelves, with inspiring photos of both vintage and modern designs. I liked the elegant simplicity of the Lodovico Acerbis Blitz Shelving (above), available from the Bonluxat website.

Illustration Renaissance

Have a look at this encouraging article about the illustration biz in Computer Arts. Interesting insights on how illustration has evolved over the last 15 years.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lost Found Art

Lost Found Art is a design company that "...specializes in sculptural installations and assemblages using antique and vintage pieces." They have a wonderful eye for beauty in the most unexpected objects, and a quick browse through their website shows how even the most modest items can have a big impact when selected and displayed with care - a great lesson for any collector. Have a look at their work (and available collections) here.

American Folk Art Museum

More antiques inspiration can be found at the American Folk Art Museum website. Selected artwork from its collection is also available as reproductions, and can be ordered from the museum's Book and Gift Shop. Shown above is one of its most popular pieces, Girl in Red With Cat and Dog by Ammi Phillips, dating from the 19th century and available as a poster.

More interesting links:
Museum of International Folk Art
Mingei International Museum
Japan Folk Crafts Museum

Folk Art Display

A quiet corner of the Binth design studio is enlivened by the display of two small collections on a bookshelf. Via Blueprint.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Shelley Jackson has written a thought-provoking meditation on the colour mauve for Cabinet magazine. A quote: "What is mauve? That pale violet that makes certain flowers seem to fluoresce at dusk, or the sullen, sullied rose of Victorian lampshades and mourning dresses? A cooler magenta, a gooier violet? Mauve, the color of ish, is defined most clearly by hedging negatives: not quite pink, not quite purple." Read the rest here. Shown above is Sir William Perkin’s original mauve dye, 1856 (Science Museum collection).

Deceptive Mauve

More purplish tones, this time in an allegorical painting of deception by Lorenzo Lippi (1606 - 1665), from the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers. I discovered this on the Femme Femme Femme blog, which is dedicated to women in art (both as subject and as artist). Via Amy Crehore's wonderful Little Hokum Rag blog.

Funky Mauve

Just one more. This is Dombra, designed in the 1960's by Maija Isola and Kristina Isola for Marimekko, and still available today (in several colours).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Whites

The light-filled renovated Victorian home of Daniela and Garth Paton, in South Africa. Via Elle Decoration SA.

An elegant bedroom with personality, designed by Thom Felicia. Love the bedside table!

From Marie Claire Maison, a relaxed bedroom in a Paris loft that used to be an old factory.

A kitchen that could double as an artist's atelier in the Fritz Hansen catalogue, via Remodelista.

Vivienne Flesher

Illustration Friday has a great interview with the award-winning illustrator Vivienne Flesher. Read it here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Little Warmth for the Weekend

Something to give you a gentle glow inside on a cold weekend afternoon - Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate! You'll find the recipe here on the Body + Soul website.

How to Become an Illustrator

Illustrator Nate Williams not only has a brilliant and varied career, but he's generous about sharing all his hard earned knowledge, too. Have a look at his tips page for illo newbies on his website: How to Become an Illustrator. Shown above is the iPod skin he designed a couple of years ago. Via the blog of another amazing illustrator, Camilla Engman.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bookshelf: International Modern

For today's Bookshelf I've found some inspiring books about modern style around the world. Clockwise, from upper left: India Contemporary by Henry Wilson, The Japanese House by Alexandra Black (traditional, but with modern sensibilities), Scandinavian Modern by Magnus Englund and Global Style by Lesley Dilcock. If you have any favourite books on this theme, please share...

Driftwood Shelf

Speaking of books, I love this brilliantly simple idea for a shelf by Susan Herr, a Design*Sponge reader. Grace of D*S reports that Susan was in the process of renovating a cottage on Lake Champlain in Vermont when she was inspired to use the driftwood on the shore. You can find Susan's instructions on how to make your own driftwood shelf here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mid-Century Modern in the Mailbox

As seen on design blogs everywhere (as noted by Jessica of How About Orange) ... the Eames commemorative stamps, set for release this summer.

Fjorn Scandinavian

I was browsing the Fjorn Scandinavian website when I came across this photo of a woman modeling a blanket in the woolens section, and instantly wished that I, too, was perched on a rock one sunny afternoon, watching the waves of the Norwegian Sea crash onto the beach...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Deep Purple

Not the band, but the colour. Deep purple is VTWonen magazine's colour this week, in their regular feature Keurkalendar (Colour Calendar). I like the elusiveness of this shade -- it floats indefineably between the more usual dark brown or grey.

The Inspired Past of London Transport

The newly restored London Transport Museum reopens on Thursday, and the highlight will be its huge collection of posters and prints commissioned over the years by London Transport. The 1930s in particular was a golden age, with contributors such as Man Ray and Graham Sutherland designing Surrealist-influenced posters (which must have made taking the Tube a dream-like experience). More on the show in the IHT here. Be sure to check out the accompanying slide show, too. Shown above is a poster designed by Abram Games in 1937.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I'm always on the lookout for a well designed messenger-style bag, and this one by Academia is a particularly nice streamlined version. Available from Scandinavian Details.

Groovy Wallpaper

If you're looking for some fresh ideas for your walls, Dwell has a slideshow of interesting modern wallpaper designs on their website, which you can view here. Shown above is Flower Pedal, designed by Dan Funderburgh and available from Flavor Paper.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kimiko Yoshida

Japanese-born European artist Kimiko Yoshida takes stunning, otherworldly photographs of herself that have a dreamlike (and occasionally disturbing) quality. Have a look at her website here. Shown above is The Shinto Bride (self-portrait, 2002). Via tokyomango.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Woodsy Saarinen

Design Within Reach has a new version of the Eero Saarinen pedestal table, one with a platinum base and a rosewood top. Harvested from sustainable resources, it's a fresh ecological take on an ageless classic. As much as I love the cool white purity of the original, the woodsy warmth of this one is definitely appealing. Hmmm...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Draw Eustace Tilley!

The New Yorker is having a contest! All you have to do is draw Eustace Tilley. Who? The New Yorker explains: "Eustace Tilley was originally drawn by Rea Irvin, the magazine’s first art editor, for the cover of the first issue of The New Yorker, in 1925, and has returned for nearly every anniversary issue since." That's him on the first issue cover above. Info on how to enter the Eustace Tilley Contest is here. You can also see the contest entries so far on the New Yorker's Flickr group here. Deadline is January 24. Favorite submissions will be featured on along with this year’s anniversary issue. Good luck!

Beautiful Site

A must see: Jonathan Yuen's lovely and poetic website. Thanks to Cindy for sharing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For Book Lovers

Sean Dodson of the Guardian makes his selection of the ten most beautiful bookstores from around the world. Read his article here. Shown above is the Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht, an 800-year-old Dominican church that (unbelievably) was being used for bicycle storage before it was reborn as a bookstore. Start planning your trips now, book lovers...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Illo Magazine

This looks good: Illo Magazine, a full-color quarterly of contemporary illustration. Lots of great work featured, plus in-depth interviews with some of the best in the field today. Issue Two is due out soon, and will feature Michael Cho, James Gurney, Zina Saunders, Nancy Stahl, and an interview with Barry Blitt, too. Here's a link to Illo Magazine online. Via Boing Boing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Propellor Design

Propellor Design is a Canadian studio specializing in the custom design of lighting, furniture and interiors. Have a look at their work here. This is the Galiano pendant lamp, with a shade made of reclaimed fir, and (what I particularly like) a wind downed arbutus twig instead of the usual pull chain. Elegant and poetic. Via Karin's Style Blog.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Marie Claire Maison

Marie Claire Maison is, without a doubt, my favourite decor magazine. I've just discovered the online version (via the lovely emmasblog), which features one of my current fave interiors, this sunny loft in Paris from (if memory serves me), the November 2007 issue. Inspiring.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Notable Op-Ed Art of 2007

The New York Times recently featured a slideshow of their most notable op-ed illustrations from 2007, with contributors such as Brad Holland, Edel Rodriguez, and Paula Scher. Shown here is Christian Northeast's beautiful illustration for the article Home Economics by Thomas Lynch, Deidre McNamer, Jonathan Raban and Lee Smith. View the slideshow here. Via designboom.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Imagined Spaces

Canadian artist Carl Zimmerman creates "architectural utopias, fictional ruins from fictional worlds." Reviewer Meredith Dault writes: "[Carl Zimmerman] makes photographs of imagined architectural spaces. He builds models, photographs them, and then digitally manipulates the photographs, creating vast, impossible spaces. Sepia-toned and laid out flat on tables in the gallery space, the photographs read, at first glance, like historical documents – they feel very much like 19th century architectural engravings – until you realize they can’t be because they’re all dated in the present. A closer look reveals that the buildings are set in huge, almost surreal, bleak landscapes – their titles want you to believe, however, that these buildings are plunked down in ordinary cities like Manchester and Leeds." Read the rest of her review here. Read an excellent article about Zimmerman on BLDGBLOG here. Via BLDGBLOG.

Shown here is Science Building, London, England, 2003, by Carl Zimmerman, from his series Landmarks of Industrial Britain.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cinema - In the 18th Century, No Less.

This sounds like a fascinating read: Carmontelle's Landscape Transparencies: Cinema of the Enlightenment, by the historian Laurence Chatel de Brancion, which "... steps back into prerevolutionary France to explore the pastimes created by Louis Carrogis, known as Carmontelle, in his role as resident entertainer at the court of the duke of Orléans.

At the heart of the volume are Carmontelle's experiments with light and moving images: rouleaux transparents, or 'rolled-up transparent drawings,' a precursor to modern cinema. The luminous scenes of verdant parks and splendidly attired people — between 12 and 19 inches deep and up to 138 feet long — were backlighted with natural daylight, wound between spindles and viewed in a boxlike precursor to the television, often accompanied by music or narrated by Carmontelle himself."

Read the rest of the International Herald Tribune story by Kathryn Shattuck here.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Artists Against the War

The Society of Illustrators (128 East 63rd Street, New York) has a new exhibition on. Produced in collaboration with The Nation magazine, it's called Artists Against the War, a group show of 60 illustrators and graphic designers (from both the U.S. and abroad) examining the terrible fallout of U.S. Middle East foreign policy. The exhibition runs January 3 - 26 2008, with 100% of the proceeds from the opening night (January 9) entry fee being donated to Disabled American Veterans. A panel discussion, The Media: The First Casualty in Iraq, will take place on Wednesday Jan 23 at 7:00. If you can't attend in person, you can view a select slideshow of the exhibition here.

The stunning poster for the show, "Peace Bomb" (2005, Digital and mixed media) is by Brian Stauffer.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Bookshelf: Patrick Heron

This is a book I've wanted to pick up for a while: Mel Gooding's monograph on the British artist Patrick Heron. I love Heron's sensuous pleasure in colour and form. Brilliant work. Read a quick overview of Heron's career here.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Quote of the Day

Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.

--Will Rogers

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Good Bye, Ettore Sottsass.

From the International Herald Tribune: "Ettore Sottsass, an éminence grise of postmodern design who helped found the influential Memphis Group and was responsible for the familiar bright red plastic Olivetti typewriter, died Monday at his home in Milan. He was 90." Read the IHT obituary by Robin J. Pogrebin here. The Design Museum has an excellent overview of his career here. Shown above is the iconic Valentine portable typewriter Sottsass designed for Olivetti in 1969 (collection of the Design Museum, London).

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Future

Happy New Year! To get you in the mood, an intriguing glimpse into what forward-thinking designers in the 1930's thought we might be wearing now. Have a look here. Via the wonderful blog The Thoughtful Dresser.
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