Friday, February 29, 2008


Hope you have a lovely weekend. Shown here, work by Paul Lowe, a New York-based food and interior stylist. You can see more of his beautiful work here, or visit him at his own blog, sweet paul. Via the style files.

Bookshelf: A French Accent

Beautiful traditional inspiration from France today. Clockwise, from top left: French Home by Josephine Ryan, Hilary Robertson and Claire Richardson, Ryland Peters and Small; The Art of French Country Living by Jean Naudin and Colette Gouvion, Hachette Illustrated; A French Country Home: Style and Entertaining by Jocelyne Sibuet, Catherine Deydier Guillaume De Laubier, Flammarion; Really Rural by Marie-France Boyer, Thames and Hudson.

Afternoon in a Paris Café

I've just discovered the wonderful Passementerie blog, and I'm now wishing I could be spending my afternoon in a warm Paris café, dreamily watching the world go by. For now, though, it's back outside into the Canadian cold and snow ... brrrrr!

Dinner in Paris

A country look in a Paris home. The chairs were originally from a Chinese school.

Minimalist dining. Sycamore benches and tables by John Pawson, lamp by Philippe Starck.

Groovy 1960's style dining in a converted warehouse space.

A mix of styles in the dining room of decorator Hervé le Douarec's classic Parisian artist atelier.

All images from Marie Claire Maison.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Archive - Ted Muehling

The library, off the main hallway and opposite the dining area. The shelves are simple planks fixed into the wall with invisible brackets. The ladder is a flea market find, and the chaise longue is by Paul McCobb.

The salon. On the mantelpiece is a collection of marine-themed objects such as coral, driftwood, shells, and an antique tortoiseshell. The Chinese cabinet and the chair by the fireplace are both flea market finds. The miniature chair is by Michèle Oka Doner, and the lamp on the cabinet is by Ingo Maurer.

Two views of the dining area. In the top right you can see the bedroom, discreetly screened off with with a curtain. The entire apartment is painted with a soft neutral that subtly changes colour with the light throughout the day, shifting between almond green, porcelain blue, and flannel grey.

The bedroom. The bedside tables are African stools, and Ted's shirts, hung on pegs, serve as a practical form of wall decoration.

The kitchen. The shelving is simplicity itself, and the meter in the wall becomes as much a display as the pottery on the shelf below.

Is is possible to have a crush on someone's home? Ted Muehling's elegantly modern New York apartment, featured here in an issue of Maison Française in the late 1990s, was for years a huge inspiration for me. To me, it's still lovely. (Photos by Christophe Kicherer)

Gesine Hackenberg

Lovely Irene of Bloesem posted about Gesine Hackenberg's stunning jewelry a few days ago, and after returning a few times just to look again, I thought I'd mention it here. You can read the Bloesem post here. You can have a look at Gesine's jewelry (and other beautifully poetic work) on her website here.


These are cute -- Suzanna Scott of Sushipotpart's tags, collaged on both sides with sewing pattern tissue. Have a look at them (and at a lot of other interesting things -- her fantastic collection of vintage goods could keep me creating collages for weeks on end) at her Sushipotpart Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Going Up

I like the way the art in this stairwell is displayed, as so often it's made to march up the stairs. From Livingetc., via Ellmania.


The second issue of Inspiration e-zine - by the lovely Erin of design for mankind - is out, and let me tell you it's wonderful. Hurry here to download and enjoy.

Vintage Penguin Covers on Flickr

Mathematician's Delight by W. W. Sawyer (Pelican 1946). Cover by Robert Jonas. A playful illustration of math that makes a dry subject sound fun. Via grll8trax.

The Comforters by Muriel Spark (Penguin 1963). Cover illustration by Terence Greer. Great cover illustration - you get a sense of what the character portrayed is like at a glance. Via grrl8trax.

Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm (Penguin 1961). Cover illustration by George Him. Charming illustration that's a perfect complement to the tone of the novel. Via jonathan229.

A Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (Puffin 1976). Cover and inside illustrations by Pauline Baynes. I read these versions of the Narnia novels when I was small, and loved the illustrations by Baynes - elegant, with a medieval flavour to them. Via scatterkeir.

As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner (Penguin 1963) Cover illustration by Andre Francois. Interesting perspective, and nice details, too - look closely at the feet of the mourners. Via letslookupandsmile.

Animal Farm
by George Orwell (Penguin 1967). Cover illustration by Paul Hogarth. This cover really captures the menacing tone of the novel in a simple but effective style. Via letslookupandsmile.

Gardening for Australians
by R.T.M. Prescott (Penguin 1965). Cover design by Robin Wallace-Crabbe. Elegant and interesting approach - so many other publishers would have simply stuck a photo of something green and leafy on the front. Via letslookupandsmile.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Archive - Metal Furniture

Two views of an elegant interior courtyard in Morocco. I love the interesting metal chair.

The bedroom in the same home in Morocco.

A pretty still life in an apartment in Paris.

Dominique Kieffer's tiny Paris pied-à-terre, with the dining area tucked into the hallway. I love the wonderful patina on the metal garden chairs.

Note: All of these photos are pulled from my image archive for Marie Claire Maison, and date from the late 1990's.

Sun Tattoo

Taiwan-based designer Yu-Chiao Wang has some very interesting ideas, like this one: a Sun Tattoo. It's essentially a soft stencil that, when worn outside, uses sunshine to create a temporary tattoo on the body (though Yu-Chiao recommends using sunless tanning cream for the best result). More about Yu-Chiao at her portfolio page here. Via Cindy (thanks!)

J.J. Grandville

Have a look here at the very odd work of J.J. Grandville, a 19th century French caricaturist and cartoonist. Looking at some of his drawings, it's hard to believe he predates the Surrealists. Via things magazine.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I'm in the mood for gentle waves today. Clockwise, from top left: Modern Bamboo Spring Chair by Relish; Savoy Vase by Alvar Aalto, Finnstyle; 3 Row Necklace by Elk Accessories; Wave Bangle Bracelet by sirenjewels, Etsy; Dumbells by Philippe Starck, POAA; Logico lamp by Michele de Lucchi and Gerhard Reichert for Artemide; Garabaldi Cardigan by Anthropologie.

Archive - Frozen Waves

About a year ago I took a look at my teetering stacks of design magazines and decided that it was time to both reduce the clutter and create an archive of my favourite images. And, it occurred to me today how nice it would be to share with you here just what I've got on file. So, from the Archive, a photo of the Grey glacier in the Southern Patagonia ice field, just west of the Cordillera del Paine. Cool science factoid - the intense blue is caused by oxygen trapped inside the ice for millions of years. From Marie Claire Maison.


Theresa of Otsutree was kind enough to send along a link to her wonderful work. Shown here are her panels, which are heat transfers onto maple board. To see more of these (plus her clothing and print work), have a look here. She has a solo show coming up in June, too, so if you're in San Francisco be sure to drop by for a look.

Rosa Pomar

Portuguese designer Rosa Pomar has a lovely online shop of baby slings, ribbons, bags, and postcards - plus these absolutely charming dolls, which I'm quite taken with. I think the grayest morning would be instantly transformed upon finding this little creature in the mailbox, smiling a sweet flowery smile (though you'll have to be a bit patient, as the dolls are out of stock at the moment). In the meantime, you can have a look at Rosa's other great designs here. Via matéria prima.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Hammerpress was founded by Brady Vest in 1994, after he graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a degree in printmaking. After a few years of designing (and getting published in various design annuals and books along the way), he was joined by Lindsay Laricks in 2004, and together they produce award-winning and beautiful stationary, wedding invitations, CD packages, art prints, corporate identities, and (as you can see here) posters. Their work is amazing - be sure to go and have a look here. Judging by who they've designed posters for, they get to listen to a lot of good music while they work!


A lovely serene image by photographer Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, to take you into the weekend. Have a look at her beautiful work here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bookshelf: Marie Antoinette

Something a little different for today's Bookshelf theme: a person. Modern historians see Marie Antoinette as a complex woman who, finding herself in (to quote from Queen of Fashion) "...a suffocating realm where a queen was merely a breeder and living symbol of her spouse's glorious reign," used fashion and style as a means towards political power and personal freedom. Shown here: Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser (an excellent biography of the ill-starred queen that reads like a thriller - highly recommended); Queen Of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber; The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette by Marie Boyer (beautiful style book, but hard to find now); The Lost King of France by Deborah Cadbury (the centuries-old mystery of the fate of Marie Antoinette's son is solved by DNA); Liberty: Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France by Lucy Moore (another side of the story).

Marie Antoinette's Bedroom

A little difficult for modern eyes to understand, but Marie Antoinette's taste in decor (such as her bedroom at Versailles, shown here) was startling to her contemporaries in its simplicity and lack of ostentation. What strikes us today as a rather pretty room was actually an assertion of independence.

Thoroughly Modern Marie.

For the modern Marie Antoinette - lovely gold-plated pagoda pendant earrings with crystal quartz nuggets on vermeil earwire, by Debbie Ting Kuo of Kuoting, who I discovered while browsing Gabrielle Blair's great Design Mom blog.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inspiration on the Wing

A flock of birds to cheer up a gloomy February day. Clockwise, from top left: House Bird by Charles and Ray Eames, HiveModern; Eep Birds tea towel by Skinny, Three Potato Four; Whooper Swan Gray by Oiva Toikka, Unica Home; Red Bird Laundry Bag, French General; Nanbu Tekki paperweight, Tortoise; Parrot Corkscrew Waiter's Friend by Alessandro Mendini for Alessi, Unica Home; Chick cheque book cover by Lotta Jansdotter; Green Birds on Flowers screenprint by Bernadette Sipkes of sugarloop, Etsy.

The Reanimation Library

What started as a personal visual resource for Andrew Beccone when he was making fliers for his punk band has now become the Reanimation Library, a small independent library in Brooklyn. Its unique collection has been patiently built up from books found in thrift stores, stoop sales, or simply discarded by their owners. Recently the Reanimation Library began creating a browsable image archive online, which will now make a section of their collection available to anyone with web access. Have a look here. Via Boing Boing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Good Things in Small Spaces

This stylish mini-loft is, amazingly, only 57 square metres in size, but it feels as airy and bright as one four times bigger. Architect Philippe Harden bought a partitioned, narrow corridor-like apartment because he loved the view from the large windows, which open onto a park. After two months of work (spent mostly removing doors and walls) he has what you now see here - a serene, light filled environment. Look carefully and you can see how he makes every inch of space work, yet it still feels relaxed and effortless. One of my favourite spaces from Marie Claire Maison.

One-Hundred Warm Jets

Very cool project by Neil Donnelly: a visual response to 100 days of listening to Brian Eno’s song Here Come the Warm Jets. Conducted under Michael Bierut’s 100 Day Workshop at Yale. Have a look here. Via Design Observer.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Knit Inspiration

Annette Bugansky trained and worked in fashion and costume design before becoming a ceramicist. For each individual piece she knits a form to cover the vessel before casting it in porcelain. Available through Loop.

The inspiring simplyolive blog has some great picks from Copenhagen Fashion Week - I loved the knitwear of Day Birger et Mikkelsen (photo: Sacha Maric)

Blue Sky Alpacas has lovely wool and great patterns, too - I particularly liked this little cropped cardigan.

Super cute spider leopard and lion made of naturally-dyed wool yarn and acrylic filling, handmade by artisans in rural Kenya. Available from Branch.
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