Friday, May 30, 2008
Happy weekend! This serene image is by Canadian photographer Virginia MacDonald, and to me it looks like the perfect spot to be on a Sunday afternoon, book in hand, cup of tea at the ready (though upon closer inspection it appears to be a bathroom. But anyway). Via desire to inspire.
Making a virtue out of necessity: a studio apartment has a stylish bed that doubles as seating for guests. (photo by Photo by Douglas Friedman, April 2007)
Open shelves and a magnetic knife strip keep a tiny kitchen organized and easy to work in. (photo by Melanie Acevedo, October 2006)
The layered look: stacking furniture for an interesting storage solution. (photo by Simon Upton, June 2006)
A freestanding shelf unit gives a work area privacy while still allowing natural light in. (photo by Annie Schlechter, May 2006)
Low walls create intimacy without sacrificing space. (photo by Douglas Friedman, April 2007)
Rethinking what you have: here, a garage has been converted into an office. (photo by Melanie Acevedo, February 2007)
Domino Magazine has a great Galleries section on their website, with loads of inspiring spaces to look at for ideas – these are a few of the ones I particularly liked while browsing the small spaces gallery.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This week's selection of finds here and there. Enjoy.
Jane Austen Meets Dr. Who
Times writer David Baddiel writes a light article about Jane Austen that also asks some serious questions about why Austen is portrayed so dismissively in film, when she is in fact a literary heavyweight who pretty much invented the modern novel form. Via the thoughtful dresser.
The Other Night Sky
Fascinating BLDGBLOG article by Geoff Manaugh about all the satellites endlessly circling the planet. I know someone who caught a glimpse of one the other day – he described it as a brief flash in the sky.
Amazing photographer whose work resembles 17th century Dutch painting in the way it is lit and presented. Her subject matter ranges from straightforward portraiture to gritty urban scenes, all with the same amazing light. Via notcot.
David Weeks Studio
Beautiful modern design – especially his lamps. Via the wonderful ill seen, ill said blog.
This is the Flickr photostream of professional photographer Christina Perdue. Lovely atmospheric, monochromatic still lifes.
The Paris Review: Interviews
The website of the Paris Review has a nice sampling of interviews from its 60 plus years in existence. Read some frank opinions by Isak Dineson, Truman Capote, Dorothy Parker and Georges Simenon among others.
How to have a vegetable garden when you're in the city. I like to dream about having fresh tomatoes on hand, but sadly I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. The accompanying photo to this is inspiring.
Fascinating website by Steve Duncan, a Brooklyn-based photographer and urban historian. It's devoted to the forgotten, invisible, and vanishing places in cities -- often that have remained unchanged since they were first constructed fifty, a hundred, or a hundred and fifty years ago. He's changing his website over right now – his older one is here.
The light-filled photograph above is by Angie Cao, discovered via Victoria's (of the wonderful sfgirlbybay blog) guest post on Bloesem (also a wonderful blog). And ... it's of Victoria's gorgeous apartment!
In the entranceway of a 19th century bourgeois home in central Havana, a small car awaits repairs beside a mural of Camilo Cienfuengos and the national flag. In the stairwell above are painted various quotes by Fidel Castro. From a late 1990s edition of Marie Claire Maison (sorry - no record of the photographer).
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This intriguing and sculptural object is actually a computer. Built by the Canadian company Suissa Computers, the Enlighten is the elegant result of a conscientious approach to building a PC. Using a clean and eco-friendly production process, Suissa Computers builds cases designed to last forever, utilizes high performance components that do not need frequent replacing, and recycles the metal and acrylic off-cuttings for each of its six PC designs. Find out more and have a look at five other designs on the Suissa Computers website here. With a computer this good looking, having your office in your living area isn't a constant reminder of work anymore ... Via notcot.
Something a little different today -- the Hof residence in Iceland, designed by Studio Granda. The Hofs live in the Skakafjordur fjord, less than 100 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. Their house is made up of a series of sheer cedar and concrete walls designed to weather naturally, while details such as reusing the field grass (now on the roof), and the basalt (used on both external surfaces and inside for the living and circulation areas), both originally removed when digging the foundations, show a sensitivity to the surrounding environment. Most of the internal walls are of raw or painted concrete, while the ceilings, doors and other carpentry are oiled sawn oak. More details (and photos) of this interesting house can be found here. Via arcspace. (Photos: Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Some kitchen utensils that I'm more inclined to display on the wall than use -- Dutch designer Tord Boontje's Witches' Kitchen collection, a set of six that includes a pork, spurk, dagger and spoonchela. Created by Boontje for Artecnica USA, each utensil is hand carved by an artisan community in Guatemala, and forms part of Artecnica's socially and environmentally responsible Design With Conscience collection, which employs production methods that are humane and environmentally friendly, as well as promoting self-sustaining communities of skilled artisans in undeveloped countries. Via Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn.
I was reading the New Yorker this weekend when I caught sight of an Eileen Fisher ad, and thought how nice and floaty it looked for summer, especially when we hit that sticky humidity that's so difficult to dress for. So, I checked out her website ... here's a few things that I liked.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Happy Weekend! This delicately beautiful photograph is called Baby Blue, and it's by Lauriann Wakefield. You can find it (and lots of other lovely work) at her Etsy shop here. In fact, I just purchased another one of her prints -- the cherry blossom one I featured in a Weekend post in April (this one). Can't wait for it to arrive in the mail.
The beautiful Bavarian home of Gabriele Strehle started life as a hay barn, and the date it was built -- 1759 -- can still be seen carved into one of the original beams in the main living area. When she was remodeling the barn Strehle had these beams carefully dismantled, cleaned, and then lifted, one by one, back into place. The high windows around the living area are dressed in curtains of linen, silk and suede, which soften the severe lines of the space. Over in the entrance area, the walls separating it from the kitchen are made from squared wooden beams, once the exterior walls of a nearby cottage. An excellent cook, Gabriele chose to install her kitchen in front of her office, so she could move quickly from one space to the other. The kitchen itself has been kept simple in its layout but uses luxurious materials -- stainless steel and wenge wood -- for impact. For the dining room, the walls of wood panelling and tiled stove, left by a previous owner, have been retained in a nod to the look of a traditional Bavarian home, while the tables and chairs continue the kitchen theme of wenge wood. Through the dining room door, a simple stone staircase leads back up to the living room where we started. And there you have it -- a home that is an exercise in sumptuous restraint.
Scanned from Maison Marie Claire, early 2000. (sorry - no record of the photographer for this story).
The lovely Jane of Ill Seen, Ill Said has a post about me (specifically, about my illustration work) today which is not only amazingly flattering but amazingly sweet of her, too. You can read it here. I hope that you're already making a habit of visiting Jane's lovely blog regularly. Not only does she have a great eye, but I love her writing style -- observant, warm and funny. It's a daily treat for me, and I hope it will be for you, too. The photo, incidentally, is an unknown Ziegfeld girl, by an unknown photographer.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This week's selection of thoughtful nibbles. Enjoy.
Lovely art blog devoted to painting, sculpture, jewelry, crafts, and other beautiful hand made things. Discovered via Black Eiffel.
The latest issue of Cabinet Magazine is out, and has (as always) lots of quirky and thought-provoking reading material. Among the articles this time around: The Origins of Cybex Space, Vasectomania, and the Museum of the Dead.
Have a look at the inspiring website of Paris-based artist Nathalie Lete, who works in a huge variety of media (illustration, ceramics, textile and painting, for a start). Poetic naive style, influenced by folk art and children's art. Via Cindy (thanks!)
Style Will Save Us
Subtitled "The Digital Magazine for a Peachy Green Lifestyle," SWSU delivers hip and stylish trends for the eco set. Right now there's an interview with Emily Chalmers, who wrote one of my favourite books -- Flea Market Style.
Commercial-free, independent internet radio. Great to listen to while working away at the computer.
The Orphan Works Bill
This is serious news for anyone who is a visual artist in the US. From the New York Times article by Lawrence Lessig: "Congress is considering a major reform of copyright law intended to solve the problem of “orphan works” — those works whose owner cannot be found. This “reform” would be an amazingly onerous and inefficient change, which would unfairly and unnecessarily burden copyright holders with little return to the public." Please read and get informed -- and write. A detailed analysis can be found here. Via Design Observer.
Kodomo no Kagaku Magazine
Kodomo no Kagaku ("Science for Kids") was founded in 1924 and is still going strong with a loyal fan base -- many continue to read it long after becoming adults, scientists – and even Nobel Prize winners. PingMag has a great article about it, with fun pix, too. Via Artsmonitor.
Check out the shiniest, whitest apartment in New York. Bring sunglasses. Via Design Observer.
Note: the lovely image above is by Stockholm-based photographer Martin Cederblad.
Meena Kadri, a New Zealand-based graphic designer, took this lovely photo of a small temple at the famous chai-wallah (tea seller) in the Old City, just off Manek Chowk. Have a look at more of her gorgeous work on her Flickr sets here.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I was browsing the Elle Decoration SA blog and found these beautiful photos of Cape Town architect Victoria Perry's Sea Point cottage, from Issue 54 (Elle Decoration SA April? May? 2008). I particularly love the long low shelf in the living room - such a nice feature, both practical and perfect for display. These are the photos that didn't make it into the magazine, so I'm now really wishing I saw this issue in order to see the ones that did ... (photographs by Mickey Hoyle).
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
It's been a hectic long weekend -- thanks so much again to those who left such lovely and supportive comments and messages. All is well, and now I'm enjoying sitting still after putting in some serious time on the road. I'll be working on bringing you new and fun stuff in the next few days -- in the meantime, have a beautiful day.
Being away from home for a few days (as I've just been) really brings a fresh eye to your own place -- I'm now thinking that my small kitchen could really use an update. The Marie Claire Maison website has some lovely examples of tiny kitchens that are big on style. Have a look at more great examples (and info ... in French) here.