Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Elegant Mini Loft

When interior designer Agathe Perroy first saw this space, it was actually divided into two micro-apartments, the first (and last) floors of a small nineteenth century labourer's house. Although both floors were tiny (with a total floor size of 42 square metres) and in poor condition, an abundance of natural light — thanks to five south-facing windows — and a quiet environment quickly made her decide to buy. Agathe then began work. First, she removed some of the walls to open up the space. Removing the false ceilings for more height, she discovered perfectly preserved oak beams, which were carefully encorporated into the renovation.

When it came to decorating her home, Agathe made good use of the treasures she's discovered in family attics, junk shops or on construction sites. The bath was recovered from a scrap heap, the bed is covered with quilts found at her grandmother's house, and seasonal clothes and accessories are stacked above the closet in boxes once used to ship bananas. In the dining area, the oak table also serves as the office, and is lit by an enamelled industrial suspension light. Hanging on the wall are bags of spices brought back from India and a galvanized metal hanging garden planter, used to display photos and small objects. The plastic dining chair is 50 years old and was found by Agathe in the street. For the kitchen, Agathe had the work area made to measure from exotic wood — the oven is tucked away on the side and the hot plate is also used as a cutting board. A butcher's hook is used to suspend pots while on the wall are two vintage Jieldé lamps. A splash of colour is provided by the African oiled rug on the concrete floor. The result of all this is a tiny but infinitely liveable space full of charm and atmosphere. Via Marie Claire Maison, with a (rough) translation by me.

Simple Pleasures

A sense of style — in other words, bringing a creative eye to what you wear. What's even better is that you don't need lots of cash to have it, either — just the ability to take what you have and put it together in a thoughtful and interesting way, or by adding an unexpected detail, such as the green gloves in the classic evening ensemble above.

1953 Vogue photograph of Suzy Parker by John Rawlings, v
ia myvintagevogue on Flickr.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Atelier: Gülnur özdağlar

These delicate objects are just a few of the extraordinary designs by Gülnur özdağlar, an inspired alchemist who creates these mysterious and translucent works of art from some very mundane material — discarded PET plastic water bottles. Besides objects like these, she also makes stunning jewelry, all of which can be seen in her Etsy shop, Tertium Non Data. She has a fascinating blog, too. Via Elle Decoration SA, which has a great post about Gülnur's work.

Alvin Lustig

Fantastic book cover designs by Alvin Lustig, who had a remarkable career in his too short life (1915-1955). More about Lustig here, too. Images via Will Kane on Flickr.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

A little reminder not to forget that Earth Hour is today, and to turn out the lights from 8:30 to 9:30 pm tonight. Through this one simple gesture you can join the millions of others responding to the call to stand up, to take responsibility and to get involved in working towards a sustainable future. Last year lots of blogs featured how they spent the hour, such as candlelit Scrabble games with friends, romantic dinners for two, or sitting outside looking at the stars. What do you plan to do? Shown above is the fab poster commissioned for the event from Shepard Fairey, most famous for his iconic Obama poster.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's lovely — and playful. Photograph via Kelli Jo on Flickr.

(gown by John Galliano)

Domino Archive: Bedrooms

From Domino's Deco File — pretty bedrooms for sweet dreams.

Sponsor Spotlight

Danielle of Stitchface has exciting news — she'll be participating in Toronto's A Spring Handmade Market on May 16 2009! A Handmade Market is a high quality market showcasing talented Etsy shops in the Greater Toronto Area. This is Danielle's first show, so she's really excited to be involved — and if you're in the neighborhood, do drop by to say hello and to meet her fab and friendly little creatures!

Rachael of Number 8 is keeping herself super busy these days — she recently contributed some of her fab notecard sets to the March PikaPackage Project, a fun monthly collection of goodies by artists and illustrators that's put together by Pikaland. You can see more goodness by Rachael here, too (where 10% of this month's sales will be going toward the World Wildlife Fund).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Posh Puzzle Giveaway!

This is exciting — I just received my sample copies of this spring's Posh Puzzle line, published by Andrews McMeel and The Puzzle Society! Now in their third season, they measure 4" x 6" and are cleverly presented in a notebook format (think classic Moleskines), but with a pretty patterned cover and, of course, they have great puzzles inside. Perfect for tucking into your bag to while away a subway ride, lunch hour or whenever you'd like a break to exercise those brain muscles. And — now you have a chance to win your own copy, as I will be giving away a randomly selected Posh Puzzle (one of the four you see above)! All you have to do is leave a comment (and a contact link) below telling me your favourite game (such as a board game or charades) by midnight of Tuesday, March 31. I'll announce the (also randomly selected) winner on April 1. Good luck!

P.S. For those of you who are members of automatism on Facebook, you'll have another chance to win — I'll be doing a separate Posh Puzzle draw for you! Yay!

Thanks so much to Shelly at Andrews McMeel for her lovely generosity!


Welcome to this week's round of links. Enjoy.

The Greatest Movies Never Made
Fascinating article on the legendary screenplays that never made it to the big screen, such as David Lynch's Ronnie Rocket, the sequel to his film Blue Velvet.

The Photographic Dictionary
The Photographic Dictionary isn't a reference source but rather an ongoing art project — a photographer submits a picture, and it’s matched to the word that best “defines” it. Some of the definitions can be fairly literal, while others end up with a more poetic interpretation. Very cool. Via Design Observer.

Homemade Natural Cleaning Products
If you're like me you probably use some traditional cleaners (such as vinegar for windows) for the household chores, but here are some handy recipes if you'd like an even greener clean.

Why Music Sounds Right
Ed Yong reports on a new finding by Deborah Ross and colleagues from Duke University, who were investigating why, throughout history and across different cultures, humans have consistently used a twelve semi-tone octave. Ross and her team have discovered that these musical intervals actually reflect the sounds of our own speech — and musical scales sound right because they match the frequency ratios that our brains are primed to detect. Via Polymeme.

Tails of Manhattan
The latest short story by Woody Allen in the New Yorker.

How to Design An Invoice
A very practical guide to that most important of items for freelancers — a clear, well designed invoice. With a link to an Adobe invoice template, to make it even easier.

Thriftstore Hell
A Flickr pool devoted to the weird, wild and at times downright baffling things to be found in thrift stores. Via things magazine.

The Long View
An audio slideshow history of the telescope, the first invention to extend the human senses, revolutionizing how we viewed the world.

Photograph via Domino's Deco Files.

Atelier: The Photographic Dictionary

A mysterious, almost ghostly portrait from The Photographic Dictionary, a fascinating online art project. This particular image was used as the visual definition for white. See today's Buffet for more info about this great project. (Photograph by Malwina Toczek)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Island Retreat

I'm distracted by deadlines at the moment, so today I'm taking a little mental holiday looking at this lovely lakeside home in Sweden. It's located on an island, which must be truly idyllic for owners Tomas Tjajkovski and Annette Heikfolk, living surrounded by such beautiful scenery. I feel calmer just looking at these sun filled, relaxed rooms. More here, too. Via Sköna hem.

Pamela Tang

I absolutely love this — the Lilac Grey Linen Dress by Pamela Tang. What's even more wonderful is that it's made to measure for each customer, too, ensuring that the fit will be perfect. See more lovely designs by Pamela on her Etsy shop. Via Bliss.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple Pleasures

A pretty new pair of shoes. The beautiful ones above were specially created for the Marie Antoinette film by Sophia Coppola. Via Kelli Jo on Flickr.

Geninne Zlatkis

I just came across the stunning work of artist Geninne Zlatkis on Etsy, and was instantly smitten. Geninne lives near Mexico City with her family, after starting out in New York (where she was born) and then living in Brazil, Argentina, Chile (where she studied architecture for a while), and the US again before settling in Mexico. After obtaining a degree in graphic design, she now works as a freelancer from her home studio, creating beautiful images such as the ones you see here. See more of her lovely work here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lotta Jansdotter in San Francisco

I was browsing the Sunset Magazine site and found this great feature on designer Lotta Jansdotter and husband Nick Anderson's tiny 735 square foot apartment in San Francisco. Lotta and Nick are in New York now, but it's lovely to be able to revisit their old home and see their great ideas for living large (and inexpensively) in a small space. Have a look at more photos of their San Francisco home here. And visit Lotta's online shop here, too.

From top to bottom: The living room transformed quickly into a guest room when company visited, with a futon that unfolded into a bed, and the coffee table becoming a nightstand; The bedroom was created when Jansdotter and Anderson found that their full-size bed fit perfectly in their oversized storage closet; The dining room was a desk for two by day; In the kitchen the walls became storage space; The printed linen bags in the hallway were designed by Lotta; The old school lockers, repurposed as storage, were salvaged by Lotta off the street, and stored light bulbs, linens, laundry detergent, towels and such; Even the tiniest space was used, such as this tall narrow shelf unit tucked between two doors.

Haciendo el Indio

I had a lovely email from Cristina recently about her utterly charming shop Hacienda el Indio. Cristina is an illustrator and designer and sounds like a fascinating person to know — she grew up in different countries, her richly creative childhood eventually leading her to study at Central St. Martins School of Design and Parsons School of Art & Design. Following this she worked for a variety of large communication, decoration and entertainment companies. One day she decided to leave the big city and settle near the Mediterranean with her family, where with the help of her children she rediscovered the joys of childhood and started her lovely shop Hacienda el Indio. Now she designs and creates felt and linen dolls, unique wall art, beautiful printed cotton accessories, illustrations, small jewels, and stationery. You can see more of her enchanting work at Haciendo el Indio here.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's cute, with plenty of friendly faces. This adorable picture is from Design*Sponge, via Domino's Deco Files.

P.S. Lovely Joanna was kind enough to tell me more about this pic — it's actually the beautiful home of Tina of the fab Swiss Miss blog! That's Tina's little daughter Ella smiling sweetly for the camera.

Domino Archive: The Bathroom

The bathroom is often one of the most awkward rooms to decorate — here are some inspiring (and very different) bathrooms I found while trawling through Domino's Deco Files.
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