Thursday, April 30, 2009


Welcome to this week's links. Enjoy.

The Joy of Exclamation Marks
Stuart Jeffries of the Guardian has a fun and insightful look at the history and recent renaissance of the exclamation mark. OMG!!! :-)

Cleaning Up the Men's Mess
Politics in Iceland have taken an interesting turn recently in the wake of the spectacular financial meltdown that's brought the country to its current crisis state — and now having women at the helm is seen by many as the best chance for Iceland to solve its problems. Fascinating moment in political history.

Cartier, Then and Now
Great little NYT slide show of some classic (and stunning) jewelry design in the Cartier archives. You can read the related article here, too.

Traditional Home Bedroom Sweepstakes
Nathan emailed me yesterday about The Traditional Home Bedroom Sweepstakes — a chance for one lucky person to win a $20,000 professional bedroom makeover from the magazine. It's underway now, and you can enter as often as you like before the deadline of June 21. The winner will be announced on or around July 2.

Le Moulin
Scottish expatriate Sarah began her Le Moulin blog as a way of keeping friends and family up to date on the gradual restoration of the old watermill she and her husband BB own in a small rural village in the French Alps. Gradually Sarah's love of food has crept in, and now it's a tantalizing blend of wonderful recipes as well as stories of living and renovating in the French countryside.

Mid-Century Stunners
Biba at inspiration bubble had a great post a while ago featuring gorgeous mid-century modern interiors — definitely worth a revisit. Awesome.

Japan Tidies Up Paris
Apparently, “Japan syndrome” hits about 10 Japanese tourists to Paris a year. Thomas White describes it as when "... its victims are so disappointed at the dirty streets and rude waiters that they succumb to a nervous breakdown at the idea of having wasted a week of leave and savings on a trip to the City of Lights." Read the rest of his article to find out the unusual solution to this condition devised by a group of 20 Japanese expatriates in Paris.

Donna Hay Recipes
The wonderful Donna Hay has lots of great recipes on her website — have a look here for quick (and frequently quick to make) inspiration.

Dining room photograph via Domino Deco Files.

The Illustrated Winespeak by Ronald Searle

"Pleasantly scented, very agreeable"

"Full bodied, with great character"

"Full, fruity character"

"Coarse but generous"

BibliOdyssey has a great post of Ronald Searle's illustrations for his 1983 book The Illustrated Winespeak: Ronald Searle’s Wicked World of Winetasting, which satirises the jargon of the would-be wine connoisseur. You can see more images from Winespeak here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moments of Beauty

The first flowers of spring. This beautiful photograph was taken by my brother Greg, in his own back garden. He has such a great eye — I especially love the way the flower petals glow against the dark leaves.

A Tiny Weekend Retreat

What was once an old boat shed on the waterfront has been imaginatively reinvented by Jacques and Agnes Choi as a tiny weekend retreat for two. Though only 17 square metres in size — and without running water or electricity — it's not only eco-friendly but stylish as well. Via Marie Claire Maison.

From top to bottom:

The large awning over the mini-terrace is actually theatre canvas, and slides open or shut on metal tubes, creating an open living area shaded from the direct sun.

An attention to detail in the choice of colour gives the lounge the feel of a mini-loft. Two chests on wheels, each topped with a mattress, serve as beds, sofas and storage. A linen curtain provides privacy by sliding along the central beam. A tiny wood stove is a source of heat on chilly nights.

Kitchen and Dining Area
At meal times, the table and folding chairs are brought out onto the terrace, which is transformed for the occasion as the dining room. Torches and hurricane lamps, suspended from a rod attached to the main beam, provide lighting. Lemongrass candles create a more intimate atmosphere while keeping away mosquitoes.

All of the cooking utensils and dishware are stored on a single trolley and shelves, linked visually by the black painted panel on the wall. As there's no kitchen sink, the Chois do their dishes in the river, using an organic product. Cooking is done on the wood stove.

Wash Area
A bathing area has been created using a bricklayer's trough as a bowl, placed on an Ikea serving shelf painted bright pea green. Water is stored in the jerry can.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Games. Not only a great way to hang out with friends and family, but a way to experience again the uncomplicated delights of childhood play. Lovely photograph of vintage playing cards by Jen Gotch on Flickr.

Peter Mendelsund

FaceOut Books has a great, beautifully illustrated interview with book cover designer Peter Mendelsund. Amazing work. Via Design Observer.

Monday, April 27, 2009


A darkly beautiful portrait of a peony, to start your week with a little bit of quiet mystery. See more loveliness by photographer Magda Indigo on her flickr set.

Cottage-Sized Elegance

Atlanta-based artist Andrew Crawford and his wife Elizabeth Sears spent 12 years renovating their circa-1920 mill house, located close to his metalworking studio, Andrew T. Crawford Ironworks. Furnished with family heirlooms and art, their hard work has resulted in the tranquil home they now share with their two young children, Edward and Tuesday. See more photos of the cottage here. Via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

Sponsor Spotlight

Amanda of Amandromeda has a fab special coming up next week. From May 1st - 10th she'll be offering 10% off everything in her online store! It's a great opportunity to pick up that perfect accent chair, cool lamp or other great vintage find of Amanda's that you've been dreaming about!

Danielle of stitchface has been super busy getting ready for A Spring Handmade Market, a one day (May 16 2009) high quality market showcasing talented Etsy shops in the Greater Toronto Area. She'll soon have lots of wonderful new work available on stitchface because of this, so be sure to check back regularly — especially as she sells out quickly!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's filled with plenty of small good things. The lovely photograph is by Virginia MacDonald.

Domino Archive: Think Pink

Some cheerful pink inspiration from the late Domino's Deco Files. Used all over or just as an accent, pink is the perfect pick me up for the gloomiest room. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Welcome to this week's Buffet — enjoy.

Simple Pleasures
Diego Rodriguez has a lovely post on his metacool blog about how an appreciation of good design is a continual source of pleasure and happiness — and one that can be found all around you, simply by taking the time to look. Via Haddock Blogs.

Five Ways Not to Waste Money On Food
Cookthink offers some delicious ideas on what to do with leftover fresh herbs, parmesan cheese rinds, wilted lettuce and other kitchen odds and ends. Rummaging in the fridge for dinner ideas just became so much more inspiring!

The 145 Year Overdue Library Book
And I thought I was bad about returning my library books! A book looted from a US library during the American civil war has finally been returned, almost 145 years overdue. The book, the first in WFP Napier's four-volume History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France – was returned by the current owner on the condition that he didn't have to pay the $52,858 fine. Sounds reasonable to me ...

A beautiful, minimalist blog I discovered recently, with loads of gorgeous art and design.

The Life You Can Save
I'm intrigued about reading this after seeing The Morning News review for Peter Singer's new book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. From Robert Birnbaum's review: "... Singer arrays ethical arguments, examples, case studies, and thought experiments to form a seven-point plan that blends personal philanthropy, local activism, and political awareness. The good professor has written a lucid and compelling call to action that convincingly argues how all of us can make a difference in the lives of others without reducing the quality of our own."

Pleated Purse Pattern
Sarah of My Spare Time is offering a free downloadable Pleated Purse pattern that's really cute — and I love the version made by Jessica of How About Orange, using fabric that she designed herself.

What Are Friends For? A Longer Life
Want better health? Recent studies have shown that we all have a powerful weapon that can help fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: our friends. And, most interestingly, your friends don't have to be living nearby, either.

Victory Gardens — 21st Century Version
Conceived by San Francisco based artist and designer Amy Franceschini in the Fall of 2006, VG2008+ aims to support the transition of backyard, front yard, window boxes, rooftops and unused land into organic food production areas, Victory Gardens 2008+ derives its title from, and build on, the successful nationwide Victory Garden programs of WWI and WWII. Victory Gardens 2008+, however, redefines "Victory" in the pressing context of urban sustainability. Visit the website to find out more about creating (or joining) a Victory Garden initiative in your city. Via Design Observer.

Dining room photograph via Domino's Deco Files

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Moments of Beauty

Happy Earth Day! Hope you're able to enjoy a little bit of nature today. Beautiful photograph by Benoit Paille, via we heart it.

Green Walls

This is a fascinating way to have an indoor garden — vertically on the wall, where it becomes a part of the architecture of the home. More here, too. Via Marie Claire Maison.


Venka of DutchByDesign, a UK-based company specialising in contemporary lighting, furniture and home decor by Dutch designers, emailed me last week about the latest at the shop. Lots of beautiful design as always, but I really loved the chandeliers! Gorgeous. Have a look at more here, too. Thanks, Venka!
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