Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Solutions, Problems or Just Plain Wind-Baggery.

I found an article and link at Apartment Therapy that lead me to this Time to Rethink Design report.

* see end of post for comment.

The aforementioned report addresses the issue of this over-designed culture we live in. It discusses at length that design has stopped functioning as a problem-solver but more as a problem-maker in our novelty obsessed world. And I agree. Design for design's sake was never the plan but in our goods-ravenous culture, that became the mantra.

After reading this piece, I was reminded of the First things First Manifesto and it's predecessor the 1964 Design Manifesto of the same name. We have been whining and bemoaning our consumer culture for a long-ass time now. And frankly, it seems like a lot of self-righteous wind-baggery to me.

First things first. The Time to Rethink Design report is just waaaaaaay too long and rambling. Let me sum it up for you. We have a problem, there's pollution, excess, waste, and destruction. Design is a big contributor. We need to rethink things.

Well...duh! Does anyone not know this? Look online. Tons of groups out there trying to make a difference. The proliferation and success of Etsy alone is really all the proof I need. People are recognizing and doing and changing. And of course it's a bit slow but it is happening. A cultural shift is taking place. Albeit slowly, but that's how these things go.

I guess I'm just one of those who has little patience for those self-important individuals who feel the need bark from their soapboxes. Especially those who point fingers, whine, and complain but offer little in the way of solution or progress.

Unless you've been living under a rock, [And if you have, even better! You're carbon footprint is WAY smaller than those of us in fancy air-conditioned homes] you are well aware of the depleted state of the world today and it's resources.

Take for example Apartment Therapy, Dwell, Martha Stewart. All big names in the Interior Design world. They all focus on sustainable, recyclable, DIY, and invention. And these guys are no small potatoes. Readership is up! Change is here, it's just slower than many of us would like to see. So what do we do?

We support those groups that are making a difference and an effort. We shop mindfully and re-use inventively. If we're working in a field where we create, we can take lessons from those already walking the walk. Essentially, we do the best we can with the tools we have. And find strength in the community and those around us that are seeking to do the same. And we can gain force by communicating, educating, sharing and inspiring.

We don't need condemning, ranting, and quibbling. Solutions will and are coming from those of us choosing to live our lives mindfully, respectfully and compassionately. 

So what do you guys think? Did you read the article? Do you agree, disagree or just have something to say? I would love to hear what's on your minds.

*Sorry could these d-bags be any more self-righteous? Your pathfinder into the future? C'mon!

All the above pics are obviously from the Time to Rethink Design brief.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My newest post...

For is up! There's a video how-to and everything! Check it out friends. xoxoxo

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Brother...

is awesome.

Dutch Lovin'.

One of my favoriter blogs Bloesem [written by a lovely Dutch lady] did a sit down with a transcendent furniture designer, Valentin Loellmann [german guy who who happens to live in the great NL]. Man his stuff just rocks. His home and studio is nothing to laugh at either. My kind of style. Simple, considered and a little decayed. Feast your tired eyes.

Furniture shots from Valentin's site. Home shots from Bloesem.

Friday, June 25, 2010

DIY My-Oh-My.

Been hankering for a good DIY project and a new piece of furniture. Frenchie and  I have a lot of crap. And need a sexy place to put it. Plus we need something with enough height to put the projector on/in it. We love watching movies and TV on the projector but right now it's sitting on an ironing board and mounting it up top is a no-go with our beamed ceiling.

Enter The Dutch don't really use the Craigslist so much. It's all about Marktplaats. Which is entirely in Dutch. So I bought a bunch of Dutch interior mags. I find the name of something I want. [In this case the servieskast] And then I search for it on Marktplaats. I found these diamonds in the rough today. Some more in the rough than others. None over € 300,00

This one I love, but I feel like it would be a sin to sand and paint that beauteous wood. And I'm itching to get my hands dirty.

This one is gorgeous but I have a feeling old boyfriendo is going to take objection to the Queen Anne style. He loathes froufy. What straight dude doesn't?

These next three are ugly as balls. Which is really what I'm trying to go for. I think it will be the most rewarding to have a drastic change then to take something already good and just improve

This is great for the TONS of storage space.

This one might be the only Queen Anne-type thing I could get away with.

And this one looks difficult as hell for painting, but me loves the lines.

So the plan on any of these would be to sand, paint, and I would like to line the interior back with a lovely fabric. Maybe a chevron print, an ikat, or something abstractly floral. Has anyone done this? Am I crazy or does this seem totally doable? I'm super handy but I've never actually taken on anything of this scope. Ideas? Preferences on the pieces?

I would love to hear your thoughts. xoxo

Thursday, June 24, 2010


You can see a wide berth of the Cartier-Bresson exhibit at the MOMA here. Breathtaking.

 Camus. 'Nuff said.

Walking a fine line.

Since moving into our spacious, modern, restrained apartment; I've been brainstorming all kinds of decor ideas. Bookmarking sites, blogs, shops. Scouring the local decor mags etc for some inspiration. But the fact is it can be quite a rollercoaster when you're like me and you LOVE so much. I love the fussy little teacups, china-on-the-wall, venetian chandeliers, floral patterned couch schtick as much as the minimal, masculine, country farm table, bare bulb pendant lamps, dark brooding leather chesterfield as well. And lots in between. It can cause a girl's head to spin. And then today I happened upon these photos by Wai Lin Tse.

I like it and yet, it's a bit of a tough sell. Has an air of despair to it. But I love how un-fussy it is. How all the decor is just coordinated/mismatched wallpaper and textiles. Simple, and teetering that line of beauty and ugly. It's a good place to be. Thanks to 50 Danska Kvadrat for turning me onto these. Apparently the first audience at Design*Sponge was under-enthused. hahahaha. Plebes.


Henri Cartier-Bresson at the MOMA. Closing June 28th. Will someone please go see this, take pics and report back?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DIY Doyenne.

More like the DIY dunce sitting in the corner with the cone hat picking belly button lint; but I digress. I did in fact DIY something this weekend that I am rather proud of. I took this old letraset box that I've had since college. [found in an empty classroom] And finally put it to some use. I made a planter out of it! I pried the top off and refashioned it so that the box would sit horizontally.

Then I drilled holes in the base for drainage.

I put a tied off trash bag filled with styrofoam peanuts at the bottom to save on dirt as I'm only planning on growing herbs in this box so didn't need to fill it to the bottom.

Planted some lovely herbs and voila! Planter perfection.

Yeah I still have the long end of the top panel sticking out. Was going to plant a climbing type something or other but I don't have one at the moment. Then M said she likes the asymmetry and given that I don't have a power-saw yet [that's on the list with a power-sander] and I ain't gonna hand saw that thing, we'll just pretend that it's an artistic intention. Asymmetry is good.

I think it adds a certain Je ne sais quoi. Don't you?

Now we're cooking with fire!

So I've been getting freaky in the kitchen lately cooking up all kinds of delights and you know what complements my cooking mood just perfectly? Rosemary Clooney. Man, I've been dancing around the kitchen apron cinched, silk kerchief knotted, breezy capris and bare feet. Singin' along whipping up a batch of...whatever. Carbonara, caprese, anna-paninis, or steak frites, to name a few. I love her style and her sass. And you will too, if you don't already. I'm posting Mambo Italiano because I couldn't find a good Come On-A My House. Try both, try them all! See if it doesn't get your keister wiggling.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Proof. Netherlands = Rad.

Take a look at the library of the Faculty of Architecture at Delft University of Technology. Vitra furniture yo!

Delft is a stone's throw from The Hague. The mans and I went there for a look-see a couple of weeks back. Loving the tilted church tower.

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for turning me on to the Vitra chairs.

Would you look at that?

Beauteous roses from my friend M's garden. She has climbing roses all over the place and they are magnificent.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Couch Surfing.

oh dude. It's been too long. I know I know. But I have the best excuse ever. All of my shit FINALLY arrived from the US. And if you're counting, that's 3 months I was living out of one suitcase. My one sundress got so much play, I may never wear her again. Just kidding. She makes me look tan and skinny. She'll never be out of rotation.

So my couch. My friggin couch! She is my first piece of grown up non-ikea furniture. I bought the beauty [Cannes 88" model] from Crate & Barrel. I ordered a custom fabric that I had to wait 6 extra weeks for. I lounged on beach chairs and a sleeping bag in the meantime. Of course when she arrived at my apartment, the hallways in my crappy old tenement building were too narrow to slide her down. I had to pay 400 bux in cash to have my brand new couch dismantled and reassembled in my apartment. I think I might still owe KJ [a dear BFF] a remaining 50 bux from when she forked over the cash to pay for the disassembly. [That's love, friends.]

Here's old bessie enjoying the company of 2 very dear, very sexy friends of mine:

Fast forward 2 years. The Crate & Barrel card is finally paid off. The couch is my pride and joy and the thought of leaving her back in NYC while I move couchless to The Hague is just too much to bear. Friends gone, dog died, and now no couch? I begged Frenchie to allow the couch to follow us in the shipping container he was securing for our goods, and he agreed.

Of course what goes in apartment must come out, so I had to fork over another 400 bux to have the thing dis and re-assembled on my sidewalk. Then we crammed it into my brother's pick-up [bless you bro, Timey, KT, and Arj for helping with all that shit] and brought it to a friend's garage where it would sit in the cold until the shipping container dudes would come to collect our goods.


The beginning of the disassembly below:

Delivery day! The movers show up at our sexy flat in The Hague and the first thing they say is. "Uhhh. There's no way that couch is gonna fit up those stairs."

My awesomely sensitive BF is all, "Well it's not gonna fit. Guess we'll just have to keep it on the street. Or they can take it apart." I swear it's a good thing I've learned a bit of self-control in my old age, because I seriously wanted to take a swing at him.

Seriously? Movers rip apart my goddamn couch? Are you fucking kidding me? After all we've been through [me and the couch] and he offers me the street or a butcher job? I took a deep breath. Maybe 4 or 5 deep breaths.

I looked around the apartment trying to figure out a plan. I opened our windows nice and wide and looked down to the street below. The street didn't seem so far and the moving truck had a lift that could get it about 4.5' off the ground. "Why don't 2 people hoist it from the truck bed and 2 inside guide it in?" I mused.

"That's not a good idea. You wanna break the window guards?" Deep Breaths. Deep Breaths. Sensing I was going to have to find my own solution, I climbed downstairs to have a chat with the movers.

I asked if they had any ideas. They said they thought it might be able to be hoisted up from the truck bed and through the window [imagine that].

And that's just what they fucking did! Tadaa! For all concerned, the window guards are just fine, thank you.

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