“Free Flowing” Forms – Tord Boontje for Botanist

Don’t you think these would create the perfect holiday atmosphere?

Designed by Tord Boontje for Botanist, these lanterns from his Free Flowing series cast such amazing shadows.  The perfect backdrop for a winter time party and a champagne toast.

Even without the soft glowing light, their form remains evocative of tree branches in winter, or a golden field of wild grasses just after the first frost.

Of course, such lovely organic shapes are nothing new to Boontje, who has created many award winning, nature influenced designs from his studio in London.  This is no accidental marriage of naturalism and modernism, mind you.  To quote from his bio,…

“The Studio’s work draws from a belief that modernism does not mean minimalism, that contemporary does not forsake tradition, and that technology does not abandon people and senses. The Studio’s designs often temper edges with softness, take inspiration from nature, and employ a décor of forms and layers to engage and entice an observer’s imagination and emotions.”

I’m not sure I’m going to get emotional about this next piece, but it definitely engages my imagination…

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Giving Thanks

There are so many things I am thankful for: family, friends, and you my dear readers.  Not to mention the luck to have a fairly decent pumpkin pie recipe.

However, right at this moment I am most grateful for a restored internet connection and a new router!  I’m connected to the web-a-verse again, and hope to get back to my regularly scheduled blogging as soon as I have finished stuffing some of that pumpkin pie in my face.

Until then, wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

What Would Aesop Make of This? – Easy Willow Chair

I’ve always loved the old Aesops fable about the oak and the willow, (not to be confused with the more famous oak vs. reed story).  In it, the willow challenges the oak to a contest to see who is stronger in the face of a gale.  As the storm gain strength, the willow bends low and avoids being blown over, while the oak, standing solid against the wind, topples over and loses.  However, before the willow can gloat too much, the oak reminds the willow that it is better to face your enemy and die nobly, than to cower and live to see another day.  I think there is room for argument that both trees have merit.

I’m glad to see that see that this chair takes those merits and combines them beautifully.

By utilizing the strength of oak, with the pliability of fresh willow branches, Boex has given “Easy Willow” a look that appears both solid and comfortable.

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Wool Rugs and No Title*

What fun!

Designer Dan Golden’s collection of wool felt rugs for Odegard are so darn cheerful.

Inspired by childhood memories of growing up in Mexico during the ’70s, Golden has infused the rugs with a correspondingly playful palette of colors.  Looking for all the world like the doodles we would create during 5th grade math, and then stuff clandestinely in our Pee Chees, these rugs definitely give off “good vibes”. Read the rest of this entry »

A Salute to Old Army Blankets and the Veterans Who Used Them

In honor of those in the military who have served their country and returned to tell the tale, I thought I’d write a little post on one of my favorite things they often brought home with them – vintage army blankets!

Now, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on recycled Swiss Army blankets, and I gotta give props to the Swiss for having a striking design, but for me, the drab olive green of a U.S. Army wool blanket will always hold a special place in my heart.

You see, when I was a little girl one of the highlights of the summer was to go on picnics in the park.  My parents would make deviled eggs and tuna fish sandwiches, grab the old Army blanket we kept for such outings, and then pile me and my sister into the families blue Plymouth Fury.  To me, Army Blankets still smell like green grass and cherry Kool-aid.

Sadly, no one else seems to have quite my level of fondness for them, at least in terms of re-purposing them for the home.  I did find a neat article on how to upholster a headboard using an Army blanket, but struck out trying to find much else.

So, dear readers, could you do two things for me?  First, if you know of any interesting items made for the home out of U.S. Army blankets, could you mention them in the comments?  Second, if you know a veteran, take a minute out of your day to say thank you to them.  They deserve it.

What the Past Teaches Us About the Future

While out and about this weekend, I came across this…

It had that wonderful, musty smell of an old book, so I knew it would probably find it’s way into my library.  Indeed, when I cracked it open, I found it was published in 1948, AND it had some color plates too.  SOLD!

However, once I got home and had a chance to look through my new found treasure, I quickly realized that there was a reason why no one ever talks about wanting to do their home in a 1940′s style – there really isn’t one!  In fact, although the book has copious images where the “colonial” or “modern” features of a room are pointed out, most people today would be hard pressed to recognize any of the rooms as being specifically from the 40′s.

So how does that relate to sustainable interior design? Read the rest of this entry »

Emily Pilloton’s TED talk

If you have only 16 minutes and 44 seconds to spare today, I highly recommend you take them to watch this great TED talk by designer Emily Pilloton.  In it she explains why she and Studio H, the non-profit, sustainable design firm she co-founded, decided to relocate from San Francisco to rural Bertie County, NC.  She goes on to explain how design can help bring eduction and new opportunities to these rural communities that so desperately need it.  But above and beyond that, her talk is worth watching because it inspires.  Here is someone doing what so many of us just dream about – using design as a catalyst for real change.

Oh, and if you have not only never heard of Emily Pilloton and Studio H, but you haven’t even heard of TED, then you are going to need a whole lot more than 16 minutes, 44 seconds to spare.  The TED website is a virtual library of inspiring, engaging and educational talks on subjects as diverse as neurobiology, architecture, music, happiness, and video games.  So pop yourself some popcorn, get cozy, and prepared to be inspired…

Fearless Flying Chickens and Other Cool Artwork

I love this poster

I’ve never seen a more heroic chicken.  Have you?  That hen looks ready to take on the entire Luftwaffe all by herself!

The poster is just one of several great designs created for the Victory Garden for Tomorrow Campaign by graphic artist Joe Wirtheim.

Here’s another fave – “Grow Food“.  Guess I must have a chicken complex.

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Coffee, Tea, or Light? – Gilles Eichenbaum

I am off to a seminar this morning, so I leave you with a brief, but beautiful post…

Gilles Eichenbaum is one of my new favorite people, and if there is a God, I will someday have a chance to meet him and say, “Votre lampes sont trop belles pour les mots”.  Or something like that.

Full of whimsy, and an odd pathos, his lamps are made of found materials. Read the rest of this entry »

Bluegrass for Your Walls – Twenty2

This is a post about bluegrass…

and red grass, and green grass, and white grass, and a sort of grayish grass, and…, well, you get the point.

One of my favorite wallpaper/fabric design companies, Twenty2, has just released their new Grasscloth & More collection, and it is really lovely.  Vibrant shades of “Neptunian” and “Dungaree” blue, “Chlorophyll” green, and “Beaujolais” red.  Or for the more sedate among you, how about a “Weimaraner” brown?

Whatever your color preference, grasscloth is a great sustainable option, due not only to its rapidly renewable and biodegradable nature, but also because it has a timeless appeal.  So, just because you decide you’ve had enough of mid-century modern, and really need to explore your Hollywood Regency side instead, you won’t need to strip the walls and start all over again.

Just look how great that same beautiful blue grasscloth above looks in an entirely different setting… Read the rest of this entry »