Etsy Find of the Week – Reclaimed Wood Outdoor Seating

Summer is in full swing, so it’s time to move outside, plant your tush in a chair, and watch the world go by…


These chairs look like the perfect place to spend the summer, don’t you think?

And they come in such pretty colors too!

Made by Etsy seller Laughing Creek Productions, they are assembled from reclaimed cedar decking, and then sealed with a long lasting, painted finish. Read the rest of this entry »

Dwell on Design 2011 – What I Saw

On Friday, I spent several fun, if a bit exhausting, hours traipsing through Dwell on Design 2011 in Los Angeles. As always, there was plenty to see, although the big sponsors continue to grab more and more real estate, further pushing the independent innovators to the periphery. But be that as it may, it is still the biggest modern design show on the West Coast, and as such deserves at least a moment of our attention.

Here are a few things that caught my eye:

The Molo Design booth was one of the first things I saw walking into the show, and it was also one of the highlights. The honeycomb paper construction they are known for was used for walls, lighting and seating, to great effect.

This was the view inside their little paper tower. Part of me just wanted to hide out the whole show in that nice, calm space.

The pounding sound of the human heart beat drew me to Japanese artist SASAKI’s rad set up to benefit Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding program in Japan. Of course, I had to participate! I wish I’d thought to have someone take a picture as I sat there with a heartbeat monitor attached to my finger, watching SASAKI airbrush my heart beat onto the canvas. The money I donated as a participant will help rebuilding efforts in Tohoku, Japan. Read the rest of this entry »

Dwell on Design 2011 Today!

I’m off to see what there is to see at Dwell on Design today.  Love that there is a design show with such buzz in Southern California again.  Wonder what they’ll have on show this time?

I’ll be posting all the fun stuff I see on my Twitter account while I’m there, in case you can’t wait till next week to hear about it!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Etsy Find of the Week – Simple Wood Child’s Seat

Sometimes the simplest forms are the best.

This African inspired stool/bench/child’s seat is a good case in point.  Made by Etsy seller StephanieHubertDesign out of reclaimed NYC water-tank redwood & Douglas fir, it is both solid and graceful in its design.

I wonder how old that redwood is?  The city of New York once required water tanks on all buildings over 6 stories tall, and although they are only required in certain areas now, they can still be seen all over the city.  The reclaimed wood is certainly nice to look at when used for furniture!

Stephanie Hubert Design is a new seller on Etsy, but she has several other sustainable benches to look at, as well as some intriguing lighting.  Check out her shop here.

Vintage Swedish Rug from Mansour

I just ran across this rug and had to share.  Be prepared to scroll a bit…

If that isn’t a whole lot of vintage Swedish design deliciousness, I don’t know what is!  Of course, at 9’8″ x 23′ (!), I’m not really sure how many homes could accommodate it, but I bet it would look amazing in the right setting.

Currently available from a curated collection of vintage Swedish Kilim rugs by Mansour.

Magazines Make Lovely Walls

Even in the digital era, as an interior designer I still need to look at LOTS of magazines every month, searching for trends and inspiration. It doesn’t take too long for those magazines to start piling up in bigger and bigger stacks. Just not this big (thank goodness)…

This wonderful wall, designed by Swedish architecture firm Elding Oscarson for advertising agency Oktavilla, was created from carefully bound and arranged magazine stacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Dwell + Method + You + Your Idea = Winner?!?

Dwell and Method have teamed up to offer a fun, creative challenge – what can YOU design using an empty Method bottle?

Here’s how they describe the contest:

Dwell and method, two arbiters of style that aim for pride of place on your shelves, dare you to defy us with your concepts and creations for upcycling, recycling, rethinking, and deconstructing—beginning with your empty method product bottles. This design contest is about celebrating the effervescence of the everyday, because we think real creativity is about taking a second look, and breathing new life into the old. We’re looking for imaginative, innovative and inspiring concepts and creations that give method product bottles and packages a sexy new lease on life. Whether it’s an empty method bottle that now holds bouquets of blooms, a collage created from thousands of pieces of deconstructed method materials, or a conceptual rendering for future method fish bowls, we want you to submit a photo or rendering that shows how you’d move from method-everyday to method-extravagant, and we’ll shower you with fabulous prizes.

The Grand Prize is $300 worth of Method products, so put on your thinking caps and see what awesomeness you can come up with!  You have until June 30th.

Oh, and if you do submit an entry, make sure you tell us all about it in the comments below.  We’ll be rooting for you!

Etsy Find of the Week – Maps for Naps

Doesn’t every parent wants a give their child the whole world?

Well now you can – at least in pillow form – thanks to Etsy seller My Bearded Pigeon.   Who wouldn’t want to dream of great explorations while snuggled up on this pillow?

Since the adorable child is not included, here’s what the pillow looks like on its own…

This bright and cheerfully colored map, circa 1865, is printed onto a 100% organic cotton pillow cover, with a black organic cotton back and zipper closure (insert not included).

My Bearded Pigeon also has an amazing selection of decorative map pillows for grown-ups who dream of travel.

Maybe you’re dreaming of a tropical island paradise… Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Penny Tile

Usually when I post about a design element I believe is trending it’s because I’m seeing it more and more in magazines and other design forums. However, in this case I decided to write about one of my favorite looks more because I’m seeing an increased interest in it from my clients.

Penny rounds, and their design sibling “hex tile”, have been around for over a century, as anyone who has been in the lobby of the old apartment building, or the bathroom in an older home would know. Recently there has been a revival in interest for penny rounds, whether for reasons of nostalgia or the fact that just so darn cheerful looking. The great thing is, they can also be very sustainable. Here are some of my favorite looks:

image via Apartment Therapy


I’ll start out with, Savoy, a pretty ceramic version with over 20% recycled content from Ann Sacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on the Banca Familiar

Oh dear!

I’ve seen this interesting looking willow wood bench, the Banca Familiar by designer Valentín Garal, on a few design blogs now, including at least one focused on sustainability. As attractive as the design is, and is well-intentioned as I believe the designer to be, there are some real design flaws with this concept.

Before I sound out my concerns, you should know just a little background on me. My very first paying job out of high school was working at a pet shop. A pet shop with lots of birds that I personally took care of.  I’m telling you this so you will believe me when I say you should NEVER house parakeets in a wooden cage. Those little suckers will chew on wood like a dog gnawing on a bone!

In addition, although people have been given plenty of space on this bench, the birdcage is a bit cramped from side to side. That means any small bird kept in the cage will likely be miserable when people sit next to it to give the birds “tender care”. In other words, this bench was definitely designed with people in mind and not the birds.

So what do you think? Am I being a bit too picky in picking apart this otherwise lovely looking design, or is the fact that the birdcage component is impractical render the entire idea unsustainable and unusable?