Trending – Vintage Lace

I traveled to North Carolina last week and, as I always do, I stocked up on fashion magazines for the flights.  It’s my little “hey, I’m going to be stuck in a cramped seat on a crowded flight for way too long” indulgence.

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Valentino Spring 2012

As I flipped through magazine after magazine, a particular trend caught my eye.

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Louis Vuitton Spring 2012

Designers were embracing lace.

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Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012

A LOT of lace.

Which means that the current trend for vintage lace in interiors is only going to get stronger.  But how do you embrace the look without going full on frilly?  Here are some suggestions….

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Company Profile – Kirei USA

“Demolish another building, it just gives us more to work with!”

John Stein is into demolitions, but not in the way one might think.  The founder and president of California-based Kirei USA has a knack for finding the possibilities inherent in the unwanted.

This vision shows clearly in every Kirei product, including the newest line, Windfall.  These engineered panels are produced in partnership with Windfall Lumber, which takes Douglas & Hemlock Fir from deconstructed buildings in the Pacific Northwest and brings the reclaimed wood to fresh, new life.

“It’s great to reuse demolition material that would otherwise take up space in the landfill,” says Mr. Stein.  “Having it become beautiful wood panels is even better.  This is old-growth wood that just can’t be found any more, and we get to bring it to designers.”

Windfall is manufactured in the United States using low-VOC adhesives.  The reclaimed wood is milled into strips of differing width, which are then randomly stacked to form the panels and cut to size.  Panels are available either solid or 3-ply with a NUAF/FSC-certified core.  They may come unfinished, with a clear coat that shows off the natural grain, or stained and prefinished in Anthracite, Mocha, Ivory, and Leather colors.  The result adds to any interior.

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Etsy Find of the Week – Year of the Dragon

In honor of this week’s celebration of Chinese New Year (January 23rd), I give you…

Vigor, the seriously awesome, recycled, drag racing steampunk dragon sculpture by Etsy artisans Reclaim2Fame.

Just look at that face! Read the rest of this entry »

Working Wednesday – When Blueprints Really Were Blue

I’m just back from a short trip to North Carolina that involves a long story I won’t get into, but I thought you might enjoy seeing this…

These are the original 1950 plans for the house I was working on.  Aren’t they beautiful!?!  Being a draftsman back then involved a LOT of hand writing and line work, along with attention to detail.  The blueprints truly were blue, and an amazing shade of it too.  The color was the result of the chemical reaction of ammonium ferric citrate impregnated paper to light.  Areas of the paper exposed to light turned a deep blue, while areas blocked from light exposure (most often from laying india ink drawings on thin tracing paper between the paper and the light source), stayed white.  Of course, there was a nasty smelling chemical bath that the blueprints had to go through to get the blue areas to develop, but after 62+ years there wasn’t a whiff of it.

I’m trying to convince the homeowners to have the drawings scanned for future use, and then have the floor plans framed as art for their walls.  What a conversation piece, no?

Thanks for visiting (and more about the new business next week when I can catch my breath)!


Izola Shower Curtains

Ahh… Las Vegas.  London.  Paris.  Venice…  Ever daydream of traveling to those places?


Okay.  So, let’s go!

Wait a minute.  We’re here to talk about interiors, aren’t we?  And so we are.  Specifically, about a very basic, humble, overlooked bit of interior design, one which certainly could use some glamour and snap:  the shower curtain.

Somewhere in the broad field between the two extremes of utilitarian and opulent lies style, sophistication, and wit.  Check out these travel-themed curtains from the New York-based firm, Izola.

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Check it out!

My new company…

So excited to share it with you!  I’m still devoted to sustainable interior design, but will now be doing more consulting, writing, speaking, and outreach.  I’m on the road right now, but will tell you more about it when I get back.

Thanks for visiting!



Etsy Find of the Week – Everitt & Schilling Tile

I love reclaimed wood.

I love tile.

I LOVE this.

Created by Everitt and Schilling of reclaimed wood from barns or building scrap, these tiles are both beautiful and functional. Read the rest of this entry »

Wallcoverings From Weitzner

Often those who work with sustainable design find themselves working against some all-too-common misconceptions.  Namely: that environmental consciousness and luxury are incompatible, that “natural” means “limited palette,” that an Earth-friendly wall is dull.

With their line of wallcoverings, Weitzner Limited neatly puts all that nonsense to rest.

Although certainly luxurious in the sense of being well-crafted, Weitzner’s creations are also, by turns, whimsical, arresting, soothing, classical, or all of these at once.

“We like to challenge our client’s perception of what a wallcovering can be by creating innovative materials that evoke curiosity, calm and beauty,” touts the company website.  “Then we add environmental consciousness and performance (class A ratings) into the mix.”

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Imagine a Lot of Black Here

I didn’t darken my site in protest of SOPA (mostly because I’m enough of a klutz I was afraid I would never be able to turn the lights on again), but I do take the threat to internet freedom very seriously.  Few sites on the internet, including mine, would be safe under SOPA or PIPA.  The legislation would fundamentally change the internet as we know it.

I’m taking the day off the internet today, trying to imagine what life would be like if I couldn’t access all the great information available online.  Care to join me?


Artisan Profile – Jacob Ruch

Usefulness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Jacob Ruch has a knack for bringing out both characteristics in his work.  Curbside cast-offs, salvage yard finds, construction refuse – all find a place at Reason Furniture Design, where the proverbial sow’s ear is transformed into… you know.

The company is named for Jacob’s great-uncle, Reason Ruch, who was, according to the artist, “extremely independent and self-sufficient, an excellent craftsman who could make wonderful things with very limited resources.”  Jacob strives to make his business emulate those qualities. Read the rest of this entry »