June 29, 2008
With nearly every gathering you host, it's fairly certain that the party will end up in the kitchen. So why not take the party, and the kitchen, outdoors?
Alfresco kitchens are becoming ubiquitous, and almost synonymous with a successful soiree. Just think of how much easier it would be -- cook top, sink, refrigerator -- all at your fingertips while you entertain outdoors.
Peruse the outdoor kitchen collection from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.
June 27, 2008
Owyn Toy Box
My name is Allison, and I'm a cleanaholic.
I'm woman enough to admit it. I like a VERY clean home. I like a VERY organized home. (Forgive my use of caps to emphasize --- but I'm too tired to think of more sophisticated verbiage). As stated before, you will find no chotchkies in my abode. No clutter. Nothing out of place. Even my dog keeps his belongings confined to a certain room.
However, training my dog will undoubtedly be easier than keeping a child's possessions under wraps. As it should be, children need a place to flourish their imagination. Realistically, children also need a place to store toys, puzzles, books, etc.
I'm not a fan of those giant plastic football (or baseball) toy bins. I'd like to have something a little more refined and kid-friendly (have you ever tried to pry those cumbersome plastic lids?).
The Owyn Toy Box from Modern Tots offers plenty of storage space and houses two easy lift-off lids specifically made for little hands. In addition, the box is made from eco-friendly birch plywood, non-toxic paints, and non-toxic, low voc water-based polyurethane.
Chia furniture... Love It or Leave It?
If ever there was a greener conversation piece, or one with more bugs...
I love the concept -- just fill the sofa or chair frame with soil, spread grass seed, and water. Within a week or two you have your own chia-furniture. I love sitting in the grass under a big tree reading a good book -- and this furniture may be equally comfy. But then, after about 20 minutes or so, the bugs come. Creepy crawlers dead set on breaking your bliss.
And what about all the additional trimming, weed wacking, and grooming that will ensue? How long before the wood begins to biodegrade? What do you say to a guest with a very inconveniently placed insect bite?
Are these pieces just meant to be decorative? Form without much function, if you ask me. So, Love It or Leave It?
Let me tell you why I so adore the new Mambo sofa from Massimo Iosa Ghini -- it lays directly on the ground.
While I realize that it may not be a big deal to some, for me it would save countless hours of retrieving dog bones, small tennis balls, flattened raw-hides, etcetera. Dog owners can attest to this -- those cute little buggers will find a way to push and toss everything under any open surface. Those of you with kids, how many times have you found yourself on hands and knees prying cherrios and legos from under the sofa?
The Mambo's looking pretty good right about now, isn't it?
Hot Hues for Unconventional Spaces
Fashion's influence on interior design runs deep, with furniture designers checking apparel trends for everything from lines, to textures and style. It's a tight relationship in every sector of home design, but it's most apparent in color choices.
Professional designers are adept at spotting the bright colors popular in fashion and integrating them into a home design. And with a few tip from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, you can do it too.
SPRING HOUSE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Look inside your favorite shoes or that newly purchased handbag and take note of the unexpected dash of colors and patterns.
“Fashion designers are adding a punch of color in some of the most unlikely places. From pink to purple to citrus green, color sizzle is showing up in the most unlikely spaces and this color punch can be easily incorporated into home decorating as well,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert with the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute says.
“While you may be color shy when painting a family living space, take a cue from the design and decorating community and add an unexpected hue to an unconventional space such as a drab closet, a lackluster hallway or even a kitchen pantry. These and similar spaces are prime areas to create unexpected finishes by adding a bold paint color or design pattern. So, add a little color and be amazed at your own unconventional painted spot.
Zimmer’s Five Color Punch and Design Tips:
- Choose a bright, high gloss hue for an enclosed closet area. Not only will the color brighten your morning, but also the glossy finish will reflect light.
- Incorporate large geometric patterns such as circles or stars in a child’s bedroom closet. First, paint the entire closet space with a top quality paint and use store purchased or handmade stencils to add fun pattern color. It just might help with clothes cleanup!
- For a touch of luxury, paint a foyer or linen closet with a gold or silver metallic finish and surprise guests each time they open the door.
- Rev up your pantry with red! Not only will this vibrant hue add pizzazz to a typically mundane space, it may also spark your appetite.
- Paint sheen stripes in your hallway with a combination of flat and glossy paints in the same bright hue. For a new take on this decorative technique, run thick stripes horizontally for a fresh and updated look.
June 24, 2008
This is so gorgeous we couldn't pass it up. Just one more design from Gabriele Pezzini, below...
Dancer bar stool
Where and how do you put the foot-rest on a bar stool? By extending the seat in space down to a flared skirt, Pezzini turns this festive accessory into miss-mini-twister. Subliminal industrial minimalism that plays with dance & dress codes to score maximum visual impact for obvious function. Also comes with padded PU seat.
Gabriele Pezzini Modern Outdoor Furniture
If you don't know his work already, take a moment to check out designs from Gabriele Pezzini.
He was born in Belgium in 1963 and studied at the Institute of Industrial Design in Florence. Pezzini has lectured at the School of Fine Arts in Saint-Etienne, the Rhode Island School of Design and Milan Politecnico.
With his new crop of work, he continues to explore the relationship between objects and their users in order to forge new connections between the two.
With 'Wired', Pezzini
proposed a smooth and minimal tube steel application for a stackable
indoor/outdoor seat. The spot-welded structure - chrome for indoors, lacquered for
out - allows stacking up to 10 units. Also comes in a version with PU
foam cushions for the tender-arsed.
But our favorite just might be the bucket-shaped Moving stool, like all great designs, it seems so obvious once it's been done. Why didn't anyone think of it sooner? Buckets with handles have been around since antiquity and are still tops. Now reinvented in light-weight recyclable PE, they're kicking into the 21st century as a mobile bum-rest/ footstool/ side table. Not bad, and suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
June 23, 2008
Richard Schultz Design
One of our favorite iconic designers just developed another innovative collection for outdoors. Richard Schultz, the man behind the famed 1966 collection for Knoll, and my personal favorite Petal table, recently debuted the Wing Collection.
The form is based on a traditional wing chair but, in typical Schultz fashion, its use is progressive. While the old, indoor wing chair was made as a cozy haven to pull up to a fire and shield the back from cold drafts, Schultz's iteration features an open, breezy design just right for pulling up to a fire pit. And, if the chill in the air seems enveloping, optional cushions line the seat and back.
June 21, 2008
It should come as no surprise that my modern, minimalist design and home furnishing preferences have spilled over onto my landscaping and gardening methods.
I'm not big on roses, hate geraniums, and cannot be bothered with leafy, fluffy bushes. My husband and I thought we'd be sly and planted a peach tree last year, which has still failed to bloom.
So now I'm in search of modern, cool plants and flowers. However, neither of my thumbs are green and I have no idea where to look. I perused nurseries to no avail (well, I was actually just be stubborn).
I'm looking for reader suggestions -- what plants, flowers, shrubs do you recommend for a hip, contemporary yard?
June 18, 2008
Modern dining and occasional tables
I'm totally loving the tables from Paris-based architect and designer India Mahdavi. From geometric shapes and clean lines, to whimsical display, the collection features a varied array of dining and occasional tables.
Pictured: The Diagonale Table, constructed from walnut and enamelled ceramic.
Browse India Mahdavi's collection.