Tag Archives: furniture

Eye Spy

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My best friend Sara is in town for about six weeks, which makes for lots and lots of wandering around and exploring of the city. Last week, if you haven’t noticed, was particularly warm. Scorching, in fact. Not unlike hell. But. I had my bestie with me, we stopped often for snacks and drink, and for have-i-burnt-to-a-crisp-yet-even-though-i’m-wearing-60spf-sunblock-? checks. We stumbled into ABC Carpet and Home and found ourselves in a 6-floor wonderland of homegoods. And couches. Which we sat on. To, you know, debate their comfy factor. Of course we found one that was so heavenly in squish factor that neither wanted to get up. It was a couch you could live on. Alas, we moved on and explored, snapping pictures like wild women of pretty and interesting things. Looking at them afterward, I realized that my hasty quick-snap pics aren’t quite as perfectly formed as I would have liked (oops) and, of course, that there were little bits of (quasi-esque, at times) groupings. A few pics for you, my lovelies:

Spirography-y shapes!:


(this one may not be super-spirograph-y, but i wanted to share it at least because of the awesome colors)

Giant! (Table-y) Lamps!:


Don’t these look like fabulously oversized table lamps? Awesome. You could have a bit of Honey I Shrunk the Kids right in your living room.

Luxurious Layers:


For some reason, the layering of similar objects really struck me. I know you would normally find that people have collections of small things. But the look of pulling together bunches of larger objects is kind of interesting.

The Undoing of the classy chair:


I don’t think I’d want to lounge in one of these, but there’s something about something about a chair that used to be so regal looking a bit (or a lot) undone. It makes you think about the “life” that chair has led. And there’s always something kind of intriguing about seeing finery broken and imperfect. It makes me think of the people who trash their wedding dress instead of preserving it.

And, apparently, I find worn-down, worn-in, and somewhat destroyed things utterly fascinating. Oh, the patina that life adds to our walls, floors, ceilings, etc.

If walls (and floors) could talk:


The many, many layers of paint just kills me with it’s beauty. All those colors. The rough edges. The rich textures. *Swoon*


And especially lovely in metals. Loving the coolness of the patina-ed metal and the warmth of brick.


With the right pairing of furniture, these worn floors can look really lovely.

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Now that I think about it, after compiling all of these pics, is that you can sort of sum up the things that seemed to catch my eye into two categories:

Over-sized
In the manner of taking things/ideas that might be smaller and making them bigger. We do everything over-sized here in the States (ahem, food portions *cough cough*), massive couches (..etc), large collections of small things (porcelain cats!). And now we’ve blown up table-lamps, or the shapes from our childhood spirograph game, or made collections of large unexpected objects (like headboards) and they look beautiful. (Granted, I’m not sure the store intended to sell the lot of headboards as a design feature. Their pairing may have just been a matter of practicality, but it managed to look beautiful in that corner with the sun shining in.

and

Over-used
In the manner of being worn-in. We’ve grown more accustomed to doing without. To not buying new things all of time, to appreciating vintage. Those things tend to lack in perfection. They’re worn in, they have holes, spots are worn away. But the new grunge isn’t about looking inherently dirty, but in appreciating the life of the things that surround us, and accordingly our own lives and the way they have shaped us.

Some of the pictures manage to combine the two themes.
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I’m terrible and didn’t manage to catch the names of any/all designers. If you should express interest in any one particular, I’d be happy to track them down for any of you dear readers.

And now, just because I feel like sharing, the (not so) magical (!) traveling golden swan bicycle basket:

Spotted first in Union Square months upon months ago and again last Wednesday right in my own neighborhood of Bushwick. (finger in the pic, not so suave)

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Pulling threads

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While scouring the web for fabulous finds for the Pattern Pulp weekly roundup, I came across some amazing works by husband and wife designers Sally and Peter Nencini. I included them, but still found myself particularly smitten with a few certain pieces of work. Such as the chair above, a truly collaborative effort: the poem is written by their daughter, Sadie (at age 8), Peter designed the layout and design of the words, and Sally hand-embroidered the type onto a vintage hemp sack. I really love everything about it. The poem, the lively design and layout of the words, the rough elegance of the hemp. Just the fact that a poem was embroidered onto a piece of furniture makes my heart beat. The way it comes to life makes it sing. And, hey! They’ve done more collaborative furniture. All of which I think are awesome.

The set of chairs on the left are entitled Calligraphic, with a motif that reads horizontally and represents “A funny amalgam of not-so-esoteric and long-loved and digested visual matter feeding the language used. The consistent is something of a space between images and words.” (For more clues to the meaning of the motifs click here.) The stool on the right was commissioned with the intention of it being a place for one to sit whilst taking off or putting on one’s shoes. The Nencini’s used text from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, and created a design that is reminiscent of the combined oddity of Alice when she grows so large her legs poke out the windows and of Struwwelpeter illustrations. (For more background and info about the process click here, and here.)

I do quite enjoy all of these works and others done by the couple, both independently and together. It’s a lot of exploring old crafts with a new eye and giving them new life and language.

So, yes, with these wonderful and imaginative functional works of art in mind, I fell next upon Keisuke Fujiwara‘s “Spool 214 Thool Chair, which pays homage to iconic Thonet chair.

The chair is wrapped painstakingly by hand in 12 different colors of thread to achieve the “fire” and “ice” color schemes. I was immediately amused by the comparison of the processes of the Nencini’s work and Fujiwara’s. One which updates classic furniture by embroidering new things into fabric, and other which gives a new look to an iconic chair by wrapping it in threads. I enjoy the gradation of colors and the softness that the layers of thread give this work. Also, I’m simply amused by the use of thread for something other than cut and dry sewing. Looking at a selection of thread in a store is almost as gleeful as looking at a wall full of paint swatches. The array of color is astounding and your mind is swept up in possibility. Fujiwara’s chairs also called to mind another project I spotted a few months ago and also always intended to use. Dominic Wilcox‘s “By a thread” walking sticks, employ a similar concept of wrapping a walking stick with spools of thread:

Of course, then I remembered what I had been saving along with Mr. Wilcox’s canes!

Voila! Mark Kaplan‘s spool of thread inspired earrings.

So there you have it. A spun tale of of thread in it’s many uses and forms. In it’s natural on a spool habitat, wound decadently around objects, and stitched in a new old school kind of way into some seriously awesome furniture.

Happy Monday to you (I know, *groan*), and get creative!

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Take me to the Bed Cave!

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Would you believe that this intriguing bookshelf/igloo not only stores books, but also a bed?!

It would be like a cross between one of those forts you created as a child by tearing apart the couch and making your own little play nook cave, and your own personal library. Truth be told, the Uroko bed (by Point Architects)was actually intended for children, but it seems like a pretty swell grown-up double duty bed. I know I certainly need a bigger bookshelf, and this one is handy since it stores your books, reading materials, knick knacks, etc. and also puts them all right within arms reach. It would make a great room divider should you live in an extra large multi-purpose room/studio type scenario and it would be pretty darned swell in one of the many loft-style apartments here in Brooklyn. One of those places you walk into and they pull a curtain aside point in and say “hey, this would be your room”. True story, it happened to my friend. Naturally, she said no thanks and ducked out of there quickly as possible. The idea of a curtained off room, or room with little to no privacy is certainly unappealing, but I’d certainly ponder it if I could have a little book cave of my own.

Imagine all the ways you could decorate it! While it’s shown with the all of those felt shingles, it’s essentially a basic curved sort of bookcase room which makes the decorating possibilities fairly endless:

You can create your own little world.

At the very least it would be an interesting idea to have bookshelf walls. If I remember correctly, in Jonathon Safran Foer’s book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, there was an outdoor study where the walls were made of books. Holy guacamole! I found that one bit with only a moment of searching:

“The first time Anna and I made love was behind her father’s shed, the previous owner had been a farmer, but Dresden started to overtake the surrounding villages and the farm was divided into nine plots of land, Anna’s family owned the largest. The walls of the shed collapsed one autumn afternoon – “a leaf too many,” her father joked – and the next day he made new shelves, so that the books themselves would separate inside from outside. (The new overhanging roof protected to books from rain, but during winter the pages would freeze together, come spring they let out a sigh.) He made a little saloon out of the place, carpets, two small couches, he loved to go out there in the evening with a glass of whiskey and a pipe, and take down books and look through the wall at the center of the city. He was an intellectual, although he wasn’t important, maybe he would have been important in life if he had lived longer, maybe great books were coiled within him like springs, books that could have separated inside from outside.” (126)

Spotted on Inhabitots

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Ooooh: A packrat’s delight or nightmare?

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Check out this “transformer-shelf” created by Amsterdam based designer Martin Sammer. When closed, it looks like a regular sort of storage unit, however (in practical terms) it opens into a rather complex interior that allows you to customize your storage options… hold all sorts of different objects or (in our favorite artist/designer terms) encourage you to interact with the object and became a part of it’s shape evolution, allowing you to become it’s designer so-to-speak as there are a myriad of different ways in which it can be interpreted.

I think it’s intriguing from both the practical and artsy person standpoint. Because I:
a): Have a lot of stuff… And an object that is not totally huge but has lots of little nooks and crannies would enable me to stick A Whole Lot Of Stuff in it, which is a really exciting prospect because I’m still looking around my quasi-newly-moved-into apartment trying to figure out where to put everything. I could see myself enjoying tossing it all into this (*ahem* maybe just so that I don’t have to look at it anymore)… Granted, it may be rather complicated so I could also see myself not remembering where in this labyrinthian storage device I put all those random objects. Not that that’s a totally far cry from how things are now (laughs awkwardly)….
b): As a designer I really, really enjoy customizable things that I can play with. It’s so much more fun that way! And I really like things that encourage others to do the same. Interact with your stuff, yo!

via Gizmodo

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