Tag Archives: interior design

Mod Walls

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If you’re interested in fashion history, you might know that the 1960’s produced a legion of paper dresses. I stumbled upon these gorgeous 1968 examples up for sale on 1stdibs while I was browsing vintage eye-candy indoors, doing my best to stay cool on this oh-so-sweltering hot day.

Oh course, these made my heart beat a little faster.

Designer Harry Gordon created these Poster Dresses out of 75% rayon and 25% nylon and though not truly paper, it was recommended that you not was wash them. Clearly a man after my own heart, the packages to these stunners advised:

“Toughness is woven into the non-woven fabric for long, l-o-n-g wear, and should you tire (which is doubtful), just cut open all the seams and hang it on your wall as a poster, or cover pillows.”

Now, I’ve long been a fan of hanging my dresses – especially vintage ones – up on my walls or in my windows. They certainly qualify as art, in my humble opinion, in addition to a piece of fashion and cultural history; and so, my closet, dress rack and drawers tend to overflow with vintage pieces I don’t frequently wear and yet can’t bear to give up. I consider them my small but growing “costume history collection”. It’s a totally valid method to my vintage hoarding madness, of course. So, yes, when I spotted these lovelies online for sale I agreed  wholeheartedly with the seller that, decked out in frames, they’d make killer pieces for your walls. Kind of like these vintage swimsuits showcased by DeCesare Design.

Though the Poster Dresses were originally sold in 1968 for $2.98 by the USA importer “Madison House”, today they cost a wholllleeeee lot more, so I’m betting that this complete addition is very, very, very out of my budget. Sigh. Nonetheless, they’re amazing and hanging them up on your walls is a perfect homage to these pieces.  I suspect, however, that if someone redid these in something like a lovely silk, they’d make quite a killing on the fashion front even today.

Get on it, fashion industry.

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A paint-chip-y landscape

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Spotted this purchase-able piece of wall art – Sun 736 by Cocktail Designers and just had to share. It’s all lovely pixelated, and when you look close, made up of paint-swatch type forms:

Formerly covered paint chip related art goodness:
Paint Chip Evolution, and my own paint chip landscape wall attempt (though way more abstract).

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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Anatomy of a dress

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In the closet of my studio, I have a large bag filled with many 2 gallon sized Ziploc bags, each of which contains the pattern pieces to one of my design projects in college. It seemed like a good idea to save them, considering how much work I put into their creation; but, I’ve never been quite sure what exactly to do with them.

In addition to being a saver, I’m also a fan of putting strange things on my wall as decoration. Always have been. I’d buy a box a pretty notecards, and hang them on the wall. I’d buy old records, not necessarily for the music (until I got ahold of a record player, at least), but because they were pretty. And onto the wall they went. Purses. Clothes. Paint swatches. Old sheet music. A period where I was obsessed with aluminum tape(…). Pennies. And an endless stream of etceteras. All standard fare in my decoration handbook. So, of course I’ve pondered decorating my wall with all of those dear, lovingly handmade patterns of mine. But I wondered if it’d be too odd. Or something? But! Then I saw the lovely above photo by Italian fine artist Maurizio Pellegrin and I smiled. Because it looks oh so intriguing and classy. And I love how he incorporates the dress and other elements. The chaos is organized. It has a nice visual texture.

My pattern paper, though, is stark white and splashed with numbers and letters and x’s in addition to my hand jottings. Not sure how it’d look up against my already stark white walls (which I ought to do something about anyway…). Also, being fond of somewhat complicated garments (considering, at least, that I barely knew how to sew upon entering design school) and very full skirts, a lot of the pattern pieces are very oddly shaped. Could be fun though, to have them all jumbled up. I could have a party and play a game with all of my design novice friends called “Guess what part of the garment this piece belongs to !!!!”.

Could be practical, too. Small pattern pieces can get lost and misplaced very easily. Don’t ask how I know.

via

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The color I was talking about

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Back when I first moved into the apartment in which I am presently living, I attempted to have a conversation with my brother about the colors I was contemplating painting this New Room. I think I got a little too intricate though, because when I said “I kind of want a purple-y mauve-y but greyed down with maybe a hint of rose so that it looks kind of Victorian-y but Victorian-y in a way that it’s like you’re visiting this old old mansion and this is what the walls look like after years and years of disuse, they used to be brighter but now they’re all musty dusty with time and memories and it’s almost more beautiful that way, y’know?!” he said he didn’t know. He had no idea what I was talking about. It was probably kind of like when I’d recruit him for help with some particularly difficult math type equation and he’d start rambling off all these numbers or variables or theories (?) and I’d be sitting there bobbing my head along like when you dangle something in front of a cat and they go cross-eyed trying to follow it. And when he was done he’d say, “Make sense?” And I would say that, no, it made no sense, you lost me about two steps in.

And this, my friends, is why a picture (or a step by step working out of an equation on paper so I can see it) is worth a thousand words. So, Mason, this is pretty much the color I was rambling on and on about…. I’m pretty sure at least.

Even if it’s not, it’s really pretty isn’t it? The light falls on it in such a lovely way. And I’m getting giddy thinking about incorporating some sage-y greens, green-ish yellows, and soft sunshine-y colors into the room….I think the bedspread might sort of had that kind of green in it. All kind of softer bright colors. Kind of French Macaron-y.

It sort of feels mildly akin to using a chocolaty brown or nice non-institutional gray. Neutral but color. But. That might only make sense in my head/my own little world. Like how in my world red can pretty much go with anything.

Yes, I get really riled up about color. *blushes*

photo by Simon Bates

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Stairslide

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1. I have always loved spiral staircases
2. You can also slide down!

I couldn’t help but ponder them going really all out and making it so you could also climb up (ladder-like)((you could feel all Indiana Jones-y)) and/or incorporate a pole, so that you can slide down fire-person style.

funfunfun!

I have no idea where this is or who made it, I just stumbled on the picture here and thought: yes

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If the eyes are windows into the soul…

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…then are a person’s windows eyes into their soul?

That probably sounds a little weird, but I’m working on a project; or I should say trying to work on something. You see, I used to live on the third (and top) floor of my building which, at that level, stared nothing in the face -only a low Verizon truck dispatching building (?) – so when I purchased curtains, I figured they didn’t need to be super thick and opaque since no one would be able to see directly in. They let light filter in and not too much of me to stick out. However (oh! however!), now I live on the first floor of the same building and so people being able to see into my room is now a most definite issue considering all of the foot traffic, the renovations workers coming and going, and the fact that the trashcans are all right outside my window ((sexy, eh?!))).

So yes, I do love my curtains, and though I’ve pondered new ones, I’m still not terribly keen on have super thick ones as I do want some light to come in (I don’t get nearly as much sunshine now that I’m on the first floor *pout*). I’m embarrassed to say that while I’d been pondering what to do, and even now that I do know but haven’t done it yet, I have the same grey, ugly paper taped onto the lower pane of my window that the workers put in, I imagine, when they were painting. But what can I say, I don’t want to give any free shows.

Not pretty.

So. I found, after an extensive search, some lovely japanese-y paper to put there instead. It has a pale background with flowers and is lightweight, so that I’m hoping that some light will filter on through.

Now, since I love words, poems, lyrics, books, etc so darned much; and have done odd things like write “hello” on my ceiling for all passers-by to see ( can you see where I’m going, yet?) I thought: Why not write something on the other side for everyone to see! A FABULOUS idea, I thought.

But, what, my friends. What? It’s been kind of intimidating to figure out what to put in such a visible spot….

Ideas?

Or should I maybe put the colorful, printed side of the paper facing outside with my written words inside, so that people will get a glimpse of them (backwards), sort of, when my room is super lit? OR, if I did it that way (vs. words facing out).. what if I wrote whatever I was going to write backwards on the part that faces inside inside that what people can see when outside looking in is the printed paper with the shadowy glimpse of something written there?!

Am I making sense. Ideas? Email (thoroughlymoderntilly@gmail.com) or comment! :)

The windows/window area of my apartment upstairs:

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