Recently Dwell featured a slideshow of Brooklyn architect Tim Seggerman’s design to renovate a dismal brownstone studio with a sleeping loft. He was inspired by legendary furniture designer George Nakashima to “create an enveloping cabin of blond woods”. He managed to make a tiny 240 square foot space seem expansive by using the blond wood panels to disguise clever storage and cubbies. read more…
Ever since seeing designer Max Lamb‘s polystyrene bookcases, we’ve been huge fans of his work. He loves making things and lends an artist’s eye to fine craftman’s projects, documenting each step of his process to share on his website. We’ve learned a huge amount from looking at Lamb’s projects, many of which are do-able by any handy person. Take his DIM Shelf that he designed and made with Marco of the wonderful New York City store Kiosk, highly-edited selection of local products plucked from around the globe. DIM stands for Do-It-Myself, a concept that somehow makes DIY even more possible and real.
The shelving, which appear to be inspired by Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione (which we wrote about while back), were made out of standard ‘off the shelf’ timber bought at hardware stores: 1″ x 3″ pine (which for some strange reason is actually 3/4″ x 2 1/2″), and 1″ x 1″ (3/4″ x 3/4″) slats, plus a few boxes of screws. Most of the building took place on Kiosk‘s roof.
Here are our select’s from Lamb’s many DIM photos of the project (you can see every step here.) Definitely DIM-able.
At Unconsumption, we came across this picture with commentary from a couple of different sites:
the first via A Harsh Light:
craigslist houseshare ad: “i have a garden growing in my shower so you have to use eco-friendly hair products. you will see worms and other insects, and you will occasionally see a spider too but they all help out the ecosystem.”
then Gardens In Unexpected Places commented on it:
I’m all for using graywater to water plants. (Green) thumbs up for this!
Spotted on Ikea’s Swedish website LivetHemma: a bunch of cabinet boxes afixed to the wall, with space to store a bike. It’s a graphic solution to storing a bike when you have no outside bike storage, and want to get it off the floor.
Of course, bikes are beautiful hung directly on the wall, horizontally read more…
Spotted on a well-worth-checking-out riff of interiors photographed by Simon Watson‘s: a cool, clever workstation make out of simple wooden sawhorses, a hollow core door, an industrial drawer unit, and a Tolomeo lamp.
Related posts: copy this: hinged, folding/expanding table top
sawhorse tables as solution + sculpture
d-i-y expandable table pt.2 (round) for holiday and other celebrations
one big swell table from several smaller ones
swell rigged kitchen island on sawhorses
(Video link here.) About 6 months ago, we got an email from Merete Mueller, a friend of a friend who was just finishing up a film about the Tiny House Movement.
The film, “TINY: A Story About Living Small” follows Christopher Smith and my attempt to build a tiny house from scratch with no building experience in the mountains of Colorado. It also explores the lives of other Americans who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space.
We’re interested in innovative design and environmental sustainability, but most of all, we’re interested in “Home”—how we find it and how we know when we’re there, the small, strong details that make us feel comfortable and at-ease in a place.
Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream, and what we REALLY need to live well and happily. It’s also the story of Merete and Christopher embarking on a project without knowing what they were doing; they could LEARN what they didn’t know. And did. (TINY just premiered at South by SouthWest, an independent film festival. Way to go!!!!)
We already love the film for this wise nugget:
For some people bigger isn’t necessarily better. The world gets a lot bigger when you begin to have more cash and time. read more…
Architects SMLXL Studio seems to have a real THING for shipping pallets, which they’ve used all through a tiny two story apartment in Prague. In many cases, it seems they took they pallets apart and reconfigured their components: thick blocks and slats to custom make furniture the exact size they wanted. Pallet has clearly become aesthetic… read more…
In the small country of Burkina Faso near the border to Ghana, it is common for dwellings to be painted with intricate patterns using colored mud and chalk. The patterns tells stories of the community’s culture.
We are amazed at how modern these rustic wall paintings are, and imagine how beautiful they would be adorning the side of a building or a garden wall, a floor, a headboard perhaps.
Take away the visual clutter (pots, cutting boards, dishtowels) and you can see a wonderfully distressed wall with very cool faucets made from black and copper piping, materials available at many hardware and plumbing supply stores.
(Video link here.) Recently, while discussing a particuarly stylish Ikea creation, our friend Maria remarked: “I figure Ikea’s stuff is only good for about 5 years.” Suddenly, we flashed on all the discarded particle board Ikea storage units we’d seen on New York City streets. In the long run, Ikea can simply be a waste of money.
Soon after, Anthony Giglio told us about an old friend from Asbury Park who launched a “funky company called Soapbox, founded on his angst with Ikea furniture assembly”. At that very moment that Anthony had been assembling “maddenning” Ikea shelving, platform bed and dresser for his daughter’s new bedroom and was at his wit’s end. (We know of couple’s who have almost split up assembling Ikea products.)
So right away we took a look. Soapbox makes veneered plywood boxes with wonderfully-designed connectors that allows for assembly without screw-drivers and Ikea angst. They are available in a range of woods — maple, cherry, walnut —, different color hardware, and your choice of leg heights. They can stand alone, stacked or afixed to the wall in various permutations that can change as your life and needs do. And since plywood is WAY more durable than Ikea’s fiberboard storage, you are buying quality goods that will last. read more…
Since hauling several huge hunks of fallen trees home after Hurricane Sandy, we’ve been attuned to interesting ways of transforming them. We especially love Italian designer Marco Stefanelli‘s idea of illuminating the splits and cracks in the wood with LEDs (he embeds them in resin), and the thinking behind creating his wonderful luminous stools and tables:
I wanted to take inspiration from the research of natural objects that, in some ways, have reached their final step in the life cycle. They are for example sawmill’s outlets, pieces of urban architecture, logs carried by the river, firewood…
I have tried to give these pieces a second chance, tempting to make the light come out from the material and to amplify the sensorial experience. read more…
(Video link here.) We WISH we were the kind of person who just switchrf gears on-a-dime, as surfer Nic von Rupp did to great reward. Having gotten a call about the extraordinary surf in Ireland — IRELAND!!— he canceled the flight to Hawaii he was about to get on, and flew to Ireland instead, into a big unknown.
He found fine surfing and discovered chilly, but deeply warm-hearted, Ireland.
Come to think of it, we USED to do that sort of thing a lot when we were younger – less so with age…h-h-h-mmmmm….OMG!…perhaps we need to shake things up a bit.
Related posts: mental health break: riding teahupo’o waves in slo-mo
vicarious thrill: surfing big by l.e.d + moonlight
new york city beekeeper/surfer
virtual traveler: ‘a day in india’
the sometimes dangerous path to where you want to go