Improvised Life » bathroom If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Thu, 05 Mar 2015 08:14:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bespoke Lampshades + Tweek’s Instant Lunette Tue, 17 Feb 2015 19:36:19 +0000

Found on

There are a lot of things we like about this interior but this crazy tall, fabulously orange lampshade takes the cake for completely shifting our view of lampshade possibilities. It makes us wonder why most lampshades are so ordinary. We are hard-pressed to find a ready-made shade like this BUT know that the reliable Just Shades will make any shade, from 4 inches to 8 feet. A good shade can transform a lamp the way wonderful shoes can make an outfit.

Meanwhile, our go-to insta-shade that clips right onto a lightbulb to transform just about any lamp or fixture is (more…)

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Make a Bathroom a ROOM with rugs, paintings, objects Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:00:32 +0000

Ricardo Labougle

We recently stumbled across a couple of images from Decoracion, which features the work of Spanish interior designer Jaime Parladé.  We love Parladé’s use of the elements of a living room: a cotton rug, a shelf of objects, a painting, unexpected tiles, a basket trunk, to give a bathroom a more UNbathroom like feel.

Of all the elements in the room, the simple flat woven rug goes the farthest in making the bathroom feel more like a sitting room. Parladé also uses these textiles as wall coverings, to give an elemental, graphic feel.  (more…)

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Back to Basics with Homemade Household Products Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:00:07 +0000


Here’s something to put up on your refrigerator door: a chart showing 72 practical uses of common “core” ingredients that make up our (far more expensive) store-bought soaps, lotions and surface cleaners. The idea is that all of the countless “new and improved!” drugstore potions lining our cabinet shelves are really just permutations of six or seven simple active components (more…)

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Karl Lagerfeld’s Bathroom Parlour Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:00:58 +0000


We recently stumbled in this image of French fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s 1970’s Paris bathroom which interests us for its vision of bathroom as parlour or even work space.  It includes a sitting area with Panton chairs around a mirror table by the tub. The room is filled with mirrors and posters.

We love seeing a bathroom that EXPANDS the view of what a bathroom should be, according to his view and lifestyle….whatever that is. Why does a bathroom have it be just for bathing and… Did Lagerfeld entertain friends as he is bathing…work a bit…read the paper…?. Another view of (more...)]]> 0 Creative’s Well-Equipped Bathrooms Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:00:02 +0000

Sally Schneider

We’ve long admired this rather visionary bathroom of some friends. While they were renovating their space, they planned their bathroom to officially accommodate what most bathrooms do in an ad hoc way: house reading material and intellectual pursuits. They had a nook built into a wall that holds books and magazines. And made sure an outlet was placed so a computer could be plugged in. After they moved in, the hung art on the walls. (more…)

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Annals of Bad Design: Hammock-Shaped Bathtub Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:00:31 +0000


After we posted about Calvin Trillin’s imagined “sling contraption” for a walk-in tub, we started hunting for images of what that might look like. Maybe there was such a thing already.

Instead we found a tub that has made the rounds on design blogs: an elegant, sleekly-shaped fiberglass tub modeled after a hammock (a sling, of sort). Beautiful. BUT… (more…)

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Tree Slab and Stone Bench + Other Improvs at Camp Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:00:01 +0000

Sally Schneider

Some time ago, I spent a week at Omega Institute, a non-profit educational retreat center located in Rhinebeck, New York. It’s kind of like a summer camp for adults who want to retreat, take workshops, be in nature, mull over where they are in their lives. Since Omega was originally a summer camp for kids so it’s got that kind of feel. I

Walking the woods one day, I came across a bench someone had made out of a tree slab, stump and some some flat rocks. It allowed whomever came upon it to sit across from a huge anceint tree, or lie down under it, looking up at the branches. Beautiful. Like all improvisations it arose out of a desire or a need, and was made with what was at hand. I, too, found myself improvising in desperation (more…)

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Calvin Trillin Imagines a Walk-In Bathtub as a Sling-in Tub Mon, 02 Jun 2014 23:00:33 +0000

Jean Jullien

We read Overflow Calvin Trillin’s one pager in the May 5th New Yorker on the subway and laughed out loud. We laughed again when we re-read it a month later to find this excerpt. Trillin’s piece describes a man desperately emailing a walk-in bathtub company — and other spammers — to STOP sending him offers. His IMAGINING just what a walk-in tub is is hilarious:  (more…)

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The Beauty and Secret of Black Hardware Thu, 08 May 2014 22:37:46 +0000

Sally Schneider

Browsing through my image files, I came across photos I’d collected of matte black door hardware, which I contemplated using in the Laboratory. The first time I saw it used was in a friend’s just-renovated Brooklyn brownstone: black hinges add a surprising graphic element, as does the rosette of the crystal doorknob. Beautiful. Although I only used black hardware in one detail of the Laboratory, I learned its biggest lesson and caveat. (more…)

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Re-envisioning the Clawfoot Tub via Andrée Putman Wed, 07 May 2014 17:01:24 +0000

We keep stumbling on brilliantina interior designer Andrée Putman‘s clever, simple, visionary plays on ordinary objects. Here she hacked a clawfoot tub way-before-her-time, by replacing the claw feet with giant balls to give the tub a completely “other” modern look. It retains the comforing depth, length and back-slope of the classic clawfoot.

Putman used this tub idea in a number of interiors, some times forging the balls out of marble or other stone. The premise is totally doable… (more…)

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Design Love: Origami Toothpaste Tube Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:13:20 +0000

Design student Nicole Pannuzzo created this clever origami-inspired toothpaste packaging concept that collapses, accordion-like, as the toothpaste is used. We’d LOVE to walk into the bathroom and see that practical little sculpture. But what we love best was Pannuzzo’s window into the design process, with the many attempts it took to get it right: (more…)
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Jars (and other Glass) Labeled with Markers Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:00:31 +0000

We often scroll through long house tours —even ones we’re not crazy about — to extract the few ideas we can use. Spotted at Remodelista recently: an iteration of a favorite theme: marking on glass. Here water-based, all-surface Uni-Posca markers are used to label glass canning jars (they come in different point thicknesses and colors). When you change the contents, just wash the jar.

We’d use these markers for other glass and mirror markings… (more…)

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Toilet Paper Holder Inspired by Richard Tuttle Wire Sculpture Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:00:18 +0000

Richard Tuttle

At the great, somewhat cryptic art blog Atelier Journal, we stumbled on Rollers, a wire sculpture made by artist Richard Tuttle in 1970.

We are smitten with it as an artwork, while our barbarian selves see it as divine inspiration for a toilet paper holder that we hope to one day fashion.

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exposed copper bath pipes = towel warmer + sculpture Wed, 09 Oct 2013 20:11:08 +0000 We’ve long been fans of copper plumbing pipes being configured on the OUTSIDE of bathroom walls to make interesting sculptural fixtures (not to mention, using copper pipe in general for pot racks, books shelves, closet fittings). And even though we’re not crazy about the somewhat drear gray tiles in this bathroom, we LOVE the creative and suprisingly practical use of copper pipe. The squared-off hot water pipe acts as a built-in towel rack and warmer (there is NOTHING like a warm towel when you step out of the tub or shower).

Check out more copper (and other) pipe improvisations:

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