Improvised Life » furniture If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 01:01:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cut Out Geometries in Walls and Cabinets Mon, 06 Apr 2015 17:00:40 +0000

We love this detail from a home designed by i29 Interior Architects: a spray of cut-outs in a wall of cabinetry. It breaks up the uniformity of the cabinets in a random, rather artful way. It applies a technique we love — unexpected holes cut out of walls — to cabinets. (more…)

]]> 0
A Clever Split Two-Tone Shelf w Still Life Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:00:15 +0000

Suzanne Shaker

In one of the images on the feature 1st Dibs did about interior designer Suzanne Shaker recently, we spotted this clever long shelf made of two different materials, which makes for an unexpectedly interesting shelf unto itself, whether or not it holds objects or art. It was designed by Rogers Marvel Architects for a row of modern townhouses built in Brooklyn.

Suzanne’s client wasn’t sure about it and asked her about changing it. No, let’s make the most of it, said Suzanne.  And she did


]]> 0
Annals of Bad Design: Strangely Phallic Coffee Table Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:20:37 +0000

Although we are huge fans of using tree parts and the natural world as furnishings, we were stunned to see this wildly impractical coffee table made of what appears to be bundled branches or driftwood of some sort. Is it just us or do they have strangely phallic shapes? (Not that we don’t like phallic shapes but…er..seems a bit out-of-place in this setting.)

How is this table meant to work, we wondered, when we want to set our drink down on the table, or something small like dice or coins? Are we given little platforms? And if we want to lounge and put our feet up, how comfortable will it be?

Here’s a closer look:


]]> 8
DIY Idea-Capturing Desks Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:26:59 +0000

Kirsten Camera

Somewhat obsessed by how we remember the past”, MCAD student Kirsten Camara designed the Analog Memory Desk. It has a holder embedded in its legs for scrolling huge rulls of butcher or Kraft paper over the desk’s surface to make “a sort of tablecloth of memory” to record “hundreds of little things that we don’t try to remember every year or even every week”. It can record months, possibly years of ideas, drawings, doodles, mind maps, phone numbers, calculations etc… (more…)

]]> 2
Brilliant Plywood: Stair Chair DIY Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:14:31 +0000

Now that it’s getting to be THAT time of year — the trees will soon be in bud, and warm weather upon us —we yen to hang out on stoops and stairs.

We’re smitten with this StairChair that solves the problem of back support or needing a wide enough surface to lie down and snooze or look at the sky. snooze. It’s just the kind of furniture design we love: so simply made, we can use our x-ray vision to see its structure…

…and hammer some together ourselves…


]]> 0
EverBlock: Life Size Modular Lego-ish Building Blocks Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:00:45 +0000

We’ve written numerous posts wishing out loud for a life-size building block that would allow us to create with the ease of a Lego; over the years, we’ve featured some “close-but- not-quite-right iterations“. Our wish has come true, at last. Serial entrepreneur Arnon Rosen applied his knowledge of modular flooring to create the technology to produce 12-inch plastic snap-together blocks. Everblocks can be configured in any number of ways to create structures of various kinds. He sent us samples from his impressive first manufacturing run at his Bronx factory.

We are smitten. We’ve already used our four Mondrian-esque blocks as a step stool and side table and can imagine all sorts of things to make with Everblocks…. (more…)

]]> 1
Tom Sachs’ Video Homage to Plywood Will Help You Create Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:00:48 +0000

(Video link here.) When we stumbled on the sleek, illuminated video, Love Letter to Plywood, on Kottke, we hadn’t realized it was by artist Tom Sachs. Of all the plywood “makers” we know, he is among the most inspiring. The guy seriously understands and works the stuff, from his plywood “concrete” block, to his black plywood clad fridge (below).

A few years ago, we posted his video Love Letter to Plywood. Since then, he’s updated, refined it, added to it to create not only an homage, but simple lessons that will help you work with it: essential plywood understanding will pour right into your head in the most pleasureable way.

It might inspire you fashion a chair like the wonderfully odd throne by Ross Anderson… (more…)

]]> 0
Low Shelving as Settee, Display and Storage Thu, 05 Feb 2015 18:36:17 +0000

Lately, we’ve been seeing appealing LOW shelves in some of the interiors we’ve come across. The low-to-the-floor horizontals they create have the effect of making the ceiling look higher, especially useful in low-ceiling rooms.

We especially like the these clever shelves spotted at Il Richiamo Del Bosco (The Call of the Woods), and eco friendly bed & breakfast in Sala Baganza, Italy near the city of Parma. The shelves double as firewood storage, surface for display AND settee. The addition of cushions is all it takes.

It’s a great, simple design. The storage area would work for books and baskets as well.


via Style-Files

]]> 1
Stylish Painted Plywood Sofas, DIYable Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:15:14 +0000


Feeling under-the-weather, we surfed the ever-inspiring Aqqindex and came across two seriously-stylish painted wood sofas, the top designed by Salvati and Tresoldi in 1978, the one below from Maison de Vacances designed Andre Monpoix in 1963.  We imagined them as DIY’s we could make out of plywood and started hunting for more examples to…copy.  (more…)

]]> 0
Vibrating Bed Fix Headway: A Wood Bed + Hockey Pucks Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:00:19 +0000

Sally Schneider

To date, I’ve published four lengthy posts about my desperate attempts to quiet the mysterious vibration that shakes me awake every morning. I lost count at twenty; the latest was making four 80+ pound concrete block legs to support the platform, which was a grid of wood on a frame of steel angle irons.

The real problem, I discovered, is ME. According to readings of the vibration taken by an acoustical engineer, I am 10 to 100 times more sensitive than “normal” folks. The vibrations exist, but at a level most people don’t feel. My sensitivity is most likely due to a medication I take (on top of my being a very sensitive person). That said, I still needed to find a way to sleep. So I continued on my iterative, trial-and-error  journey to create a bed, or a system, that would allow me to sleep. Here are some recent successes. (more…)

]]> 7
Le Corbusier’s Iconic Chair in Pallet Wood, Concrete, Pipe Thu, 15 Jan 2015 18:00:49 +0000

Martin Leveque on Behance

Of all the shipping pallet creations we’ve come across, this has to be one of the most stylish. It is curiously reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s famous chrome-and-black-leather Grand Confort chair. In pallet wood!

It is one of the many brilliant hacks and revisions we’ve seen of the iconic, now-uibiquitous chair…

…since we came across interior designer William Diamond’s version which he had an auto-body shop coat with white enamel and then upholstered in bright red boiled-wool flannel.

We also love architect Stefan Zwicky’s concrete interpretation….

This drawing gives insight into the basic elements of the chair: a frame holding four or five volumes…

It (more...)]]> 0 Rare Woods Salvaged from Shipping Pallets, Transformed Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:20:05 +0000

the deceptively simple Bolt desk

Artist, designer, craftsman, longtime friend Jamison Sellers solves a bit of the ethical wood-sourcing dilemma by delving into the world of shipping pallets. He explores these familiar, reclaimed objects on a much finer scale than most by collecting bits and pieces of coveted woods (and even again recycling his own shop scraps from past projects) to create ornamental patterning inspired by complex wood marquetry, the cross-sectioned surprise of millefiori murrine glasswork, and the many-layered stacking and gluing of industrial plywood assembly. (more…)

]]> 0
Freestanding Painting Room Screen from The Glass House Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:14:02 +0000

Matthew Williams

In Remodelista’s recent 14 Lessons in Minimalism from the Glass House, we found many good ideas (in addition to a gratifyingly voyeuristic house tour). We especially love Philip Johnson’s inspired idea to mount a large painting on a stand to make an artful room partition.  (more…)

]]> 0
Endlessly Useful Photographer’s Apple Boxes Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:37:45 +0000

Wood apple boxes come in graduated sizes and have a handle routed out at one end, making them easy to move around. A staple of photo studios, they would be a great piece of multi-purpose “furniture” for home, to use as step stool, sitting stool, small table, ledge or stand for books or objects…We've discovered that you can buy them or make them. ]]> 4