Improvised Life » office If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:44:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tiny Transforming Apartment Yields One Big Idea Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:00:47 +0000

(Video link HERE.) We find this video of a tiny apartment* in which each piece of furniture transforms into something else strangely compelling, all the while feeling that having to transform EVERYTHING in our place would drive us mad.

It did give us some ideas, one in particular that solves a design problem we been struggling with in our Murphy Bed storage unit. Our  side opening door looks sleek when closed but sticks too far out into the room when open. What to do.  (more…)

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A Rusty Corrugated Shed with a Modern Interior Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:05:48 +0000

Raffaello Rosselli

In our continueing search for examples of the incorporation of organic and decayed materials with modern functionality, we present Australian architect Raffaello Rosselli‘s lovely repurposing a corroding tin shed in Sydney to create a small office and studio apartment. (more…)

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Achille Castiglioni’s Inspiring Casa d’Oggi Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:00:49 +0000

In 1956 Italian industrial designer Achille Castiglioni created “COLORI E FORME NELLA CASA D’OGGI”, the installation of a living room at Villa Olmo, a neoclassical villa located in the city of Como, northern Italy. When we saw images of it, we flipped. It is such a far cry from the sterile interiors we see so often today; it’s a thoughtful, reality-based modernist living and working space.

Here’s some of the design thinking behind it, with a few more pictures: (more…)

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Cool, Practical Flat File Beds Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:10:18 +0000

Pia Ulin for Lotta Agaton

Tobias Wong‘s inspired mattress on a grouping of pushed-together 2-drawer lateral files has long been an inspiration for our imaginings and phanta-designs for beds built on file cabinets. Remodelista’s recent Unexpected Uses for File Cabinets showed some pretty inspired possibilities in the realm of flat-file, those wide files meant for storing artworks and other big papers (although they’re useful for all kinds of storage). The most beautiful iteration we’ve seen was created by stylist Lotta Agaton out of classic white flat files. Agata’s day be shows just what a good idea a bed on flat files is, as do these… (more…)

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Daybooks with Custom Covers to Mark Where You Are or Are Going Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:41:10 +0000

Marella Consolini

Marella Consolini, former Chief Operating Officer of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, is one of the many very interesting Improvised Life readers we’ve come to know and be amazed by. Somehow years ago, an email exchange started and continued until we feel like she is an old friend, who we happen to have never met in person.

In a recent email, Marella sent images of the day books she embellishes yearly with images; the current one, above, features Yves Klein’s famous leap to mark a year of questions, transitions and new challenges: (more…)

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Nathan Frey’s Briliant Modular Workspace Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:45:13 +0000

Nathan Frey

We recently came across the Frey Desk at Kickstarter, a flexible workspace that quickly transitions from sitting desk to drafting table to standing desk to easel. A vertical mast supports the desk and shelf. The shelf is handy for holding tools, books and speakers. The desk top is a spacious 30″ x 40″, perfect for a computer and large projects.

Frey’s modular workspace is decidedly brilliant and, to us, pretty homely. Nevermind. It’s design could be a jumping off point for forging our own. We LOVE Frey’s design thinking about how a creative person works, and learning about his own process in designing the workspace.   (more…)

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Cheap, Portable Lightweight Laptop Stand (Kickstarter) Wed, 28 May 2014 20:00:26 +0000

(Video link HERE.) When we first saw this cardboard laptop stand by Icelandic Designer Sruli Recht of Foald Studio, we thought: Who needs that? We can just rig a stack of books to raise our laptop. Then we saw it in action and thought of all the places it would be useful. (more…)

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A Cheap, Easy Solution to Standing Desk Leg Fatigue Thu, 22 May 2014 20:00:39 +0000

Sally Schneider

We know a lot of people who have created standing desks and love them (and we’ve posted over the years.) They generally feel energized because their bodies are, in effect, exercising just by standing as they work. They have, however, almost universally complained of one problem: leg fatigue. Standing for hours each day puts stress on their legs and makes them hurt, so they have to alternate their standing time with sitting.

Quite accidentally, we came across a simple, inexpensive solution to Standing Desk Leg Fatigue. (more…)
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A Cardboard Standing Desk to Buy or DIY Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:00:20 +0000

We recently came across another clever possibility in the realm of cardboard, one of our favorite materials, especially corrugated cardboard which is lightweight, durable, recyclable, and inexpensive: the cardboard standing desk. Recently a Kickstarter campaign, you can order one from Chairigami for $95, or copy the design analyzing the gif, below.

A standing desk allows you to work on your feet rather than sitting idly. Standing while working requires balance, engaging your back, shoulders, and leg muscles, burning energy, and keeping you focused. It’s a great way to make working healthier.  Recently, a trove of makeshift iterations have appeared online: milk crates propped on tables, laptop heights adjusted by stacks of books. The Chairigami design is easy to hack and extremely forgiving, and allows for a sleeker, very customizable look. (more…)

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Tiny Plywood Studio Morphs into a Gallery via Pegs Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:00:14 +0000

Gidon Levin

We got a lot of ideas taking a little photo tour of the versatile 66-square-foot artist’s studio Anaan Stern and Shany Tal designed in Tel Aviv. There are many kinds of clever storage: shelving, sliding panels, drawers of all sizes…

But what we liked best are pegs you insert into small holes bored into the plywood sliding panels, to hold works of art or open books and make an ever changeable private gallery. (more…)

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Plywood Cube Room with Sliding Doors Thu, 30 Jan 2014 21:00:05 +0000

We’ve known a number of people who have built small rooms within an existing space, but we have never seen one quite so appealing as this plywood cube.  Bookshelves and storage along one side afford some sound proofing. And painted sliding doors make for an appealing wall in the main room.  (more…)

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Bed Desk Solutions for Working in Bed (and What to Avoid) Wed, 15 Jan 2014 20:03:17 +0000

Flavorwire’s recents 10 Design Solutions for Working in Bed has me both intrigued and concerned. From a design perspective, I was interested to see what some designers came up with for bed/desk solutions, because who doesn’t like to work in bed at some point?  Ikea’s MALM occasional table (above) is an accessible solution; it has casters so you can roll it right over your bed, transforming it into a desktop to work at while you’re propped up on pillows. Many of the designs featured (more…)
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Clever, Dual Purpose Flat File Sofa Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:14:08 +0000

Derek Shapton

Always on the lookout for clever ways to fit in additional storage, we love this "sofa" made on a base of flat files used to store art and other "flat" works on paper.]]> 0
design inspiration: hemingway’s makeshift standing desk Tue, 05 Jun 2012 01:04:00 +0000

Among the many projects we’re working on, is creating a standing desk – or perhaps better put – a standing area for our the 13-foot desktop we’re creating, so we can sit AND stand during many ours of blogging. We’ve seen many iterations on the internet, not to mention research as to why standing while you work is beneficial. Wirecutter’s recent article rounds up much of it, and shows the lengths, and cost, the standing desk obsession can take you to.

From our recent renovation we’ve discovered that in designing anything, it’s good to keep in mind the simplest, most bare-bones iteration; (more…)

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