Improvised Life » walls + windows If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:00:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Asymetrically Cut Mirrors Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:00:40 +0000

Designer Michael Anastassiades assymetrical copper mirror gave us two ideas: First, making a mirror of highly-polished copper.

But even better: cutting mirrors in odd, assymetrical shapes to shake up a room with the unexpected. All it would involve is taking a template to an open-minded  mirror company to have them cut your shape.

The farther reaches of this idea are Carlo Mollino’s nudie mirror, which we originally mistook for a cut-out wall… (more…)

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Jagged or Unfinished as a Design Element Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:58:34 +0000

We’ve long been fans of “broken geometries”, the purposeful leaving of design elements unfinished, uneven, or even broken, to create a visual surprise. Recently Remodelista did a roundup of some  fine examples. Our favorites: To start, the octagonal tiles above left as is, with no finished line


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A Mirror Makes a Corner Window with a Big View Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:00:59 +0000

Sally Schneider

The corner window above is an optical illusion created in response to the penny-pinched architecture of the space that became Improvised Life’s Laboratory. Cutting every corner possible, the building’s developer didn’t even leave one inch to the right of narrow living room’s window — the wall butted right into the sill —making the room feel lopsided and hemmed in. Here’s how it looked when I arrived (more…)

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Sneaker Print Floors, Walls, Wrapping Paper, More? Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:00:30 +0000

Ana Cristea Gallery

Converse All Stars and other sneakers make great instant rubber stamps for floors and walls, not to mention wrapping paper. ]]> 0
Repurposing Artist’s Ideas, for Home and Living Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:04:20 +0000

I confess to being a barbarian. I routinely check out artists work for ideas I can apply as home design elements. I wonder why my generous artist friends don’t come banging down my door angry at my canabalization of pure art for utilitarian means. They don’t. And I keep finding inspiration from artist’s work, like these paintings by Shaan Syed currently on view at the Ana Cristea Gallery. (more…)

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Walls Painted with Volumes in Subtle Hues Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:30:43 +0000


Type “painted walls” into Improvised Life’s SEARCH box and you’ll find a trove of images of cleverly, unusually, oddly painted walls. Many have beautiful geometries that make them seem like a canvas.  At the great aqqindex, we stumbled on this beauty designer Rick Gillete created in 1976. The volumes painted on the wall in subtle hues give unexpected dimension to the room.

It’s a lovely variation on a theme that includes Ernst Caramelle’s painted geometries(more…)

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Purposely Askew Tiles on Floors and Walls Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:00:08 +0000


We love the purposely askew bathroom tiles in this image we found at aqqindex with the notation: French Interior Circa 1983. It’s an ongoing theme of “breaking the expected pattern” that is threaded throughout Improvised Life, in all aspects of our lives. It tends to show most concretely in interiors, (more…)

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Asymmetrical Paintings, Chair Mashup + Improvised Table Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:00:11 +0000

Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

There are a number of great ideas in this image of antique dealer Lars Kristensen’s Copenhagen home. We’ve blogged the essential ideas before but think Kristensen’s unique take worth checking out.  Mismatched chairs —someof them outdoor chairs — are interesting to look at and give the room unexpected jolts of color. (more…)

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Dirty Pink Obsession: Arquitectonica’s Casa Andes Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:00:25 +0000

We’d love to come upon a dirty pink building like this in our urban wanderings. It’s Arquitectonica’s Casa Los Andes, built in Lima, Peru in 1984…

…and dig its very odd, beautiful windows, fab-looking from the outside… (more…)

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Carlo Mollino’s Sexy Cut-Out Wall for Adults Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:00:23 +0000

When we saw this 1936 image by the fantastic architect/designer/inventor/photographer Carlo Mollino, we thought: What a beautiful cut-out wall creating a sensual window into another room.

We looked closer to wondered if it was a perfectly cut-out curtain or bent plywood wall (like an Eames screen)…

And when we looked even closer we wondered if what we thought was a cut-out was really (more…)

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Cut-Out Walls for Kids Rooms Tue, 04 Mar 2014 20:00:55 +0000

Mélanie Rodriguez for The Socialite Family

Lately, we’ve been seeing some swell cut-out walls in kid’s rooms. The clever cut-outs act as doorways and objects of play. The also define the room as being a place for invention and outside-the-box thinking. (more…)

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When to Deconstruct A TOO Critical Eye Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:00:40 +0000

At Neatorama the other day, we came across this image of a scribble a kid made on the wall with the headline “Now What?”. The answer was the clever stenciled pattern that disguised the original.  (more…)

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Splatter Decor: Splattered Paint as Home Design Element Tue, 25 Feb 2014 18:37:37 +0000

During our obsessive rampage at AQQ Index the other day, we came across two compelling images of “splatter” decor. At top, Gavina’s display of Italian architect Ignazio Gardella‘s Digamma chair from 1956 with its beautiful splattered wall. Then, we found artist Duggie Field’s 1976 interiors where splatters become the unifying element in his colorful multi-patterned rooms. Splatters and dribbles can be a very cool design element that loosens up a space.


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Is Dirty Green the New Dirty Pink? Mon, 24 Feb 2014 18:00:58 +0000

Petra Bindel

While browsing Elle Decoration’s cool new online image gallery, we noticed a lot of green interiors — slightly “dirty”, muted greens that is. It made us wonder if odd greens are the new “dirty pinks” we’ve been crazy about and monitoring…


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