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Inspiration

Morgan's bench

I almost died when I saw this. Why is Morgan at The Brick House such a genius?? She’s been blogging about fixing up her raggedy old fence, and instead of throwing away the rotted posts that weren’t fence-worthy any longer, she cut off the ends, bolted them to a couple of Eames LTR bases scavenged from a banged-up surfboard table, gave the wood a healthy dose of teak oil, and…HELLO! Is this not the most beautiful bench you’ve ever seen?

What’s really killing me right now is that about a month ago, we came across an Eames surfboard table at the DWR Annex that looked like it had been chewed on by rabid Chihuahuas and then thrown off a cliff, but it was marked down to $99. We passed it by, but we probably could have talked it down to way cheaper and then used the bases to make something awesome like this. Something we could actually use. But I’m not as smart as Morgan.

Matt's curtain

Next up is this blanket-turned-window shade from Matt at Wood&Faulk. It’s so awesome it landed him a feature in the Dec/Jan issue ReadyMade magazine! I was agog over this project when Matt first posted photos on Flickr back in April, so I’m really happy to see it (and his great blog) getting some well-deserved attention. I can’t wait to get a full set of instructions on how to make my own shade! I have the exact same door in my kitchen…

(Is there anything wool blankets can’t do, by the way?)

Suki's magazine table

This is the simplest project ever, but I’d never have thought of it. Sure, we’ve all stacked up our magazines, but Suki at Varpunen went one step further and created a strap out of ribbon and D-rings to hold them all in place. The result is much more finished-looking than a wobbly stack, and it really does create a functional bedside table. I’m not yet at a point where I can get rid of all of my magazines without having a nervous breakdown, so this is making me rethink keeping a decade’s worth of copies of Dwell (those colorful spines!!) hidden away in a cabinet.

+ See also: People who made cool stuff out of other stuff, Part 1.

I keep meaning to share these wonderful photos of Danish furniture designer Børge Mogensen’s house in Gentofte, North Copenhagen. The house was designed and built by Mogensen 1958, and he lived there with his wife, Alice, until his death in 1972. The house is filled with Mogensen’s own furniture designs.

Borge Mogensen's house

Mogensen’s iconic model 2213 sofa sits in the living room. It was specifically designed for this space in 1962, and, like much of his furniture, has been in continual production since. (This is my absolute favorite sofa design ever, by the way, and I dream of finding a worn-in, decades-old one of my very own someday…at a thrift store…for $25. This will never happen, but like I said…it’s a dream.) Across from the sofa are two of Mogensen’s 1959 Spanish chairs, another of my favorites.

Borge Mogensen's house

Borge Mogensen's house

Two dining areas, both featuring Børge Mogensen-designed, Shaker-inspired dining tables and simple rattan-seat chairs. The pendant lamps over both tables are by fellow Danish designer Poul Henningsen.

Borge Mogensen's house

Borge Mogensen's house

More Poul Henningsen lighting, and one of Mogensen’s model 3237 chairs, again influenced by both Shaker and Spanish furniture construction. (Check out the nail pattern on the ceiling, too!)

All of these photos were taken by Andrew Wood for Magnus Englund’s (co-founder of Skandium) excellent book, Scandinavian Living. It’s been out of print for a while now, but if you can get your hands on a used copy, I highly recommend it!

red orange 1

If you follow me on Twitter and you, like me, are generally home alone on Friday nights pretending to have a social life, then you may have read my pleas for advice on how best to color-match the amazing lipstick and nail polish colors in the November 2010 J.Crew catalog.

red orange inspiration

It immediately reminded me of the photo on the left, an incredible living room featured in LivingEtc that I’ve been obsessed with for ages. Hot-orange-red! Paired with neutrals! Love!

I’d read an snippet of an interview with Jenna Lyons a while back where she mentioned that they used NARS lip pencils in Red Square on their shoots, but after seeing said color in person, I ruled it out as a possibility for the lipstick. After noting that J.Crew sells Essie nail polish in Lollipop on their website, I figured that had to be the nail color.

After a serious misfire with MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo (a lovely color, but far too blue for my complexion and miles away from the inspiration photos), @ClaraJudgypants chimed in to say that she had contacted J.Crew (why didn’t I think of that?) to ask about the colors, and that the nail polish is actually Essie Clambake and the lipstick is MAC Lady Danger. Now, I have a bottle of Clambake, and while it’s definitely an orange-red, it’s also semi-sheer. I love it during the summer, but it’s not right for fall. To my eyes, Essie Lollipop is perfect—it’s basically an opaque version of Clambake.

On to the lipstick! I’m not usually one to wear opaque colors (I almost always wear a sheer gloss, sometimes with a stain underneath), but I’ve really been trying to make Lady Danger work for me. I like the way it looks, but I feel really, really weird wearing it. I kind of feel like I’m in drag, to be honest, and as much as I love drag, I have a hard time pulling off this kind of look in a way that makes me feel comfortable. I’m trying, though! In these photos I’ve sheered it out just a bit with some gloss, because MAC isn’t joking around with their matte lipsticks. They are Serious Business for Super-Ladies, and I am…not that.

nerd

I can’t resist throwing in a couple of “outtakes”. I always feel like a super-loser when I take photos of myself, which is why I don’t even bother trying to hide the camera. And now you know why I don’t show my teeth when I smile. I’ve never learned how to do it right! I always wind up pulling a face like a 2nd-grader on picture day.

When I was a kid, I always thought it was stupid that people would actually take trips up to my hometown during October just to look at the leaves changing color. I mean, seriously?

Yeah, well, okay, now that I’m a grown-up (technically, at least), I get it. Completely. In fact, I totally get the whole, “Oh, the river is so beautiful! Look at the mountains!” thing that comes over people when they’re in the Hudson Valley.

Today we were driving on the Palisades Parkway near Bear Mountain, and I almost burst into tears because everything, everywhere I looked, was just so beautiful. The trees all around us were fire red and screaming orange, we were passing directly through a flurry of swirling yellow, and I felt—just for a tiny second—like I was seeing all of this for the first time.

I’ve lived within a mile of the Hudson River for my entire life. You take for granted as an adult what surrounded you when you were growing up, but lately I’ve been trying to pretend I’m from Mars (or southern California…whichever) and look at all of this amazing nature-y stuff we’ve got going on around here through fresh eyes.

bluff

This photo (yes, you can click to make it bigger!) was taken at on the bluff overlooking the Hudson River at the end of my block in Newburgh, the same area you can see from up on my roof. This isn’t much of a leafy extravaganza shot, I know, but that river. And those mountains!

Powers of Ten 1

Powers of Ten 2

Powers of Ten 3

This is just one of those things I think everyone should see. I suppose it would have made sense to post this 18 days ago (you know, on 10/10/10), but I’m not that clever.

See also: Powers of Ten. Based on the film by Charles and Ray Eames.

Yes, that’s really the best title I could come up with. Considering this is, what, the 37th time I’ve posted about white floors, it’s getting hard to keep the language fresh!

white floor, fruit crates
From Kjerstis Lykke (via Remodelista)

This photo is giving me allllllll kind of ideas. Like…isn’t that exactly what I should do with my fruit crates? And don’t I have an antique mirror sitting around that I can paint white? And why doesn’t my sofa have ticking-stripe cushions on it?

white floor, bird poster
From Elle Decoration UK
Photo by Petra Bindel // Styling by Emma Persson Lagerberg (via emmas designblogg)

I know it’s hard to look past the fact that the Eames LCW is assembled incorrectly (argh!), but goodness, this room is pretty. It’s also making me miss having something to play music on that isn’t an iPod dock. I still have all of my records and CDs (okay, and my cassettes…shut up), but they’re all stored out of sight and converted to MP3. Sad.

B&B Italia
From B&B Italia

Fantasy time, I know. Who designed that lamp, by the way? It’s like David Weeks meets Serge Mouille meets Gino Sarfatti by way of Gio Ponti.

ETA: The lamp is by Gunther Lambert, and is available in the US through the Conran Shop. (Thanks, JF!)

Florence kitchen
Caterina House in Florence, Italy by b-arch (via Remodelista)

I can’t even. I mean…shamone. Is this not the most amazingly perfect kitchen you’ve ever seen in your entire life? I love the diagonal floorboards (which are probably an exposed subfloor), and that poured-concrete countertop/cabinet base/backsplash. Poured concrete anything is so deceptively simple looking. Oh, and that island!

Geez. If our kitchen looked this nice, I’d let Evan keep an amp in there, just to add ambiance.

After some consternation and consideration, I decided to go ahead and paint the trim in the bedroom black, too. I’ll take some photos later (I left my camera at my mother’s house!), but here are a few photos of other mostly Victorian-era houses with black walls and black trim that are really inspiring me right now.

You know, inspiring me to paint my whole house black.

Graham Atkins Hughes 2

Graham Atkins Hughes 3

Graham Atkins Hughes 4

Graham Atkins Hughes 1

These photos are all of interiors photographer Graham Atkins Hughes’ own home, Location78. I know. I knoooooooooow. Seriously, right? Dying. (Thank you, Jo in NZ, for bringing these photos to my attention!)

ligne roset

I’ve posted this old print ad for Ligne Roset before, and I still love the room. I love those blue shoes, too.

Gemma Ahern 1

Gemma Ahern 2

All of these photos are of Gemma Ahern’s apartment outside of London. There was a great sneak peek of Gemma’s home on Design*Sponge last year, as well as a piece in the New York Times. I know this is gray rather than black (I’m fairly certain it’s Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe), but it’s close enough. Love.

AB Chao bedroom

Last but nowhere near least (though not Victorian), this is my painting hero AB Chao’s bedroom. She also used F&B’s Down Pipe. It’s amazing to compare the before and after photos—I mean, can you even believe this is the same room?


Photo by Nishi F. Saimaru, Karuizawa, Japan, Summer 1979 // Via Yoko Ono’s Flickr

And a message from Yoko Ono:

Dear Friends,

Today, October 9th, I will relight IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Iceland in memory of my late husband John Lennon.

Please ask all your friends to join us by Tweeting your wishes to IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.

You can do this by coming to IMAGINEPEACETOWER.com where you can also watch the lighting live with us at 8pm in Reykjavík = 9pm in UK = 4pm in NY= 1pm in LA = 5am in Japan.

Tell all your friends.
Spread the word!

Let’s Tweet a million wishes for Peace for John’s birthday!

I hope the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will give light to the strong wishes of World Peace from all corners of the planet and give encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion. Let us come together to realise a peaceful world.

love,
yoko

If you are in New York City tonight, you can attend a free screening in Central Park of LennoNYC, a documentary about the years John spent living there. Details about the event can be found here.

I have a real thing for wood chevron and herringbone floors, especially the slightly-battered, wide-plank ones you see in pictures of perfect old French apartments.

All four of the above photos are from B&B Italia. I could move in there tomorrow, no problem.

This is in Holly’s new apartment in Hannover, Germany, which she’s been blogging about over at Haus Maus.

Photo by Tia Borgsmidt. There’s a whole lot to like here aside from the herringbone floors—like those Poul Kjaerholm chairs!

From Sköna Hem.

Photo by Per Ranung.

What’s better than wood herringbone floors? Wood herringbone floors stained black. Via sfgirlbybay (I don’t know the original source, sorry—if you know, please tell me!).

Interior by Joseph Dirand Architecture. I really love the color variation in the chevron!

I saved the best (and most predictable!) room for last: Jenna Lyons’s bathroom, as seen in Domino. Interior by Levenson McDavid Architects. Ahhhhhh.

Chevron parquet by Atelier des Granges, who are welcome to come to my house anytime and install floors just like this.