Urban Farming is on the rise, providing the resource to reimagine city blocks, and bring productive use to vacant properties. Community focused farming is a powerful tool to nourish communities, both with locally grown food as well as neighborhood focus. There is a feeling of connection to our food when working in the garden, an opportunity to feel the result of hard work and commitment and to connect with fellow members of our community in a meaningful way.
My own personal experience with my plots in our local community garden have been like nothing I could have imagined. The multigenerational friendships, and mentorships I have enjoyed have enriched my life, above and beyond the gifts of heirloom seeds, and coveted family bread recipes from my neighboring gardeners. I was pleased to learn that ’Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood could become the backbone of the nation’s largest urban agriculture district: The city’s planning commission is moving to approve an ambitious land-use plan that would reclaim some of the area’s 11,000 vacant lots, spanning 13 square miles.’ The urban planning opportunities to benefit the community more broadly include ‘a 2.5-mile abandoned rail line which could be the district’s spine, with open lots and parks around its periphery serving as a marketplace for local produce and artisanal products. Locals have taken to calling it the “New Era Trail.”
For Englewood, as well as areas like it, this strong design platform has set the stage to ‘encourage a budding grassroots movement around urban agriculture by consolidating data, promoting education, and even encouraging light manufacturing.’ A big idea, not without challenge and opposition, but providing a platform for revitalization and community growth.
January 29, 2013
In this digital era, designing your home can be as easy as a tap. There are some fantastic apps out there that can really help you as you create your space – from color, to how-to guides to finding the best furniture deals. I rounded up 5 of my fave design style apps that you can download to have right at your fingertips.
If you haven’t jumped on the Pinterest train, go for it! This social media bookmarking site lets you “pin” images for inspiration to a board of your creation.
Looking to pick a new palette for your kitchen? Just type in kitchen color and you’ll have 1000s of ideas right at your fingetrips – literally.
You know that kitchen palette you are picking out above? Mobile app, Palettes, can take it one step further. You can upload any image (say the gardens in Paris or your brunch at a new spot) and this app will pull the most relevant color palette out of it. Oh la la.
The only work that you have to do with this app is flipping through images that are uploaded for you of, you guessed it, dream home inspiration. Ah, lovely.
Forget rifling through your toolbox to find your level when this iHandy one (perfectly named app) is literally right there for you in your phone. I have personally used it and, yes, it’s rad.
Have you ever been out window shopping when you spot the perfect bedside table but can’t remember how big your space is? Hmmm, yes, I know that one. This app will change that forever. Upload your dimensions and easily refer to your interiors when are looking to pick up a new fave decor item.
What are your favorite apps for decorating and designing your space?
(Images via iTunes)
January 29, 2013
… transform your old shipping boxes into one-of-a-kind pendant lighting?
I’m an Amazon addict, so we have no shortage of cardboard coming in and out of our home daily. So what to do with the influx of boxes? I love this idea from Folkore Store spotted at This is Paper. After flattening the boxes and cutting them into thin strips for shaping, the strips are stacked and combined to create a 100% unique pendant that provides a touch of ingenuity to any space.
I love how the warm cardboard color and texture balances the stark white walls, especially when paired with the rustic wooden ladder pictured. Doesn’t the room just spark your creativity, even from afar?
Online shoppers unite – now we finally have an excuse to indulge! It’s all for the sake of decor, right?
Image Credit: Danielle Reid via This is Paper
January 28, 2013
This beautiful handmade collection by Hasami, is a studied exercise in form and proportion. ‘Simple geometry and the concept of modularity is the basis for this new porcelain dinnerware.’ Made in Japan, it was not conceived following prescribed forms and functions (dinner plate, soup bowl, etc.). Rather, the collection consists of plates and bowls of various sizes that can be used interchangeably to both eat and serve. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Choose the best tool for the task at hand. The best part? Behold, the collection is perfectly stackable and a feast for the eyes. Beautiful to display, and what a joy to utilize for one’s ritual of the daily meal.
Images and excerpts sourced at Mill Mercantile
January 28, 2013
I am a big proponent of using well designed pieces with a more fun aesthetic in kids’ room designs, rather than opting for more juvenile themes. Best evidence of this is the quarter-tile FLOR rug I created in my son’s big-boy bedroom and the wide band, custom enhanced drapes. So I had to share some of these whimsical takes on bookshelves that I have come across lately.
Londoner, Gitta Gschwendtner, has a multitude of eclectic pieces in her portfolio, but it was her playful “Slip Shelf” that caught my eye. Part bookshelf and part magazine rack, which would be such a great place to hide away some stuffed animal friends, it would be the perfect addition to a kids reading nook.
I was particularly enamored with this whimsical take on a free-form bookshelf. Made of black rubber-coated stainless steel, the band of letters is completely flexible – it comes delivered completely coiled up, and allows the end user to create whatever storage solution they want. The object of the design is not necessarily stability, so this might be best for an older child’s room. That said, anyone who’s ever read an A. A. Milne depiction of Pooh Bear and his friends will instantly recognize why this versatile shelf would be so perfect in a preschoolers place. via WOK Media
Lastly, I’m in love with this nod to the art of pillow talk. With the right placement say over a large scale mural of classic cartoon characters, these conversation balloon shelves could take a design from kiddy to kitchy. – via fusca.
What’s your favorite?