Why Don’t You…?

… transform that stack of magazines into a useful (and visually interesting!) stool?

Created by German-based design label Nijstudio, the Hockenheimer stool aims to reduce clutter, save space and upcycle your everyday goods, transforming into a creation of ultimate function. Whether you choose to stack newspapers, magazines or your favorite design books, Nijstudio provides the base and belts — you do the rest!

I can’t help but think this would make a sweet DIY project with a bit of creativity. Any takers?

Via Dbriefed.

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Entertaining at the Chinati…

The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum established by minimalist artist Donald Judd (such a big fan of his!). Located on the former site of Fort D.A. Russell in Marfa, Texas, this museum houses large-scale installations across its vast 340 acres of land. A very limited number of artists exhibits here and each artist's work is installed in separate buildings on the museum's grounds – including old artillery sheds and army barracks – how cool is that? What really caught my eye was this former horse arena (shown above) which currently serves as a dining hall. I would love, love, love to throw a party at this space, complete with Judd's ultra simple and modern pine tables and chairs. Now that would be a designer's dream come true, mine for sure! Sigh…

… an outdoor grill designed by Judd himself. Love the simplicity of it all.

Partying aside – as an endnote, I would like to share this quote by Judd with you: "It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully. This should not always be thrown away. Most art is fragile and some should be placed and never moved again. Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be. Somewhere, just as the platinum iridium meter guarantees the tape measure, a strict measure must exist for the art of this time and place." unquote.

{ all images scanned from Great Parties: The Best of Martha Stewart Living, photography by Todd Eberle }

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The Parsons table…

Over the years I have seen my share of the Parsons table made with every material under the sun. And I have also seen the words "Parsons table" used very loosely in describing this modernist table many a time. As luck would have it, I discovered this super-duper, slightly used one in its original packaging (gasp!) at the Rose Bowl flea market recently. Not sure what year it was made, and couldn't identify its origins, nevertheless I was pretty intrigued. I've never seen one quite like it before – plastic molded and in bright orange, reminds me of Legos actually. The key to a Parsons table is it's proportion – with legs as thick as its top, always. The concept came to life in the 1930s during a drafting exercise in a class taught by interior designer Jean-Michel Frank at the Parsons School of Design in Paris. According to the New York Times / Parson's archives, quote, Frank challenged students to design a table so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished, unquote. It's rather difficult to find an original Parsons table these days, but they are out there! Are you a fan?

[ right: click here for a DIY woodworking project on "How to Build a Parsons Table" ]

{ images: top, camera phone image by Peggy Wong / 2 / 3 / 4 – 5 / 6 }

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Two Looks, Two Rooms, One Shop

You've heard the golden rule of decor, yes? That you can't purchase everything from the same place for fear your rooms will look like they're carbon copies of your local showroom? Throw that rule out the window. In fact, throw every golden rule out the window, because it's not about rules. Decorating is about what you love, and it's a personal, beautiful thing. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

And just to drive that point home, I've created two rooms using key pieces from just one shop. Of course, it's a pretty eclectic shop, so my job was easy. But it's entirely do-able with any store, with a few helpful hints:

[image credits here, all from anthropologie]

1. Mix styles.
Sure, we've got a pretty French, typographic chair above, but it absolutely sings when paired with a modern, muted paint swatch curtain and a few industrial magnifying glasses.

[image credits here, all from anthropologie]

2. Mix periods.
The sweet vase above could easily be an antique, while the octopus curtains are clearly a modern interpretation of a vintage sketch. Keep things fresh by bringing in surprising finds from different eras. Bonus? Your home will never look dated.
 

3. Mix finishes.
Brass and wood, silver and gold, metal and pewter. Mix and match your favorite textures, finishes and sheens for a layered look that's clearly unique, personal, and you.

Are you sensing a trend here? Mix, match and have fun. Go forth and make your homes beautiful, friends!

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A different kind of castle…

Castle Gibson that is. I stumbled across this amazing location / furniture / prop house site the other day and was completely blown away. From what I could gather, there are three separate locations – The House Next Door, MC Motors, and The Depository – where you could rent for photo shoots, filming, and individual functions. Filled with late 19th and 20th century furniture, plus an eclectic mix of modern antiques, this London gem is definitely quite a feast for the eyes. The props alone have so much history behind them, not to mention the structures themselves. Secretly wishing they are stateside because I know for sure a few of my projects could definitely benefit a great deal from this space. I could spend an entire day (maybe two!) scouting this place out. And honestly, hoping I would just get lost in it. Forget about projects – how about hosting a fabulous dining party or event at this space? I was actually thinking, what a great location it would be for a spooky Halloween party! There are some pretty dark and mysterious corners. So without further ado, let's travel back in time and get lost together in these images…

(more…)

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