Simple as it gets, and a real applied DIY story. Restauranteurs Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown opened their currywurst restaurant ‘Bestie’ in the heart of Vancouver BC’s Chinatown. Designed for flexibility, and a DIY install, components are uniform, utilitarian, and perfectly spare.

The main wall is made up of an array of 116 holes and wooden pegs which support an ever-changing rotating composition of locally produced design objects and art; coats and umbrellas; additional stools and pendant lights. Always changing to adapt to the current need or configuration, yet appearing organized and thoughtfully designed. Painted surfaces, define areas within the space and their function as well as make cleaning high traffic areas a snap.

Stripping away what is not necessary seems to work, providing space to enjoy the environment and the people within, with clarity, focus, and loads of character.

Images and excerpt sourced at


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Why Don’t You…?

… live in symmetry?

I’m always drawn to spaces that are perfectly symmetrical – from the furnishings to the art, and everything between. Wonderfully balanced and surprisingly serene, a symmetrical space feels like a subconscious scrubbing of the mind: clean, fresh and orderly.

So what keeps the look from feeling too stuffy? By mixing a variety of textures, scales, shapes and patterns, symmetry can stand alone as the commonality of the room, letting it take center stage in both theme and aesthetic. As is the case with the Ty Larkins design above, a bold piece of art is grounded with a mix of geometric shapes in classic finishes – the perfect blend for balance and symmetry.

What do you think? Too neat or orderly for your taste? Or does symmetry provide you with just the right amount of organization? Spill it in the comments below!

Image via Ty Larkins

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A Fresh Start

With the new year rolling around any second now, I've been thinking about changes I'd love to make in my decor. And although it sounds perfectly normal to crave a new throw pillow this January, I'm going for something a bit more extreme:

I want to change my decor habits. Forget changing out a decorating scheme each season — I need to simplify. If my home is to be an oasis, why am I filling it with so much… stuff?

This year, I vow to simplify. To buy thoughtfully, thrift practically and decorate accordingly. I vow to live by the old adage "a place for everything and everything in its place." Sure, it's fine to spoil yourself now and then, but I'd much rather save for an investment sofa than drop $20 every time I see a cute tea towel staring at me from my favorite storefront.

Anyone with me? Do I smell a challenge? Let's make 2011 the year we live simply and gloriously, free from the chains of clutter and unabashedly fabulous.

Deal? Deal.

Image Credits: Lonny Mag

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John Pawson


"The father of modern architectural minimalism."
 The New York Times



John Pawson is one of my favorite designers.  There is such clarity in the simplicity of his work. It is a study in light, proportion, view and material.  Every architectural moment is considered, and the experience offered deliberate. I find his residential projects to be some of the most compelling.  It is these spaces which are often the most difficult to keep without clutter and visual distraction.  


John Pawson's  work creates tranquility through absence.  That is not to say spaces are without function. Everything necessary has a space.  Everything else, has no place.  Mr. Pawson designs spaces, buildings and objects with the same application of process, defined by their function. There is keen attention to the details of everyday life and human experience.


John Pawson currently has an exhibition at the  Design Museum of London.  The exhibit titled Plain Space, celebrates Pawson's career to date with models, film, photographs and architectural elements and includes some of his most important projects including the Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Nový Dvůr in the Czech Republic, the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Calvin Klein store on Madison Avenue, New York.  Coinciding with the opening of the exhibition, Phaidon Press has published a stunning monograph titled Plain Space.  
I would love to fly off to London to experience this exhibit first hand.  But alas, I will not.  I am confident the new book will offer plenty of design inspiration, and I will keep my fingers crossed that the exhibit will make its way to the states.  If you have seen the exhibit in London, I would love to hear your thoughts!


To explore the work of John Pawson, visit his website


All images courtesy of and

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