Design Seeds



Beauty is all around us, and often inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places. When taking photographs, we see a perspective of the world in a much mored focused and detailed way. I often feel like I wish I could capture that essence and bring it indoors into my personal space. Design Seeds is an online inspiration journal, which color matches imagery and identifies hues within an environment, so you can bring that color into your home. The serenity of the blues of the sea, the vibrant plumes of a rooster or the comfort of an evening around the campfire. What a great idea.


seeds3_520Image and color palettes sourced at Design Seeds.


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A Visual Inventory

I find great inspiration in the work of architect John Pawson. His design reflects a refined simplicity and communicates essence of space. So, it is no surprise that his new book by Phadion titled  A Visual Inventory is a thing of beauty. Filled with images Mr. Pawson took himself, presenting vignettes that have resonated within. I am grateful for a glimpse into this personal collection he has so generously shared. Whether something tangible like the shape of a stair, or experiential like the quality of light passing through a window, somehow he has captured these qualities for all of us to share. These pages descibe visually his studies of form, light, scale and texture which he masterfully executes in his own work.

Photography and documentation of environment is very much a part of Mr. Pawson’s process. Watch this beautiful video of John’s process, which follows him on his journey of photography where he finds beauty and inpiration on his travels in everyday life.

“You can see beauty in very small things and in very strange places – my photographs are a reflection of what’s inside this very messy brain.” John Pawson is not the kind of person one would expect to have a messy anything. It’s been said before but his beautifully structured, meticulously thought out and precisely executed buildings are a testament to the very idea of minimalism. What you perhaps didn’t know is that as well as being a master architect he’s also a voracious taker of photographs and is rarely without a camera.

He photographs to record the day, what he sees and what he is inspired by. Since acquiring his first digital camera he has amassed almost a quarter of a million images – a record, he says, of a peripatetic life. Now, he’s scrupulously edited down those images to just 272 for A Visual Inventory – a book that gives a unique insight into his curiosity, thoughtfulness and particular way of viewing the world around him.”

Images and excerpts sourced at Phaidon.

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Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to experience the Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity exhibit. I admit, I love cities, and I find energy and connection in these towers that reach toward the sky. There were interesting and challenging works on display. I enjoyed the interpretive and expressive nature of the art which often brought a smile to my face, as it explored the many ways we connect to, and are influenced by these powerful structures. Thought provoking and sculptural, the exhibit includes many mediums. One of my favorites below, a series of refrigerators faced with mirrored facets, create a reflective and luminous play on scale.  Two very different interpretations of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina Towers Buildings in Chicago above, convey the exhibits diverse presentation. This exploration into the power of our built environment is worth the trip. If you aren’t able to visit in person, the following excerpts describe further the themes of the exhibit, which are expressed in each unique work.

‘The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago brings together 50 international 20th and 21st century artists for a show that investigates our enduring fascination with building into the sky. Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity presents a history of these iconic structures and their impact on our understanding of technology, society, and myth. The exhibition is divided into five themed sections. “Verticality” reflects the optimism of building upward and the pursuit of iconic form. “Personification of Architecture” juxtaposes human and architectural form, placing the body in terms of building and vice-versa. “Urban Critique” examines the effects of modern housing on its inhabitants and the dislocation and alienation that can result from architecture’s utopian impulse. “Improvisation” records occupants’ responses to their built environment and the ways they transform and humanize buildings. “Vulnerability of Icons” considers our changing relationship to tall buildings post-9/11.’  The architects newspaper

Skyscraper brings together a wide-ranging group of artists from around the world and across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to explore this enduring fascination. The exhibition features the work of Fikret Atay, Jennifer Bolande, Roger Brown, Jeff Carter, Roe Ethridge, Jonathan Horowitz, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Jakob Kolding, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, Eliza Myrie, Ahmet Ögüt , Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Enoc Perez, Monika Sosnowska, Thomas Struth, Jan Tichy, Andy Warhol, Peter Wegner, H. C. Westermann, Wesley Willis, Catherine Yass, and Shizuka Yokomizo, among others.

Images and excerpts sourced at MCA Chicago

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Bruno Mars’ Hollywood Hills Home

This lovely Hollywood Hills Midcentury home was recently purchased by Bruno Mars. It seems a fitting choice for the young man who has an affection for the glamour and modernity of the period. Interestingly, it is not decorated to feel like a step back in time and filled with midcentury antiques, but rather outfitted in a classic, simple and comfortable way, suitable for entertaining, and very livable day to day. Although this is obviously a gorgeous and expensive property, I find the absence of overt opulence refreshing. The interior is modern and timeless; my impression of its lucky owner.

Some simple design gestures have a big impact on this space. Contrast in the floors and walls of dark and light, provide definition. The furnishings support this, with dark wood details, and upholstery in white. The strong connection to the exterior, providing great light and breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills, is exemplary of the midcentury period, and perfect for taking in the sunsets of this incredible site. My favorite elements throughout the home are the voice of the storyteller providing connection to the Midcentury period, through careful placement of black and white photography. Hollywood legends and no doubt sources of inspiration for this rising star. A lovely source of personalization and history.

Images sourced at

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DIY Wall Murals

Big graphic impact can really make a room. It creates a focal point and often plays with the scale of the space, making it feel larger. These wall murals are impactful, and a simple DIY install. The image printed fabric is canvas-like, which makes it easy to handle. The back is self adhesive. Just peel off the paper, press onto the wall, and smooth. A simple and cost effective way to create a new design direction in an afternoon. There is an interesting selection of available images, including modern, industrial and environmental themes. Each provides a very different effect, and offers an easy and creative way to enliven a space. You can customize your mural size, and even upload your own personal image to be printed for your installation. Incredible. And, oh-so fun.

Images and product source:  eazywallz

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