Topographically Speaking

I've always had a fascination with topographical maps. My go-to doodle pattern through college (once I graduated from hearts and stars), was a free-form topographical map usually of nothing in particular.

 

I find the patterns and the flows of the lines on the maps to be soothing.  I somehow always felt 'safe' when doodling in a topgraphical style, because you could really go 'out there' with your design, but there was always order in the chaos by way of lines that always met back with each other at the end.

Not too long ago I stumbled upon a beautiful series of quilts created by Liz Burow, an artist and designer in Brooklyn, NY.   Her designs are based on topographical maps of various places and park spaces.  Check out the one below based on Prospect Park in Brooklyn. 

 

Here's a snippet from her website:

These customized quilts bring together the line work of topographical maps along with the tradition and elegance of widecloth cotton quilts. These heirloom quality quilts reference the topography of specific landscapes and places which often hold a specific memory or meaning to the person who has commissioned the work. The work sells as either decorative wall hangings or functional quilts for the bedroom.

 

 

I really love how the organic tension and flow of the topographical representations of each area translates into the quilts and I find the contrast between that tension and the soothing, tone-on-tone pallet she uses to be inspiring.  I also appreciate that it is a beautiful, personal way to bring elements of the public spaces we love into our homes.

 

More of Liz's work can be seen here: www.topoquilts.com or here: www.lizburow.com

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Elephant Ceramics…

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this ceramic collection by Elephant Ceramics. Not only am I feasting my eyes on the photography, but also the textures, colors, and just the brilliant intensity of some of these images. Wow. And by the flawless styling skills, should have guessed that the collection is designed by the home design editor/interior and tabletop prop stylist, Michele Michael. I love the backstory behind Elephant Ceramics… it all started when Michele went searching for tabletop items for her prop house in Manhattan. We've all been there, hunting for that one particular shape and color. Everywhere she looked was of no avail, so she decided to design and make her own. How's that for an inspiration to start a new venture?! The texture you see in her ceramics is of traditional homespun linen, such a simple idea, but look how beautiful it is. Perhaps it's her painterly approach that makes her collection looks so genuine. You see, I love brush strokes, I think there's such emotion to them. And to see that emotion coming through in her work is just mesmerizing to me. Only a handmade object could have this organic quality – each is unique, all on its own.

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broken, but beautiful…

You know how there are times when you walk by something everyday and you just simply don't even see it anymore, whatever the "it" may be? I mean, really seeing it, spending more than a passing second. I love finding beauty in the ordinary mundane things, and discovering them in unexpected places. They can be the most stunning visuals ever – like this "Broken" series by photographer Alejandra Laviada. I can't stop thinking about them. Each equally graphic and powerful. Love that they are in black and white as well, adds to the authenticity, don't you think? Capturing something so basic and seeing such uniqueness in it is priceless. Textures that even if I wanted to recreate, I couldn't. They are such great iterations of… how should I put it, organic growth through time, that is almost impossible to duplicate. What I saw in these photographs at first glance were broken mirrors, cracked walls, chipped paint… Now, after starring at them for an embarrassingly long time, I see design elements and graphic interpretations, almost x-ray like. But most of all, I see history – layers and layers of history – whether good of bad, broken or man-made. What do you see? 

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Loving Leather

Image Credits: Polyvore

Every now and then, I fall in love with a texture or pattern that I simply can't get enough of. Normally, I'm craving something simple and feminine, such as a bursting floral print or linen and canvas materials.

Yet now? Now, I'm falling hard for leather. I don't know what began the obsession, really, other than the fact that I've been incorporating more and more leather pieces into my wardrobe lately. From belts to boots and gloves to glasses, I'm grabbing anything leather I can get my hands on.

And although I never thought I'd be the one to say this, I'm realllly pining for leather in my home. It's just so… masculine, but yet so, so cozy. In fact, a rugged, lived-in Chesterfield sofa sounds like the perfect cup of tea on these winter evenings.

I'm giving my wee little obsession six months before I pounce on re-decorating with leather club chairs, heavy throws and the like. Who knows? By that time, I just might be craving suede!

Naturally, I'm curious: Do you guys go through mini obsessions with your decor and furnishings? Do you follow through immediately, or wait a bit before purchasing? Spill!

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A Black/White Industrial Kitchen

Behold, my dream kitchen. The bones are perfect: a mix of industrial and natural elements with a touch of quirky, home-spun details. In my opinion, it doesn't get any better than this.

Here's why it works:

1. The open shelving keeps the industrial, cold look from appearing too minimalist. By displaying fresh foods and ingredients (bread, flour, sugar), there are plenty of textures to keep the kitchen interesting and cozy.

2. The sleek stainless cabinetry juxtaposed with the white farmhouse sink create an eclectic mix that is hard to define, making it the perfect classic kitchen. In other words, because you can't place a finger on the time period in which this specific kitchen was designed, you've created a timeless atmosphere that will need little updates in the future.

3. Below, the sheepskins softly draped on the hard seating create another cozy layer to the space. After all, metal looks dreamy, but who wants to sit on a cold, hard bench for more than a few minutes?

All in all, this is a beautiful space, indeed. Although, admittedly, I'd add a touch of In Stitches under the dining room table. But, you know, that's me. ;)

[Images via AlltiHemmet]

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