Archive for December, 2008

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Organic Aspen Playboy Real Estate


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

How do you get from Playboy to the Organic Architecture Movement? It goes like this: PLAYBOY – THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR ON E! – BARBI BENTON IN ASPEN – BART PRINCE. Only four quick steps! I admit it. I was watching The Girls Next Door on E! yesterday. Hef and his harem went to visit Barbi Benton in her humble abode in Aspen. Holy. Moly. Known as The Copper Palace (and locally as “the double double-wide”; Benton’s husband is a trailer park developer), the house consists of five pods connected by stairways. There are side-by-side lap pools, as Benton and her husband could not agree on a temperature. This is the most normal thing in the entire spread. Wavy walls are coated in stones and other objects, the bed sits upon a rotating platform, there’s a fireplace surrounded by a kiva, the dining table once belonged to Andrew Carnegie, there’s a large disco, complete with, as Bridget put it, “weird, crystal stalagmite type things coming up.” The home itself hovers over the ground and has a mere 25,000 square feet of living space. Interested? It can be yours for the low-low price of $25 million dollars. This sale price, surprisingly enough (no sarcasm intended), would set a record for Aspen if it is met.

The Girls Next Door: Kickin’ It Aspen is on about a million more times this week on E! The episode is basically a half-hour house tour of the house, which, hmmm, seems to coincide perfectly with the house being on the market. Trust me, it’s worth watching.

The home was designed by Bart Prince, who formerly collaborated with Bruce Goff during the heydey of Organic Architecture. If you want to see some amazing examples of The Other Modernism, you MUST visit his website right now.

Here is one more peek at some Bart Prince work. He deserves a few posts of his own, where he’s in the company of Goff, Lautner, Fay Jones and Fallingwater Frank instead of Bridget, Kendra and Holly. Perhaps another day!

Top photos from

Bart Prince Albequerque photo by Steven St. John for the Chicago Tribune. I highly recommend following that link and seeing the rest of Mr. St. John’s Prince photos.


Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Modern Wallpaper/Vogue Living Australia


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
Leave a comment!

Here is a lesson in being aware of what is right under your nose when you are in your January “I’m going to get organized this year” frenzy.

With the demise of so many of my favorite American shelter mags lately, I’ve had to search for glossies from abroad to get my fix lately. As I flipped through Vogue Living Australia, I marked a few pages to scan and share with you. My favorite image was this one:

I thought “Wow! Those Aussies are so fabulously stylish and creative. Spending a few extra bucks on a foreign magazine is SO worth it to see inspiration like this. They just have a style sensibility I don’t see everyday.”*

Color me embarrassed for myself. After I scanned the image, I realized that the paper was Graham and Brown, and that it’s been right under my nose on the site I work for every day. This is the same image we use for their Viva Turquoise and Gold by Barbara Hulanicki paper right here on this site. Translating this little lesson into my life means I must remember to look around in those forgotten drawers and storage areas that I walk past every day before I go seeking items from more exotic locales!

*This is not to discount the inspiration I glean from foreign magazines and travel. Flipping through images from thousands of miles always expands my design horizons. Austrailia in particular is home to some of my favorite glossies, designers, and bloggers. Here’s another fabulous image from the issue:

cover image by James Merrell for Vogue Living Australia

I cannot find photo credits for the other shots; if anyone knows, please leave a comment so I can properly credit them here!


Monday, December 29th, 2008

Simplifying in 2009: Get Inspired Before You Begin


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

So last night I was sitting around watching Cast Away on TNT for the millionth time. It’s funny, I never thought I’d be able to watch a movie where Tom Hanks is all alone on an island talking to a volleyball, but it’s a real testament to the extraordinary talents of Mr. Hanks and to William Broyles Jr. (the writer) that this movie is so compelling. With all that’s going on in the world today, and with everyone trying to pare down after the gluttony of the holidays, this movie is so fitting. I recommend putting it at the top of your Netflix queue immediately. It will make you appreciate the little things, like pillows and ice cubes. Think of the ten things you could not live without on a deserted island before you start that flurry of January organizing activity.

Notice something strange in the corners of the shot I took of my T.V. screen? Because of the convenience of being able to zoom through annoying commercials on our DVRs, we now have to see things like this:


In my half-asleep stupor, I thought “WTF is Timothy Hutton doing on the island with Tom? Is he how Chuck Noland imagines Wilson in his coconut milk demented state? Wow, check out the difference in the career paths of the two Oscar winners on the beach!” These intrusive interruptions are almost as annoying as getting a recorded phone call every day during election season (and for a month afterward) that said “Hi, I’m Saxby Chambliss. Jim Martin does not care about Georgia families…” (that’s as far as Saxby would get before I hung up and swore a lot). Well, like I said, almost as annoying. By the way, If Saxby ever calls me at home again, I’m filing a restraining order.

P.S. I tried to watch “Leverage,” because I like Timothy Hutton, but the guy pictured below’s hair makes me cover my eyes. I find him simply unwatchable – I simply cannot get past the Fabio meets Stephen Baldwin coif. Also, it doesn’t help that the scripts are the pits. Entertainment Weekly is right, the second golden age of television is indeed over.

Cast Away stills taken from my TV while tuned to TNT.

Picture of guy whose head I want to shave from


Thursday, December 25th, 2008

My First Attempt at a Gingerbread House


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
1 Comment »

My first ever attempt at a gingerbread house with my three year old niece. It came out a bit messy, was almost a disaster and not all the modern pre-fab home I was shooting for (trying to teach the three year old to appreciate modern design may take a bit of time) but at least it was a cavity invoking treat to make!

Happy Holidays from Design Public!


Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Charley Harper Art Show at The Cincinnati Nature Center


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
Leave a comment!

Sorry for the lack of posts. If you’ve been traveling, shopping, wrapping and shoveling like I think you have been, you haven’t been checking in anyway. I was trying to come up with a quick post while thinking about how much I love this old ornament of my mothers. I just love it:

(pardon the iPhone apple reflection in the gold part. I’ve used whip-a post-together-without-the-usual-tools tactics here). Anyway, I remember she bought it at the Cincinnati Nature Center in the 80’s, long before the Charley Harper blog trend rage, and it made me click on over to the CNC’s website. There is a Charley Harper Show at the stunningly beautiful Rowe’s Woods location through December 31st, so if you’re in my former hometown in the middle of flyover country and have some time, be sure to check it out: