Design on the Web

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Tocky and Clocky Hit the Big Time


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Well, the crazy clever alarm clocks by Nanda Home landed on the front page of The New York Times Home section today. If you’re like Whitney on A Different World and need to hire Dwayne Wayne and Ron’s SHAKE ME WAKE ME morning business to get you out of bed (I miss that show), Tocky and brother Clocky will literally drive you so nuts you have to get up.  Here’s what writer Farhod Monjoo had to say after reviewing several aggressive alarm clocks:

The most straightforward gadget I tested was Clocky. Invented in 2005 by an M.I.T. graduate student, Gauri Nanda, Clocky is an alarm clock on wheels. When it’s the hour to rise, the $39 timepiece emits a cute bubbly animal sound, rolls off your night stand and trundles around your bedroom in the manner of a headless chicken. This behavior is quite adorable when you test the clock during the day. First thing in the morning, it’s not so endearing.

Tocky, Clocky’s bubble-shape successor, has the same problem. It’s better looking than Clocky, and it can play MP3s in addition to sounding alarms. But at $60 [note, we sell them for $58], Tocky is more expensive than Clocky, and just as infuriating. In fact, that’s the point — your rage at springing out of bed to catch the blasted clock is supposed to invigorate you. But is that the best way to start the day? I’m sure that the cliché that couples aren’t supposed to go to bed angry applies to waking, too.

While the author isn’t so sure waking up annoyed and enraged at one’s clock, he acknowledges their effectiveness! And seriously, unless you’re Cinderella with a bunch of birds and mice getting you ready in the morning while you chirp out a happy song, who doesn’t wake up annoyed and enraged at having to get up early?  The point is that you’re up, right?


Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

New Fun Home Design Forum: Meet HomeTalk


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Edward Zitron recently contacted me to ask if we’d be interested in sharing information about HomeTalk with you. HomeTalk is a community of homeowners, renters and home improvement pros who enjoy sharing ideas and advice about home and gardening. After checking it out, I said mos def (just kidding, I know I can’t get away with “mos def” no matter how many episodes of The Wire I have memorized, but I did say yes) and asked him if he would be willing to write us up a little guest post to give you all a taste of what HomeTalk is all about. Take it away Edward! -Becky

Hometalk is a great community to learn from; you can ask questions of and interact with hundreds of thousands of homeowners. You can share and be inspired by projects going on throughout the country in everything from roofing to gardening to upcycling. Speaking of upcycling, HomeTalk’s community boards have been full of members sharing how they’ve turned other peoples’ trash into their own treasures lately. Here are three fun examples.

Inspired by Donna from Funky Junk Interiors, HomeTalk member Laura (of The Ironstone Nest blog) crafted the cool and quirky outdoor sofa from 4x4s, 3x3s and a few pallets:

HomeTalk member Deb B shared “So I have finally run out of clay pots and have moved on to the next best thing. Coffee cans, soup cans, paint cans, teapots, chandelier parts and even anchovy cans for the feet. Meet my newest garden helper:”

Don’t kick yourself for knocking over that clay pot last week, upcycle it like HomeTalk member Cith did!

The best aspect of this project is that it’s completely free; turn the pot cracked-side down in your planting bed and watch as your old flowers take on new life. A similar look can be achieved on a larger scale by turning an old bathtub on its side and filling it with your favorite bulbs and annuals.

Oftentimes, the best upcycling ideas come from simply visualizing an everyday item in a new way. So the next time you go to throw out that used mayonnaise jar, just remember, you can easily make an outdoor light, a terrarium or a hurricane out of it.


Thursday, June 21st, 2012

This Week’s Link Love: Reclaiming, Recycling and Preservation


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Hi Everyone! What have you been clickin’ this week? I have to admit I’ve gotten lazy; so many of the people I follow on Facebook post such cool things that it’s become my new blog reader. I think I get about half of my favorite links from my FB peeps! Here are five of the best:

I’ve seen plastic water bottles turned into a lot of interesting things over the past few years, but these huge fish on the beach in Rio are the coolest.

These 8-16 story high trees in Singapore are so much cool than those cell phone towers that are supposed to blend in as pine trees but are oddly 40 feet higher than the treeline. These Supertrees collect and “generate solar power, collect rainwater, and act as ventilation ducts for plant conservatories beneath them.”  More on

Now that’s a good present! Sculptor and avid dumpster diver Matt Buttrill crafted this yoga studio for his wife from 75% recycled materials, including the beautiful windows. Check out Popular Mechanics’ slideshow of 10 Super-Green Sheds.

The Herculean restoration of Mies van de Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic is very inspiring. If someone had put the slideshow on fast forward and paused at the unexpected curves in the house, I woud have sworn it was a Corb villa. Check out the full story and slideshow on Wallpaper* magazine’s site. If you can’t make it to Moravia, check out the exhibition in London this summer.

What did you enjoy looking at/reading about online this week? Please share links in the comments section.


Friday, June 1st, 2012

Links we love


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Congratulations to all of our friends at DwellStudio! Today is the official opening of the DwellStudio Flagship store at 77 Wooster Street in New York City. If you get a chance to visit, I’ll be jealous; it looks like it’s absolutely what I’d expect from them – beautiful and inspiring. If you can’t make it, visit vicariously through this blog post.

Other posts that caught my eye this week all remind me of the antiquated pre-CD, pre-interent technology of my youth, and they are all super clever. Check them out!

image by David B. Smith Gallery

This one earns a big WHOA! Thanks to my friend Maya over at VisuaLingual for sharing this incredible city composed of movable type pieces on Facebook. It’s by artist Hong Seon Jang and it’s currently going viral around the design blogs (I took a gander at it at Colossal; it’s awesome, I had to drag myself away so I could get some work done). At this angle, the mini-city looks like something out of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception dreams (or was it reality? I still don’t understand what happened at the end – enlighten me if you know).

image via we and the color

And down the rabbit hole I went; apparently Colossal found city over at Quipsology, so I hopped on over there and found this incredible mix tape table by Jeff Skierka. You can’t quite see in this picture, but it sits on a clear acrylic base So if you really have a crush on someone, stop making that lame music mix and think bigger.

Image by Todd McLellan

Back to (not)typing: Hopping over to DesignerPad, I found a post that will appeal to those of you who wonder how things work and those of you who like to take stuff apart. It’s about a show by photographer Todd McLellan called “Disassembly.” There are some really cool videos on McLellan’s site showing him disassembling some of these. They are great lessons in composition.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Friday, April 20th, 2012

What We’re Clicking This Week


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What have you been checking out online this week? I have a new favorite Facebook page after seeing a picture a friend posted; it’s Organic Green Roots. Their Facebook page is chockfulla of the coolest pictures like this one:

And this one:

images via Organic Green Roots

I’m a sucker for an ostrich made out of a small pruned tree and graffiti!

Next, I am so taken by this tiny coastal home in Uruguay that Danielle posted over at The Style Files. You simply must check out the inside; it’s such a beautiful, comfortable and peaceful looking spot. Here’s a little teaser:

image from Espacio Living via The Style Files

Jenny from My Favorite and My Best always makes me spit out my coffee with laughter, yet she educates me along the way. Thanks to her, this week I found out these rugs are called beni ourain rugs thanks to her. How did I not know that? And how how funny is that goat she worked into her roundup?

image via My Favorite and My Best. I think it originally came from New York Magazine.

While I’m the world’s worst Do-It-Yourselfer, I am very tempted to try my hand at making a terrarium thanks to Nicole over at Making It Lovely. Back in the seventies, these things were as popular as macramé, and the last one I made was in elementary school in a 2-liter plastic bottle (what was up with the liters? I think they came out back when we still thought the states metric conversion was imminent). Nicole’s is much more fresh and beautiful than the one I made back then. Check out how cool hers is, with instructions and more pretty pictures here:

image via Making It Lovely

Where have you been getting your inspiration from this week? Let us know in the comments section!