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Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Around the Web – Owls in Residence, Classical-Meets-Hipster

Becky

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Sometimes I forget to share all of the great things I’ve seen around the web that is world-wide. Here are some of the best things that are floating around in cyberspace right now.

image by Kai Fagerström

Loving this project where photographer Kai Fagerström documented all the critters inhabiting this house in the woods.

photo by Katherine Marks for the New York Times

Scoop up a slop sink in NYC for just under $10K? The New York Times reported that buildings are now selling off prime real estate like pieces of the hallway, landings and closets that hold the slop sink for mopping to homeowners in order to keep their costs and thus homeowner fees down. I suppose in a city where space is so tight, that 17-square foot slop sink room could be worth big bucks to most people.

image via Lexington, MA Historic Survey

The Five Fields Community in Lexington, Massachusetts. I knew nothing of this modernist neighborhood spearheaded by a group of architects that included Walter Gropius. The philosophy behind the shared common areas reminded me so much of Randall Arendt’s work.  By the way, I think it sucks that the Boston Globe won’t let anyone read one measly article per month online without subscribing, so I apologize that you won’t be able to read the whole thing without signing up for 99 cents, but this article by Linda Matchan is worth it, I promise.

Photos by photographer Léo Caillard and photo retoucher Alexis Persani

Classical sculptures dressed as hipsters. Thanks so much to my friend Paola Thomas of Mirror Mirror for bringing this to my attention!

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Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Yummy Kitchens

Becky

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We love pinning our favorite kitchens to our Pinterest board, Yummy Kitchens, and the latest pin was Cameron Diaz’s  New York City apartment (interior design by Kelly Wearstler). As her chic pad goes viral after being featured in Elle Decor’s latest issue, I thought, why not jump on the bandwagon? The entire apartment has a luxe-meets-bravura modern vibe, full of rich fabrics and amazing metallic finishes, like this stunning reflective backsplash.

photo by William Abranowicz for Elle Decor

White kitchens still seem to rule and they are everywhere you look, so seeing the emerald green cabinets and unlacquered brass counters and backsplash were refreshing to see.

Jeroen van der Spek for VTWonen via The Kitchn

It’s fun to see people experimenting with metals besides stainless steel. This clever use of copper pipes adds great shine, patina and a dash of steampunk style to this kitchen.

photo by Manhattan Nest

I’m also digging the contrast of black and white and black and gray in today’s kitchens, and really love “the inky blue black” of these cabinets. This renovation on Manhattan Nest left me gobsmacked. Even more shocking, it was completed on a budget of $1230.74. That is just ridiculously inspiring, isn’t it?

All of the new tile patterns out there these days offer endless possibilities for unique backsplashes. A lack of upper cabinets and shelves allows these horizontal stripes to stun and the kitchen to appear very open and airy.

photo by Michael Graydon

It may seem tough to sacrifice upper cabinets for clear wall space or open shelving and it’s a personal choice. However, if you really pare down your china, glassware and cookware to the bare essentials, you may just find you have room (do you ever really use that “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug, or that extra set of china?). One idea I love is this plate rack. It creates an organized, beautiful and functional way to stash china within reach while keeping things open. One tip to those considering such a move or open shelving – you’re going to have to dust more, so keep that in mind.

What kind of kitchens are you finding yummy today? Please let us know in the comments section, and/or add “#yummykitchens” to your kitchen pins so that we can all find them with ease!

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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

On Display: Pasquale Natale’s Houses

Becky

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Last weekend Friday I had a chance to head down to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. Just a 90 minute ride from where I usually stay in Mashpee, once you hit Wellfleet and Truro, Cape Cod takes on an other-worldly feeling. Ocean on both sides, undulating dunes, wild grasses and the cutest little tiny cottages along the beach you’ve ever seen.

Once you hit Commercial Street in P-town things heat up; drag queens are riding their bikes down the street advertising their shows (be sure to hit Varla’s if you can), bikes ding their bells as they weave down both sides of the pedestrian-overtaken, one-way street and friends call out to friends from the balconies of restaurants and B&Bs.

photo: Becky Harris

For me, the best part of it can be hitting the galleries. While trying to remember where MDV3 Gallery was, I wandered into A Gallery, where they had just set up the show “Home Again: A continuation of the House”  by Pasquale Natale (it was opening that evening). 150 little fabric houses lined a 10-inch deep shelf around the gallery, some of them in handmade boiled wool, others in crochet and more fanciful patterned fabrics. The mini-village was appropriate in this place, where a 100 square foot beach shack is common.

photo: Becky Harris

photo: Becky Harris

photo: Becky Harris

photo: Becky Harris

The little village is not unlike any functioning community; diverse, patched together, some houses standing straighter than others, some more modest in their cladding. I suppose it didn’t hit me I was shaking up the village before the opening by buying one and brining the ranks down to 149 little houses.

photo: Becky Harris

In 1992 Pasquale wanted to reclaim the positive sign, something that had gained such a negative connotation during the AIDS epidemic, and make it positive again. 21 years later with so many advances in medicine made, it’s interesting to view them in a new light.

If you’re headed to the Cape for an early fall trip this weekend (highly recommended; the throngs of tourists have dispersed), be sure to stop by A Gallery at 192 Commercial Street. The show will run through September 10, 2013.  While you’re down at that end of the street, be sure to stop by MDV3 down at 142 Commercial Street, and Adam Peck Gallery across the street at 137 Commercial Street.

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Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Oyster House Wins Affordable Housing Contest

Becky

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Sometimes you come across the best little gems when you least expect it. Reading The Cape Cod Times the other day and learned about the contest winners of an affordable housing design competition held by the Cape Cod Modern Trust and other partners. Learn more about the competition.

Out of 120 entries, this 700-square foot, year-round house won. It has a pentagon-shaped footprint and one bedroom. The design team CxMxD included Christopher Lee, Mengyi Fan and Dungjai Pungauthaikan. The home costs $108,000 to build but that cost goes down as the number of houses increases.

From the winning entry:

Oyster House sets a new standard for entry-level housing in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. Developable land in Cape Cod is at a premium since much of the open space is now protected natural landscape. By building smaller, Oyster House achieves more density with less impact on Cape Cod’s precious landscape. Oyster House uses less; less energy, less building material, less building area. Simultaneously, the house does more. Its pentagonal plan makes for easy siting in multiple orientations, maximizing privacy, permitting views, and responding to the sun’s path through the southern sky. While the proposed project is situated on 91 Point Point Way, the house is conceived of as a repeatable unit that can be deployed across multiple sites in the town of Wellfleet.

This area has such a rich history of artist and writer’s colonies, as well as cutting-edge, mid-century modern architecture that tread lightly on the land, that the competition and winning design is very fitting.

All renderings via oyster-house.com

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Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back-to-School: Finding the Right Desk

Becky

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Now that the school year is getting into full swing, it’s time to make sure your workspace suits you. In fact, even if you aren’t in school, check out your workspace and make sure it’s inspiring you to do your best and enjoy it as much as possible. We’ll start with some smashing contemporary desks. Here are six favorites – see if you (or your little homework-doer) are cut out for any of them. Enjoy!

Blue Dot Desk 51. You’re a minimalist, and you like fast cars, or at least, Matchbox cars. All you need is your laptop and everything else is in the cloud or in your head. This desk is powdercoated and glossy, sleek and clever. There’s also an extending keyboard tray/shelf that glides on metal/ball bearing side runners; you can’t even tell it’s there.

The OFFI Half Pipe Desk. You love to board, whether on pavement or snow, but you also like to put your feet up. You like to fidget and love having a few items close at hand. You’d rather make a diorama than write a report, you collect matchboxes (not matchbooks) and you love to curl up in a cozy nook. This desk has some cool curves, niches for stowing things and a footrest.

Stoller Works Yellow Frame Standing Desk. You are so tired of sitting at school all day that you need to stand. You dream of a career where you’re at a drafting table, designing a zero-energy skyscraper, a bridge, a new public park or a motorcycle like the one in Tron. While you embrace technology, you also have an appreciation for handmade things, and enjoyed using the jigsaw in shop class. This desk has a beautiful trestle sculpture and will keep you from succombing to a sedentary lifestyle.

The MASH Studios LAX Wall-Mounted Desk. You hate wasted space, probably because your room is tiny. You like hiding things between your mattress and your box spring, and have a particular affection for stash boxes that look like books. You love the concept of floating and you played with building blocks a lot as a kid. This desk mounts to the wall, saves floor space and combines walnut wood with powdercoated aluminum.

The Brave Space Design Delta Desk (shown: Maple). You’ve always been fascinated by airplanes, and you’re quite good at fashioning your own from paper and drilling your friends in the head with them. You’re a piler, not a filer and you prefer a good old fashioned corkboard to one on Pinterest. This desk has a very cool silhouette, and its sculptural wings serve as shelves.

The Blu Dot Modulicious Power Deskette. Legos were always your toy of choice. You tend to make a mess but like to be able to hide it with one sweep of your arm. You think Mike Brady was a dang good architect and wish you could have seen more of his work, and you think your Mom’s vintage Fisher Price A-Frame House was way under-rated. This desk has mid-century modern flair, yet it’s fresh, and you can totally customize it with fun colors on the drawers.

Browse all desks

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