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Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Our Top Five Favorite Movie Architects

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Architect seems to be the favorite job for movies to give a certain kind of character. Here’s a look at our top five fake architects, all for various reasons. Please add yours to our list in the comments section. And apologies to Gary Cooper for leaving you out, but I liked the book a lot more than the movie.

photo via Vancouver Lookout

5. Richard Gere in Intersection (1994). Yeah, this movie bombed at the box office, but the building they chose to pretend Gere’s character built was a superior choice. It’s the Musuem of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia campus, designed by architect Arthur Erickson and built in 1976 (with a stunning landscape designed by Cornelia Oberlander). The fact that the movie pretends this was designed and built in 1994 shows how successful and surprisingly timeless the mix of brutalist concrete and glass and how well it fits into the landscape are.

photo via moviescreenshots.blogspot.com

4. Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day. This tale of one woman trying to have it all is exhausting, and her work situation doesn’t seem all that realistic, but the breaking of the model, well, anyone who has ever dealt with one sure felt that pain. Man though, that is one ugly building, huh? I think the model deserved what it got.

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer (2009). We gotta give this movie props for being ahead of the chalkboard paint wall tipping point, and for using it better than anyone else has to date. I loved the way it fit in with the sketchy architectural graphics used in the movie as well. A broken heart and reassessment cause this sweet lovestruck man to drop out of the greeting card business in the funniest way ever, and rekindle his true passion, architecture. Plus, his love of architecture provides a lot of special moments from his favorite bench that overlooks the city. Kudos.

photo via Twentieth Century Fox

2. Matt Dillon in There’s Something About Mary (1998). Pat Healy is the fakest fake architect around. He claims he’s working on a soccer stadium in Santiago Chili, he skirts his way around answering what the difference between Art Deco and Art Noveau is, and he has a pocket full of Napelese coins. Chompers is an all-time sleazy favorite. And a big part of his sleaziness is that he’s claiming to be an architect when he’s not.

photo via hookedonhouses

1. And our favorite movie architect is … drumroll please … Steve Martin! The problem is, we can’t decide if we find him more appealing as the hapless Newton Davis HouseSitter (1992) or as the self-defeated sensitive guy who is giving Meryl Streep the kitchen of her dreams in It’s Complicated (2009). Well, who would redo that perfect Nancy Meyers movie kitchen anyway?”  Newton Davis reduced me to a puddle, laughing on the floor when he sang “Toorah Loorah Loorah,” so the winner is HouseSitter. We look forward to seeing Martin play another architect soon.

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Fun Book: The First Apartment

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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A great new book hit the shelves this week – Kyle Schuneman’s The First Apartment: Cool Design For Small Spaces. Kyle has crossed the country helping folks who have spread their wings and flown the coop feather their first nests, or some such mixed bunch of metaphors that mean making their first apartments livable AND cool. This guy is full of clever tricks for all sorts of spaces and personality types, and he’s really good at explaining D.I.Y. projects – he’s included  projects that range from super-easy to more advanced, so there’s something for everyone.

In the somewhat more advanced D.I.Y. arena, he created an argyle wall for his chapter for the preppy. I suggest mastering a horizontal or vertical striped wall first, which is also covered in the book.

Also from the preppy files, Kyle teaches us how to transform a ho-hum dresser to a playful plaid piece with decorative paper and some Modge Podge.

For us less experienced D.I.Y.ers, he’s rolled out the chalkboard paint, but taken us from simply painting the wall (been there, done that!) to the fridge and the cabinets in this kitchen that he’s dubbed “Le Petite Bistro.” He took a shabby rental kitchen and gave it a crisp yet cozy European vibe with paint and some drapes.

Sometimes something as simple as a headboard wall decal and charming drawer pulls will add your personal style stamp to a room.

In this artist’s tiny apartment, Kyle went all Jack the Dripper on a canvas slipcover for the owner’s hand-me-down sofa. He also made the yellow no-sew pillow and the yarn frames, and instructions for all of the projects are included.

This book is a great to give as a housewarming gift, a graduation gift or holiday gift for someone looking to up their style ante but is unsure where to start. If you’re feeling uninspired, treat yourself to a copy. The book is currently under $15 at amazon.

All photos from The First Apartment Book, taken by Joe Schmelzer

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