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Monday, September 16th, 2013

Touring the Old Fourth Ward

Becky

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Loft, bungalows, modern houses, the Beltline, new parks, Martin Luther King’s birthplace, fabulous restaurants, funky shops … they all come together in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, a historic area that’s becoming one of the city’s favorites. This Sunday a handful of residents opened their doors and let us into their homes for a Fall in the 4th Ward home tour and it was fantastic.

Our tour began at a former cotton warehouse in Studioplex. In the courtyard, you can see the old metal doors and structure of the second story, which has been opened up (it’s also open to the sky, so balconies that look out here are great bonus areas). Here we saw three very different ways people are living in these true lofts. One was a one-room full of amazing artwork and custom furniture, another had added a second story loft bedroom and rents the space out for events, the third was a wide-open artist’s live-work studio with 15 foot ceilings. Here’s a look at that one.

One of my favorite things about this space was that the owner had separated her bedroom with a clear glass wall and installed this stained glass window. On the other side is the media area complete with built-in shelves around the window.

The owner is also an architect, which explained how she designed this beautiful kitchen:

The cabinets were rough wood with stainless steel cabinets; the kitchen island has a beautiful patina. The open shelves were artfully arranged, and the pantry, complete with antique pie safe, was stunning:

A few blocks away we toured through this beautiful modern home by TaC Studios:

This home is Earthcraft certified and sustainable elements include a 500 gallon rain cistern. It’s located near the new Beltline East Side Trail and it’s scale respects the other homes in the neighborhood. While compact, the interiors are open and airy, and make it feel like a much larger house inside. Connections to the yard through doors to the dipping pool courtyard and the master bedroom balcony open the living space to the outdoors.

Finally, we came upon a once-derelict bungalow that had been rehabbed and sold by an architect neighbor. You know, when you see that a lot of architects are flocking to a particular neighborhood, it’s an early sign of transition. It’s amazing to see this neighborhood now compared to what it was like when I first toured the area about six years ago.

The lovely blue door was an indicator of what to expect inside. The architect made the most of the small 2-bedroom, 1-bath home, and the owner has an amazing eye for mixing eclectic pieces.

The living room opens into the kitchen, which also incorporates the dining table. Sorry my shots do not do the beautiful home justice.

Did you attend the tour? If so, which house was your favorite?

For more, check us out on Instagram!

Photos of the modern house courtesy of TaC Studios Architecture. All other photos by Becky Harris.

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Designer Interview: Evan Stoller of Stoller Works

Becky

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Today I had the pleasure of getting to know more about Evan Stoller of Stoller Works. I sent him a list of questions and he answered me with a the fascinating story of his career path and all of these beautiful photographs. Take it away Evan!

Stoller with his Rail Table

My mother was a painter and my father photographed modern architecture. Modernism was kind of a religion in our home. Living with the works of family friends such as the Eameses, George Nakashima and Alexander Calder was an education in design.

After studying architecture at Pratt Institute I began doing sculpture in NYC. My friends and I rented an abandoned cheese factory in what was to become Tribeca. For five years I had a fabulous skylit studio and produced a series of animal sculptures that culminated in a 9’ x 9’ frog that was designed to jump in the rain. To me, The Frog was my first real-world study in architecture. Organic systems were interpreted, organized and overlaid within an aluminum and spring steel skeletal system. The concept of a moving animal developed along an architectonic path of questions and creative solutions.

Stoller’s Frog Sculpture
My wife Phyllis and I moved out of the city to an abandoned airport, and then to a disused gas station. I began making larger sculptures that were influenced by the lattice construction of cranes and the structural purity of bridges. I completed works that appeared more functional – things that looked like organic lifting devices and sculptures such as ‘Ramp’:
Ramp
‘Ramp’ is a 30’ long incline topped with asphalt. I called them ‘standing structures’ and they developed from, and as an expression of, the environment in which they were displayed. Some stood on long skids for optimal ground support or had pod-like feet to resist sinking into the turf. My sculptures were becoming supporting structures, close relatives of the tables I’m doing now. I completed a huge environmental sculpture in NYC that brought me back into the world of architecture. ‘Maya Station’ was an array of 40’ tension trusses spanning six 20’ tall towers and 10’ tall gates. My inspiration were the forms and spaces of a Mayan city. The sculpture defined an environment on an architectural scale, and after it’s completion I became an architect.

Maya Station

Architectural commissions are a real ‘through the looking glass’ experience. The thrill and complexity of architecture is always a voyage through the unexplored, an arduous but incredible experience. We built our own home  and I began designing a series of houses, studios and more recently a medical clinic and a theater.

Stoller’s Home

A painting studio by Stoller

My most recent sculpture seems like both an architectural model and a huge piece of exterior furniture. ‘Hudson Ecliptic’ is a modular 40′ diameter circular form that floats over rough terrain. It’s constructed from 120 cellular units that each display a tiny painting. Seeming like a chain of galleries, the sculpture becomes a miniature museum.

Hudson Ecliptic

Stoller Works furniture started as custom pieces for architectural clients. I strive to express structural clarity and demonstrate an efficiency of of materials and fabrication. Working with big beams I invented a system to reinforce thin beam slices with tension rods and bolt them into extremely strong and rigid trestle assemblies. With remainders of deep rolled structural sections I make standing desks and podium tables.

Stoller Works Yellow Frame Standing Desk

My tables combine high-tech trestle structures with the warm surface of wood tabletops. We use walnut and ash from known sources and avoid the use of pollutants in manufacturing our products. All our plywood is FSC certified and coated with UV-cured finishes.

Stoller Works Station Table

Stoller Works Foundation Beam Coffee Table

Stoller Works City Desk

Stoller Works Podium Table

Thanks so much to Evan Stoller for taking the time to share his work with us today. Shop all Stoller Works tables and desks here.

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Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Flickr Faves on Friday: Karen’s Cheerful Studio Space

Becky

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Thanks so much to Karen M. Anderson for sharing some peeks into her studio with us in our Fresh New Spaces Group. It’s so full of color, well-organized and happily eclectic. Here’s a look:

Thank you for reminding me how much I love turquoise and red together Karen!

Like what you see? Check out Karen’s goods in her Etsy shop.

Have a favorite spot at home you’d like to share with everyone? Please post it in Fresh New Spaces!

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Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Some Blue Inspiration at The New York Times

Becky

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For a bit of eye candy today, check out this slideshow of bright eye candy over at The New York Times. I’m loving this peacock blue and brick red combination in Enid Woodward’s Manhattan apartment. It’s a great example of how careful editing, curating and arranging can make a small apartment beautiful, bold colors and all.

Image by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

What Every Architecture Studio Should Look Like: Alvar Aalto’s Digs

Becky

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aalto-office-draft-2_rect640
Hmmm, Clearly I’m spending a lot of time on Apartment Therapy house tours this week. Basically, I pull up their site and go straight to the House Tours tab on the left. They have their their best tour ever up right now. It’s Alvar Aalto’s studio in Helsinki (it’s now the home of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Alvar Aalto Academy and the Alvar Aalto Museum Architectural Heritage). Way to go AT.

aalto-office-draft-4_rect640

To see the full tour, click here. I highly recommend it!

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