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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Designer Interview: Meet Bend Good’s Founder, Gaurav Nanda

Becky

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About as soon as Bend Good’s Lucy Chair rolled out into the marketplace, it became a contemporary icon. Artistically sculptural in shape with nods to iconic mid-century designs and a look to the future, the chair attracted architects and interior designers in droves. While it makes a statement indoors, it’s also built to stand up to the elements outside. Best of all, Bend Good’s products are built with sustainability at the forefront of their priorities, and using them contributes toward LEED certification.

Today we’re having a chat with Gaurav Nanda, the founder of Bend Goods. Gaurav is not a jack of all trades — he’s a master of many. His many skills include sculpting, t-shirt printing, clay-pot throwing, contributing to automobile design and entrepreneurship.

Is there anything in particular in your background that drove/helped you with the designs for Bend Goods — automotive design, sculpture, throwing pots? Design in general has always been a very big interest of mine.  I still today love to learn about different materials and love to work with different mediums that I have never worked with before.  It really does shape your perspective.  When you can look at something and see it for the process it took to make it and not just the end result, you get a deeper appreciation for it.  It can sometimes also spark an idea or give you a realization about something completely unrelated that you are working on.  That’s the best part about a creative job.  the creativity breeds and multiplies and seeps into everything that you might be working on.
What attracted you to working with metal in this way? Working in the auto industry, building models kind of lead me to metal.  It’s always fascinated me how you can take a material like metal and mold and shape it into something very sleek and beautiful.  There is something about metal that has this chameleon quality to just turn into anything you can imagine.  I chose iron for it’s sustainability.  It’s one of the most recyclable materials on the planet, and sustainability is something that is very important to me.
I love the way you present your products with dancing videos! What inspired that idea? I’m glad that you like it.  I had been brainstorming creative ways of getting the animal heads exposure and trying to figure out how to do that in a very creative way.  I met a filmmaker online and we brainstormed many different ideas.  A modern dance really seemed like the best way to give the animals personality but also function.
You began Bend Goods with seating and tables (I’m assuming?). What gave you the idea for the trophies and other accessories? How did you choose the animals? The seating definitely came first. When I started the company it was called Bend Seating for that reason.  Then as I started to move into tables and eventually the trophy heads, we switched the name to Bend Goods.  I’ve always had many interests in terms of design.  I started with seating knowing that one day I would want to build an entire collection.  The idea is to create classic designs that you could potentially outfit an entire home with.  The trophy heads to me were a lot of fun to develop.  I’ve always been a big fan of mounted taxidermy, but there is definitely something sad about the process.  I wanted to put a modern more humane spin on that form of art.  I chose the animals because I wanted to represent the power in the animal kingdom.  I think that each animal that we have represented is very majestic and powerful in it’s own right.

What’s your workspace like? How does it inspire you? We are actually in the process of moving work spaces.  We started Bend in a live/work loft in Marina Del Rey, California and earlier this year started to become very aware that we were rapidly outgrowing the space.  We spent many months going back and forth trying to decide our next step and finally landed on buying a house.  We now reside just south of Hollywood in what we are currently designing to be a living catalogue.  It will be a space where we can have meetings and invite designers and architects over to see the furniture in a natural useable setting.  It has an amazing backyard with a pool and a detached garage that will be our workspace and photo studio.  It really is going to become a mini Bend Compound and we couldn’t be more excited about it.  For me the process of building this space has given the brand life and shown me what is truly possible with what we are creating.  Being able to live in a space that is all Bend Goods with some mid century modern pieces mixed in will inspire me every day and allow me to really think about where to go next and what we need to develop next.
[I hope they will share a house tour with us when it's ready!]

Do you have any design heroes or favorite designs that have influenced your work? Designers like Harry Bertoia, Warren Platner, Charles and Ray Eames to name a few are always big influences for me in terms of design and being progressive.  Their work is what made me want to start doing what I do today.
Any advice for how to get out of a creative rut/block? Don’t sit and stare at the same spot on the wall and think that you will be inspired.  We live in a day and age where you can work for almost anywhere on the planet.  Find a place that inspires you and get out of your comfort zone.
Thanks so much to Gaurav for taking the time to speak with us today. We cannot wait to see the Bend Goods House!

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Monday, November 7th, 2011

Spot on Square Sale

Ali

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Yip yip! Spot on Square is on sale! From Nov 8th to the 30th the Roh and Hiya Collections are 15% off*.

We are big fans of their clean modern designs, especially since so many pieces can easily transition a design-lovers drool worthy nursery to a super chic modern adult pad without any obvious overlap. So, when little Timmy grows up and moves out you can use his Roh Bookshelf in your living room or bedroom…a gift for him is a gift for you.

Of course, we are still drooling over the Spot on Square Roh Crib in the photo above.  Does it look familiar?  That’s because it is the same modern crib we posted about a few weeks ago as seen in Rachel Zoe’s home. Talk about a room with a view – this beautiful crib is every modern design loving parent’s dream – in place of the traditional wooden crib bars you’ll discover that the Spot on Square Roh Crib has half-inch clear acrylic.  (And don’t worry – it’s BPA free, phthalate free, and 100% recyclable!) Bob and Nicole Springer, the husband and wife team who founded the company and created this incredibly modern crib, believed that children should be surrounded by simple, eco-conscious, high-quality products that promote an appreciation for design.  To Bob and Nicole, we say – congratulations – mission accomplished!  So dive in now, because for a limited time, you can get these gorgeous products at a discount*!  Score!

Spot on Square sale pieces…Check it!

*Sorry, Eicho pieces are excluded from the sale and this promo cannot be combined with any other discount.

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Monday, November 7th, 2011

Designer Interview: Gitane Royce of Modern Playhouse

Becky

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Today we’re having a chat with Gitane Royce of Modern Playhouse. These earth- and kiddo-friendly playhouses make cozy modern spots for children to play and imagine. Who knows, they just might inspire your kiddo to become the next Mies!
1. Did you have a playhouse growing up?
I grew up in a rural New England setting and didn’t have a playhouse as a child. Instead I constructed countless forts made in and out of trees, couches, tables, and with lots of blankets. Modern Playhouse is my way of bringing my nostalgic rural childhood memories to an urban setting. The simplicity of my
playhouses leaves plenty of creative room for a child to make a space all her own… as I once did!
2. How did the Modern Playhouse concept develop?
My child was born. I wanted to give her a space truly her own in our home and hacked out my first modernist influenced playhouse for she and her friends to play in. I do maintain that my 2 year old didn’t care about the architectural influence on her playhouse structure but my idea was to make the openings simple enough that she would appreciate her defining space but still have a connection to the outside world from her domain. In this case the outside world was our living room and us.
The inside/outside connection in modernist architecture is well documented and I think a nice concept for childhood on so many different levels. I began to get orders for playhouses from other families in our San Francisco community and the Modern Playhouse concept was born: simple modern design for kids, made from sustainable materials, easily assembled, and made in the USA.
3. How do kiddos respond to your playhouses?
With overwhelming cheer! The pre-walkers crawl in and pop themselves up at the window, the early toddlers open and close the door and sit at the table with delight, and the 2 yr+ kids
engage in pretend play or artistic endeavors, snack eating, house decorating, and everything a child does but all with a proud sense of place. It is so fun to watch the kids play in their houses! Child-led play is so nice to observe and so important developmentally for them.
4. Why do you think it’s important to produce earth friendly products for kids?
I truly believe that good product design for kids has a sustainable element…whether it be recycled, recyclable, repurposed, made close to home, or made from responsibly managed raw materials. I think as a parent and business owner on this planet I am COMPELLED to do the best I can to manufacture
my kids products incorporating elements from the above list. By manufacturing this way, my hope is that my products reuse traditional waste materials, create less green house gases, and ultimately get passed on to other families after they are no longer needed. Truly there is nothing more satisfying than offering handcrafted, non-toxic, and long lasting sustainable products to my customer. Ok, besides the sheer joy the houses bring to the kids!
5. What is in the future for Modern Playhouse?
As a one-woman show and a parent, everything happens at Modern Playhouse from my perspective… and to coin a phrase from my father-in-law… in the fullness of time. Having said that, I am delighted to launch the Puzzle House during Fall 2011. This house goes together…well, like a puzzle… and is
manufactured from sustainable domestically sourced wood products. The Puzzle has a slightly smaller footprint than my existing playhouses. The Modern Playhouse product line has a bright future with other exciting products to be released in Spring 2012!
We can’t wait to see what’s coming down the pipe from Modern Playhouse. In the meantime, shop all Modern Playhouse.
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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Guest Blog: Three Cheap-n-Easy Repurposing Projects

Guest

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Hi Everyone! Becky here! Please welcome Alex Levin, who is guest blogging for us today. Alex is a writer for Granite Transformations, agreen remodeling company that advances sustainable construction practices by finding new ways to reduce waste and recycle such as using broken Skyy vodka bottles to make countertops. Take it away, Alex…

Whether you are doing a complete re-vamp or just adding new elements to your home, there are endless possibilities for creating a unique and comfortable atmosphere for your living space. I try to be as green as possible, combining repurposed pieces with new ones in order to achieve a feeling of lived-in usability.  Here are a few tips for repurposing that will make you feel a bit like a Home Improvement MacGyver.


A Free Storage Solution For Mugs, Pots, and Pans: One of the biggest problems in kitchens is lack of storage space. I, for one, have more mugs than cabinet space. Some friends of mine found a great solution to this problem in their Brooklyn loft that will work almost anywhere: mounting a shipping pallet on the wall with hooks for hanging items. Pallets are available from trucking companies, warehouses and even home improvement centers, sometimes for free – keep your eyes open for them on the sidewalk, in the alleys, and leaning up against dumpster. Make sure the pallet you choose is clean and structurally sound. If you’re not feeling the natural wood, paint it or stain it.  Next, install hooks along the slats. The small, screw-in type of hook works well for mugs, but if you are planning on hanging larger items from your pallet, upgrade your hook quality accordingly.  You can also use “S” hooks is you don’t want to commit to your hook placement. Once you’ve got your hooks where you want them, mount the pallet on your wall, making sure to utilize the studs in the construction. Ask at your local home improvement store for advice on the hardware necessary for your type of wall. Voila! From beer steins to measuring cups, this is a great space saver.

Have an Old Door? Think Horizontal! Another resourceful idea is to use an old door as a table. With a repurposed piece like this, you can feel free to paint, stain or adjust whatever you want to work with your individual style. Scope out your local flea market or hit up an estate sale for pieces that will fit in your space. First, make sure your door is sanded and clean; this may require a wire brush.  Second, attach the legs. Home improvement and hardware stores sell table legs in various heights. Consult a pro when determining the best way to attach the legs. Before you know it, Knock, knock…who’s there?  Your dining room table!

If you’re still on a repurposing roll, an old ladder is a great piece for storage.  A short, fixed ladder can be suspended from the ceiling in the kitchen and used as a pot hanger. First, make sure you have a secure ceiling for this project as it will be quite heavy (in other words, don’t just screw it into a popcorn ceiling!) Simply grab some “S” hooks from a hardware store and hang pots and pans from them.  A ladder can also be used as a towel rack in the bathroom.  This is a great solution for a bathroom with tiled walls where installing a traditional towel rack is tricky.  Just lean the ladder against the wall at a suitable angle – no tile damage required!  If you have enough space in your bathroom, a step ladder can be a fun way to create even more storage.  Hang towels along the rounded rungs and place bath supplies, candles or houseplants on the steps.


Now that you’ve got a few ideas, head to your local flea market and go nuts! Look at things with new eyes and try to imagine how you could use it.  Repurposing projects aren’t just limited to large fixtures.  You’ll be amazed by what you can create from the most random of things – if you’ve ever used a coffee can for pens, you’ve already repurposed!

Images via Funky Junk Interiors

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Friday, February 4th, 2011

Flickr Fave of the Week: Look Up!

Becky

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How gorgeous is this ceiling? Apparently, it’s crafted from recycled wood. I spied it over on Flickr, and it was added by Flickr member Jeremy Levine Design.

Dining Room with Recycled Wood Ceiling

According to the description, he made a lot of green moves in this project, including: gray water recycling, solar energy, passive thermal, daylighting, adding an interior pocket courtyard with bamboo garden and drought tolerant landscaping. To learn more, check out jeremylevine.com.

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