where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Patterns from Above

Every so often I come across an artist (or pair of artists in this case) whose work is so fresh and inspiring that I have to spread the word. I stumbled across the aerial photography of Brent Yaggi & Sarah Hicks in a recent hunt for a client's walls. My only search criteria was color photography that somehow makes you see the "ordinary" a bit differently, with an abstract essence to boot. Yaggi and Hicks Patterns from Above series fills these specs exactly. According to their website bio, "Brent Yaggi & Sarah Hicks fly 2,000 feet up in a Cessna 172 to capture patterns with their Nikon lenses. They have scoured many parts of North America over the last three years. Brent is from Pennsylvania and Sarah is from England. They will be married in June 2012. They currently live in Denver, CO." Upon further investigation, it looks like this is how they make a commercial living (check out their Aerials By Design site) as well as these beautiful artworks. Some of their work is merely land survey, but much of it forces an enlightening perspective on environmental issues and legal disputes, accidents and agricultural usage. Even though the content is often poignant, the aesthetic results are undeniably beautiful. Here are a few of my favorites:

Grand Prismatic Springs, Yellowstone, WY

Eureka, CA

Salt Lake City, UT

Victoria, TX

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Etsy Love: Oh, Little Rabbit

Lord knows I spend enough time on Etsy, scouring its vintage furniture shops for clients, coveting jewelry and trinkets for myself, buying unique gifts for friends, or just seeking inspiration. So it must follow that I bring back my Saturday Etsy Love post; I just can't keep all this good stuff to myself.

In a recent search for organic cotton housewares, I came across Oh, Little Rabbit, an Oregon based couple who illustrates and screen-prints everything from napkins to aprons to onuses by hand. All inks used are water-based and non-toxic, and most items are printed on sustainable materials. Oh, how I love that!

Plus, I'm always smitten with creative couples doing what they love to make a living, as I daydream about what it must be like to churn out these adorable offerings from an idyllic Oregon valley studio, side-by-side with one's beloved. If that isn't the American dream, I don't know what is.

I love this Hand Screen-printed Organic Cotton VW Onesie for all the natural-born hipsters out there.

I've always wanted a house topped with an old weather vane, but until then I can settle for this organic cotton Rooster Weather Vane Tea Towel.

Oh, Little Rabbit's illustration's range from the sweet to the slightly silly, like the cheerful fruit emblazoned on this washable Recycled Cotton Banana Lunch Bag.

I love the iconic mason jars printed on this Large Recycled Cotton Tote, a double-message in plastic reduction and getting back to the basics.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Going for Gold

Today marks the start of the 30th modern Summer Olympics, a tradition that has seen multiple world wars, unthinkable physical achievement and unmatched human spirit, scandal and glory, and spawns commerce, creativity, and globalism like no other event in history. My dad won a gold medal in the 400m hurdle event exactly 60 years ago, a fact which has inspired me ever since I was a young girl (although my goals never involved track shoes, but rather more creative endeavors that have often felt just as out of reach as Olympic qualification). Today's post is a tribute to the Olympic tradition, as I watch the world's best athletes march into a brand new East London stadium to make their mark in history.

Vintage Olympic Bag available on Braderie's Etsy Shop.

Olympic Rings Necklace from BuggleAndBoo on Etsy.

An olympic ring screen print by ZEVS (no longer available).

Olympic Montage Pillow from the UK's Baker & Stonehouse.

Olympic ring sugar cookies found in a round-up of Olympic party ideas on Sixsistersstuff.com

My dad mid-hurdle and the 1952 Helsinki Olympics poster.

The unveiling of the official London 2012 Olympic and Para-Olympic posters (found on Zimbio

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making a Stand

My son and I recently went a month or so with no television......and it was wonderful. But alas, all good things must come to an end, and we were generously gifted a hand-me-down TV from my son's uncle. But it was formerly wall-mounted and I just don't like that look, so I set out to make a stand for it. Living by the beach, I've collected random pieces of driftwood over time, thinking that someday I'd do something with them. I sorted through my stockpile and found a beautiful little piece, twisted some screws into (thankfully driftwood is oh-so-soft) and wrapped craft string around the screws. Voila! New TV stand:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Colorful Kids Chairs

I'm currently re-designing an Upper West Side apartment for a young family, who are fortunate enough to be knocking through to the recently acquired apartment next door to gain a much-needed adult study and family room. The compact kids space will house a seating area for movie-watcing and a stretch of built-in desks to accommodate all 3 kids and their various activities, from homework to crafts to piano-playing. A relatively neutral color palette will prevail, but we wanted fun colorful chairs for each desk station, and I was pleased to find so many eye-catching options. Here are a few of the top runners:

Eames Molded Plastic Eifel Side Chair from Design Within Reach (shown in Red Orange, available in nearly a dozen other options)

The Jake Chair form Room & Board (shown in Blue, available in 6 other colors)

Geography Lesson Chair from Anthropologie

IKEA's Jules Visitor Chair (shown in yellow, available in 5 other colors)

Series 7 Side Chair designed by Arne Jacobson, available at Hive Modern (available in nearly 20 hues).

Pony Sprout Chair from cb2

West Elm's Scoop Back Chair in Red Petal (Black also available, as well as solid finishes)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Color: Red & Gray

Multi-tasking: (noun) "the carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person."

Well, I've been kicking myself for weeks to get back to blogging more regularly and need to scare up inspiration for a client's living room, featuring a color scheme that is a little scary itself, so this blog post will satisfy multiple tasks in this same late(ish) hour on a beautiful Monday night. Nice!

As I've posted in the past, I'm not the biggest fan of red. But my client hired me several months after an odd selection of paint colors were rolled across every wall so foundational color scheme choices were not mine to make. And, hey, I do like a challenge. She toured me through a living room emblazoned in red accent walls, opposite vast views of the Hudson River through curtain wall glass windows. It hardly works, but the damage was already done. And she loooves the red wall, so I zipped my mouth shut. She was able to admit, however, that the black leather sectional along the wall had to go. Thank God. 1982 was a long time ago.

With these givens in place, we hatched a red and gray color scheme, much warmer and current. The red wall is Benjamin Moore's aptly named "Red" and the only other element I'm forced to work with is the funky red leather chair in the photo below. To warm it all up, we picked a gray with loads of brown undertones, building from the Roche Bobois Script Sectional, also pictured below, to layers of accessories that tie it all together.

Images above:

1. Bold doses of red against a gray backdrop (found on www.homesinterior.net) which is the exact opposite of what I'm working with but helpful nonetheless.

2. Better proportions of red and gray, with an unexpected dash of yellow in the window casings (found on www.shinyinteriors.com), although my client would sternly prefer I not introduce any other colors. Tough one, but OK.

3. Now we're talking....the downtown LA loft of Harrison Ford's son William with pops of red, consistent gray, and natural wood and wicker tones (from The Telegraph).

4. Lipstick red furniture seems to harmonize most naturally with bold pop art and lots of white.

5. My client's living room as I found it (I'll post "after" images in another month or so, because boy is it going to be different!!)

6. The warm gray leather Roche Bobois Script sectional that is replacing the black bachelor pad special above.

7. Hide & Batik carpet tiles from FLOR come in a warm gray and white color way, perfect for adding a touch of pattern but practical enough for a family and a dog.

8. This affordably large giclee from Z Gallerie called In Bloom features the bold red, but introduces lots of white and other warm complimentary colors.

9. Red and gray hand-sewn and screen-printed pillows, crafted from eco-friendly hemp and nontoxic dyes (from Cloth & Ink on Etsy).

10. West Elm's Martini Side Table (we'll be using white or silver beside the corner chair because the red version is too orangey for this room).

11. A pop of red in a functional piece: cb2's Three Prong Red Coat Rack.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm baaack.

I love my blog but I've sure been neglecting it badly. It doesn't matter if the only one who knows that is me (and maybe my sister Margi, my loyal reader). But like renewed vows at a silver anniversary, sometimes a recommitment is in order. So I hearby do solemnly swear to write every day, to channel my findings from the eco-friendly design world back out into the universe, for better or for worse, in busy times and in down times.

And now a sneak peak at one of the things that's kept me so busy: a playroom I'm designing for a TriBeCa condominium building, filled with reclaimed wood paneling and eco-friendly polyesters from KnollTextiles with cradle-to-cradle gold certification for low environmental impact. Add graffiti-inspired signage, vintage arcade games, and cozy reading alcoves, and I'm hoping it will be an urban escape high on style and fun, low on carbon footprint.