New art for the kitchen.

August 25, 2014

This lovely lady is from artist Cheyenne Randall. You can see more of his work here. I'm not sure that he sells prints of his pieces, but he totally should!

I painstakingly assembled this piece in photoshop as a high res rasterbation and then had it printed as a single image. And it looks awesome in the kitchen! I totally hear the Wonder Woman theme song in my head every time I walk by.

UPDATE: I just found out that he does have prints available here! I need another one!

via Instagram


August 22, 2014

I felt like my coffee table needed a little pizzazz. Sort of Zorro meets Damien Hirst. My living room has been finished forever, but I just need to get it shot by a pro. Or really anyone other than me. (Did I mention what a bad photographer I was?)

via Instagram

How do you liven up a dull and cluttered daycare entry...?

August 21, 2014 this hopefully!

These are the concept renderings I did for a new project I'm working on for the Kirkwood School district. They're admittedly really basic renderings, but I didn't think spending hours and hours more on the details would help to sell the idea in this case. This was a cold presentation - they hadn't seen anything at all yet. And I was nervous...I felt like they would either love it or hate it. (Spoiler...they loved it!)

So here's the basic concept.

This is the entry/lobby area that you see when you enter the main door to the Kirkwood Early Childhood Center. I hate it when I see the same design language of primary colors and basic shapes used over and over in children's spaces. I also don't like things that are too literal, I prefer to use abstracted forms that let the kids imaginations determine what they are - kind of like finding shapes in the clouds.

So I presented the idea of using the image of a tree (which has been done to death in schools) but in a new way - by using negative space to form the "tree" between solid sheets of wood. These sheets would be set off from the wall by a few inches and the wall itself mirrored. So when the kids come in every day, they actually see themselves in the tree and they (and their parents) can watch as the way they're reflected changes as they grow. I also wanted to use the basic shapes that they learn in preschool, but combine them in a more complex, but still understandable, way. And I wanted to shove as much color in there as I possibly could. It needed it.

The space is also used by parents and kids that are waiting for appointments in the building, so it needed some seating and something to occupy the kids for a few minutes. I created a little seating "nook" that separated the waiting space from the hall space using unexpected materials such as artificial grass for the seating surface and turning the seat into a tunnel that the waiting kids can crawl through and explore (see the video below). If I just added climbing hand holds to the wall, I'd have my own little adventure playground! There are also books, and a spot tailor-made for littles to curl up in and read on the grass for a few minutes. And for the artists - a 3D, pyramid shaped chalk board.

I couldn't change the flooring or the drop ceiling, so I suggested they suspend triangles of colored plastic from the existing grid and possibly change the color of the tiles to blue (not in the rendering).

They asked me if the triangle clusters on the ceiling were supposed to be leaves or clouds. Both or neither, I told them. I think that's what sold the idea ;-)

So, very limited scope and limited budget, but I think it's going to look awesome!

29 Design Lessons from Domino Magazine

April 18, 2014

So this is old news by now, but apparently Domino is back. (Belated Yay!) I knew that they had published several quarterly editions that collected material from the old original mag, but since I already own all of those, I never saw any reason to pick it up. But somewhere along the way, I missed the announcement that they were publishing new stuff now.

Initially I was really excited, but then I kind of went...meh. Don't get me wrong, I'm still gonna buy it and support it because I'm old and I still like to actually turn pages in a real, honest to God magazine. And also because I'm not allowed to take my wife's iPad into the bathroom. (Have I shared too much again?)

But do we really still need Domino? It was a breath of fresh air when it debuted, but since it's untimely and unexpected demise, a whole lotta stuff has rushed in to fill that void... Apartment Therapy, Lonny, Design Sponge, a lot of really great blogs. I mean a lot. And the mother of them all - Pinterest. Were people actually still pining for Domino or just wistful for the days when Domino was the go to source for good design for the non Elle Decor set? Time will tell, but I think that they will definitely need to bring a fresh perspective to the new magazine to get people to shell out money for it when they can get an all-you-can-design buffet of great content online.

Here's a great article from Buzzfeed from a few months back that is spot on...

29 Design Lessons We Learned From Domino Magazine

There's some really great advice in there. I had to be sure to point out number 1 to my wife especially... We're constantly arguing about my ever expanding collection of "crap that needs to be framed". Even uttering the phrase "gallery wall" is guaranteed to elicit a fairly withering look from her

A few of my favorites:

#2 You can never have too many photos

#3 Paint your ceilings

#10 Mix and match your art

#15 Light fixtures can make the room

#26 Always consider the unexpected

You can check out the original article on Buzzfeed here.
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What's happened to House Beautiful? Or, how awesome is Living, Etc.?

March 24, 2014

Wow, I just got the latest House Beautiful and I'd say it lasted about 5 minutes before it hit the recycle bin (And then immediately got pulled out because I remembered I have a friend that I give all my design mags to!). I thought about it and realized that I've done the same thing for the last few months. It used to be one of my favorite magazines, but the last year or so I've noticed that it seems to be more skewed towards the Barbara Barry set (or even Barry herself, as in this months issue!). Which is fine, if that's your cup of beige linen tea...but it definitely ain't mine.
Oddly enough, when I went to their website to find pics for this post, the several galleries I thumbed through had a lot of really smooth looking rooms in them, most of them not dowdy at all. I assume that these must have been used before the last year or so because they don't look like anything I've seen lately in the pages of House Beautiful.

FRESH IDEAS! (from 1976!)

Oh well, I guess there's always still Living, Etc. I know it's British and it's obscenely expensive for a monthly magazine, but I never cease to find something droolworthy in it's colorful imported pages. True, most of the projects in it are pretty high end, but they also seem much more relatable to me. And the designs they feature push the envelope a little.

Other than my complete set of old Domino mags (Jealous?), Living, Etc. is the only thing I bother keeping after I read it. My collection from the past few years has gotten a lot of repeated thumbing through. (Full disclosure, I haven't received any compensation from Living, Etc. for writing this post, but in case they read this, I wouldn't turn down a free subscription! Y'know what I'm sayin'? Or a discount. $177 a year? Really?)

Ahhh...Now that's better

Seriously. I want a white stuffed peacock. What's wrong with me?

All pics above from the pages of Living, Etc.

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Oh my poor orphaned blog

January 8, 2014

I swore to myself when I started this blog, that I would stick with it diligently as I found my particular point of view or "voice" in which to write from. I hate it when I discover a really cool blog and start reading along excitedly, only to discover that the last entry was from like, a year ago. What happens to these people that spend so much time and energy creating a cool blog and populating it with great, well written posts... only to inexplicably disappear from the face of the earth? Well now I know - life happens.
I got busy with life, the universe, and everything and this blog just got back-burnered. But now it's a new year! With new opportunities and priorities! And stuff.
Truthfully, I just got busy with several projects going on (one that's going great and one that went...well, not so great...)
So, cool things to come in 2014- including the conclusion of my way overdue $500 Rental House Challenge. I got it done, but then I didn't get it photographed before my house was covered with Halloween decorations. Grrr. And then Christmas decorations... None of which was really photo worthy in my current place. So as soon as I can con my photographer friend into coming over and snapping a few pics, you'll get to see it. I think it turned out great. Here's a few quick instagrams of it...

Once again, I ain't no photo-grapher. These aren't styled or completely finished even. I just snapped them to prove that I actually did do something in the new place. I might even finish it before it's time to move!

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Can't Stop Drooling over this bedroom

September 18, 2013

So my $500 home decorating challenge has hit a slight hiccup. A few weeks ago, I was at Kirkwood Park desperately trying to escape the clutches of a group of roaming Zombies (aka - my kids), when I decided that instead of climbing down the rock wall at the playground, I would just fall off the top of it instead. Y'know. Cause it's quicker. The only possible drawback is that I hyperextended my knee - rupturing my meniscus and completely severing my ACL. Good times.

So after a little complete ACL replacement surgery (with an ACL from an organ donor, so now my kids think that I'm really part Zombie. Seriously.), I haven't been mobile enough to really get around to shopping and DIY projects. But soon...soon. Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to post pics of the after.

In the meantime, how awesome is this bedroom. It's my obsession of the week.

I love everything about this room. The pseudo minimalism of it...the fantastic contrast between the rich browns in the wood and the stark whites of the bedding and walls...the fireplace and amazing lighting... It's just the right combination of industrial/modern, but in such a way that it doesn't seem cold or uncomfortable. I'm seriously thinking about having a bed like this fabricated.

Here's the best part though... It's not even a real space. It's a rendering! You can see more of the loft that it's in here...


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