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...

The Mainstreaming of Color Crazy - Adler and Doonan's Awe Inspiring Abode

September 9, 2013

I am loving this total influx of awesomely colorful interior design that I'm starting to see in more and more places. It's been gaining steam for a while now thanks to the whole "modern/graphic/neo Hollywood Regency" thing (May it rest in peace), but I think we're just now really seeing the mainstreaming of eclectic design. Which is good and bad for me. I love "collected" interiors, but I don't like doing what everyone else is doing. The only saving grace is that it's exceedingly hard to do it well.

There are only a few designers out there (that I've seen) that can expertly curate a room with an exquisite collection of everyday items that the 99% can afford and still have it look like a million bucks. Like Emily Henderson, here...

and here...

And then there are designers like Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan, who's powers combine like some sort of Designer Wonder Twins ("Form of, a giant brass eagle!"... "Shape of, a lucite chandelier!") to create something beyond cool.

The new Lonny has pics of their incredible place together. Please put on your safety googles...now.

All pics via Lonny Magazine

I warned you didn't I? Can you still see colors when you close your eyes?

Now, the truth is, with an almost unlimited budget and amazing design resources...this is still incredible. It's difficult to successfully combine this much crazy into one place without it getting out of control. Most people think they can just throw everything together and call it a day, but much like how it takes me 30 freakin' minutes to get my hair to look like I couldn't be bothered to comb it, creating a space like this isn't easy. And it's not something that has a lot of rules either (like most good design).

What's cool about it too is that more and more people are into it. I feel like 15 years ago, most people would have just turned their noses up at a place like this, but now, not so much. I mean, to be sure, Darth Pottery Barn still controls the Design Empire. But maybe the acceptance of something other than espresso wood veneer by the public at large bodes well for the future of interior design. (And job security for designers!)

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Utterly Transfixing Abandoned Monuments

August 27, 2013

I know this is an interiors blog, but every once in a while I see something that so captivates me that I just feel the need to share it...

And it's architecture, so it's close enough to interiors. Right on the other side of the wall actually! Get it? Get it? Other side of the wall? Ahem. Anyway, as I was saying, check these out:

Wow. My jaw hit the floor when I saw these.

Although we talked a lot about the origins of modernism and it's massively misguided experiments in places like Brasilia in architecture school, I have somehow never heard of these masterpieces of art and architecture that populate the wilds of the former Yugoslavia. Built at the height of the cold war as memorials for WWII battles and concentration camps, they were apparently abandoned after the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 90's. I think

I found these over at beautifuldecay.com and I like the way the article's author Danny Olda put it:

"The grouping of monuments have not only been abandoned by visitors but also their meaning and symbolism.  They ask serious questions regarding the nature of monuments in the sculptural tradition.  What is a memorial when it no longer memorializes anything?"

I think that their states of disrepair add immeasurably to their appeal, but I hope someone steps in at some point to keep them from disappearing forever. Jan Kempenaers, the photographer that took these shots has collected them in a book available over at Amazon...

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