Diane from Pure Contemporary emailed me asking if I would forward the news about the "Think Spring!" contest they're currently running.
It's a very cool idea with an even cooler prize - a signed piece of abstract art - so why wouldn't I let you know? Here's the copy she sent me:
Write about modern outdoor and WIN!
Are your walls looking a little bare these days? Tell us about a hot
modern outdoor product --- and enter to win a signed piece of original
Send your entries to Think Spring Contest by April 2, 2007. Include the
product name and where readers can find it. Don't forget your name,
phone #, and email address. We'll announce our winner on April 4th.
Not only am I passing on the word, I'm also entering. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. And hurry up - you've only got 2 days to get your entry in!
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Diane from Pure Contemporary emailed me asking if I would forward the news about the "Think Spring!" contest they're currently running.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I was doing a little Googling for some ideas, and I come across a great Boston Globe article on local street art phenom Pixnit. Yes, it's nearly three months old, but it's still new to me.
Pixnit is a graffiti stenciler. For obvious reasons, she doesn't reveal her true identity (I am digging the Zoro mask and fedora). She came to Boston to get her Master's degree from Tufts and the School of the MFA, so she's obviously smart and talented.
From her MySpace page, "These delicate images are influenced by floral and ornamental design historically used within the home to create a sense of comfort, bring representations of nature inside and portray a sense of beauty."
Funny, I was thinking about how great it would be to get her to do one wall in my house. Bringing the outside-that-was-taken-from-the-inside in.
Last November, I posted on the proposed 1,000 foot tall tower in Winthrop Square. Well, those plans may have changed a bit: Architecture Magazine reports that Renzo Piano, the renowned architect that designed the planned building, has quit the project. "A senior executive at Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Genoa, Italy, yesterday said the split involved a dispute over creative control of the tower." Boston-based architect CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares Inc. will take the project over. What remains to be answered is what may change now that Piano is gone. As they say, time will tell.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
...and one makes five.
That's right, there are now five (Greater) Boston-based blogs. Kat left a comment on my post about Yellow Bell Pepper Design to tell me about her blog, Taylor Made Designs.
Kat is a graphic designer with 6 years experience on Newbury Street. She now has her own design studio "south of Boston" that allows her to work while enjoying her two little ones.
Kat says, "My blog is a mixture of design, crafts + my kids :)" As a proper business person, she makes sure to highlight her own products (which she sells via her Etsy shop). Her kids... they are just terribly cute. It looks like her hands are full, but it's a fun time.
Kat, thanks for letting us know about Taylor Made Designs!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Wrapables is a company with a lot more to offer than bedding, but that's what I'm in the market for, so that's what I'm showing.
I'm only showing three styles that caught my eye, but they have a lot more (four pages of duvet covers alone!) so be sure to check out their website.
The Urban Circles Bedding Collection is part of the Urbanite series from bedding designer in-fusion. I love the coffee/aqua/white that is in the picture (It's also available in white/aqua). Featuring "320 thread count, 100% cotton sateen", it's sure to be as comfortable as it is good looking.
The Oxygen Bedding Collection, from Inhabit Living, in this blue and silver hue, is absolutely stunning. It is made of 250 thread count, 100% cotton sateen.
Lastly, the Soak Bedding Collection, also from Inhabit Living, has probably the most visually interesting design. The waves of blues and brown are arranged in a way to make your eyes see vertical rows. Like the Oxygen Bedding Collection, it is made of 250 thread count, 100% cotton sateen.
If you're looking for bedding (or home decor, fashion accessories, dining accessories, even pet gifts), Wrapables is worth a look.
Wow, the Boston design blog scene is just blowing up! Okay, we're up to four, but that's four-times more than last August, when Holly at decor8 was the only game in town.
Our newest entry into the blogosphere is Jen, a freelance writer living in Boston (although "home" is somewhere three or so hours southwest of here, ahem). She runs Yellow Bell Pepper Design. Why a yellow bell pepper? "
Monday, March 26, 2007
April looks to be a great month to buy furniture. BoConcept is offering 30-70% off at their Semiannual Warehouse Sale, happening Saturday, April 14 at their Bayonne, NJ warehouse. Sure, you've got to drive a bit to get the deal, but sometimes a great deal on a beautiful piece of furniture is worth it.
180 Pulaski Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
Another good question came into DB Central, and I would like to throw it out to the crowd. It's a long one, but if you're familiar with architects in the city, you may be able to help Pete out.
I stumbled upon your blog page while surfing Boston design and architecture on the web. We seem to have quite a bit in common as far as taste and interests. I found your writings very entertaining.
I was wondering if you could help me, since thus far I have been unsuccessful. Maybe you could share any information you know of with me, or possibly write and article after some investigation.
I purchased a loft here and looking to do a build-out in it. I would like to have someone look at and advise me on my ideas, possibly suggest changes and ideas of their own. I think I have a good eye and know I have a definite concept in mind, but I also know there is quite a difference between amateur design and professionally schooled architects. I would guess from there, the architect would use an engineer to make those concepts into plans that then, a builder would use to make these ideas into reality.
And here, then, is my dilemma. The architects that seem to cater to my style and have websites to see their work all seem to be high-end level firms. Only one has returned a call or inquiry and although that one was informative, they did not really seem to want to take on a small job, and moreso, someone who wasn't offering them "carte-blanche", which I cannot, unfortunately.
I'm pretty handy with basic building skills, I've renovated two properties before, so I'm looking for design guidance and plans for the large structural elements and contractors to execute them, and then I could do the finish work in my spare time. Meaning, the architect would meld or revise my plans with theirs, advise on the details and materials, have plans made for the builder of the loft platforms and stairs (and fire sprinkler modifications created by them), run rough electrical and I could do the rest. I would also like to have a time line to do this work in the 2 months before I move in...
So, here is the question... How do I, or is it possible, to find a "new-grad" or struggling architect who works in the style I am seeking, that will work with me in a more non-traditional manner and has connections for contractors. Is there a resource guide for new architects working to establish a reputation and referrals that take on work like I desire? How would I know if they specialize in the style and work I seek? Any ideas? Maybe you have someone in mind?
Also, a friend suggested maybe finding a builder that deals in loft work and possibly they have an architect that they work with in conjunction. What do you think of this idea?
I appreciate any advice you can offer. If you need any additional information, feel free to contact me.
Thank you in advance for your response.
Pete, thanks for writing. I would recommend giving Daniel Sugarman a call. Having seen the pictures of his own loft, I would say he's a great pick. Here is his contact info:
Daniel Sugarman Design
Does anyone else have any suggestions?
Friday, March 23, 2007
Calling all young (and young-at-heart) creative types: Good 50x70 is your chance to help make a difference.
"Good 50×70 is a contest open to student and creatives (graphic designers, art directors, copywriters, photographers, etc.). "
Basically, design and submit a poster relating to one of five big social issues: AIDS, environmental damage, human rights violation, underdevelopment and war. A jury of ten industry experts will select a finalist group of 30, which will then be cut down to ten "Good 50x70". One poster from each issue will be selected as "Grand Winner".
"All the finalists posters will be gathered in an exhibition. The same artwork will be also collated in a catalogue. The aim of the contest is to raise public awareness particularly amongst people inside the communication industry, and the relevance and importance of social communication."
Since this is a contest for charity, there is no cash prize, but there is the chance to get worldwide exposure, which could be worth a lot more than you could win in such a contest.
Lillibule Ceramics is the creation of Sylvie Fuller, a UK based designer. She uses small-run, hand screen-printed white bone china produced in the UK.
Sylvie wrote to me, saying "my style is feminine and fun, original and yet very commercial" The hummingbird series (pictured) has had an amazing response, and I can see why. Yes, they are "feminine", but why wouldn't a guy want something this playful sitting on his table?
Now in its second year of business, Lillibule Ceramics has earned praise from a variety of design organizations, "with opportunities including selection for New Designers Selection show during London design week, inclusion in COLLECTion, exhibiting at East London Design Show and a collaboration with ebay express."
As well as ceramics, Sylvie also produces textiles and home decor.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Daniel Sugarman, the South End architect whose loft space I posted about last month, has recently been featured in the Boston Globe. There is a nice article that explores his 750 sq. ft. space, a gallery of photos, and even an audio slide show. Congratulations Daniel!
When you think of a Jaguar (the car, not the big cat), you typically think of a stately British car with a traditional design theme that traces back decades of the company's history.
Well, that might change soon. This past January (yes, I'm way late in posting this), Jaguar introduced the CX-F concept. The first thing you notice is the roofline: much like the Mercedes CLS, the sleek roofline give the sedan an almost coupe-like appearance.
In the front of the car, you see a large, recessed mesh grille. On either side, Jaguar has done away with the traditional twin headlamp style for a more, well, cat-like look.
The inside of the car features carbon fiber, torch-darkened poplar, and machined aluminum for a blend of luxury and performance. Jaguar was one of the first to introduce a gated shifter, but has replaced that in the CX-F with a rotary dial - just twist it to the desired setting, and off you go.
While the CX-F is a concept, it has been positioned as the basis for the next generation of Jaguar sedans. Quite a step forward, I say.
"Circuit" is a sci-fi movie currently in production by local filmmaker Andrew Landauro. A combination of five intertwining stories, the movie centers around some strange glowing pods that affect the characters' senses. From this article in the Boston Bulletin, "Landauro described the pods as multi-faced metaphors that represent fear, love, technology and even gossip."
"Circuit" is running on a tiny budget - projected to be near $65,000. So far four out of the five stories have been filmed. To complete filming, they need to raise funds. That's where you come in.
This coming Monday, March 26, the Alchemist Lounge in Jamaica Plain will host the "Circuit" Benefit Art Auction. Approximately 35 artists, including my very close friend Athalie Paynting, will have their works on display, and at least 70% of the money paid for each piece is going directly to the production of "Circuit".
The "Circuit" Benefit Art Auction will be held Monday, March 26, from 6-9 PM. The Alchemist Lounge is at 435 South Huntington Ave in Jamaica Plain. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door - the ticket price includes a bidding number, free gourmet flatbreads and Sam Adams beer, and the chance to win various door prizes. Sounds like a great time. I hope to see you there!
I recently received a message in the Dwell Connect community from Megan Ueberroth. Megan is an abstract painter living in the San Fransisco Bay Area that works solely in environmentally friendly materials. As she puts it, "My mission is to create beautiful work that helps keep the environment beautiful, too!"
Megan says that her work is "often related to nature, not in a specific sense, but more in the general way we perceive it. Sublime and yet chaotic." She says viewers often see birds flying, or leaves falling, or other elements of nature. "None of these things are purposefully created in my paintings, but like all of these things, possess beautiful patterns and movement that the viewers mind is constantly trying to organize and understand."
Yes, she may be an out of towner, but Megan's combination of wonderful imagery and eco-friendly materials makes her welcome here anytime.
Residential Design and Construction 2007 (previously known as Residential Design) is a two-day convention and tradeshow for the residential design and construction industry. "Through a variety of exhibits, workshops and events, RDC provides the residential design industry with access to the wealth of new technologies, products and services that have emerged in this industry over the past decade."
RDC offers workshops for both design and construction professionals and consumers. For architects, you will be able to get all of your AIA continuing education credits through these workshops. For consumers, you can get an insider's view of the planning, design, and execution of a residential construction project.
The keynote address, "Designing The Future of Design" will be made by Sam Grawe, editor-in-chief of Dwell.
There will also be an exhibit hall packed with over 270 display areas. No matter who you are, you'll discover something new in that hall.
In only its third year, it is the largest such event in the country. Pre-registration for the upcoming show is already 17% higher than what is was last year.
RDC is going to take place April 4-5 at the Seaport World Trade Center. Access to the exhibit hall is $15 for design and construction professionals, and only $10 (plus one free seminar!) for consumers that register before April 3 (it's $15 at the door, plus $10 per seminar). See their website for full details.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
While looking up info for my earlier post on the Ocean Drive, I checked out the future cars section of the Mercedes website, and discovered the 2008 C-Class.
Following in a string of recent vehicle introductions and redesigns, MB is making a rather striking intro-level automobile: Split between a "Sport" and "Luxury" trim levels, the car will have an astonishing list of features, including the following:
- A choice of two V-6 engines (3.0 or 3.5 liter sport sedan and 3.0 liter luxury sedan)
- Standard 7-speed automatic transmission (optional on C300 Sport Sedan)
- Standard 8-way power driver and passenger seats
- Adaptive brakes
- Standard dual-zone automatic climate control
- Burl Walnut trim (luxury sedan) or Aluminum trim (sport sedan)
- DIRECT CONTROL adaptive suspension system with selective damping for comfort and handling
- Standard Bluetooth® connectivity
- Aggressive AMG bodystyling on sport sedan models
- Standard power sunroof
- Six standard air bags
- 17-inch twin-spoke aluminum wheels (Optional 18-inch twin-spoke aluminum wheels on C300 and C350 Sport Sedans)
The style is not as aggressive as the CLS 4 door "Coupe", or the new S-Class, never mind their coupes and roadsters, but it is a step forward from the earlier generation C. I don't see any side or rear views of the car, but as you can see from the front shot above, and the list of features above (both pilfered from the MB website), it'll be quite sporty. Once AMG gets their hands on it, this car will be a true performer, competing with the likes of the future BMW M3, and the Audi S4 (or RS4, depending on how much power AMG gives it).
One thing: I wonder why MB did away with the supercharged 4-cylinder, which was quite a fun, responsive engine (disclaimer: I used to sell MB's, so I know a thing or two about their previous editions). It would also be a bit better on fuel mileage - although, with MB's technical prowess, not by much.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
You can add another one to the list of Boston-based design blogs: brought to you by the letter L is a new blog by Cambridgite (is that the word?) Lyn Spataro, who's actually the sister-in-law of one of my coworkers at Crate & Barrel.
btybtlL is quite a refreshingly cute read. It features some things that I totally don't pay attention to (like jewelry and stationary), but it's still nice to see what someone thinks is cool enough to talk (or blog) about. And if her taste in jewelry is anything like her sisters, we'll see some great picks. Aside from her design selections, Lyn also lets you know about what she is currently reading and listening to.
Welcome to the club, Lyn! One question though: Why aren't I in the list of "Daily Jaunts"? ;)
The other day, I said I dreamed of a car with supercar performance and stellar gas mileage. Wouldn't you like that too? How does 0-60 MPH in 4 seconds sound? A top speed of 135 MPH? Or the equivalent to 135 miles per gallon? Oh, and it rides so quietly, you'd be forgiven for thinking it didn't have an engine. (That's because it doesn't)
Meet the Tesla Roadster, a two-seat roadster that runs completely off of electricity. It can go up to 250 miles between charges, and with the cost of electricity, it costs about one cent per mile - compare that to your car.
Its style is reminiscent of the Lotus Elise, a car that I absolutely love (beyond design, I'm a car nut, too). The low stance, aerodynamic angles, the fins in the hood to push air up over the hood, it has the looks to match the performance.
Aside from it's performance and great fuel economy, it's a fairly luxurious ride, too. Available options include two-tone premium interior ($1,800), touch screen navigation ($1,200), and a matching body-colored hardtop roof ($3,200). Add that to the $92,000 base price, and you get a pretty expensive car, but no other car at that price is both as fast and as clean.
I got an email from Lisa Clunie. She and her husband James (who's originally from Boston), both admitted to be "a little studious, a little geeky and a lot into design," created Rhombus, a line of casual clothing that reflects those qualities.
Using such "geeky" patterns as the standardized test form or binary code, or accents like oversized zippers in contrasting colors, they have created (as they so eloquently put it) outfits that are "studious, but not stuffy. Fun, but not funny. Cool without all the effort. Something for us computer kids who like science and math and bugs."
Being one of those "computer kids", I have to say I really like the clothes. Honestly, I think I like the women's lines better (who's going to debate that women's clothing isn't usually more attractive than men's? Hello, curves?), but if James and Lisa wanted to toss a binary code shirt my way (hint, hint), I'd rock it.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Prepare to see a barrage of posts on some automotive design news that I've discovered (or rediscovered).
I recently came across this article on Wired News: Mercedes-Benz has produced a prototype of a four-door convertible, their first since the 1960's.
Built off the same frame as the top of the line S600 with additional reinforcements (to match the stiffness of the hardtop sedan), the Ocean Drive is not as sleek as the S Class, but it isn't trying to be. The grill is a third larger; the headlamps are made of five banks of 35 LEDs; the top, when down, is concealed under a "birds eye maple compartment behind the rear seats."
I typically like to focus my energies in the automotive realm around environmentally friendly cars. This isn't one of them. The 5.5L, 36-valve, biturbo V-12 produces 512 hp and an amazing 610 lb-ft of torque. The downside of all that power is gas mileage: 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway - that's pickup truck territory. I would love to see the day when someone like MB or Aston Martin make a car this expensive and powerful, but with a more fuel efficient motor. Hey, I can dream, can't I?
If produced, the car should cost "around $300,000." Needless to say, if this is produced, you'll see Jay Z in one.
Check out Happy Living, a new blog by Erinn, an "architectural designer, interiors consultant, sketcher, renderer, space planner, owner's representative, diy'er, oh and wife to Carl with a 'C'" by day (well, probably night too). I would love to encapsulate the spirit of the blog within a few thoughtful phrases, but Errin beat me to it:
happy living is...
- designing your life to be what you want it to be, both inside and out
- being inspired by the spaces around you, at home and at work.
- liking what you like, and loving what you love no matter what the mag said is 'in' this season
- living large within your means
- making the most of what you have
- dreaming for everything you can imagine
mod*mom, the mother of all that is hip and, of course, mod, has introduced three contests, and is planning on running more! Up for grabs is a Boon highchair from ModernNursery, a Fatboy from BabyGeared, and an iPod Shuffle from ThisIsNext. Each contest is for a limited time and ends on different dates; check out mod*mom for all the details, and good luck!
Friday, March 09, 2007
Another reader question that I'm forwarding on to the masses:
If you have any recommendations for Mark, leave a comment. Thanks!
Check out this photo. Not only are the kids incredibly adorable, but those prints above them are equally fantastic.
YoonKids are a creation of the Yoon sisters, Suzie and Cindy. A series of girl characters ranging from snowboarder to violinist, YoonKids are made through a fine art giclée printing process.
Aside from YoonKids, the Yoon sisters created Yoonies, "a series of creatures that remind us of the wobbly stuffed animals our mom hand-sewed for us as kids. The clean lines of the Silhouette series are inspired by images and icons of our childhood including butterflies, lovebirds, trees, and peace signs."
I think Ethan, my eight year old son, would beat me up if I bought him "girlie" YoonKids. No need to worry though, because a boy line is set to come out in the not-too-distant future.
Continuing with their "Don't Blame Us" advertising series, BoConcept proclaims "If your home is missing a touch of spring, don't blame us," featuring this striking photo of several of their home accessories (in spring colors, of course) layed out on the black oak round dining table ($1,399). BoConcept's prices on their accessories are quite attractive, with some pieces starting at only $6.
999 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Alexandra Giertz and Ulrika Grönérus are two design lovers who couldn't find affordable art that they liked. Instead of buying less appealing but affordable art, they contacted their favorite Scandinavian illustrators, designers and fashion photographers and created Andyland, an online gallery shop.
From an email they sent me: "Andyland is a new online gallery shop featuring affordable contemporary art by cutting edge Scandinavian illustrators and fashion photographers. www.andyland.se offers beautiful and cool photographs and printed illustrations in limited editions. The photographs are real photographs on photographic paper; illustrations have been produced on aquarelle paper or in some cases on photographic paper. Each piece is numbered on the front and signed on an enclosed certificate. The editions are never larger than 100 examples."
Monday, March 05, 2007
A question came into DB Central, and I'm turning to you to help answer it:
I'm looking for a good upholsterer in or near Cambridge – want to use my own fabric and I'm a stickler for good work at good price. Any ideas?
If you have any tips for Dannielle, leave a comment. Thanks!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Holly Becker, the queen of decor8, has been featured in a newly released book, "Creatively Self-Employed". Here is the press release (am I really considered part of the press?) she sent out:
Holly Becker Featured in Newly Released Book, "Creatively Self-Employed"
More Than 65 Artists and Writers Worldwide Contributed
February 28, 2007 (Manasquan, NJ) – Holly Becker of the popular design blog, decor8 www.decor8.blogspot.com, is featured in the newly released book, Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs.
Holly Becker is one of more than 65 writers, designers and artists worldwide that were interviewed to discuss life after taking the plunge into creative self-employment, which in many cases does not promise steady paychecks or health insurance. Many creatives experience doubt, loneliness, anxiety, and frustration along with the freedoms that come with setting their own schedules. Their stories have been combined with the advice of life coaches and creative consultants to give creatives—and aspiring creatives—the support they need to thrive as savvy businesspeople. A section on conducting good business includes insight into marketing so the creatively self-employed can better succeed in their endeavors.
"I am pleased that Holly Becker shared her insight in the book. As a self-employed writer and interior design consultant, she has a lot to offer both her clients and other creatives who are thirsty for real-life stories of coping with the ups and downs of creative self-employment," says Kristen Fischer, the author. "So many creative people experience struggles and think that means they are not meant to follow an authentic path. This book will help creatives see that others are in the same boat, and their businesses can succeed despite the trials they face."
The book features insight by notable authors such as Gail McMeekin (The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, Conari Press); Tera Leigh (How to Be Creative If You Never Thought You Could, North Light Books) and M.J. Ryan (This Year I Will…, Broadway Books).
Fischer is a freelance writer who specializes in creating marketing collateral for a wide array of businesses. After more than three years of working 9-to-5 jobs, she started her writing business in 2003. She has contributed to Men's Health magazine, Philadelphia magazine, Skope magazine and College Bound magazine. She lives in Manasquan, New Jersey.
Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs (ISBN: 978-0-595-42154-1) was published by iUniverse. The price is $16.95. The book is available for sale through iUniverse.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, CreativelySelfEmployed.com and at major book retailers.
I am very proud of one of my favorite (and, as far as I know, the only other Boston-based) design-oriented bloggers' getting published. Congrats, Holly!
From now until Monday, March 12, DWR is a little more within reach. During their Semiannual Sale, get 10% off "thousands of classic and new designs in every category, from floor to ceiling, inside and out."
519 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
1030 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138