Despite it being sunny and positively spring-like in Central Arkansas this week (which I prefer over last week’s Flash Flood from Hell Spectacular), it’s still fall and the leaves are changing beautifully. The rich, warm palette of reds, oranges, purples, browns and golds can be found inside as well, on everything from rustic furniture to luxe accessories and mod accents.
If I’m traveling and there’s an Anthropologie where I’m going, you can be certain I’ll be stopping by to ogle their fantastic and unique wares. They should really let me open one here in Little Rock. (Call me!)
Anyway, I’m loving the funky pattern on their Dancing Paisley flocked window panel. It’s available in several lengths, and is fully lined and 100-percent cotton.
Ubico Studio can be found in an alley in the south of Tel Aviv, in Florentine. An alley which carries the scent of wood shavings and glue. No, I didn’t come back high.
Why is Ubico Studio mysterious, you may be asking yourselves? Well, it’s the name, you see. Ori Ben-Zvi, the founder, was willing to answer all my questions, but one: What is the meaning of “Ubico”? “It’s a personal secret” said Ori, making it that much more mysterious.
Ellia Nattel, a recent graduate from H.I.T (Holon Institute of Technology) works together with Ori. Also a lecturer at H.I.T., Ori teaches a class on Environment and Society as part of the Industrial Design Faculty. Ubico studio’s work deals with the romance of recycled furniture and it is handmade as opposed to readymade. Take, for example this shelf unit:
It’s made of drawers, right?
Floors are one of those things that get right under your feet, pun intended. Today there are many unique “natural’ options to choose from as companies ride the green wave. I found three interesting products that are not totally new to the market, but the way that the patterning for flooring has evolved is truly amazing.
Cork Floor Tile Inlay by Corkfloor.com
Most of you who like to buy handcrafted things online are familiar with Etsy. While there are some really great things on Etsy, I must admit, I have stumbled upon some, how do I write this? – OK, I’ll come out and write it – really ugly and badly made items that leave me thinking, who the hell would buy THAT? Someone who is more gutsy and expressive than I am has started a blog called Regretsy which has the byline “Handmade? It looks like you made it with your feet”. And that, my friends, is just the beginning.
I have been laughing my pants off reading this blog all week and admittedly though things some people make are totally off the wall and make me wonder about the human race, Regretsy took it a step further and the best thing about this blog is the hysterically witty commentary, which encourages readers comments thereby multiplying the laughter and enjoyment factor.
Here are a few items that made me cry laughing and that are also reasonably safe to view with kids around. (I said reasonably)
I call this one Patriotic Rock: Maybe they could do one for Israel as well, though the political message may be a little controversial.
I’ve known Matt Baran, the architect who designed the renovation of this house, since we were 11 years old. I’m not going to reveal my age and say how long ago that was. He’s talented, has completely different taste than myself, and one of my favorite people to argue with on design.
Of course, when we were 11 he was that hot skater who hung out at the donut shop every morning before class started and I was the geek forced to go with her much cooler friend who liked Matt’s friend. Did that make sense? If not – don’t worry about it. The point is, we’re still in touch and he’s an architect now – an architect who designed a pretty cool house.
Shira Abel is the CEO and founder of Hunter & Bard, an award-winning public relations and design agency that works with scale-ups and enterprises on building their brand, awareness and thought leadership.
As CEO of Hunter & Bard, Shira oversees a team that manages public relations, marketing, design, and brand development for clients across multiple industries. She develops strategies for organically growing companies through sincere digital engagement and the application of behavioral marketing.
Clients include JELD-WEN, Benchling, Sixth Continent, Totango, Folloze, Radix DLT, Axa Tech, Allianz, and many more. Shira is also a sought after corporate speaker and marketing mentor, and has spoken at events such as Confluence and Content Marketing World, and taught at institutions such as Kellogg School of Management and S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
Read more about Shira’s company Hunter & Bard at https://www.hunterandbard.com
Last month there was a very special design event in London, the London Design Festival of 2009. Although I didn’t attend (hopefully next year) I have been looking at all sorts of interesting photos on the web of some strange and wonderful furniture that was exhibited there. Here are a few pieces that caught my eye.
Firstly the chair arch, built by Wallpaper magazine in association with Ercol (a company that makes handmade furniture) at the V&A garden. Apparently in Victorian Britain it was common practice for unusual arches to be constructed from local commodities in order to celebrate the local industry. The chair arch installation by Wallpaper Magazine was inspired by the first Chair Arch which was built in 1877 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s visit to High Wycombe. Here is a photo of the modern day chair arch at night (courtesy of Susan Smart Photography).
The idea of recycling everything and anything is not a new concept, but these carpets, made by a husband and wife team known as Union Eighteen are the bomb.
Coming from a long history of textile design I can really appreciate this product which are large carpets pieced together from discarded rug scraps. Each carpet is an art in it’s own right, no two are quite the same.
Junktion is another store in Jaffa that left me in awe of what can be done with all sorts of stuff instead of throwing it out. Their philosophy that there is enough stuff in the world and that you can create with what already exists is one that I share. The designers at Junktion take what you thought of as JUNK and create something completely out of the ordinary. They like to take things out of context and I am seriously wowed by their designs.
One of the first things that fascinated me was this bar stool made out of bicycle parts. They make several variations of it:
Photos by JB Spector, Museum of Science and Industry
Chicago is no stranger to amazing architecture and fabulous design, and the Smart Home: Green + Wired, Powered by ComEd exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry marries these elements in a stylish, eco-friendly way. Designed by Michelle Kaufmann Designs and built by All American Homes, this 2,500-square-foot modular home features three levels of sustainable living, from reclaimed and recycled materials to a home automation system and occupancy sensors that turn off lights, television and music when no one is in the room.
I toured the Smart Home a couple of weeks ago, and while I really could have done a better job with the tour than our guide, I was impressed at how well the home showcases a green life that is accessible to almost anyone. (I was also impressed at how eco-smart the little kids in my tour group were, it gives me hope!)