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Thursday
Mar172011

Floating In Style

One of the first things I remember catching my attention when I visited Amsterdam last October was the amount of houseboats along the city's winding canals. They're very coveted real estate and they vary in style. I've always had the idea that houseboat living was casual and free, but after finding the very slick De Omval houseboat I'm starting to change my mind. The challenge for Dutch Studio +31Architects was to design a boat with an open floor plan that would allow their clients to enjoy the views of the Amstel River and the outdoor space to a maximum. They wanted all the charm that comes with living on the water but with a stylish design to meet their modern needs — not the typical houseboat they were used to. I've never considered living on a houseboat, but I have to admit this one might do it for me. It is absolutely flawless.

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Tuesday
Mar152011

Drab To Fab: Console Table

Part of being an interior designer is always being on the lookout for great finds, whether new or with great potential of becoming something wonderful. On a recent trip to one of my favorite places in the city to spot treasures —and after a couple of rounds through the flea market— I encountered this Country French-inspired console table in need of some love. Of course, I couldn't resist and ended up buying it since I already knew the perfect place in my apartment where to put it

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Monday
Mar142011

Trendy Cardboard

Cardboard furniture and accessories have been in the eco-scene for some time, but it's now that this ecological trend is becoming more and more popular. The Valencia-based multidisciplinary design studio Sanserif Creatius —set up by the designer Ana Yago and journalist Jose Antonio Gimenez— specializes in the development of this kind of environment-friendly furniture and products. Their exclusive collection of 100% biodegradable corrugated cardboard pieces is very unique, drawing some inspiration from typography and Spain’s Moorish past, like their m-shaped “Mustafá” table (below).

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Sunday
Mar132011

Help Japan

As human beings, we're all affected when tragedy strikes anywhere around the world. The horrible devastation after Friday's 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan has left many people in need of desperate help. Times likes these are when we need to come together and lend our helping hand to those less fortunate. To help in the relief efforts, different artists have graciously donated their talent to create these three meaningful and unique Help Japan posters. All the proceeds from the sales will be donated to benefit the Japanese disaster relief fund. The first poster by James White, above, is available at the Signalnoise Store.

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Saturday
Mar122011

Elevate Your Plants

I'm so looking forward to the arrival of Spring next week, and I bet some of you are feeling the same way. It's been a long and dreary Winter. So in order for us to get in a Spring state-of-mind, I found these slick and colorful planters for your home. Made out of powder coated spun aluminum, the Walter planters feature five small holes for drainage making them ideal for any outdoor environment. Whether hung on a wall, from a tree or even standing tall among your beautiful perennials, the Walter planters give your green thumb an array of options to display this season's blooms. They're great for small delicate succulents, cactus, herbs, or lettuces. Are you loving them as much as I am? Ah, remember Daylight Saving Time resumes this weekend, so don't forget to set your clocks one hour ahead before going to bed tonight.

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Friday
Mar112011

Floating Globes

I'm always fascinated to learn how designers find their calling to do what they do. For Lindsey Adelman inspiration came when watching an industrial designer at the Smithsonian Institution carve French fries for a show. Right there and then, she knew industrial design was her thing. Her ongoing interest in combining the hand-crafted with the machine-made, the sensual with the practical, and the feminine with the masculine is a consistent trademark of her work. After years of working in mass production, Adelman decided to go back toward having a direct hand in the work and create a more exclusive product, hence giving life to her signature lighting collection featuring hand-blown glass globes and custom plated hardware. Crafted and assembled in her New York City studio, the Bubble Series includes two styles of chandeliers with either branching or stacking hardware, a sconce, and a floor light. I'm finding the whole collection unbelievably stunning, and the fact they're custom-made makes the design possibilities endless.

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Thursday
Mar102011

Calm Balance

Remodeling an older home always comes with many challenges, especially when the space is broken up in several small rooms. Usually, they're dark, hard to navigate and don't agree with today's multifunctional needs. This was the problem interior designer Tomas Avila faced when asked to renovate this 2100 sq. ft. Madrid home. Of course, the first thing on his to do list was to knock down several of the dividing walls in order to open up the living space. However, he kept some privacy by erecting white wooded panels between the rooms, a very clever solution. As for the decor, Avila resorted to an eclecticism that mixes antiques, vintage furniture, 20th Century classics and pieces designed by him. His beautiful palette consists mostly of whites, ocher and metallics — a balanced trio that gives a soothing feeling to the space and prominence to the furniture. This flat is truly a flawless sanctuary to relax in. My favorite piece in this project is the elliptical chrome console designed by Avila that sits behind the couch... Love it!

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Wednesday
Mar092011

Reclaimed Thrones

Neato! Adam Barron, an Industrial Design student at the University of Cincinnati, created this super chic Reclaimed Seatbelt Chair from a steel rod frame and seatbelts he collected from a local junkyard. What started as a school project, ended wining him first prize at a contest which challenged participants to design a product using reclaimed auto parts. His design incorporates three of five Japanese design principles: humor, craftsmanship, compactness, asymmetry and simplicity. The chair is handmade in New York and, because of its nature, each chair is one-of-a-kind.

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