Urban Gardens

July 21st, 2010

We’re doing some work to our garden over the next few weeks that I have been wanting to do since we moved in to our apartment three years ago. Specifically, remove these very strange, out of place, yews that belong more in South Hampton than they do in our Brooklyn garden. They are so healthy and lovely, but they take up so much room in what is an otherwise small yard. Space in Brooklyn is hard to come by and I don’t think we need to hand it over to some very mature, yews that need lots of trimming.

I’ve been researching other urban garden ideas from various landscape architects for inspiration and have come across some great stuff. Here are some spaces I am really loving and trying to find the common denominator in:

from Brook Landscape:

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I love this yard, and realized that when I looked at Door Sixteen’s post the other day, that this is the same garden she posted but from a different angle:

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From Chicago Gardens:

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I love these solar lights in this Pocket Park posted on Mloco a few years ago:

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A Cup of Joe posted this lovely garden:

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An old favorite belonging to designers Carin Goldberg and Jim Biber:

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I’m drooling over all the photos from this townhouse garden round-up on Remodelista. Here are several that really stand out:

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And then a ton of inspiration sets on flickr for outdoor rooms. Here’s a good one:

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I think what I learned from this collection of photos is that I love modular garden designs with large spaces of green and simple color pooping around the space. Once our garden is sorted out in the next several weeks, I’ll post some photos!

Beautiful Prints and Paintings by Kristiana Pärn

May 12th, 2010

Alex and I were very particular about the artwork we picked out for Elise’s room. It’s not very baby like at all. In fact, it’s probably more our style than a child’s, but all the artwork has a subject that a kid would likely enjoy: animals, robots, letters, etc.

While walking around our neighborhood one day, we came across a store called Urban Alchemist. All the items in the store are designed by Brooklyn artists. One of my favorite finds at this design collective was this watercolor/illustration print by Kristiana Pärn. I love the watercolor on wood texture and the whimsical style of the marshmallow trees and sleepy bears.

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We liked this one because it went with the style of Elise’s room and who doesn’t love Polar Bears? However, there were so many great prints to choose from, it was a hard choice. Here are a few of my favorites.

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If you like Kristiana’s work, check it out at Urban Alchemist in Park Slope, Brooklyn or at the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market on Saturdays where she has recently been setting up a table of her artwork (some even mounted on wood, which looks amazing) or online at Etsy.

Writing on the Walls

May 7th, 2010

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After reading The Last Lecture by the late Randy Pausch (a great book if you haven’t read it yet), where Pausch writes about how his parents letting him paint on his bedroom walls made a great impact on how he approached ideas, Alex and I talked about allowing our (then future) children to draw on the walls of their bedrooms as they like. We liked the idea that it would inspire creativity and why not use your walls as your canvas–as long as it stays within their own rooms?

Join the Dots wallpaper allows kids to do exactly that without mucking up the walls, which some parents might not love. It’s interesting in that it has a grid of dots for kids to connect and create designs. While it’s not a blank canvas exactly, it does offer children the opportunity to create something with a little structure. This might be perfect for the budding interaction designer or architect (Hi, Elise!)!

However, I still think it might be easier to repaint a wall repeatedly to create a clean look than it would be to paste and later remove wallpaper.

DIY Eames Hang-It-All Tutorial

May 7th, 2010

As a big fan of the Eames Hang-It-All, I am so, so impressed with Danielle Thompson’s DIY Tutorial to make your own (via Ohdeedoh). It’s fantastic and it doesn’t cost $179, as it does everywhere else.

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The original

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The DIY version

I tend to shy away from DIY projects that include a drill and spray paint, but I am tempted by this project. If I give it a shot, I’ll definitely post the results here.

A Wireless Projector That Even Makes Me Swoon

April 30th, 2010

(This is a post I started the day I started having contractions and never finished writing until now :) ).

Alex has been trying to talk me into getting a wireless projector for years now, but as the more practical one in this family (at least when it comes to purchasing tech gadgets), I try to remind him that we don’t have an apartment that can accommodate a big screen projection. But when he sent me a link to the OO High Definition Wireless Project yesterday, even I had a moment of “WANT. THAT. NOW.”

It’s like the spaceship that E.T. came from! It’s sleek and beautiful and it would fit perfectly with the rest of of our apartment! Sadly though, it still doesn’t change the fact that we live in a small Brooklyn apartment without much room to project, but I am definitely bookmarking it for the future.

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So Much White….

March 8th, 2010

I’m in love.

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I’ve always had a weak spot for homes that are primarily decorated in white, with wood accents and this Brooklyn brownstone nails it. Sadly, as a dog owner (and always will be if it’s up to me), I will never live in a home like this. So for now I just drool at other people’s homes.

See the rest of the Brooklyn Home Company’s home over at Design Sponge.

May the Force be with You, Even in the Bathroom

March 1st, 2010

Check out this amazing Star Wars Tile Mosaic posted on Ohdeedoh. I love, love, love it. Why not have some fun with the tiling in your bathroom? It makes me wonder why we always choose repetitive designs for tile work when there are so many fun ideas to consider.

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The bathroom was originally designed by Jagoda’s Architecture. With just a few clicks so far, I am really liking their aesthetic—very bright and clean.

Staying Indoors Doesn’t Need to Mean Sitting Around Playing Board Games

February 18th, 2010

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When I was a kid, my Mom always talked about how my grandfather put up a slide along the side of their stairway and a swing in the hallway of their home for them to play on in the house. This sounded like the most fantastic thing to me and I always thought I would build indoor play gear for my future home.

Fast forward 20 years, and I live in a 2 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn and have considerably less room than I originally imagined for these projects, but I still swoon every time I see spy these traditional outdoor toys in someone’s home. The one above is so perfectly matched for the design of the loft space (via The Style Files). Here are a few others:

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A classic design meets an unexpected and fun at-home interaction

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An updated take on the spiral staircase slide. I love how this one looks like it’s been worn down a bit at the end-—that must mean someone actually uses this! (via Daddy Types)

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Modern and delightful (via Ohdeedoh)

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An at home swing from the creator of Apartment Therapy on the left, and a realistic, out-of-the-box solution for someone who really wants to set up a swing asap. (via Ohdeedoh)

Cuckoo for Cuckoo!

November 1st, 2008

On our first wedding anniversary I tried to find a cuckoo clock to give Alex, as clocks are listed as the modern gift for a first anniversary, instead of the traditional paper gift. I searched around for a bit and didn’t find anything that suited the job, so he ended up with a plane ticket to Spain instead. But recently my mother-in-law, who is a super shopper, found this wonderfully modern take on the traditional cuckoo clock and emailed it to me. “Remember the Cuckoo?” she asked and linked to this lovely little guy:

It’s a nice twist if you don’t want the classical ornate cuckoo clock design. The clock is called Albero and can be purchased on momentoitalia.com.

Originally via NYT by MoCo Loco.

I’ll take mine milky

October 25th, 2008

My first job as a teenager was working at a mini-golf course where I would ring people up and hand out golf clubs and balls (you have no idea how many times I heard blue balls jokes). The owner of the golf course and his wife would hang out at the course during the day and sometimes I would offer to get the owner’s wife coffee at the local 7-11 when I was headed out to grab a Slurpee (hey, I was 15 and I lived in Long Island). She would usually say yes and then we needed to discuss what color she wanted her coffee, which meant we needed to look at knots of wood on the panelled walls and find one that matched a color that suited her coffee tastes.

Had she just had one of these color matching My Cuppa coffee mugs I wouldn’t have spent so much time discussing wood knots and milk with her. As someone who looks at Pantone chips several times a day, it makes so much sense to me to have a coffee cup that lets you consistently match your milk amount visually everyday.