It’s a funny thing, using Pinterest: it really allows you to hone in on what attracts your attention. When it comes to photos of rooms, I’ll unconsciously bookmark the same images over and over again. I don’t know if that speaks to the fact that I’m always attracted to the same elements — fuzzy rugs, dark walls, textiles, wood, brass, antique quilts — or if I’m just very, very particular. (Or in a rut. Either, or!)
Find the sources for these images on my Pinterest.
Isn’t this house a dream? The owner, a writing professor in Philadelphia, bought this 19th-century house in Nantucket and furnished it with all-secondhand finds to create what she calls an “instant heirloom house.” Fun fact: the home was once owned by Samuel Robbins, a first mate on a whaling ship who died at sea in the 1820s. I’m a fan of the many nautical, New England paintings and artifacts.
See more photos at The New York Times.
Prepare yourself for doll house squealing. I’ve just come across the most ornate doll house I’ve ever seen: Queen Mary’s doll house, as the box above so eloquently states. Completed in 1924, it was made to a scale of 1:12, is over three feet tall, and contains models of tons of products made by companies of the time. (Did I mention that Queen Mary was an adult at the time of this doll house’s creation?) Many of the items in the house are 1/12 replicas of items in Windsor Castle, and tons of the little pieces actually work. It was constructed to serve as an historical document as to how how a royal family might live during that period in England. Which is very opulently, if the bathroom is correct (and in the 1920s, no less!). I’d love to see this in person.
Nightwood makes incredible furniture and home furnishings, so it’s no surprise that Myriah and Nadia’s apartment is a reflection of their aesthetic. I love the sparsity, the linen and burlap, and the dark walls of the kitchen. The bedroom is a dream come true. I aspire to find more mirrors and clear off some mantles.
See more photos and read about their place at New York Magazine.
Vintage twosome Daily Memorandum (“an intellectual’s Americana”) has been hitting it out of the park. The workbench? I’d use it as a desk in my imaginary garage. Or even learn to solder!
Each photo links to the furniture in question.
I never knew that I needed a huge, 1970s wall textile, but Morgan of The Brick House quickly enlightened me with her recent post on the subject. Rope, macrame, yarn: lay it on me. All of this orange and hemp-colored material will definitely not fit in my current apartment, but this just inspires me to go nuts with a cabin or an attic somewhere. I need to live out my textile dreams, I’m pretty certain.
As a longtime Douglas Coupland obsessive — Life After God and Generation X functioned as my bibles for quite a few years — I was not at all surprised to realize that his home is as minimal, beautiful and odd as his books. However, I wasn’t quite right in that assumption. In fact, this is a very specifically Canadian-inspired art installation — all objects culled or constructed from the Canadian paraphernalia of Coupland’s childhood — in a 1970s house slated for demolition. Its name: “Canada House.”
While I may not fully understand the references to fishing float lamps, whale vertebrae made from styrofoam jetsam, mussel shell midden, and a Haida button blanket — oh, but I want to! And because no Coupland -related post can go without a tidbit of his writing:
“I didn’t realize then that so much of being adult is reconciling ourselves with the awkwardness and strangeness of our own feelings. Youth is the time of life lived for some imaginary audience.” — From Girlfriend in a Coma
The owners of Dusty Deco, a Swedish antique store that’s evokes feelings of desperate, sweaty coveting in my squishy little heart, also have a gorgeous, American West-meets-contemporary home. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, vintage collectors and store owners will always have a killer house. Trust. (They just keep the best stuff they find and sell the scraps they’re tired of! It’s win/win.)
The New York Times Homes section hit it out of the park with this series of rustic, early-twentieth-century-inspired homes. The old leather! The Adirondack chairs! The iron cookstove! Gah, it’s killing me softly.
Even though this style is everywhere in Brooklyn, that doesn’t stop me from loving and incorporating the trend into my own place. Bring on the wood and the leather! And that antler mirror. All of it, really.
I had so much fun putting together my fantasy cave that I thought I’d try something else: a colorful, contemporary room with lots of vintage modern design. I feel like I typically err toward neutrals, so this was a bit of a challenge! Lots of black, as always.
[Clockwise: Sundry Sullen mixed media piece; 1960s Dutch pendant lamp; Berber rag rug; Vintage West German vase, orange and brown; Vintage West German vase, yellow and black; Folk art head clock; Indian blanket; Verner Panton chairs; William Eggleston's Guide; Dansk mugs; 1960s Egyptian busts]
I have a bit of a long history with Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright. My dad is completely obsessed with him, so I grew up visiting every FLW house within driving distance, including privately owned houses that he’d make us approach with him, asking for entrance (embarrassing much?!).
Seeking to redeem FLW’s memory in my mind, I recently read T.C. Boyle’s The Women, a fictional recreation of FLW’s many love affairs. I had no idea the man had such a dramatic life! Divorces, affairs, psychotic women, murders, courting the press, three house fires at Taliesen, never paying debts, hated in his community, time in jail…the man’s life is definitely biography-worthy, I’ll say that much. And that’s not even touching on his creative abilities. Which are vast.
Ennis House, completed in Los Angeles in 1924, is one of four concrete houses Wright built. It’s technically deemed a “Mayan revival house” — pretty forward thinking, wouldn’t you agree? Did you know that FLW attempted to create a house where every fixture and piece of furniture was made of concrete? The man was enamored of it! And thanks to this house, I am too.
There’s so much more that could be said about Wright, and it’s definitely worth reading up on. I urge you to look into The Women or a biography of FLW.
I have always wanted to live in an old, ramshackle house. I grew up continually moving from one newish house to another, constantly renovating, knocking down walls, putting up new; in fact, my family spent three years turning a 1950s ranch into a two-story behemoth, all by ourselves. (It’s pretty damn traumatizing to live in a construction zone for that long.) My wish has always been to live somewhere old — really, really old, like 200 years or more — and not change a thing. Nothin’. Maybe wipe down the windows, a fresh coat of paint, but I want that decay. I want that history. I want that story. I do not want wall-to-wall carpeting.
This ridiculously beautiful building, located in Selma, Alabama, was originally constructed as a Jewish men’s club in 1909. Boarded up for forty years, the current owner has created a livable space (minus all the pigeon crap) while maintaining the originality and character of the building. (Granted, it did take years. Can I just find a place that looks like this already?) The bathroom alone gives me chills — need an antique crucifix, stat. And can we talk about the pile of rusted industrial fans? Never has a pile looked so good.
The gorgeous photos are by Robert Rausch of GAS Design Center.
If you didn’t already know, Victoria of SF Girl by Bay could win the Olympics of decorating. She has got an eye for this stuff! (Two of ‘em, in fact.) She recently moved into an apartment that makes me weep jealous crocodile tears: skylights, backyard access, natural light and a pink bathroom?! Anyway, in typical Victoria style she quickly made it her own, aided by her awesome collections and natural aesthetic abilities. The play of blue-black walls against wood and stark white light is making me reconsider my own apartment choices, especially in her dining room. Gorgeousity!
See more photos on Victoria’s Flickr stream, and click through on the images to find their origin.
Every time I pass an abandoned farm house I want to go inside. I’ve only done so once, followed by less than ideal circumstances (foot went through porch floor, cut while climbing through a window, attacked by birds, meth lab remains, etc.). However, that doesn’t stop the urge to take in someone’s life after the fact. There are always so many clues to their taste, how they lived, rotting furniture and old calendars on the wall. What people leave often points to the speed at which they fled.
Tess of Demure Folk recently came across this abandoned farm house in the Berkshires. The delicate wallpaper, the ancient linoleum — so beautiful! It seems very 1930s to me. I’d live there in a second (who wouldn’t?). I’d peel back the layers, frame the wallpaper remnants and enjoy the process of turning it into something livable while maintaining its legacy. I always said I’d never live in a renovated house when I grew up (I grew up in a continual state of moving and construction), but this house might change my mind.
For more photos of Tess’s adventure, check out Demure Folk.
TGIF! Even though it’s another humid, rainy day in New York (seriously, I’ve had a sweat mustache for like two weeks straight now), I’m eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s activities: painting our bedroom dark gray! So psyched to cover up the straight-laced blue for something a little more dramatic. These noir-ish studio photos are divine inspiration for such a task, no?
[Photos via Graphic Exchange]
“LIVE LAMP is a glowing nest of eighty live Fuschii v Gracillis tillandsia air plants mounted to a blown glass orb. Illuminated internally by a CFL grow lamp, these epiphytic plants survive with no dirt – just UV, air and a little moisture.”
Daaaang. Live plants + lamp = dream come true.
By architect/professor/product designer/interior designer/tech junkie/black thumb Kara Bartelt of to(HOLD) on Etsy.
After a productive weekend of acquiring new (to us) furniture from many a garage sale, I’m excited to show the progress we’ve made on our apartment. We have a kitchen table! So exciting to have a place to put bags and eat off of. It’s a family heirloom from the 1930s that was passed down from Jeff’s great-aunt and uncle, which is pretty awesome. I also got tons of new pottery, plants, a kitchen hutch, an antique trunk, PIT, Yahtzee and Monopoly. It’s feeling more homey every day.
By the by, I nominated my crib for the interiors contest sponsored by CB2 and The Selby. I’d love to win some goodies from CB2, and it’d be pretty sweet to have a professional photo shoot up in here. If you have a second, please vote for me!
Historic mansion alert! And — deep breaths — it’s on a private island, which is both the context for a thriller movie and a dream come earnestly true. Known as Clingstone, this 103-year-old Xanadu is located in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. Look at how close the water is! Just drink it in (metaphorically).
Living room perfection. I find it strange that my tastes can so quickly diverge from primitive rustic cabin back to modern Eames chairs and modular end tables, but so it goes. The heart wants what it wants, as they say. Also, white walls always help. And can we talk about washed-out map? Gorgeous.
Our apartment renovation may be nearing completion (seriously, we’ve done enough work for it to qualify as a renovation — photos soon!), but I’m still thinking about all of the possibilities once the latest coats of paint dry. Conclusion? I think I’ll eventually have to live in an all-black room with an all-white kitchen. And lots of wood. And a forest nearby.
I recently rewatched my old favorite, Beetlejuice, and was blown away (as always) by the ingenuity of the set design in Tim Burton’s films. Now I just want Otho to come decorate my apartment. So foreboding! Vertebrae as a bench and nightmare sculpture.
Also, I was shocked (okay, not that shocked) to find out that all of Catherine O’Hara’s wardrobe was off-the-rack avant garde fashion from the ’80s — mostly Yohji Yamamoto and Commes des Garcons. Weird and wow! I guess she and Tim Burton just went to Beverly Hills and asked for the “weird stuff that a rich woman would buy,” and thus, wearing a glove as a turban was born.
After what seemed like an endless heat wave and constant air conditioner use, the grossness finally broke last weekend. As it wasn’t too horribly stifling and we had nothing in particular planned, we decided to paint our kitchen — or as we referred to it, “Let’s just get this freaking over with.”
The kitchen was the last room in our apartment that required a fresh coat and we chose Benjamin Moore Pearl Gray. We repainted the trim a brighter white and covered a depressing maroon on the crumbling fireplace with many coats as well. The exciting part is that, now that we’ve finished painting, we can finally decorate — and you know how much I enjoy that! Our kitchen isn’t really anything to write home about, but I’m determined to make it the best it can be. I’ve got a wish list going on Polyvore: stoneware dishes, vintage school chairs, hanging planters, baskets galore and a giant botanical poster. (And who can forget a giant, homey chandelier?)
More kitchen photos, me in a house dress and some kitties for good measure. Ignore the cat food and ugly garbage can.
More to come as we put up curtains, build a pantry and install a butcher block!
Maybe it’s because I’m in a nesting phase right now, but stumbling upon green housewares company Canvas made me excited. Pumped, even — like it’s snowing buckets and my school was just mentioned on the cable access scroll and I get to stay home from school. (YES! Now to make pancakes!) I’m kind of obsessed with the fact that they have earthenware dishes and tons of plain, timeless things in one place. (Seriously, why can’t I find contemporary plain earthenware dishes anywhere? Stymies me.) Canvas is totally my speed.