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February, 2008 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - February, 2008

How about a nice cup of tea, hmmm?

Yesterday morning, when I opted to use my actual teapot for tea instead of using my monogrammed coffee pot like I usually do, I discovered (tragedy of all tragedies) that the damn thing had sprung a leak. It will now forever be a display piece doomed to regular polishings rather than regular use. C’est la vie, right?

But it means that I’m in the market for a new teapot, and not just any old teapot. As it happens, I think I’ve found the perfect solution to my leaky pot problem in the practical artwork of one Christine Misak. She takes unloved and unwanted tea sets and transforms them by integrating the old and the new.

I can’t decide between the green and the black

Her original recycled tea sets are resurfaced using colorful and vivid enamels, creating something that hints at the past yet appears thoroughly modern — rather like the Jonathan Adler busts I mentioned the other day.

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Rock out with some heavy metal…furniture

If you’re into the heavy metal aesthetic, perhaps you’ve dreamed of filling your abode with actual metal. FistFire molds steel, glass, aluminum, and acrylic into unique furniture that to me looks rather Mad Max-esque.

Looks pointy…

It’s a chair that doubles as giant-sized brass knuckles–perfect for those who are unsure whether their visitors will include people with tired tootsies or a race of giant (and violent) gang members.

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Pop a top for a table

I’ve been in a really crafty frame of mind lately since I mastered the basic functions of my hand-me-down sewing machine. Making one thing (let’s say a cute tote) puts me in the mood to make something else…usually something a thousand times more complicated, like a new sewing machine table. What it all boils down to is that I spent my entire morning looking at online tutorials instead of, um, working. Luckily, I can pass along the fruits of my not so laborious labors to you.

Don’t drink them all just before starting lest you never finish

I found an especially simple DIY table tutorial in the pages of the WaPo Express, courtesy of Julia Beizer and her fiance, Tom. All you need is a table, a whole mess of beer caps, some wood bits for the trim, a little glue, and a tub of epoxy. Oh, and some time, because each 1/8″ epoxy layer takes two days or more to dry.

According to Julia, this rumpus room appropriate table is simple to put together — which is good for lazy DIYers like me. It can also be pretty inexpensive, depending on the beer you prefer and the table you choose. In fact, the priciest part of the whole works may just be the epoxy, which costs upwards of $20 per pint!

Busts in blue

I love a shapely bust ::insert lulz here:: but interesting ones aren’t always easy to come by. For instance, I found one heavy bust that I use as a doorstop hiding under a mass of abused pottery at my favorite gardening supple shop.

I’d be more than happy to supplement my bust collection with one of these 13″ tall lovelies from Jonathan Adler:

Federal design or bust?Neo-neo-classical?

Too bad I don’t have a spare $390 lying around. If it so happens that you do, these busts are fantastic because as tall as they are, they only take up a couple of inches of space.

Bring the outside in

If you like the thought of having a lot of natural wood in your home but can’t stomach the idea of scanning your lawn for the freshest twigs once a week, you might not be the next Martha Stewart. Seriously, the last issue of Martha Stewart Living I received suggested that I go outside, grab detritus from my yard, and stick it in a vase.

Well, Martha, it’s freezing outside, so I’m going pass on that one and stick to the twigs and whatever else that other people have found, mimicked, and manufactured.

Root Of the Earth Platter (medium)

Artisans carve these beautiful reclaimed firburlwood platters carefully to minimize the chances that the wood will crack as it ages.

Driftwood Basket (round)

Driftwood found on Oregon beaches is handcrafted intounique wooden baskets that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

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For the stylin’ tots in your life

It’s no big secret that The Beard and I are trying for a baby, which means that I get to spend all sorts of money on sewing supplies and all sorts of time browsing the Intertubes for totally sweet baby stuff. Personally, I’m all about the convertibles. If a crib can become a toddler bed, it’ll still be there when the next baby comes along and the first one is ready to give a big boy/girl bed a go.

Right now, Target has some rad furniture for teeny beans, but that isn’t what this post is about. I just wanted to mention it in case you’re in the market because the prices are right. If it just so happens you’re looking to spend a bit more, then head on over to Modern Tots, a shop catering to the hippest and most modern babies (and their parents).

I think this room might need just a little more STUFF

Er, you might want to round out this furniture from the Ola collection with a few accessories…maybe some lighting and possibly a toy or two, but I’m really digging on the bare brick thing.

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Living in Nautilus

The ever-clever Raincoaster brought an utterly wonderful Mexico City abode to my attention via e-mail yesterday. Looking for a home design that would bring the organic and the inorganic together, a family commissioned Arquitectura Organica to create a house in tune with Momma Nature’s curves.

Curvaceous!

I’d say they succeeded in spades. From Arquitectura Organica: “Here the plant is the spiral, which was molded to the topography for which outline was sketched the logarithmic spiral.” Spirals and gentle curves draw visitors into the structure like a current.

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Fake the look

Even though I bought a house and am going nowhere fast, I still like to browse the home listings. My enjoyment is increased markedly when a house is staged well or I’m enamored with the decor. In the case of this single-family dwelling on the market for a cool $949,000, I think I’m not so much enamored as I am hypnotized.

Too distracted to cook?

You, like me, may not have the dough necessary to remodel your kitchen with the goal of making it look like a converted Nascar pit, but you can take the same aesthetic and apply it in the space you already have. Okay, it will cost you a little cash, but not nearly as much as you’d spend hiring a contractor to come in and put up a new checkered backsplash.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

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