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April, 2009 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - April, 2009

White On White With White

four poster bed

In 1904 Charles Rennie Mackintosh was commissioned by Catherine Cranston and her husband to remodel and furnish their house at Hous’hill, Glasgow. Their guest bedroom was white — so white, in fact, that all of the furniture save two chairs was painted white! I’m thinking about white bedrooms today because of a question a reader sent in (that I shall answer tomorrow… or Monday) and came across the above image while researching the answer. The sparse and squared off but nonetheless eautiful four-poster bed was built from kauri pine and then painted white, of course. I like its simplicity, which is offset just enough with stylized decorative details like the designs on the bed spread and the canopy.

Did I mention I’ve always wanted a four-poster bed?

A Toy Box Worth Saving

I can’t stop squeeing over these toy boxes from Mod Mom Furniture. When I was a wee one, I had a toy box, but it was nothing compared to these!

toy box

owl toy box

The crafter describes her wares thusly: “Construction: MADE TO ORDER. Made from eco-friendly 1/2 inch Baltic Birch plywood from Russia (E1 Certified)as well as USA-based Columbia Wood Products Purebond 3/4 inch birch plywood, hand drawn and cut veneer cut-outs, no-voc paint from Pittsburgh paints and low-voc, water-based polyurethane from Deft.”

The only thing that disturbs me is that you lift the lid on the owl toy box by sticking your fingers in the bird’s eye holes…

Jenna Rose’s Big Bins

For those in the market for storage bins that don’t have to be tucked away in closets and under beds, may I recommend these big totes from Jenna Rose?

cloth bins

Linen, cotton, and canvas make them durable enough to hold crafting supplies or to tough it out in kids’ rooms, and the handles make for easy transport from room to room. They come in three prints, and they measure 16” in diameter and 18” high. Eighty bucks will get you one big bin…

Which is why I feel obligated to say that if you have even the slightest skill with a sewing machine, you really ought to just make your own big tote. For real. If, like me, you are a beginner, you might have to give your tote a square bottom, but is that really so bad when you could save yourself a cool eighty smackers?

A Beautiful Night’s Rest

Aren’t these bed sets lovely? I’m partial to the first two because they have a bit more variation in their color palettes than the others. Blame the set designer at the photo shoot, however, not Mrs. Me, where the cushions come surrounded in everything from olive Dupioni silk to golden cashmere to one of a kind vintage fabrics.

luxury bedding

For those unfamiliar with the name, Mrs.Me is a design company with a focus on home textiles and interior fashion. Founded by Lianne Ernst, this “home couture” company creates luxe bedding collections and custom bed sets. They’ll even outfit the bedroom on your yacht or jet with specially designed bedding. How much do these luxury linens cost? A basic set — from what I can tell — runs about €300.

Yeah, ouch.

Japan Meets Canada With Fabulous Results

My own personal experience with Japanese furniture is limited to rice paper lanterns and Shoji screens, which is a shame considering how beautiful this hardwood furniture conceived of by Kozai Designs of Canada is. Their pieces offer up a modern take on traditional Japanese aesthetics and woodworking techniques, so don’t go looking for tansu chests, as interesting and wonderful as they are.

Japanese wood furniture

To paraphrase Kozai, solid hardwoods are turned into modern, minimalist furniture by rural Japanese artisans who appreciate the individual characteristics and personality of each piece of wood they manipulate. In most cases, the furniture is custom built-to-order, with a broad range of sizes and a variety of woods from which to choose.

Done Working? Fold the Workaday World Away

(This is just a note to say that I’ll probably be keeping posts short this week because of the site outages. We apologize for those, and we want you to know that it’s just a server issue that should be resolved soon. Manolo for the Home isn’t going anywhere!)

I have this obsession with small-space decorating because even though I now have an entire house worth of rooms to play with, I once subletted in tiny New York City apartments in which only one room was mine to decorate. One solution to the problem of where to put all that stuff we acquire as we move through life is to fold it into a wall.

Folding desk

Ikea sells a fairly useful wall-mounted desk space that could work as a home office if your particular business doesn’t require you to store a great deal of paper. At the end of the work day, your workspace — laptop and all — folds right into the wall, giving you more space for things like doing yoga, throwing parties, and putting together all of the other flat pack furniture you bought during your Ikea adventure.

Photo by Futuregirl_LeahRiley

Old Style Charm, Useful Today

For a little retro flair in the loo, you can’t beat this bright red enameled first aid kit tin.

first aid kit

It has form and function covered, with striking retro design and plenty of space in which to store your adhesive bandages and mustard plasters. Or your Valium and secret stash of medicinal M&Ms. All that will run you an easy £22.00 (Valium not included) at Cox & Cox.

Sweet Relief

In keeping with yesterday’s post, I thought I’d feature another interesting chair. The Relief Chair from Mickus Projects of Brooklyn “remasters the art of sculpting, using digital fabrication and solid, renewable materials” like natural wool felt and water-based adhesives.

relief chair

The body of the chair is a layered assembly of medium-density wool felt sheets, adhered to each other and sleeved over an internal steel frame. The felt body and frame rest on break-formed satin-finish stainless steel legs. So how much does this kind of artful modernity cost? About $3,998, yikes!

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