Manolo for the HomeAugust, 2009 | Manolo for the Home

Archive for August, 2009

Regrets? I’ve Had a Few

Monday, August 31st, 2009
By Christa Terry

When I was in high school, I desperately wanted my bedroom to look like this. Substantial charcoal-gray paint. Minimal furniture. Plenty of glamour. And just enough artwork and embellishment to make it so that friends who visited my bedroom would envy my limited living space.

charcoal gray bedroom

Unfortunately, I was in my teens without money or anyone to teach me the finer points of decorating and finishing a space, so my bedroom ended up looking more like a very sad goth hideout with posters and clicky-clacky hangings and all the other silly things teenagers seem to like so much. If only I had known then what I know now. C’est la vie, I suppose.

Artwatch: James D. Griffioen

Friday, August 28th, 2009
By Christa Terry

feral houses

Photographer James D. Griffioen takes gorgeous and fascinating photos of little houses, lost neighborhoods, and a fresh look at everyday architecture, among other things. Things like, well, feral houses. What’s a feral house, you ask? The photog describes them thusly:

I’ve seen “feral” used to describe dogs, cats, even goats. But I have wondered if it couldn’t also be used to describe certain houses in Detroit. Abandoned houses are really no big deal here. Some estimate that there are as many as 10,000 abandoned structures at any given time, and that seems conservative. But for a few beautiful months during the summer, some of these houses become “feral” in every sense: they disappear behind ivy or the untended shrubs and trees planted generations ago to decorate their yards. The wood that framed the rooms gets crushed by trees rooted still in the earth. The burnt lime, sand, gravel, and plaster slowly erode into dust, encouraged by ivy spreading tentacles in its endless search for more sunlight.

It’s cool to see someone documenting the decay of society rather than society flourishing. Both are inevitable aspects of humanity’s control of the planet, but one is heralded while the other is, I don’t know, mourned? I thought this quote was telling: “Sometimes cities shrink. Sometimes neighborhoods get turned into something else. It’s nothing to get depressed about.” Indeed.

Oh Deer!

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
By Christa Terry

deer head

This trophy is just a little cheeky, no? Canadian Tristan Zimmermann, grad of Ontario College of Art and Design, invented, ahem, Plastidermy, seen here in this life-sized trophy head, lasersmithed of pure Swiss glacial acrylic. Sending $485 to A+R (a terribly fun and pricey shop) will net you a flat pack parcel of crystal clear deer head parts that are easily slotted together and mounted to the nearest wall.

Perhaps just the thing for vegetarians looking to impart their domiciles with that oh-so-American hunting aesthetic?

Good Things Come In Small Packages

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
By Christa Terry

caravan rental

What’s on the outside doesn’t always correspond to what’s within. This little caravan for rent doesn’t look like much until you open the door and have a peek inside at what turns out to be a surprisingly stylish interior.

caravan rental

Yes, those are the Ikea dog butt coat hooks!

caravan rental


The rental information is below, if you can read it.

caravan rental

Orange and Green — Not a Pumpkin

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
By Christa Terry

I never thought I could like orange and green together until I saw this kitchen in House Beautiful. After all, I am an American, and thus have been trained to associate the two colors with Halloween and its trappings. While the designer of this French country kitchen calls the color on the walls terra-cotta (and it is!) my brain still parses it as orange. But here I am loving this kitchen! Not thinking of pumpkins!

French kitchen

Do you ever have trouble disassociating yourself with common color associations, or is it just me?

A Downturn Can Be Your Upturn

Monday, August 24th, 2009
By Christa Terry

If you can put up with a lot and invest yourself in your neighborhood, buying in an economically depressed area can mean getting more bang for your home-buying buck. An article in the NYT profiles economically hard-hit Flint, Michigan’s Carriage Town neighborhood, which has its issues, but is for all intents and purposes on the upswing. Once the area with the highest crime rate in the city in the 80s, it has benefited from the presence of urban homesteaders and people with a talent for renovating the many Victorian-era houses still standing on its streets.

Economic Downturn

That’s good news for buyers looking for a deal, though like I said it takes a certain degree of commitment to live in Carriage Town.

Ms. Caudell, 31, a horticulturalist, has focused her search on Carriage Town, the neighborhood where she leases a blue two-story house with pink and purple trim that she shares with three friends, paying $300 a month for her rent and utilities. Ms. Caudell hopes to find a home that won’t cost more than $50,000, including renovation expenses.

No more than fifty thousand? Makes me wish I hadn’t been so picky when it came to deciding where to live!

Economic Downturn

Then again, the new Carriage Town is still recovering from a lengthy downturn, which means that those with the fortitude to find the perfect (read: renovation-ready) home have to fend off speculators, cope with more than a few abandoned houses, and accept that code-enforcement isn’t a priority because the money just isn’t there. That said better days are obviously on the horizon for Carriage Town, as more and more dedicated neighborhood fixtures are making it their life’s work to take back the area’s former glory.

Inspiring, no?

Serious Espresso

Friday, August 21st, 2009
By Christa Terry


How cool are these? De’Longhi recently commissioned 10 professional artists, interior and graphic designers from the US and abroad to create original designs that were laser-etched on the front panels of De’Longhi’s Perfecta Fully Automatic Espresso Machines.


The engraved Perfecta machines, produced in limited edition, are set to be auctioned to the public through eBay Giving Works from October 4-17 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Oxfam America. Expensive? You betcha, but that’s the whole point. If you think that the Artista Series will be just a wee bit out of your budget, there’s always the EC5 steam driven 4-cup espresso maker, which costs less than fifty bucks. You can’t beat that!


Junk In the Trunk

Thursday, August 20th, 2009
By Christa Terry

When I was leaving for university, my mom and I came across a trunk when we were shopping to furnish my dorm room. It wasn’t anything fancy — not a lovely vintage steamer trunk or a handcrafted leather trunk or anything like that — but it was nice to have. Funny, it wasn’t even particularly good for hauling stuff since the handle wasn’t comfortable and it was kind of bulky. After I graduated, it languished in the basement until I moved into an apartment in Massachusetts, where it gained a new life as a coffee table after my new oversize couches made having a full-size coffee table impractical.

trunk coffee table

Now my living room is even smaller, and I’m still trying to squeeze in a good amount of furniture. That shoddy old trunk is still pulling its weight as a coffee table and as a storage space for boardgames, old Nintendo consoles, and video game cartridges. And you’d never know that we hide our secret immaturity in there, since it looks rather highbrow in an old fashioned sort of way.

trunk coffee table

Both of the above trunks are available at Pottery Barn, though I’d recommend scouring garage sales and estate sales for some old trunk lovingly battered by college students and other assorted youngins. It’ll have more character that way… and be wicked cheaper.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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    Christa Terry
    (a.k.a. Never teh Bride)


    Manolo the Shoeblogger