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May, 2010 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - May, 2010

Finally, I Get to Show Off a Project of My Own!

After posting so many pics of other people’s DIY projects – like this and this and this – I feel pretty proud to finally post one of my own. I’m not sure what it is about being insanely busy, but when I am already insanely busy I suddenly am able to do more more more without sacrificing any more time. As far as I can tell, I either begin to work faster or time slows down. It’s one or the other. Lately, I’ve been working on about 80 projects (professional stuff, a class, the baby’s room, etc.) and yet here I am, with our kitchen shoe and bag table somehow suddenly updated!

I don’t have a good before picture because I usually start these things at random times when inspiration strikes and so there’s none of that crazy planning ahead stuff that would give me time to get a ‘before.’ Oh well. But I can give some background – I found that table while taking the baby out for a walk. Yes, I am one of those people who will pull perfectly good furniture that’s ready for a little update out of your trash. In this case, it was a homemade side table (there were two but I only took one) that was a yucky mustard color. With some leftover paint from my office, three pieces of craft paper, and some Mod Podge, I turned it into something old and boring into something totally fun and sweet… if I do say so myself.

I Keep Seeing Matryoshka!

A matryoshka, for those who don’t know, is a set of dolls of decreasing sizes placed one inside the other. Also known as a Russian nesting doll or, somewhat incorrectly, a babushka doll, the outermost layer is traditionally a woman wearing a sarafan, though it might also be an animal, a dinosaur, a sick… something, a robot, or a set of measuring cups. For months now, I’ve been noticing the matryoshka motif everywhere, but it might just be confirmation bias. I grew up with the things, so I tend to see them around. Here are some I found for you:



NtB Loves: Al Bombo Barstools… But Does She Love the Knockoff?

The Al Bombo Barstool is one of the most recognizable designs to bear the Magis brand, and one of the most fun. Designed by Stefano Giovannoni, the real Al bombo is an all-aluminum seat swivel bar stool that weighs a mere 26.5 pounds but costs a whopping $1,400. The not-so-real Al Bombo is made of molded ABS thermoplastic coated with a full-gloss scratch-resistant enamel, weighs 13 pounds, comes in 15 bright, brilliant colors, and costs about $60.

pink bombo

Like the original (I believe) these go from table to bar/counter height and have a 360 degree swivel.

yellow bombo

They’re gas lift tested to operate at least 100,000 times. And a rubber ring lines the perimeter of the underside of the base to protect your floors from scratching.

blue bombo

The question, of course, is whether knock off furniture belongs in the realm of, say, knockoff designer bags and shoes. I’m going to guess that the human rights abuses associated with knockoff designer bags could conceivably be a problem in the land of knockoff furniture, since both likely come from parts of the world where the idea of a minimum wage is laughable. Thoughts?

Build. Unbuild. Build. Sit.

Fun and function are not mutually exclusive in these “Cojines Cojines” cushions by Nani Marquina. Colorful building blocks and floor pillows come together in this cushions with small magnets that let you connect them any which way – longer, shorter, whatever you want. Unicolor? Multicolor? It’s up to you!

I love stuff like this. Superfun!

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Rice Is Nice

Is it wrong that the 2010 collection at Rice reminds me so much of all the Japanese discount stores I adored when I lived in NYC? I’m not saying there’s any kind of legit overlap, but there’s something about the colors (colorscolorscolors!). Rice makes me miss the city, actually, because there’s something so fab about being able to color your world for 99 cents per item.

Rice of Denmark, of course, is a little more pricey, which is to be expected when you consider that the shop takes great care to ensure that its customers can shop with a clear conscience. In fact, the name Rice was chosen because rice is such an important survival product for so many people, all over the globe.

But enough of that – how adorable is all this stuff?


What Do You Do With a Finished Attic, Anyway?

The second story of my house was meant to be an attic. Maybe. We’re not really sure. An elderly neighbor who has lived in our house’s double since both were built told us the tale of refinishing his upper story a little bit at a time, so we know that the second stories of our Capes didn’t start out finished. But there were standard-size staircases in both houses from the very beginning. So our homes started out with giant unfinished attics accessible by full stairways and two windows in each “room”? Or were the houses built with the intention that the homeowners would eventually finish the second story spaces? We don’t know.

What we do know is that between then and now, someone decided to finish one half of our second story very, very badly. I’m talking gaps between drywall, icky carpet, cheap heaters, outlets on the sloping parts of the walls, and more. And the other “room” is still unfinished. Bare beams and boards. No outlets at all. What’s this mean for us? It means we’re looking for sloped wall bedroom/office inspiration so we can make our second story an adults-only zone.

Here’s just some of what I’ve bookmarked thus far:


Think Pink! (Seven Ways)

One of my favorite bits from the movie Funny Face is the Think Pink! routine. And seriously, I’m a huge sucker for pink, more so now since having a girl baby. Not, mind that I set out to pinkify her life – but everyone else in existence apparently did. Now that I’m finally working on her room, I’ve chosen a deep pink, black, and white scheme, mainly because it’s solid, girly palette without being immature, and as a combo, it never has been terribly unpopular in my lifetime so it won’t look ridiculously out of date five or ten years from now. Pink can be babyish, of course, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are seven sweet examples of how one might use pink inside and outside of one’s home, with not a single nursery in sight:


I Still Hate Wallpaper, But…

How cute are the Amy Butler framed prints on acid-free paper or canvas from Art That Fits? There are two distinct collections inspired from by Amy Butler’s floral and graphic textile designs, and all of them are awesome.

Now Amy Butler is launching a wallpaper collection for Graham & Brown, squee! On one hand, wallpaper sucks – it can be amazing. On the other hand, unless you plan to wallpaper forever, covering over the old with the new, it’s the biggest butt pain to strip.

But you (by which I mean *I*) could use the new Amy Butler wallpaper for craft projects, providing you can be small enough lengths of it or you plan to make a bajillion crafts. That’s right…BAJILLIONS.

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