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Bringing back the Atomic Age

Just a tad busy, but in a good way

I like things that look like other things, and this Bradbury & Bradbury Atomic Age wallpaper fits the bill. When I look at it, I see beautiful bolts of cloth…but that might just be the sewing enthusiast in me. The cool thing is, as I see it, that the patterns I drool over when shopping for fabric are being translated into wall coverings and ceramics and more. Or maybe it’s happening the other way around, with the decor sweeping onto the scene first and changing the direction that everything else is taking.

That’s one of my favorite things about design in general–really amazing colors and patterns eventually show up everywhere. When you find a piece of furniture or a yard of fabric that just strikes you as being oh so right for the times or the season or the political climate or whatever, chances are good that it will eventually inspire the people making clothes, housewares, jewelry, linens, and so on.

From the “things I wish really existed” file

If safety is your first concern, why can’t beauty be a close second?

Make it real!

Back in the day, I lived in a grand old New York City apartment in a part of Brooklyn teeming with gang activity. That’s why the rent was so cheap, of course. We had multiple locks on the doors and one of those little chain things that’s supposed to let you chat safely with people you don’t know — even though it’s painfully obvious that one good shove would rip it right out of the wall.

The clever security device above was designed by Oleg Morev (of Art. Lebedev Studio) as part of ThinkGeek’s annual April Fools catalog, but I don’t care that it wasn’t real. I don’t care that I live in a safer-than-safe suburban neighborhood. I don’t care that I’m shite at solving mazes unless I run them backwards. I want one anyway!

Monique Goossens: A sampler

Amsterdam based designer Monique Goossens creates playful, homey art pieces that are delightful in their unexpectedness.

Expect the unexpected

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find out much about Ms. Goossens. Her web site is nothing more than a placeholder for what I imagine will be some wonderful content. For now, I’ve placed some photos of her lovely stuff below the cut.

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Whaddya mean I can’t have it?

My favorite area in Disney’s Epcot Center was always the little alcove I liked to call Morocco World. Being the Epcot was generally boring as dirt, I had to latch on to something. Now they have characters from Aladdin prancing around and things like Test Track right across the way, so I wonder if quite so many kiddies will lose themselves in the geometric patterns and abstract design found in that pavilion.

I was reminded of all this when perusing You Love Me & It’s Heavenly, as the future Mrs. Cruz posted some images from Zara Home. Putting aside for the moment that this shop apparently limits the sale of its wares to *sniff* a great many places other than the US, I’m tremendously in love with their showcase rooms.

I might be too distracted to sleep…in a good way

The one thing I’d nix? The picture on the wall.

I love the table and the screen!

If Moroccan influences just aren’t your bag, there’s still plenty to see. In fact, a quick tour of the Zara Home web site reveals design elements borrowed from just about everywhere. Stark, cold whites can be found next to browns reminiscent of safaris gone by. Then there are tropical greens, vivid pinks, and muted, modern grays.

Americans, as I mentioned earlier, are plain out of luck for now, so all I can do is look longingly at the web site, cross my fingers, and hope that Zara Home makes its way to this part of the globe.

The great big idea book

I am in love with Designers Guild wallpapers and fabrics. I mean IN LOVE — so besotted that I’m cutting pictures from adverts in magazines to keep in a great big book.

Gotta love that color!Gotta love that color!
Gotta love that color!Gotta love that color!

Once upon a time — let’s say when I was in my early teens — I thought idea books were just for scrapbookers or perhaps old ladies. That’s because I imagined that most adults had an unending supply of money at their disposal. Why window shop when you can just shop, right? Oh, how little I knew! Now I have my own home and my own very very very finite cash reserves, which means I experience all of the tedium of wanting with none of the joys of actually getting. Unless, that is, I save up.

Which, of course, is where the great big idea book comes in. It’s a gentle reminder that says, “You don’t exactly need another pair of brown boots! You’re saving up for the fabric to revamp the living room, remember?” When I see a picture of the fabric (or tea set or pillows or carpet or whatever) that I want, I’m far more likely to stay on track…and thus far more likely to actually get it one day.

How, pray tell, do you stay on track?

Jo Meester: A sampler

Who’s Jo Meester? He’s a designer from the Netherlands and co-founder of the Meesters & Van der Park Design Studio. I enjoy his work because of its amazing diversity — instead of sticking to one discipline, he moves from one to another with great skill. He explores woodworking before moving on to crochet before taking up a needle to create art from cast off pieces of wool. Not everything is particularly functional, but all of it is fun.

I’d inherit these gladly

These err on the side of functionality, though the name — Ornamental Inheritance Vessels — speaks to me of urns and ashes. I think I’d set them up somewhere instead of, say, filling them with filberts.

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Jonathan Adler: Man of the Mod

SwirlyCurvaceous
UsefulColorful

I’d happily trade all my family gifted dinnerware and kitchen accouterments for the same pieces as designed by Jonathan Adler if I happened to have the excess dough lying about. Sorry mamman! Sorry dad! My most generous relatives can breathe a collective sigh of relief, however, as it turns out I’m just not solvent enough to replace my kitchenware at this time… no matter how wonderfully beautiful that Jonathan Adler pitcher is.

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