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Furniture Lust: Industrial Yellow Heaven On Wheels

Awesomeness on wheels

I was browsing furniture with my daughter the other day, and I was so proud when she zeroed in on this gorgeous wheeled coffee table that looked like it came straight out of a barn and said “I will buy that for you, mama.” But it’s not all about the farm for yours truly – I’m also enamored by all things pulled off the factory floor and out of the warehouse. Like this sweet yellow coffee table on wheels that was crafted from… something used to wheel other things around. I love the original yellow paint that’s just the right amount of old and crunchy, the wheels, and how it balances out the softer, more traditional furniture in the room.

What do you think? Should industrial furniture stay in the seat of industry, or is there a place in the home for factory cast-offs?

Bed vs. Hammock

First it was kitchen chairs versus kitchen benches, not it’s beds versus hammocks. Before you say ‘Whaaaa?’ consider that I’ve featured some pretty weird beds in the past: a bed without a mattress from Linda Topic and beds with feelings and a bed made of filing cabinets, all spring to mind. But all of that seems pretty normal to me compared to a small space solution I read recently. Which was ditch the bed, and get a hammock.

A hammock? A hanging-from-the-walls honest to goodness hammock. And not a chic queen size hammock bed like this fancy number from Le Beanock:

Now this I could do...

I’m talking about a straight up piece of fabric hanging by two points that is a bit more, er, enveloping than your average bed. A bed like the sailors of old crashed out on between watches. A hammock like you might buy at Amazon and is meant for outdoor use. A hammock like this one perhaps. I guess I can see it as a space-saving measure in the tiniest of New York or Tokyo apartments.

But does anyone else’s back hurt just thinking about ditching a traditional bed to make space and sleeping in a hammock instead? Because mine sure does!

The Secret of the 2.5 Dimension Bookshelves

Designer Bjørn Jørund Blikstad’s unusual bookshelves, known as Imeüble, fool the eye and bend the mind. At least from far away. As optical illusions go, at least these colorful and weird bookshelves serve as storage, as well as acting as art. Blikstad’s creation appears to be 2D from far off – and even in the pictures, my brain is trying to tell me two things at once – but Imeüble exists squarely in the 3D realm.

But it’s all smoke and shadows – every nook is capable of holding books and plants and whatever else needs storing.

Every square is a shelf!

And yet my brain says Q*Bert

This project is apparently Blikstad’s attempt to understand the concept of storage by “looking at it, not as a practical issue involving the storage of known objects, but in sync with our memory; comparing the mental storage capacity with the actual.”

I don’t know if I get all that from it, but still. Very cool, no?

Inspiration: Bespoke Printed Furniture By Zoe Murphy

If there’s one person out there designing furniture using all of my favorite things, it’s British textile designer Zoe Murphy. Her repurposed mid-century modern furniture pieces and printed vintage textiles are just a treat for the eye! She applies prints she draws of her home town and gorgeous patterns, along with happy colors, in unexpected ways. At least I find her furniture designs unexpected!

Zoe Murphy is my new favorite person

Get a load of those colors...

She even makes art, suqeeee!

Did I mention she makes art for walls, too? Murphy keeps a blog if you want to see what she’s up to these days!

Sushi Furniture That Looks Good Enough to… Sit On? Love it lots!

Looking for seating that’s trend-friendly and different and modern and also inspired by food? Then how could you not dig sushi furniture from Sushi Style by Mimi Tin? These definitely don’t fall into the category of ‘cheap and funky gear that’s all but disposable.’ Tin uses silk thread to weave the designs on her entire line of sushi furniture, from the multi-purpose ottomans that can be used as a chair or, when you remove the “seaweed wrap,” as cushions to child-sized sushi beanbags and other fun things.

Mimi Tin, of Sushi Style

The Cali ottoman

The Carrot ottoman

And poufs!

As you probably guessed, this particular sushi furniture isn’t cheap, but I was actually surprised to see that it doesn’t cost more. An ottoman and cushion set – sushi wrapped in seaweed, I mean – will run you $625. And if that feels a bit steep in the context of your current circumstances, you can always sate your appetite for sushi furniture with one of Mimi Tin’s adorable sushi poufs!

Sweet Inspiration: Candy Dots

Candy dots… candy buttons… whatever you call the classic candy, it’s pretty cute. If you didn’t happen to see it, I featured a candy dots wedding cake over at Manolo for the Brides last week, and it got me to thinking how much I’d love candy buttons fabric. And then THAT thought made me wonder if anyone out there has been inspired by candy dots. Turns out there aren’t many – makes me think candy buttons furniture would fall into the DIY realm – but I did find a few interesting things to get the DIY part of your mind racing!

A candy buttons bench for Lollies Candy Company by Jellio

You can buy an indoor Button Bench - with rubber buttons - at Jellio's website!

The bummer is that the indoor and outdoor benches were the only candy dots inspired furniture I could find. BUT I did find some fun accessories for one’s person that are perfect for anyone who still finds herself jonesing for these sugary nibbles.

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Don’t Get Bogged Down In How Furniture Ought to Be Used!

It’s so easy to get stuck when it comes to furniture. As in, ‘I don’t need a sideboard because I don’t have a dining room’ or ‘What could we possible use a bench for in our house?’ It’s especially easy when you have a chance to acquire a free piece of quality furniture.

But wait! Maybe you don’t need another dresser, but you’ve been looking for an amazing and different bathroom vanity. Or what you really want is a bookshelf by you keep finding bench after bench. Kitchen tables abound, but no desks… chairs, but no side tables… coffee tables but no desk and hutch combos. That sort of thing. My question is: Why get so focused on what a piece of furniture is? Why not focus instead on what is might be?

I know that repurposing furniture isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but who says you have to do it yourself? Maybe you have a friend who loves that sort of thing and will hook you up with your new shelves, vanity, or whatever for the price of materials plus a little extra. Or maybe there’s a pro in your area looking for some extra work. I mean, come on, check out this sweet repurposed furniture!

Inspired by Holly Golightly's bachelorette pad?

Two different shelving options, two different seats!

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A Mix of Modern and Traditional by Vicente Wolf

I am loving the big chunky farmer’s table smack dab in the middle of this otherwise very modern dining room by designer Vicente Wolf! Sometimes I look at my own house and realize that you couldn’t call it modern or traditional or cute or any other thing, really. My house is a mishmash of new and old things I’ve acquired and made over time, and things I’d love to replace but can’t afford to, and I do my best to make everything look nice together. I like how it’s turned out so far, though I’m always changing this or that. So if you’ve ever wondered why I love contrast so much, part of it is that I have to or I’d go crazy!

Contrast = Cool

What do you think about mixing old and new and modern and traditional and maybe something bright and shiny and expensive paired with something awesome you found on the side of the road? Because I love it. To me, a space full of awesome mixed treasures – arranged and chosen with some care, of course – is so much more fun and inviting than a perfectly coordinated and homogeneous space.

Kitchen Benches vs. Kitchen Chairs

A different kitchen seating option

When you have a small kitchen or even a wee dining room – maybe even a tiny little breakfast nook – huge dining chairs with arms and upholstery can really take away from the space you do have. If you can’t shove your dining chairs all the way under your table… if you want to use a tablecloth… if it’s difficult to move your dining chairs from under the table without shifting the table, you have a problem. (And don’t even get me started on high chairs!)

The solution? Kitchen benches instead of kitchen chairs. Benefits of kitchen benches over kitchen chairs include the ability to easily stash your seating under the table when not in use, the ability to use a longer tablecloth without it bunching everywhere because chairs are in the way, and more versatility when it comes to how many people will fit at your table. The main downside of using benches in the kitchen is the lack of the back, which may not work for people with physical issues like back problems.

Anyone out there using kitchen benches instead of kitchen chairs? I’m thinking about making the switch, but I work at my kitchen table so I need to be sure that I’ll be comfortable working on a bench instead of a chair.

Tree Stump Side Tables

There’s not much to say about tree stump tables, other than the fact that they exist, they can look pretty awesome, and if you’re so inclined, creating a DIY tree stump side table isn’t that difficult (as demonstrated beautifully over at Nesting Place last month). The look pretty good painted:

Spotted on http://www.raenovate.com

But many people chose to leave them au natural, and rightly so:

Better Homes and Gardens is down with the stump

In a pinch, you can even use a tree stump side table as a seat:

Great for... unrolling your blood-spattered parchment paper?

For the DIY tree stump side table, you could do like the author of Nesting Place and just grab something left behind by the tree services guys, but I’d worry about the possibility of creepy crawlies riding in along with the stump. Plus, you want something a little drier than a fresh cut log, so I’d recommend opting for something found at the firewood depot, like Karen at the Art of Doing Stuff did.

Sure, it’s a little rustic, but I really like this kind of thing when paired with other furniture that’s decidedly non-rustic. Whatdya think… too outdoorsy? Or just right?

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