What Twilight is doing for design…

Today is my nephew, Jacob’s, birthday.  It’s a funny thing to be named Jacob with all the Twilight Saga frenzy going on.  I was trying to think of something I could post both related to my blog and to my nephew today and, of course, the first thing I thought of was Twilight.
This got me thinking about the Cullen’s house in the movie and how it must be influencing the home design and architecture tastes of teenage girls all around the world.  The house is called the Hoke House and was designed by Portland, Oregan-based architect, Jeff Kovel. I can’t imagine how many new commissions he’s gotten off the back of the movie series.  It will be interesting to see how the design aesthetic of Twilight weaves its way into home design…or have current home design trends woven their way into Twilight?  Happy birthday, Jacob.

A loo in London

I was in London visiting my friend, Kristin, and we went out to eat at a cafe. I wish I could remember the name of the cafe or any details so that I could post a link to it — but I don’t.  I did, however, take a photo of the loo.  I couldn’t help myself. I just loved it.  It had a nice grassy green wall with beautiful green glass subway tiles.  Square sinks sat atop a marble counter and the floor had small square marble tiles. 

I think it’s a timeless combination. I’m not sure that this photo does it justice but take my word for it – just luverly.

My blue heaven

Yummy is a word I use a lot with things that I like that aren’t edible.  Don’t worry…I also use it with edible things.  But when I see something that I just want to envelope myself in, yummy is the first word that comes to mind.  This ceiling is a case in point.

I know in New England that a lot of homes have blue porch ceilings.  I never knew the history of this until I started writing this blog and googled “history behind blue porch ceilings” — and I was surprised at how many articles came back. 

So the scoop is that it’s called “Haint Blue”.  Haints, apparently, are restless spirits of the dead who have not yet left the physical world. These spirits can’t cross water so painting your ceiling blue prevents them from crossing your door.  History aside, I think it’s a lovely tradition and I find the look as applied in this bedroom really eye-catching and appealing and I can see how it might help calm restless spirits.

Home office a-go-go

This blog is just one of the ways in which I’m trying very hard to be less paper dependent.  I’ve always kept a pretty good filing system but moving across the ocean has forced me to be better about improving my electronic filing system.  With that said, I still love pulling out my look books and thumbing through ideas when I’m starting a new project. 

And it’s for this reason that I just love this filing chest. It’s such a simple idea and a great way to potentially not only hide away files but also some of that stationery and supply clutter that inevitably ends up all over your desk.  And the inset of the cork board on the lid is pure genius for notes, unpaid bills, handy phone numbers, etc. 

And just imagine if you threw some lock-able wheels on this puppy?  Filing nirvana, I say…

Herbert Park

After you live in one place for a while, you forget the things that drew you to it in the first place (or at least I do!).  You begin to take it for granted and get down on it as familiarity sets in and all you see are the things that annoy you.  When I get like this about Dublin, I have a quick remedy:  Herbert Park.  It’s one of my favorite spots in the city — very tranquil, always lush and just a short stroll from my house. 

This happens to be one of my favorite spots in Herbert Park — I have about 10,000 photos of it but this is one of my favorites — taken with my Diana F+, pinhole camera. And it’s hard to tell but there’s a tiny little white ball of fluff in the back of the image — that would be my trusty companion, Tilly.

One of my favorite photos – taken by a nine-year-old

I love this photo — for so many reasons…firstly, because it was taken by my friend’s nine-year-old daughter and I think it’s a great thing to hand your camera to a child and see the world the way they see it.  Secondly, it was Christmas day and just one-month after I got Tilly, my little west highland terrier. But mostly, I love this photo because it really captures a moment:  Tilly still just a pup trotting along beside me and me thinking about how relaxing it is to be walking along the beach on Christmas day after a huge Christmas dinner.

If you’re a photography enthusiast and are lucky enough to have kids in your life, don’t forget to hand them the camera now and again…you’ll be happily surprised by what you get back.

Vintage aqua chairs

How cute is this chair? I was in the Mespil hotel in Dublin the other day for a meeting and I was waiting for this lady to finish reading her newspaper and leave so that I could take a picture of this chair.  I love the shape and color of it.  I don’t actually know if it’s new or if it’s vintage but I think it’s nice not to see the same leather suites of furniture like you do in most hotels around here.  If anyone knows where I can find a chair like this, let me know — otherwise, I might have to enter in negotiations with the Mespil…

A seaside-inspired display cabinet

This cabinet makes me want to pick-up and move to a little seaside cottage.  I suppose this look could work anywhere but the soft colors and the wide paneled ceiling just tell you that you’re by the water. There’s just nothing about this cabinet that’s not to love — the height and the full coverage of glass doors really make a statement.

And the collection of vintage milkware and miniature globes really add a nice whimsical element. Love it.

Mapping out great wall art

My friend, David, has a great series of historic maps of Rome that I have always loved.  As an architect, he’s really enamored with squares and how they work to create communities in cities. 

One of my favorite spots in the world, Paris, is full of squares — so it seems appropriate that this map has been cut into squares (okay, maybe more literally, rectangles) and framed before being re-hung on the wall as one piece of art.  I’ve been saving an article from a magazine for the last 10 years that pretty much looks exactly like this.  I’ll dig it out and post it one of these days. 

My friend, Christiana, came across the photo above and immediately sent it on to me as she knows I’m a big fan of this look — this particular example is a very literal way to take many pieces of “art” to create one bigger piece.  But I think framed pieces, in general, when hung in an interesting collection, can create a signature wall statement for your room.