Monthly Archives

May 2006


decor8 Picks: Favorite Design + Architecture Magazines

May 24, 2006

decor8 Picks: Favorite Design + Architecture Magazines
Here are some of my favorite design + architecture magazines. I left out the obvious ones, like Elle Decor, Dwell, Domino, Living etc… We all know those are magazine must-haves. Here are some that you may not know about, or you may – but perhaps you didn’t think they were worth investigating. If there are any that I’ve missed, feel free to post your faves below. The magazine post over at AT:Chicago got me to thinking about doing the same for decor8 readers, especially since I told you that I would back in April so I really need to follow through. Hopefully some of you will chime in and share your ‘best of’ too – you can include magazines that cover art, graphic design, fashion, travel, etc. Okay, let’s get started! Here’s some of my picks, more magazines to add to your monthly pile. :)

ab – Arch Boston – Boston-based architecture magazine. Excellent articles. I really loved their recent issue, it explored what makes design ugly, unconventional beauty and the effects of ugliness.

Abitare – Italian. Covers architecture around the world in both English and Italian. I enjoy learning about the new projects underway throughout the world, this issue showcases the best of the best.

Atomic Ranch – A mid-century modern lovers dream mag for those splashy ranch homes that we’d all secretly like to own. Lots of green, gold, and orange in this mag. Definite CA style going on. Me likey lots.

Canadian House + Home
– Canadian publication (duh.) Lots of interior eye candy. Great layout. Superb. Helps us keep in step with our neighbors up north. I love their monthly page on Canadian design stores and the many homes that they feature.

Cottage Living – Don’t let the word cottage throw you off, these guys feature lots of stunning interiors of all styles. Psst: This month, a former set designer and a wardrobe stylist for That ?70s Show brings their happy style into an easygoing California cottage.

Home Companion – This isn’t your crafters-only magazine anymore. It has come a very long way. Totally focused on designers and artists, showcasing their homes, workspaces, etc. Packed with loads of ideas. Somehow, the cover never quite fits the content though. It looks like just another cottage style magazine until you peek inside.

i.d. – Packed with interesting articles. Just the bomb. Period.

Ideal Home – UK based publication that you can count on to deliver great room redos complete with instructions on how they did it, along with lots of design products that are hot in the uk. I like it because it showcases a lot of fresh design that I haven’t yet seen in the states. In general, if something is hot in europe, it will eventually make its way over here (i.e. Cath Kidston, someone I’ve loved for at least 8 years, is finally becoming a beloved textile artist here in the states.

Interior Design – Upscale design. Great magazine to drool over, lots of contemporary designs – although nothing you can actually imagine affording. Helpful nonetheless.

Living at Home – German decor magazine that I really enjoy, although you won’t find it in the states, you have to grab a copy on your next trip to the UK, France or Germany – you can find one at kiosks there. Even if you can’t read German, it’s fun to flip through it – lots of bright happy colors in every issue!

Metropolis – Excellent mag all around. The Martin Pedersen article about Joel Sternfeld’s engaging look at experimental communities is a good read. Metropolis talks about a lot of the ‘hot’ trends in design, not just things they love, but also things they are skeptical about. I like this. It’s easy to write about what you love all the time (aka design bloggers), but dishing on topics that make the little hairs stand straight up on the back of your neck because you totally don’t like it, quite a feat!

Pop Life – I heart Pop Life. I’ve been a reader since I saw their first issue hit Barnes + Noble. The layout is stunning and the articles, well-written and interesting. Has a total California vibe to it. The east coaster that I am just loves that.

Real Living – Aussie decor magazine. Packed with design you may not have spotted here in the states (yet). Features a lot of beach front property. Makes one long for the land down under. You’ll love their idea on how to ‘mood-board’ your garden – fun project that will turn anyone into an overnight landscape designer.

All of the above magazines should be available at your local Barnes and Noble with the exception of Living At Home. I feel like I’m missing a few more though…

(images from individual magazines)


coffee + cre8tive {may 24 ’06}

May 24, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {may 24 '06}

Imagine living in a world where you could carve into a tree to find such colorful rings in candy colors? Sometimes we must live in our imagination, and that is exactly what Danish textile designer, Lene Frantzen, is known for. These faux bois style ring cushions are made of colored wool, rolled, felted and finally sliced. I can’t explain exactly why, but I’m drawn towards these like a bee to honey. Learn more about Lene at Danish Crafts.

Click here for another great ‘slice’ image.

Danish Crafts just had a new jubilee collection CC10 at ICFF in New York. The new Crafts Collection, CC10 combines classic simplicity with crafts to make you think. Click here to view them all.

(image from danish crafts)


Countdown to Domino…

May 23, 2006

Countdown to Domino...

I’m a total dork, I know, but I’m counting the days until the next issue of Domino arrives because it’s going to be all about shopping. Domino takes us on a little field trip covering the best shopping across America, and I can’t wait. You know how much I love finding the best stores (see the shopping links in the right column, organized by city), so I’m eager to see if they have more wonderful stores that we can all drool over.

If anyone is reading from outside of the US and would like to do a magazine swap of some kind, I’d be happy to mail you a few issues of my favorite design magazines, like Domino. Just let me know because I don’t want anyone to feel left out if I can help it!

(image from domino)

Bloggers, Interviews

Print + Pattern Blog

May 23, 2006

Print + Pattern BlogA decor8 reader who goes by the name of bowiestyle is actually a blogger herself. I first started reading Print + Pattern in April, I’ll never forget how I felt when I sat before my monitor, scrolling down Print + Pattern, loving everything I saw. Eye-candy overload. All of her posts are just beautiful. I knew it would soon become a daily destination since I’m a total textile addict and this girl has a great eye for design. When I came across her Orla Kiely post, I had to show it to decor8 readers (april 27) because it was then that I realized Print + Pattern is actually a London-based blogger who, in addition to her addiction to prints, also loves to snap photos of storefronts like I do.

I decided that this week, after all the rain we’ve had (at least here in the northeast), that Print + Pattern would add just the right dose sunshine and rainbows to brighten the week to come. That is why this is our blog of the week. It’s soon to be one of your favorites, I’m certain. I caught up with blogger, bowiestyle, to chat about her blog with hopes that you’ll make Print + Pattern your daily destination as well.

decor8: I’m so happy that we have a moment to chat. First of all, can you tell decor8 readers a little bit about your blogging name and your blog?
p+p: Sure. My blogging name is bowiestyle after my fave style icon David Bowie. I use a pseudonym because I want to stay anonymous so I can report on trends and take sneaky spy photos in stores. My blog is called Print + Pattern – which sums up the kind of work I’m interested in, surface pattern design on fabrics, tableware, cards + wrap, stationary, bags, etc.

decor8: I know you’re based in London, are you from London or a transplant?
p+p: Yes, I live in London, but I’m not from here. I was born in Hampshire located about 55 miles southwest of London.

decor8: What do you do for work?
p+p: At the moment I’m working as a textile and surface pattern designer for a UK homewares company.

decor8: That’s a dream job for many, how impressive. When you design on the job, where do you find inspiration for your designs?
p+p: I look at anything that features a pattern or print of some kind. It could be home textiles, fashion prints from catwalks, graphic design, style magazines, basically a similar kind of thing to that covered on the blog.

decor8: Since you work for a company, do you have a lot of room for creative expression or do you have to stay within fixed guidelines or a certain style? How does this work?
p+p: There are two sides to it, I have chances to design exactly what I want based on trends, but I also get given briefs by customers, these can be really tight or very vague. Its quite a nice mix between the two.

decor8: When was it that you decided to do this for a living? (textile design)
p+p: I started out wanting to do graphic design but soon realised that it was too boring and restrictive.

decor8: As a designer, you must have some favorite designers that you look to for inspiration. Tell us, who inspires you and why?
p+p: My fave designers are Orla Kiely, Angela Adams, Tricia Guild, and Cath Kidston. I like Orla and Angela for their strong graphic style, its closest to my own work. Tricia Guild because she was my first design hero and the original colour guru, and then Cath Kidston not only for the great prints, but because she is living the dream – putting her own designs onto products and selling them in her own shops. How I wish that were me!

decor8: Great picks. I’m sure that with your eye for design and your passion, you would succeed as a small business owner. Okay, now back to blogs. What gave you the idea to start Print + Pattern?
p+p: I started in March this year – I discovered lots of great blogs but couldn’t find any that addressed exactly what I was into. You find coffee tables and sinks etc. mixed in between patterns on a lot of design blogs and I’m not at all interested in 3D design.

decor8: Makes sense. You needed to carve out your own creative space. With so many design and art blogs out there, what seems to be missing that you’d like to see?
p+p: More on the designing of fabrics rather than on the sewing side of things.

decor8: Oh yes, that would be absolutely wonderful. Maybe there’s a textile teacher or designer reading this that will get the idea and start one up. Okay, let’s move from blogs and careers and talk about other things you enjoy. Being based in London, I’d like to see what your perfect Saturday would include… Can you share?
p+p: Going shopping, eating Italian food, and then going to the theatre. I’m a big fan of musicals, I’ve already done 8 this year so far and it’s only May. I try to go at least once a month.

decor8: I like that day, a satisfaction of all the senses. I enjoy London theatre too, although I’ve only seen Les Mis there twice. (I was such a geek, I bought a t-shirt and everything.) I read that they’re actually bringing Les Mis back to Broadway in October… Let’s wrap things up with your top 10 things that you just can’t live without, it’s how I like to end most of my interviews.
p+p: Music, patterns, cats, cakes, Italy, theatre, Adobe Illustrator, shopping, I know that’s only 8 but I’m not a greedy person.

Not, you’re definitely not – you share with us your many prints + patterns each day and for that, we’re all very appreciative. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Readers: Please remember to spread the love to bowiestyle and make sure you say hello in the comments section below.



Book of the Week: Greetings from Knit Caf? (also a store in LA + June 7 event!)

May 23, 2006

Book of the Week: Greetings from Knit Caf? (also a store in LA + June 7 event!)
I plopped myself down on one of those huge comfy chairs at Barnes + Noble last night, latte in hand, spilling some on my shirt but not caring because I had all of these killer books in hand that I had not yet cracked open… Excitedly, I began the adventure of flipping through books, looking for what could be the next decor8 book of the week. I wanted something that sparked some creativity in us all, something with bright colors, beauty, charm. I found it, and much more, in a new book called Greetings from Knit Caf?. I’m not a knitter, but this book was close to coverting me with its projects and pages chock full of pretty things. Here’s a book blurb, straight from Amazon.

When former CBS vice president Suzan Mischer decided to open a knitting store on Melrose Avenue, she wanted to create a place where people could gather, slow down, and talk (as well as buy supplies). The result was Knit Cafe, a sleek yet homey crafts store where an increasing number of Hollywood denizens regularly unwind with their needles and yarn. With the publication of Greetings from Knit Caf?, knitters nationwide can join the famed store’s ever-widening circle of devotees.

This colorful, cozy, and chic book offers 30 of Knit Cafe’s most dazzling patterns for “California style” projects ranging from hiking socks to a bikini to a “red carpet” gown. It also features stories about how the celebrated store came to be, the neighborhood it’s in, the daily goings-on, and the improbable m?lange of actors, surfers, doctors, and directors that gather there. Even a few favorite recipes from regular customers are included.

Greetings from Knit Caf? is, quite simply, the best way to share the history, spirit, and patterns of this unique yarn store without having to fight the traffic.

If you’d like to order your copy, click hereBook of the Week: Greetings from Knit Caf? (also a store in LA + June 7 event!). It’s our book of the week!

Book of the Week: Greetings from Knit Caf? (also a store in LA + June 7 event!)If you’re in the LA area, visit the Knit Cafe located at 8441 Melrose Avenue. Suzan is hosting a book signing at the Knit Cafe on Wednesday evening, June 7th from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Join them for capuccinos and sweets!

(images from amazon)



May 23, 2006

Have you heard of Celadon? Founder, Monica Yip, was raised in Hong Kong surrounded by antique and contemporary Chinese literature, calligraphy, paintings and ceramics. Inspired by her past, after relocating to London she decided to create Celadon, a company creating photo frames and albums, notebooks, notecards, and their signature fortune shaker containing 38 numbered fortune sticks – fun for your next party without the calories (fortune cookies).
I like Celadon because they are contemporary yet timeless and totally functional – nothing you have to keep high on a shelf for fear of someone touching it. Combining an eastern aesthetic with western sensibilities, items are eye-catching and tactile, unique and colorful – the colors remind me of some of my favorite foods like chocolate, pumpkin pie, avocado, watermelon…

(images from celadon)

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