A few of my favorite things: Matte Stephens
These little wooden eggs designed by Alexander Girard. They just make me smile :D
This is of a detail from George Nelson’s China shop Pattern on a vintage Boltabest tray. It was designed by Irving Harper I have had the pleasure of getting to spend time with him at his home in New York and learning a lot about design from him over the last few years. This tray always makes me think of him.
This photo sums up the last 15 years of my life. I love design although my paintings are not industrial design it has been a source of inspiration for me for as far back as I can remember. I think I just love the feeling something that is really well designed has.
The 1955/56 Herman Miller catalog. A wonderful book that was very illusive.
Our home Vivienne and I love being at home and working at home so having inspiring things to look at makes it fun. We have always liked the idea that modern doesn’t have to be cold and uncomfortable. Actual we just really love knickknacks way too much.
I’m inspired by everything in my life from our cats and Vivienne to collecting movies and knickknacks. It has always been important to me to make paintings that feel like my life feels, happy… – Matte
(images: matte stephens)
A few of my favorite things: Parallel Botany
Hello everyone, this is Lisa from Parallel Botany! As a participant in Holly’s “Favorite Things” series, I am thrilled to be here today to share with you a few of my most cherished belongings, as well as some of the things that inspire me daily.
My dog art! Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a deep and abiding affinity for the canine character.. Looking at my collection on the wall is an automatic mood booster for me. I’ve even got a print of the American kitsch classic “Waterloo,” also known as Dogs Playing Poker—a piece which is at once hackneyed and transcendent. By the way, the dark pink screenprint in the upper left corner is my corgi, Barkowitz. He’s a handsome fellow with personality to spare.
This hand-carved wooden box, a gift given to my grandmother by her brother upon his return from World War II, holds faded family snapshots. Some of the photos are so degraded at this point that it’s difficult to make out any likenesses at all. I know I should probably put them in an acid-free archival album, but I enjoy handling the haphazard stacks of photos as I sift randomly through the box. I find this “system” more satisfying than flipping through an album.
Childhood artwork, vintage keepsakes, and souvenirs displayed in shrine-like vignettes, to be arranged and rearranged again and again. This is something I have done since I was a kid, making little tabletop displays of objects on my dressers, desks, and windowsills, and I still find it a very relaxing and serious-fun activity. By the way, is that more dog art in the background? Yep, it’s a huge portrait I painted of my family’s dog when I was twelve (as you can see, the dog art thing runs pretty deep in me!).
My precious mixtapes. A few years ago, I went through a phase of putting together mix CDs with very elaborate packaging—fancy cardstocks, handmade paper that I had made myself, ribbons, collages, watercolors. I really went to town on these things! My taste in music might have shifted a bit since then, but as personal documents these CDs have become more meaningful to me over the years. They really are my journals from that period.
This is my favorite window. I have taken so many photos from this vantage point. I know it’s not the most spectacular vista, but I’m drawn to the oblique, glancing view down the street. When I am experiencing a mental block, I will often go to this window, look out over the rooftops, and let my imagination carry me away.
I also receive daily doses of inspiration from nature. I especially enjoy taking my dog for walks in nearby Inwood Hill Park, which boasts the last bit of natural forest in Manhattan. Back on the forest trails, it’s very easy to forget that I’m in the city, which is sometimes necessary when I start to feel frazzled by the pace of urban life.
After visiting neighborhood parks, I always return home invigorated and brimming over with new ideas. In his book Easy Living, the designer Terence Conran writes, “The least inspiring displays are composed of objects you expect to see, or those that remain in the same dusty corner year after year. By contrast, objects that mean something to you, that enshrine memories of a favorite place or time or person, always have vitality: they actually have something to say…[There] really are no hard and fast rules for display except to surround yourself with things you positively enjoy.”
This wise statement is something I like to keep in mind when I consider ways to honor objects and memories in my home. I try to stand back and let my collections of much-loved items speak for themselves. – Lisa
(images: parallel botany)
Okay this is absolutely fabulous. You can design your own pillows, rugs and tote bags now over at Jonathan Adler online. Oh My Goodness. How cool is this? And you can play with his tool for hours (he he), combining colors and patterns that rock your world right here. I’ve created a few rugs for kicks, now I’m moving on to pillows… this could be somewhat addicting.
And now I want the houndstooth blue/white animal throw rug. What a whimsical animal-friendly take on those zebra throws, huh? Love it.
(images: jonathan adler)
A few of my favorite things: Design Evolution
Hello all, this is Michelle from the blog Design Evolution stopping by decor8 for a visit while Holly is making her big move. When Holly first asked me to participate in her August guest series, “A few of my favorite things” I was super excited to be a part of it. I must admit putting this post together turned out to be an interesting exercise as I realized my home is full of many “things” but not too many of them favorites. Taking a little journey through my space with a camera in hand I was able to find those few things that bring me peace or make me smile and a room where I feel truly relaxed and at home.
My house didn’t really start to feel like a home until I brought in some artwork. While I can’t quite afford original art pieces I have begun collecting prints from my some of my favorite artists. It is such an inexpensive way to fill your home with beautiful images. Online marketplaces like etsy, artfire, etc. have introduced me to so many independent artists and I’m so thankful for them. Before I discovered them I could only dream of owning works from independent artists and now I have many.
My grandfather was a meticulous photographer who kept amazing notes about the exposure, f.stop, film type, etc. for every photo he took. He was also great at organizing his photographs into albums and cataloging many family events. I’m so grateful to have these photo albums that track my family’s life in Cuba from even before my father was born. I know I will never be as disciplined as he was but he certainly inspires me to better organize photos of family and friends now because I know future family members will appreciate them.
This little corner of my kitchen is my happy place on early mornings. You can not expect me to complete a coherent sentence until I have had my first cup of coffee. The routine has become cheerier with the addition of two Orla Kiely canister that hold my coffee and sugar and print from one of my favorite etsy shops Yumi Yumi.
Some part of my home is often torn apart or in the middle of a crazy home improvement project that is no doubt over my head. During the chaos my bedroom is always the place where I can escape the mess and relax. There are no jarring colors and while there are certainly things I would like to change about the room I hold back while the rest of the house is torn apart. I close the door, curl under the covers, turn out the light and everything is right with the world.
And my most favorite thing in my entire home, except for my boyfriend of course, is my puppy Milo. He is number one on my list of things that I would grab if there was a fire and I had to run out the door. A puppy can certainly drive you nuts at times (especially those times when they chow down on your favorite pair of shoes) but you quickly forget those times when you walk in the door after a particularly rough day and that adorable little face couldn’t be more excited to see you and only you. It’s also very rewarding to know that I’ve made this poor abandoned puppy’s life better then he could have every imagine it would be. Holly I know you’ve mentioned that you might like to get a dog once you’re settled in Germany and I definitely recommend it. I wonder if he will only understand German commands :)
So there you have it, a few of my favorite things. Leave it to Holly to sneak some healthy introspection into what appears to be a fun and light assignment. Must be what makes Holly such a great teacher. Taking this photo journey around my home has made me realize that I need to work a bit harder to fill my home with only things that I really love and not just things that I think I need.
Good luck on journey and best wishes to you and Thorsten. We will all miss you while you’re settling and can’t wait to follow along on your new adventures. Finally, Holly asked that I end a favorite piece of advice. At this stage of my life these words from the Persian poet Rumi, “Let What You Love Be What You Do” resonate quite strongly. Life is too short to be dragging your feet. Embrace every moment running, jumping, playing and most importantly doing what makes you truly happy. -Michelle
(images: design evolution)
Juliette from the Zuhause blog told me about a jam jar diy project that she posted on her site yesterday… Just an FYI in case you’ve been wanting to try this at home, Juliette can help you!
Note: as with any DIY project where you’re playing with electricity (he he) please be careful and exercise caution!!!