Elegant Fall Decor Inspirations

October 22nd, 2014

The term “fall” brings to mind images of bright colored pumpkins and rustic scarecrows. It can seem hard to decorate your home for fall without looking gaudy or childish. That’s why Curbly has gathered this years best ideas for decorating with elegance this fall. With bright accents or neutral themes, these fall decor ideas will adorn your home, not invade it.
Bring on the harvest

Tonnatak Builds Iceland Retreat: Dynjandisvegur

October 22nd, 2014


Tonnatak is an Icelandic home builder. Judging by the contemporary beauty of his most recent retreat, he may also work in architecture and design, but I’ll leave it up to you to ask him. Dynjandisvegur in Bláskógabyggð, Iceland is a minimalist wooden cabin that compliments the subarctic, volcanic Iclandic landscape.
Thanks goes to Bjarki Kjartansson for the Houzz photo gallery

13 Giant Proposed London Architecture Projects

October 21st, 2014

You may have heard of SkyCycle, a proposed car-free cycling road above London’s railways. It could make alternative transportation easier and safer to use in London. But that isn’t the only ambitious, sustainable London project architects are thinking of. Visit Dezeen for twelve more projects that have sparked heated debates.
Click on

Katie Troyer: Amish Photographer

October 21st, 2014


Katie Troyer is an Amish little person who takes photos of Amish in Sarasota, Florida, where most members of the Amish community welcome photography. What sets Troyer’s photos apart from other Amish photography is their emphasis on familiarity over romanticized country imagery. While Saloma Miller Furlong provides further context for Sarasota’s customs in her blog post, I first would like to point out this charming video of images from Katie Troyer’s family life.
Learn more at About Amish

Quality and Skill in Perfect Balance

October 16th, 2014


It doesn’t take much knowledge to detect the quality of a piece of furniture. If you go into a typical “Big Box” store in search of a sideboard or china cabinet you’ll many times be able to see the uneven gaps around the doors and drawers. As soon you open them you can immediately see that the separators for cutlery are covered in felt to hide the fact that the dividers themselves are made from particle board. At least the grain of the wood looks okay, until you realize it’s just veneer over plywood. And look at the sides and bottoms of the drawers – they’re not even stained or finished – just raw wood.

This may sound familiar. There’s an unnerving rattle of loose glass as you struggle to open the too tight, skewed door of the china portion. Tap lightly on the back of the cabinet, but be careful! If it was any thinner, light would pass through it… Is this really what you want?

You deserve better!
colbran dowelsbridgeport bench
colbran dowels2
Furniture used to be built for the long-haul. It was solid wood, durable and sturdy; there were no plastic laminates, flake or particle board or plywood. Furniture wasn’t something that you purchased, used for a couple of years, and then donated to charity or threw away with the trash. I grew up with furniture that was over 100 years old, sometimes two centuries or more. It was crafted by experts, finished in beautifully fine detail, and often signed or marked by the creator.


There are still Craftsmen like that; true Artisans that put every bit of skill and knowledge into creating not just fine furniture, but Art that will last for generations. Hand-finishing to perfection, not until the end of the shift; carrying the job through to completion, not until it is “good enough”; those are the secrets of a job well done. As we all know, “Good Enough is not Good enough!”


When others don’t finish all of the exposed surfaces, whether with stains, varnish, oils or waxes, the wood it left vulnerable to experience uneven moisture and humidity, swelling and shrinking joints with the seasons. The connections loosen; the moving parts jam or wedge. It can deteriorate in just a few short years.


Quality even where you never look
With quality furniture, everything is stained and finished, even the parts you can’t see. Just because something is out of sight doesn’t mean it can be ignored. If you order a dining set, all the pieces will be finished by one artisan so that all the pieces will be the same color and match perfectly. Typically we don’t want an oddball chair that doesn’t match the rest of the set.


After all, isn’t that what craftsmanship is all about? Pure, unmitigated, unassailable quality at every step; driven by ability and tempered with humility; and combined with select materials to fashion the very best for you.


Your job is easy in comparison. You just have to look at it, fall in love with it, and take it home.

Piet Boon’s New York Condos Have Dutch Contemporary Style

October 14th, 2014

Piet Boon renovated a former New York office building into the Huys condominiums. Dezeen has the tour, and points out that Boon designed the condos to be decisively Dutch. Don’t forget to watch the Vimeo on the bottom, which details Frederick Molenschot’s creation of a lobby chandelier resembling hanging oriole nests.
Click for excellence.

You Can Tell She Really Gets Rustic

October 9th, 2014

I’ve visited Camp Blue Wall‘s blog and all I can say is, would you just look at that vintage rustic furniture. Maria McCune knows how to furnish a home that is so confidently rustic, you would think she furnished it seventy years ago. And certainly her vintage pieces are old enough. My favorite piece: the blue cabinet filled with eclectic thrifted glass bowls.
Get a glimpse

Soft Chair Manufactured in 1 Piece from Plant Cell Patterns

October 9th, 2014

You may not need upholstery if you get this chair. Inspired by plant cells, BIOMIMICRY is an entire chair made with hollow spaces throughout which allow it comfortable give. Lilian van Daal had the chair 3D printed in one piece. Her goal is to make it possible to create soft furniture without relying on multiple materials and sources, cutting down on transportation and other ecological impacts.
More at Dezeen

DIY Adjustable Industrial Wood Stool

October 9th, 2014

Want to create an industrial wooden stool with an adjustable seat height? Ana White has plans for a fun stool made of 2x2s. The all-thread that adjusts the seat height holds the stool together both functionally and stylistically. This stool has a serious handmade look and is a cool conversation piece. It could even work in a steampunk setting.
Plans at Ana-White.com

3D Printing Living Furniture from Fungus

October 7th, 2014

By Tobin Dimmitt
20100815_1818_Mold_cc3_by_BobBlaylockThat cool stuff on the left is an extremely close look at mycelium, a stringy network that composes what are basically the roots of mushrooms. That is one square millimeter (less than 1/8″) so as you can imagine, the right species of mycelium can grow tightly by human standards.
If mycelium is tight, perhaps it can also be strong. Eric Klarenbeek decided to try out this potential strength. So to turn it into a material for furniture, he tried 3D printing it.
Klarenbeek 3D prints straw in paste form with bits of yellow oyster mushroom mycelium throughout, in a furniture shape such as a chair. The mycelium eats the straw and grows through it. When the chair is strong, Klarenbeek dries it out and covers it with bioplastic… unless he wants it to sprout mushrooms. And for prototypes, of course you do.
This chair is supposed to be a concept to inspire Dutch Design Week visitors to consider building just about anything out of living material, but to me it looks close to a realistic product, as long as you stop the mushrooms on time. Beyond furniture? Klarenbeek is hoping people will explore the strength and safety of mycelium enough to develop living architecture.
Thanks goes to Inhabitat for the news
Mycelium close-up photo is CC 3.0 by Bob Blaylock