David Mills Custom Homes Varies Design Elements

October 6th, 2014

 
The following home uses a lot of textures to create exciting rooms. Often wood, two kinds of brick, and large windows exist in single rooms. It also exemplifies what natural light can do for a room. It’s the Liberty Residence designed by David Mills Custom Homes in Liberty, Texas.
 
Photo tour at Home Adore
 





What Is Your First Thought When You See the Word, “Amish?”

October 3rd, 2014

 
By Tobin Dimmitt
 

When you start talking about the Amish, you hear a variety of responses between two extremes: recoiling in horror at the insularity of some communities; and the shallow affection people have for recipes, quilting, and what looks to them like a simpler lifestyle. Lynette Sowell would like you to know that she is somewhere in the middle. Plain people (the name encompassing plenty of groups like Amish, Hutterites, and Mennonites) are not walking stereotypes. Having met and done business with Amish on a regular basis, I support her view. In our footage of our partner’s stain shop, you see that Amish women’s work is not limited to cooking in Iowa. Sowell has inspiring pictures of Plain people doing unexpected things.
 
Let’s join her at Not Quite Amish.
 





Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery with Curvy Glass Rooms

October 2nd, 2014

 
Glass can add brilliant effect to an architectural design, and brilliance was exactly what Thomas Heatherwick was aiming for when he created the greenhouses for gin company Bombay Sapphire to grow their flavorful herbs. The curvy glass with stems leading into the main building resemble stills.
 
View the distillery with a video here.
 
For an interview with Heatherwick, click here.
 





Floor to Ceiling Windows Around the Home

October 2nd, 2014

 
Floor to ceiling windows always make a room’s style say something real. They let light in, they host giant window treatments, and their sheen beautifies a home from the outside as much as from the inside. For a tour of how giant windows can work for a surprising array of rooms, I suggest Alexandra Belgun’s tour on Homedit.
 
Look through
 





Hand Tools for Your Shadowbox?

September 30th, 2014

 
By Tobin Dimmitt
 
If you have time to shop for fashionable tools that look bad after they get dirty or bump against each other, ChauhanStudio’s “Handmade 2013″ could be for you. They’re smooth and white with wood, because contemporary designers like smooth edges and white with wood. I wish it weren’t that simple.
 
What else can I say?
 
I can’t always look at my screwdriver.
 
Where Handmade 2013′s handles are plastic, they are smooth, not textured or bumpy, reducing the usefulness of the worker’s tactile sense to do his job. Even where my eyes can reach, my hands do a lot of sensory work and smooth tools provide no guidance or enjoyment.
 
Work is dirty.
 
White is going to get dirty in no time; maybe the idea here is to incorporate fingerprints so that Handmade 2013 is an individualistic design? I don’t want to polish my screwdriver every time I tighten a drawer handle.
 
Most tool users are perfectly happy sticking to our durable, chunky, colorful tools that are made to be used; some of us have even put work into restoring vintage hand tools, and we wouldn’t want to give those up.
 
Handmade 2013 is worth talking about since it applies visual design consciously to a surprising market. But I have no idea who it is supposed to be for. New families will throw together the best items their parents can spare along with inexpensive, conventional looking tools. Tradespeople are hoping to keep their jobs for more than one year and have more important things to worry about than how trendy their tools are.
 
Do I have the wrong idea? Was this tool set only created for the visual appeal in the first place?
 
View the tools at ChauhanStudio’s website
 
Thanks to Maggie McLaughlin and Gessato for the tip
 





Vintage Neutrals in a Farmhouse Nursery

September 29th, 2014

 
I’ve been wanting to see the Farmhouse 5440 nursery completed, and now here it is. Those neutrals are so calming and the details are so pretty, baby Amelia must love it there. Vintage decor items and honest to goodness wood furniture preserves the farmhouse feel in Amelia’s conveniently organized room.
 
Say “Hi” to Amelia
 





Ride a DIY Bamboo Bicycle With a Build Your Own Bike Kit

September 29th, 2014

 

Bamboo design has found its way into cycling with the Bamboobee Bike Kit. As if cycling wasn’t sustainable enough, now you may build a bicycle frame using sustainable bamboo and hemp rope. A bamboo bicycle will be an eye catcher around town, too.
 
Thanks to Lloyd Alter for the tip.
 
Visit Bamboobee on Prefundia.
 





Brenda Nixon Looks Beyond Idyllic Amish Stereotypes

September 23rd, 2014

 
By Tobin Dimmitt
 
Amish and Plain people can lead quaint, loving lives. However, with the variety of small sects all across North America, there are bound to be some groups who are living the Plain life with joy and others who are living the Plain life only due to control by their elders. Brenda Nixon lives among ex-Amish who left the latter situation in specific groups such as the Swartzentruber Order.
 
Now Nixon does research and presents it in her blog, Beyond Buggies and Bonnets: True Amish Stories. The blog looks past the idealized stereotype of the Amish “simple” life, at some of the problems inherent in Plain living. Sometimes everyday problems are expected, like hygiene where indoor plumbing is scarce. Other problems are more severe and include the control people impose on their own in an insular sect.
 
If you want to get to the heart of the problem, I recommend you start with Nixon’s post, “Do Amish Keep Their Anabaptist Heritage?” It touches on the beginning of American church history from an Amish point of view, then it applies the origins of Anabaptism to reveal the issues arising in the most insular Amish communities.
 
From there on, feel free to browse Nixon’s posts on a variety of topics, from mythbusting the media to watching ex-Amish create new and flourishing lives in “English” culture. Often Nixon includes the familiar voices of regular people including Amish.
 
Remember that not all Amish are as repressive as the Swartzentruber Order, and many groups practice rumspringa to help their young adults choose between an English or an Amish lifestyle. But where the youth leave a problematic community, people like Brenda Nixon are as valuable as adoptive families to help them grow.
 
Visit Beyond Buggies and Bonnets
 





London Contemporary Penthouse Tour

September 22nd, 2014

 
Alexandra Belgun doesn’t always tour apartments, but when she does, she manages to find the most impressive blends of tasteful and unique design. This London penthouse is livable contemporary, with a gentle mix of accent colors and comforting textures. Most excellent are the brightness and the views. Don’t forget to read this one too.
 
Visit Homedit
 





Interlocking Stool Parts Make Contemporary Furniture Fun

September 22nd, 2014

 
The Frida Collection, designed by Zanocchi and Starke, consists of a stool and side table that are solid wood yet as easy to disassemble and store as Legos. The pieces bring an airy, contemporary style to a room and are just plain cool to take apart and put together.
 
See the stools at Gessato.