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Thursday
Oct082009

pre-fab=pretty fabulous!

Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine

This past summer, Sunset Magazine partnered with Modern Cabana to create the Modern Cottage event for their October annual design issue.

The pre-fabricated cottage was designed to a create living spaces that are both eco-friendly and affordable. Consisting of two units, a 10x12 home office and a 12x25 guest suite, it’s a compelling model of minimalist living.

Positioned as a breezeway connecting the two units, the deck was made from a composite material which requires no painting, staining, or sealing. Decking was also installed around the units creating a variety of outdoor areas.

Other exterior features include FSC-certified clear inland cedar and a vertical garden of succulents which creates a living mosaic of shapes, textures, and colors. The angled roof is waterproofed with recycled tire rubber and is available with an integrated solar laminate for power. Two favorite extras—a refreshing outdoor shower and a dog-house with a green roof!

Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine


Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset MagazineInterior features include a sleek compact kitchenette using built-ins and bar-size appliances. A sliding door allows natural light in and opens to a back deck that includes a fire pit and outdoor kitchen.

Eco-friendly bamboo flooring runs throughout the cottage and corrugated walls enclose a corner off the office—inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s use of industrial steel in residential buildings.

We’re thrilled that the living-area included our space saving flex sofa which converts to a bed. As an office desk, an old door with a frosted glass top was suspended from the ceiling and paired with our surf chair and trig file cabinet. For more details—including pricing estimates—check out the October issue of Sunset Magazine.

We look forward to your comments and photos if you were there!

Photo: Thomas J. Story for Sunset Magazine

Wednesday
Oct072009

what goes around

taxi and mop shop DSC08540to market DSC09538best loaded DSC08993
Traffic as we know it is a mix of motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses. In India, it’s all that and more including tractors, camel drawn carts, auto rickshaws, pedestrians and sacred animals.

Here bicycles are a vital tool to fulfill ones’ livelihood—an elemental, low-tech solution to a myriad of needs. Literally thousands of bikes share the road with  all of the above transporting workers to work, foods to markets, or materials and goods to factories.

It was inspirational to see bicycles transporting recyclables and a sistern to collect rain water. The mindset of the culture is amazingly resourceful so just about everything gets reused—or used sparingly.

Some of these very bicycle tires have been selected and repurposed as spoke mirrors for CB2. Each is one of a kind and the iconic engineering mixes great with old or new interiors.

recycling
Sistern DSC09120

Tuesday
Oct062009

race for the cure--the finish line

proceed and be boldWe could spend the rest of our lives looking for the words to express the overwhelming emotion and gratitude we felt when we saw the sea of orange at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on September 26th, but we know that we will never find them.

Together, our team of 44 raised over $15,000 —the most of any team in the Chicago area.

Your support humbled and inspired us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
race crowd

Thursday
Oct012009

designer solutions for small(er) space living

When CB2 Soho opened in 2007, I relocated to Brooklyn from Chicago as store designer. New York being a bit more densly populated, once I found a place it was time to get creative with my smaller space. Especially since I’m not the kind of guy who has only 6 pairs of shoes—and gives up one when he buys a 7th.

I got the biggest bang for my footprint buck with floor to ceiling shelves in the hall. They stow a space heater or A/C unit, tax files and a printer, air mattress and extra blankets, a suitcase and 12 pairs of shoes! A canvas tarp as a curtain not only hides the stash, it adds texture and dramatically heightens the space.

In the living room, a halogen credenza doubles as a media center and library storing audio equipment and art books. The high gloss finish contrasts nicely with a ladder, left behind by the painters, that’s been repurposed as a magazine rack.

But I’m proudest of the kitchen. With so many to-go options, the oven is great for storing pots and pans. Martini glasses fit perfectly in the refrigerator crisper and freezer—and they’re pre-chilled!

A reclaimed 3-drawer dresser not only makes a great work island, it’s closed storage for less display worthy treasures while format shelves give a museum quality to my Kidrobot® and Hot Wheels® collectibles.

All said and done, my dream of modern minimalism has become my eco-conscious reality—especially in winter when my bike fits perfectly above the kitchen cabinets.

Thanks to vance, store designer soho, for this submission.

Wednesday
Sep302009

one of a finds: madhubani painting

madhubani painting

The naive art form of Madhubani painting has been passed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation, exclusively by the Hindu women in the remote Mithila region of northern India. For centuries, paintings were created on the walls and floors of village homes to designate auspicious spaces for festivals and rituals. After this agricultural region suffered a severe drought in the 1960s, the women began selling their paintings on paper to provide food, clothing and education for their children.

This one of a find is a limited edition of 440 original paintings by artist Lalita Devi. Lalita grew up painting at her mother’s side but has been paralyzed for the past 19 years. With the help of family members who steady her hand, she continues to work her craft and share her vision.

In this piece it’s of a jungle where prey and predator live together in harmony. The brilliant colors are made from natural spices, leaves, flowers and soot, and are applied with a cotton-wrapped stick.

It wasn’t easy choosing just one from so many wonderful pieces, but each time we view the painting we’re awestruck knowing there’s so much more to the story depicted and we’re thrilled to share it.