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Monday
Jul282014

10 essentials: david

1. Black, bottomless cups of coffee—Seattle.

2. Bourbon. Blantons Bourbon. On the rocks.

3. My mom’s an interior designer so growing up with mid-century furniture and fine textiles—I can’t get enough furniture by Charles and Ray Eames, their textiles, and other infamous designs like the Womb and Barcelona chairs.

4. My dad’s a chef and one of my best friends is a foodie—so I have had a lot of exposure to the kitchen and baking is my favorite. I love how relaxing it is and how giving people baked goods on an unexpected day makes their day better. Pies are my favorite, but I’ll try anything and try to work entirely from scratch—even if it means carving and roasting the pumpkin for pumpkin pies.

5. About 6 years ago, a friend signed up for too many golden retrievers—so I was fortunate to step in and get Jake when he was 6 months old.

6. I’ll take any opportunity to travel—to visit amazing places like the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and the Humayuns Tomb in New Delhi; to try new, spicy, and flavorful foods—especially Indian food from India. My favorite restaurants in the world are Bukhara and the Spice Route—both in Delhi.

7. Since high school I’ve enjoyed rowing for exercise—sweep 8’s in college but mostly singles.

8. Not just music—the Alt Nation station on Serius—The Black Keys, Mute Math…

9. Jeans and concert t-shirts—which I’ll wear until their done. A current favorite is from The Sounds concert in Dallas a few years ago.

10. The one family tradition I still follow is Fruity Pebbles on my birthday—it was always a treat to get whatever box you wanted and to make it last as long as you wanted.

Thanks to david, product manager, for this submission.

Thursday
Jul242014

fall favorites: sara

radial chandelier
i love how dramatic this light fixture
is with the 12 bulbs. it also has an
old hollywood feel to me, yet is really modern with the matte black finish.
silo side tables
i love that these tables are more like sculptural pieces than your average table, and that they play off each other with their complimenting shapes and finishes. the marble also gives
it a bit of a glam feel.
drommen bed
this bed has a mid-century feel with the profile and finishes. i love how
the rich acacia wood compliments the natural and textured upholstery. it’s also a bit higher off the ground than most of our other beds, so this gives customers an opportunity to store stuff underneath.

Thanks to sara, product manager, for this submission.

Friday
Jul182014

designer profile: donna piacenza of studio 1a.m.

Where was your favorite place to live?
My first little studio apartment was on the north side of Chicago—plenty of inspiration and design ideas to test. But Woodside, California, is definitely the prettiest place I’ve lived. My husband and I go each summer to bike up our favorite mountainous roads, take in the unforgettable scent of eucalyptus and hopefully spot a banana slug among the redwoods.

What one item do you wish you owned?
I wish I owned fewer items.

What are your interests outside of design?
Running, cycling, yoga. Starting (not necessarily finishing) projects at home. Experiencing everything for the first time with my two girls.

Who are you design icons?
Hella Jongerius, Alexander Calder, Nina Tolstrup, Scholten & Biajings.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Travel. Just being outside on a hike or run—letting thoughts go and ideas flow. Plus found objects and industrial remnants have always inspired my work.

What is your personal decorating style?
Minimalist mixed with a dose of vibrant color in a vintage setting. I’ve been accused of being a chromophobe (afraid of color) but I love color (bold, pure, fearless COLORS). I typically prefer a neutral space with a pop that makes you take notice of something really special.

What’s your favorite possession?
Photographs. Work traded with other designers/artists.

What do you drive?
A Jorg & Olif bicycle complete with milk crate is my preferred mode of transportation. It was a gift (or is it borrowed?), is way too big for me, weighs a ton—but it’s so charming and takes me back to vacationing in Amsterdam. There’s no other way I’d rather get around town.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Time to myself. And chocolate.

Do you have one low budget decorating tips?
Take away until you can’t take away anymore. Then put your favorite thing back. Also, use stencils or masked areas in unexpected colors/orientation to create a large impact on a limited budget. And a little industrial charm goes a long way.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
I have a few favorites from friends and colleagues that I find myself passing along:
When you can no longer work for someone else, it’s time to open your own practice. -s.t.
Be careful what you’re good at. -c.k
You get the clients you deserve. -j.d.
Best I ever gave: Be patient and persistent (and fake it ‘til you make it).

To see all of Studio 1a.m.’s current works for CB2, go here.

Monday
Jul072014

how it's made: vixen blockprint tablecloths

To create the modern striped pattern of the vixen blockprint tablecloth, the process of transferring a pattern on to wood blocks using paper and charcoal—then hand-carving the pattern out of the solid wood—has been the first step for hundreds of years.

In 2008, we happen to pass by a small group of workers carving very traditional patterns in Jaipur, India—an area famous for block printing and where vixen is produced today.

While vixen’s pattern is much cleaner and more simplified than the detailed patterns shown above, it actually makes the process all the more challenging to precisely align each press of the block—and to keep its very long lines as straight as possible.

To get started, the printer prepares the fabric by measuring the length to be folded for the hem—so that the stripes start from the corner—points are then marked on all four corners using a tailors awl.

The cloth piece is then laid out diagonally across the printing table aligning the awl points and a strong line of twine is stretched across the cloth and connecting the corner points—creating a full-length guide for the printer.

Printing begins with the darker color as the background, then the fabric is repositioned and pinned for the second color—so the diagonal stripes cross each other and create the overall pattern.

Once completely printed, the cloth is hung to dry then washed to process and set the colors. Lastly, the hem is sewn and the finished tablecloth pressed for packaging.
hint: if you look very closely at a finished tablecloth, subtle breaks or overprints in the line can be seen which indicate each hand-pressed print of the block.

Saturday
Jul052014

animal rescue: cassius

Nicknames: Cash-Money, Roast Beast.

Favorite Snacks: Carrots, Peanut butter, Smoothie leftovers.

Before he became famous: I found Cassius at the Chicago Animal Care and Control shelter—I was told it was his second time behind the CACC bars since his previous adopters had to return him.

He had already been housed at the shelter for over a month when I visited and things were looking grim for this energetic Lab/Pit—but fast forward 6 years, Cassius is still with me and very happy to share a home with two cats.

Hidden Talents: Despite his size—and 85lbs—Cassius thinks he makes for a fantastic lap dog… he is however very good at pulling me around Humboldt Park on my bicycle… raiding the recycling bin for plastic bottles he can chew on… sneaking on the couch when we’re not home.

Cat and dog adoption fast facts:
…every year approximately 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters.
…25% of adoptable dogs in animal shelters are purebred.
…adopting a dog or cat from the Humane Society, ASPCA—any rescue group—can save their life.
…and, being a pet owner can add years to your life too.
To find your next pet, check out adoptapet.com