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Thursday
Jul022015

closet organization tips, thanks AYR!

For clothing design company AYR, it all all began with the perfect pair of jeans. Specializing in denim made and finished in the USA, co-founders Jac Cameron and Maggie Winter obsess over flattering details—and living in space challenged New York City, they know a thing or two about storage.

Ranked in order of importance, name 5 staple wardrobe pieces that every closet should have.
Jac:
1. killer jeans, the ones you live your life every day in and are the first thing you pick up in the morning
2. one crisp white shirt that goes back to anything
3. a slim finely tailored blazer with a casual sensibility
4. in a heavier weight silk, a strappy slip dress that you can layer from Summer to Fall and back
5. a cozy sweater that’s light enough to layer and warm enough to carry you into colder seasons.

What is your preferred method of organization (color, item, etc.)?
Jac:
By item—I have a massive denim section that is folded on both sides of my closet by color, allowing space in the middle for tops and outerwear.
Maggie:
By color—I keep neutrals on the low bar because they’re the ones I wear all the time. Living in New York limits your space which forces you to edit your wardrobe to the things that you constantly reach for and wear the most.

How often do you clean out your closet?
Jac:
I do a reorganization every six weeks and a big purge once a year. It’s about keeping everything clean, organized and tidy. We created AYR so that you don’t have to clean “out” your closet- we created pieces to wear season after season, year after year.
Maggie:
Once a year, I try to get rid of the things that I don’t wear & make a big donation pile. It’s an occupational hazard - we are always shopping – out with the old, in with the new!

What is your #1 tip for keeping a consistently organized closet?
Jac:
You can’t let it get too crowded, it requires constant maintenance.
Maggie:
Make sure that you give clothes room to breathe—if you can’t see what’s in there, you won’t wear it.

What are the common problem areas in the average closet?
Jac:
For us in New York it’s simply space & storage. How to organize when you have neither?

How do you keep your closet visually appealing?
Jac:
Keep it organized, I don’t sort by color, but organize by style – which helps give it a nice uniformity (everything hangs at the same level and is easy to wardrobe). Overcrowding is tough.
Maggie:
Pick nice hangers and think of it as a room, not just a repository for clothes. I have a walk thru closet with custom wall paper that has beautiful mirrors and framed pictures of people I love, its someplace I like to spend time rather than a dark hole where I stuff my clothes. It makes getting dressed in the morning less of a chore.

What products do you use to keep organized?
Jac:
I find metal wire containers useful so I can see what’s inside, allowing me to keep things in one particular place. You want everything to be visible at first glance. Speed and access are important when you’re on the go.
Maggie:
Different clothes need different types of storage – so it’s important to have hanging space, shelves and drawers. I try to keep most of my stuff visible and not use too many containers because you don’t wear what you can’t see.

Do you have any specific tips for small closet spaces?
Jac:
Small wire hangers give you more space to hang – ditch the chunky plastic hangers for more hanging room. Socks and smaller items have to go in a drawer, they take up too much space. Instead of balling everything up, fold garments in flat piles.
Maggie:
I try to find slim profile hangers and edit, edit, edit! It doesn’t make sense to swap my wardrobe every season because there’s no space for storage, which forces me to edit my wardrobe to the pieces I actually live in. Invest in pieces that make you happy every time you see them hanging in your closet.

Wednesday
May272015

designer profile: kirsty minns

Where was your favorite place to live?
I love living in London. There is always something new to be inspired by every single day.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I love my living room, I have a shelf full of books and found objects and a big window that looks down over the city. A perfect place for daydreaming.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Travel, Art, Film, manufacturing processes, and I am fascinated by human psychology.

Form vs. function?
Sometimes the function needs to be that it has to be well formed. There is a place for both.

Who are you design icons?
I love Charles and Ray Eames they really embodied being a designer as a lifestyle choice. They also applied their talents across so many disciplines—their film work is incredible.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
That’s such a tough question as there are so many. For furniture, Charles and Ray Eames LCW chair is a classic as is Dieter Rams shelving for Vitsoe. It has to be something that is timeless.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Dieter Rams Vitsoe shelving.

What do you drive?
Mainly the London Underground, or a bicycle

What is your personal decorating style?
Eclectic mix. I love vintage mid-century modern furniture mixed with modern pieces.

What’s your favorite possession?
I used to be the head of development at Established & Sons and was lucky enough to receive a beautiful fluro yellow Zero-In table by BarberOsgerby. It is an incredible piece of engineering, The design was developed using sophisticated production techniques usually reserved for automotive manufacturing.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
I just bought a new sofa, A 1960’s Greaves and Thomas sofa bed beautifully restored and reupholstered with Harris tweed fabric. There is this amazing shop in East London called 2&4 which has the most incredible archive of pieces.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
It’s all about being savvy in how you put together pieces mixing new with second hand. Making your own prints for the wall can be a nice way of bringing to life a room on a budget.

What are your interests outside of design?
I love doing exercise classes and yoga- I find its the perfect antidote for a constantly switch on brain. I also love to travel. There is nothing better then planning your next adventure.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Challenge yourself everyday, enjoy the process and never stop learning.

To see all of Kirsty’s current works for CB2, go here.

Wednesday
May132015

designer profile: paul isabella

photo by: Josh Goleman Where was your favorite place to live?
I have lived in a number of different places (around 15 in total) so that is a tough question.
I loved growing up in Barcelona, which was an interesting and gorgeous city and had such a big impact on me. Currently, my wife and I live
in the Hudson Valley, NY and we think it’s pretty great. It’s quaint and quiet, but has easy access to NYC.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen is where a lot of fun happens. My wife and I love to cook and love experimenting with food.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A teleportation machine.

What are your interests outside of design?
I love to spend my time growing food, fly fishing, biking, xc skiing, and generally enjoying new experiences and the simple pleasures of life.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The axe. It’s fascinating that something that has been around for nearly a million years is still needed and in use today.

Who are your design icons?
Lately I have been very influenced by the way the Shaker communities lived and the simple innovations they employed in everyday life.

Form vs. function?
I would say function informs the majority of things in my life, with form coming in at a close second.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I get most inspired when I come across unexpected details.

What is your personal decorating style?
Minimal folk art with lots of handmade touches.

What’s your favorite possession?
My wife’s great grandfather’s drill press from the 1920’s that I restored. It’s fun to have something that old still running, and still in the family.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Good wine and good food.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Don’t over think it. Keep it as simple as possible. And learn how to safely use a table saw.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Don’t let doubt kill your forward momentum.

To see all of Paul’s current works for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Mar122015

meet us: strand design

photo by: Anjali Pinto marina 24” mirror rack

Sharon

Where was your favorite place to live?
I currently live in the Chicago loop, and so far, I think it is my favorite.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
Though not exactly in our home, I would have to say our balcony—we’re on the 47th floor and the view is wonderful.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Travel inspires me, the city inspires me, but more often than not, what inspires me to want to make something is when I feel annoyed by an object and want it to be better in some way. So I guess you could say I am frequently inspired by what annoys me.

What do you drive?
I don’t really. Since I live and work in the Loop I’m primarily a pedestrian.

What are your interests outside of design?
Reading, cooking, camping in remote locations, running.

Form vs. function?
Both in perfect harmony.

What is your personal decorating style?
Clean, modern, and simple, with attention to the beauty and richness of natural materials.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Travel. I am compelled to go somewhere at least every six months. I’d do it even more often if I could.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
As a teacher, I try to remind my students to have fun. They’re trying to become designers because they love design and it’s what they want to do. If you’re not having any fun, then do something else.

Ted

Where was your favorite place to live?
I love living in Chicago—but I’d live anywhere as long as it is close to Lake Michigan and the food is good.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The bedroom is full of light and that is the best way to start a day. I love waking up to the sunrise reflecting off of the steel and glass buildings across the street.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Luders 16 sailboat. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can stop and picture the form of that boat in my mind’s eye. One can never have too much cold-molded mahogany around.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Tinkering and reading are big sources. Materials and manufacturing processes never cease to inspire. And, of course, I’m inspired by everyday life; being social, talking with people, traveling and just walking around.

What do you drive?
In my mind, a Porsche 912. In reality, a Toyota Yaris hatchback—but the two are really so similar, I don’t know why I make any distinction at all! I love messing around with cars but I haven’t had the time or space to do it for too long.

What are your interests outside of design?
Travel, food, sailing, swimming, family, camping … preferably all mixed up together.

Who are you design icons?
Jean Prouvé and all of the anonymous designers who make most of what we use everyday.

What is your personal decorating style?
Spare, wood, white and lots of light.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Buy a table saw and you won’t have to buy furniture anymore.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
You’ll never make a living making things.

To see all of Strand’s current works for CB2, go here.

Friday
Feb272015

spring favorites: sandra

SAIC adorn floor screen
Working with the students was a great experience—so I admit that
I’m biased and it was hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites. Camille’s floor screen made it to the top three because it’s an incredible space saver, it’s uniquely functional,
looks fantastic empty or loaded up—
it’s the trifecta of form, function,
and value.
SAIC valet 23.5” jewelry cabinet with mirror
Josh’s jewelry cabinet elegantly
encourages you to complete a look
with touches of shiny, pretty, sparkly
things—it’s also androgynous
to accommodate larger watches,
bow ties, keys—and the idea of hanging it in an entryway so you wouldn’t forget when dashing off…
brilliant!
SAIC cache storage cabinet
I’m a collector in what seems like a smaller space every time I bring home more finds. So Chester’s cabinet will do double duty as a slim surface for essentials like a lamp, a clock, a vase—while storing the not so pretty stuff where it can be easily accessed.