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Entries in inspiration (14)

Monday
Dec262011

redefined: the cuckoo clock

photo by: jeaneeem Since the 17th century, the Black Forest—including its flora, fauna and wood chalets— has become synonymous with cuckoo clocks.

True Black Forest clocks are hand-carved dark-stained pine, Linden or fir cabins with leafy accents and birds as chimes. More elaborate variations include colorfully painted scenes with hammering craftsmen, folk-costumed maidens, or Lederhosen-clad revelers—oftentimes chasing across the clock face.

Typically the clock keeps time by way of a weighted mechanism—usually pine cones on chains or a swinging pendulum—and announces the time with the call of a cuckoo bird as it pops out of hiding.

Artisan clock makers still create these timeless timepieces, but the modern cuckoo clock has been edited to its most compelling element—a whimsical bird on its perch that originally signaled the arrival of Spring.

Friday
Dec092011

how to: set four unique tables

For a bright brunch, focus on cheerful colors and personalized elements. Wrapping paper makes a low-cost, high impact table cover and a travel mug doubles as a placecard. Live greens, sliced branches, and organic shapes recreate a natural habitat. Small plants can be less expensive than a fresh flower centerpiece while lasting longer—and push the envelope with eco wood bath mats as the table cover. Mix different styles, textures and period references to add interest. The labra candleholder is perfect to set the tone of this modern baroque table—especially when contrasted with angular white porcelain plates and a rich red bouquet. Mix different shapes, materials and finishes in shades of grey. It creates an urban, sophisticated look and becomes the ultimate blank canvas which can accommodate a variety of layers for a unique setting.

Thanks to stylist and photographer Bobbi Lin for setting these four tables featured at cb2.com/idea central.

Monday
Nov282011

redefined: the doily

photo by: jadis1958 In the 18th and 19th centuries, sofas and chairs were very often durably constructed using labor intensive 8-way hand-tied springs and upholstered in mohair or horse hair. To protect them from greasy hair pomades and hard to clean hard-working hands, intricate lace doilies were placed at the head and arm rests.

And wooden case goods were often heirloom pieces, either as part of a dowry to newlyweds or as an inheritance; so, often crocheted doilies protected their finishes from anything that was placed on them—such as buffet services and dinner plates or perfumes and hair brushes.

Today, eco-friendly FLOR doily tiles reflect our appreciation for the delicate handiwork that created the original pieces of lacework.

Monday
Nov142011

redefined: the credenza

photo by: roberto_venturiniSimilar to credence, or belief in Italian, in the Middle Ages credenza was the act of tasting or testing foods and wines so they could be served to a master—with assurance from a credible servant that they were safe to eat.

Later the term referred to the room for this tasting—probably between the kitchen and the dining room—and still later, to the furniture the food was placed on.

Originally waist-high for convenience, with storage cabinets to keep serving utensils and table linens, and often topped with a sheet of marble or a linen runner. Later, fine china and small treasures were protected behind glass doors of taller styles—going up as rooms were made smaller and less communal.

Since furniture has been commercially marketed, they’ve been included in dining room sets so all the pieces match—table, chairs and storage. Now synonymous with a buffet—where all food plates sit cafeteria-style on top of a sideboard, or credenza—this casual style of self-serving a large party versus formal table service for each guest, suits relaxed gatherings in modern, open-plan homes.

So just as formality has relaxed—an engraved invitation can be a simple evite or tweet—credenzas can be used for dining, media or office storage, and mixed with various woods or lacquer finishes.

Monday
Oct172011

redefined: telephone poles

photo by: Orin ZebestAs America opened up to the wild west, and later to suburban sprawl, telephones replaced the telegraph and telephone poles laced a vast new interstate highway system and kept us hard-wired for communication.

Today, satellites orbit the earth providing wireless technology—transmitting voice, data, video—and which leaves iconic telephone poles soon to be a thing of the past.

Not only does the telephone coat rack remind us of breezy family road trips with the car windows wide open, roadside picnics and scenic routes, it brings natural wood and concrete elements indoors as a whimsical storage solution.