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Entries in inspiration (14)


redefined: the abacus

photo by: tsc_traveler The abacus is typically Asian but references from ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Persia, India, Russia, Korea—even Native Americans—exist.

Trade between the two regions may explain the similarity of the Roman and Chinese versions— or it may be pure coincidence that both derived from counting the five fingers on one’s hand— but trade with India and the Middle East in the 1st century A.D. changed everything when the concept of a zero and a decimal point spread.

Replaced by modern calculators performing complex equations, the abacus not only remains a graphic icon—it continues to be manufactured and used to teach numerical systems and basic math.


redefined: the vanity

photo by: LindaHUsed for hundreds of years, dressing tables as a piece of furniture declined in popularity as rooms for toilets and bathing moved inside the house and included cabinets for perfumes and make-up and wardrobes or closets for small accessories; and vanities—which included a large ceramic pitcher and bowl for washing up—became today’s faucet and sink.

Although dressing tables or vanities remained popular in modern homes—until as recently as the 50s and 60s—as time has become a most precious resource, and women spend more time out of the house, more often than not we’re multi-tasking and rushing to get ready. But good storage for our little luxuries will always be necessary, hence, the modern vanity.


how did we get here: the tie-1-on sectional

What’s the story behind the tie-1-on sectional?

We started here, last year, in Milan…

got comfy thinking about it here…

then talked about it over a few of these…so we added a few of these…hence, the name.


inspiration: barcelona

This summer, I took the opportunity to visit Barcelona since I’d been wanting to go for years. For four sun-filled beautiful days I swam in the sea, walked the streets, admired the architecture, devoured the fish, and left with lasting impressions.

The two most outstanding? First, everyone was incredibly gracious and seemed to possess a sense of peace and happiness along with a modest pride in their homeland’s culture and language. Second, the architecture is absolutely amazing.


All the works by Antoni Gaudi are wonderful in their whimsy and define unique. Gothic and Modern are equally prevalent—and quite often they’re mixed with sheer genius.

Much like home it’s a very bike friendly city—for both tourists and locals—and the transit system is efficient and easy. While wandering the neighborhoods I found modern hotels in the industrial area, and storefront windows of thick glass flush to the weathered walls that make up the winding streets of the Gothic quarter.

A few favorite spots: Parc Guell for its Gaudi architecture, colorful mosaics and expansive views of the city and sea. Mil for their vintage storefront and exceptional millinery for men and women. La Vinya del Senyor at Placa Santa Maria—a wonderful spot for wine tastings and tapas—just outside the Santa Maria del Mar. Do see the Gothic cathedral, the beauty is in its architecture, age and grit.

And lastly, Salero for lunch. Tucked in La Ribera, their mix of vintage with modern—of worn wood tables and white chairs, of mirrors and lighting—topped by delicious cuisine served on simple tablewares, altogether the experience was a highlight. 

Photo: Restaurante Salero

The trip was very refreshing and inspirational. I bought a stack of music to recall the mood and took hundreds of photos. Isn’t this the perfect mix of old and new?

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