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Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: BROOKLYNrehab

Where was your favorite place to live?
Brooklyn were I am now and have been for over 10 years.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My living room with front balcony. It is a combination of new and vintage items. It can be whatever I need it to be. A space to relax. A space to entertain. A cozy perch to watch the interesting people in my neighborhood pass-by.

What do you drive?
My bike. It is the easiest way to get around the city and good exercise too.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Flea markets and travel. I love looking at the past and other cultures for inspiration.

Alyssa Zygmunt of BROOKLYNrehab What are your interests outside of design?
Good food. Nature. Biking. Exploring new places.

Who are you design icons?
John Pawson, Zaha Hadid, Eva Zeisel, AvroKO.

Form vs. function?
Why choose?

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The egg.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Air Stream Trailer.

What is your personal decorating style?
Eclectic.

What’s your favorite possession?
A small anvil that once belonged to my Grandfather. I use it everyday and it reminds me that I come from a long line of makers.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Living in New York City, ever evolving mix of interesting people and emerging ideas.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Buy similar objects in groups of three or more to create an instant collection. Flea markets and vintage stores are a great source. It can also be a goal for future treasure hunts as you expand the collection.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Received: Do what you love because you spend more time working than you do anything else. Gave: If you love what you do it does not feel like work!

cloud napkin holder round wood cheese board bulls eye coaster set flag serving board
Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: ryan kapp

Where was your favorite place to live?
I’ve only ever lived in Ohio and Chicago and I would have to say Chicago is my favorite by far. I once heard someone say that Chicago is a serious metropolis in the middle of nowhere. I really liked that assessment and I think it lends a certain dimensionality to the people who live here. If Chicago was like it is in the summer year-round, then it would be completely blown out. But we suffer through the winter every year because we love it here.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My favorite room is the dining room. We have a huge book shelf in there with all my design books, LP’s and little objects that I love.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Anything that captures the right mood at the right time - it can be the weather, a certain type of light, a skateboard photo, a song, a memory.

What are your interests outside of design?
Skateboarding, music, travel, nature, sharks, Chicago Bulls.

Who are your design icons?
David Hockney, Alex Katz, Charley Harper, Chris Ware, Geoff McFetridge.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
It would have to be the skateboard. It’s so simple but you can do so many different tricks with it. It’s also a blank canvas and all the fantastic graphics from the 80s were some of my first visual influences.

Ryan Kapp What do you drive?
2000 Honda Civic, manual transmission.

What one item do you wish you owned?
One of those mod hanging fireplace orbs.

Form vs. function?
Can I have it both ways?

What is your personal decorating style?
Mostly Mid-Century Modern with personal objects thrown in.

What’s your favorite possession?
My semi-auto screen printing press.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Donuts & vintage action figures.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Do-it-yourself framing—order frames online at wholesale prices and put everything together yourself to save on labor and mark-ups.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Best advice received: Try to do whatever it is you want to do so well that the rest takes care of itself. Best advice given: Don’t make life harder than it already is.

french bulldog screen print shiba inu screen print

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: iamhome

Sarah and Joseph Belknap of iamhome Where was your favorite place to live?
We love Chicago, it’s the most well rounded city we have lived in.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen. We love to cook.

What are your interests outside of design?
We are practicing visual artists and love to cook, camp and play ping pong.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Color, science, humor and the cosmos.

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

What’s your favorite possession?
We have a small meteorite collection that is slowly growing into a big one.

What one item do you wish you owned?
We want a couch we haven’t had one in the past five years because we were rehabbing our living room. We have just finished the room but it is still couchless.

What is your personal decorating style?
Our home is pretty minimal it’s the complete opposite of our studio. We need a place to go to that is simple and peaceful.

Who are your design icons?
Coop Himmelblau and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

Form vs. function?
We think they should go hand in hand.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The telescope.

What do you drive?
We drive a black Nissan pickup truck we lovingly named Starbuck after Battlestar Galatica.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Keep it simple and only decorate with the things you truly love.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
We received it and we pass it down: have fun… experiment without restraint… and if you stop loving it, don’t do it anymore.

fluorescent skull thumbs up trophy

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: AHeirloom

Amy Stringer-Mowat and Bill Mowat of AHeirloom
photo by: Alyssa Kirsten
Where was your favorite place to live?
We love living in Brooklyn, we have lived here for about off and on for about 14 years. Both of our business were started here so we feel that the environment is right for our creative growth.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We love our son’s room, as we took the most time to decorate it before he was born. Bill build a lovely crib and we spend a great deal of time painting and making the room a place where our son will grow and learn.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Bill always says - “necessity is the mother of all invention” and I would agree that need and the ability to figure out how to make something is our inspiration.

What do you drive?
We drive a volvo station wagon…it is a tank in the winter! Getting from studio to manufacturing space, to pre-school pickups requires some serious planning and a good set of wheels.

What one item do you wish you owned?
I think we wished we owned a better camera with a super sweet photo booth.. but perhaps this will happen in the new year….once we learn how to make one that works..

What are your interests outside of design?
We cook, clearly we are interested in cheese and all sorts of things related to baking and food prep. It is the major inspiration for our housewares line for sure.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
One of the best designs of all time in our opinion would be the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe, it was groundbreaking in it’s use of materials, It was elegant and sleek design combined with rich natural materials. So many wonderful modern buildings have been based on it’s classical principles.

Who are you design icons?
Corbusier is Bill’s and mine would be Charles and Ray Eames, each of these architects and designers knew a great deal about proportion and scale, which is essential in design. We also feel that they were super graphic in their representations.. they were distinct in their styles and never afraid of being bold.

Form vs. function?
We don’t think you have to choose that in the current design climate.. as trained architects we would most likely argue that form follows function many. A great deal of new products are being designed with the new manufacturing techniques that minimize unnecessary parts and pieces as the design evolves. The design and function of a products are getting more integrated as the techniques for making evolve.

What is your personal decorating style?
We never have a great deal of time to think about decorating our home and for many years we didn’t have the resources to buy things for our various apartments.. so we typically had to make the furniture that was needed! We are defiantly less is more type people and are truly white walls and clean lines type of people.

What’s your favorite possession?
We love our laser cutter, as it helps us prototpye and design new things ideas as quickly as we can think them up. We love the speed of bring things to life with the laser beams.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Our biggest indulgence is hiring a team of people who help us with the daily running of our business, we have really tried to do most things by ourselves, but the time has finally come where we need more help. Hopefully, our team will learn as we grown.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Paint is pretty inexpensive and we have really concentrated on painted ceilings for our apartment .. bold geographic shapes painted on a wall can really break and define space.. especially for a 2 year old’s room!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Sometime you have to let go of what you thought was going to work in order to really see the full potential of an idea - be flexible and try to allow for reinvention.

cork U.S.A. wall board

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: cotton & flax

Where was your favorite place to live?
Portland (my hometown) has a wonderfully cooperative creative community, and all that rain made my days of sewing and printing feel cozy. That being said, Los Angeles has been a really interesting place to call home for the last few years. Perhaps simply because it’s such a big city, as I take the time to explore, I am constantly finding new reasons to love it here.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My tiny studio space! I screenprint every piece for Cotton & Flax in my 6’ x 10’ printing room, and while it’s certainly cramped, I am grateful to be able to wake up, have some coffee, and get right down to work… no commuting for me! I know every nook and cranny in that little room as if it were the back of my hand, and I’ve hung up artworks from friends and some of my favorite printmakers to inspire me while I work.

Erin Dollar of Cotton&Flax What are your sources of inspiration?
I gather inspiration from all over: books, the internet, museums, the things I see on my daily walks. I’m very influenced by place; I’ve noticed that my color palette has really changed since I moved to Los Angeles. I used to gravitate towards greys and blues, and now I find myself adding brighter colors to each new collection.

What do you drive?
I’ve managed to live in LA for three years without a car! Running errands can be tricky, but I get a unique perspective of LA while I walk, ride my bike, or take the Metro Gold Line around town. I really get to look around and see all the little details that make each neighborhood special.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A certain handmade coffee table has been on my wish list for almost two years now, and I’m hoping to commission the artist to make one for me someday. It will be a splurge, but I’ve had my eye on it for long enough that I know it will be a piece I treasure for many, many years.

Who are your design icons?
Marimekko - their designs never feel stale to me. I also admire Orla Kiley, her prints are instantly recognizable, and always make me smile.

plus tea towels What is your personal decorating style?
I’m always aiming to create a more thoughtful, minimalist environment, but it’s difficult for me to reduce the creative clutter in my home. There will always been sketchbooks, pens and pencils, fabric swatches, and half-finished projects dotting the apartment. The unifying style that seems to hold my place together is my unique creative chaos: there’s no mistaking my apartment for anyone else’s.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Probably a tie between overspending on new art supplies, and my penchant for a good chocolate croissant and a latte… I’d have that for breakfast every day, if I could.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Fresh flowers! I buy a bouquet every week, and divide it up into three smaller arrangements to spread around the house. They provide a nice pop of color, and make each room feel brighter.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Best career advice I’ve received: be thoughtful about what you create, and know when to ask for help. Best advice I’ve given: don’t rush when creating a new product; lasting beauty takes time to develop.