December 31, 2009
It seems appropriate on the last day of 2009 to take stock of the year past and look forward to the new year. 2010 is a whole new decade. A fresh start. But how are you feeling on the cusp of a new year? How happy are you? Lifework contributor Christine MacLean also writes for our sister blog, Discover, and she came across a great little site that measures happiness. Sounds odd, but I just did the test and it was quick, easy and actually insightful. Christine’s a 64, I’m a 57…what are you?
We’ll be taking a short break. Check back in next week and have a wonderful New Year’s!
December 30, 2009
Ines de la Fressange’s pink study. Via The Selby.
Ines de la Fressange is one of those women who are very stylish. She was a model and is now a designer and photographer. Her home, an apartment in Paris, is inspiring but what is really interesting is this strong hit of pink she’s chosen for her office.
Color can certainly transform a space but how many of us are brave enough to go pink? We’d love to see what colors you’ve chosen for your work space. Feel free to send us images and once we’ve collected enough we’ll turn them into a slideshow.
December 29, 2009
If you want a taste of Herman Miller, of all the good things the company has done over the years, there’s an exhibition curated just for you - Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller. And it’s on the move. The show opened at the Muskegon Museum of Art and shifted last month to St.Paul. It travels to the following museums over the next two years. Let us know if you make it to the show and what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Goldstein Museum of Design St. Paul, MN, November 23, 2009 – January 17, 2010
Henry Ford Museum Dearborn, MI, February 6, 2010 – April 24, 2010
Everson Museum of Art Syracuse, NY, August 15, 2010 – October 17, 2010
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts San Angelo, TX, November 7, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Wausau, WI, January 29, 2011 – April 3, 2011
Hunter Museum of American Art Chattanooga, TN, January 2, 2012 – February 26, 2012
San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design San Francisco, CA, June 17, 2012 – August 12, 2012
December 29, 2009
When you’re setting up a work space in your home sometimes you just need a little inspiration. Not all of us have water views like the one from this Florida home office designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. But we can still dream! And one of the best ways to get great ideas is to look at spaces that really work well – Architectural Digest, edited by Paige Rense, has collected 12 extraordinary home offices (including Jacobsen’s) that are well worth a look.
December 28, 2009
You hear it from parents everywhere: “Young people today seem to have a hard time growing up. When I was that age, I already. . .” Fill in the blank. Had a mortgage. Had two kids. Owned my own company.
But the economy certainly isn’t doing young adults any favors. One in 10 adults aged 18 – 34 who have moved in with their parents say the recession made them do it, according to the Pew Research Center. Thirteen percent of adults with grown children say one of their children has moved back home in the last year.
That makes life interesting when your office is at home, says “Karen,” who works from her home office every day and asked not to be identified. When her son graduated from college, he moved back for a few months while he looked for a job. Although he’d been self-sufficient through college, “as soon as he moved back home, bam, his expectations were back to high school,” she says. “If I was in the house, he assumed I was at his disposal–for chatting, if nothing more substantive.” She solved it by using a trick teenagers know well—earbuds. “If I couldn’t hear him, I didn’t feel compelled to respond.”
December 28, 2009
The Washington Post ran an interesting story on the growth of home offices. Michael Gibbs is an illustrator and his wife, Hope Katz Gibbs, owns a public relations firm. They both work from home. So when they went looking for a new house their number one priority was a flexible interior that could accommodate two home offices. The answer to their dreams? An open plan ranch house in Arlington that they can divide up easily. The Gibbs’ are not unusual – 2.5 million workers in America say their home is their primary workplace (American Time Use Survey).
Design, Products, Trends
December 28, 2009
Designer Shelly Klein chose an Eames Elliptical table for her living room. Via Design*Sponge
Everyone puts their feet on the coffee table – whether we admit it or not! When you’re working from the couch where else are you going to put your feet? Here are five hard working coffee tables that can take a little foot action. It’s also a great time of year to consider a big purchase – take advantage of all those sales!
1. Elliptical table by Ray and Charles Eames for Herman Miller. It comes in black or white and it may sound counterintuitive but white is a better choice here as it doesn’t show marks like the black one (I’ve got a white one and seven years of hard use – including kids jumping on it – has left only the normal signs of wear and tear.)
2. Room & Board’s Bradshaw table. This is a great sturdy choice if you are looking for something circular with a midcentury modern aesthetic.
3. Herman Miller’s Nelson Platform bench. George Nelson designed this versatile piece of furniture in 1946 and the crisp timber lines still look great today.
4. The Barbarella table. The clever designers at Blu Dot produced this thoroughly modern take on the coffee table.
5. DWR’s clean-lined Cubo is ready for feet and also has a clever concealed storage option in the leg (it’s lined in a lovely red leather).
December 24, 2009
During a recent visit to the Herman Miller headquarters in Michigan I was lucky enough to sample the pita chips. Now, I’m not necessarily a chips person but these are amazing. Really. Plus they are a nice balance to all those cookies that seem to surface at this time of year. Over on our sister blog, Discover, Marcia posted the recipe. In case you missed it here it is – a little treat for you to enjoy until we return after the break (check back on Monday, December 28).
Marigold Lodge Pita Chips
1 package pita pocket bread
½ pound butter, melted
Lawry’s seasoned salt to taste
Cut pita pockets into wedges. Peel layers of pita apart.
Lay pita on a sheet pan, rough side up. Brush each piece with melted butter. Sprinkle each piece lightly with seasoned salt.
Bake pita at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a convection oven 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Note: For best results convection oven should be used for baking.
December 23, 2009
I have now taken the first concrete steps toward home office renovation and showed my crude sketches to a contractor, who is putting together a bid for us to renovate our A-frame garage into a work space. Billy, the contractor, asked if I wanted to recessed lighting but I’m envisioning something more industrial involving Edison light bulbs. I’m crazy about the chandelier (pic below) at Gjelina restaurant in Venice, CA which is fashioned out of an old pot rack with hanging bare filament light bulbs. Dreamy, but perhaps a little much for my modest space. In a similar vein, I’m thinking vintage cage lights. Maybe three or four hanging from the rafters? I’ve started sourcing and Ebay has a decent selection of vintage cages, or there are any number of antique reproduction hardware sites that sell pieces to build my own.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 23, 2009
We asked Yves Behar, who designed the Leaf and Ardea lights for Herman Miller, to think about gifts that would sit beautifully in anyone’s home office. Here are his recommendations.
1. Remember to drink water and stay hydrated with the tranSglass® Lidded Carafe - a collaboration with Guatemalan craftsmen and Tord Boontje’s combines old-world craftsmanship and sophisticated design, each vessel is a unique, one-of-a-kind piece. Just add a stick of carbon to purify the water, and enjoy.
2. Working and speaking to people on the phone while having hands-free is a must (to take notes, draw cartoons, surf the web to plan the evening during that longish conference call). I designed the Jawbone Prime Earcandy headset in everyone’s favorite colors. It’s a nice way to be able to do two things a once.
3. Something inspiring and spiritual on a desk is important, like some flowers. I would pick Arik Levy’s Ceremony. They are flower sticks made for the Turkish brand Gaia and Gino. Choose clear, silver or bronze.
4. And enjoy your own music, without having to ask cubicle neighbors! These Semi-Audiophile Ceramic Speakers for Ipod or Computer by Joey Roth are bespoke and affordable (under 500$). The ceramic speakers are made from porcelain, cork, and baltic birch. each material is minimally finished, left to add its natural beauty to the design.
5. And take a break once a day for some body stretches and light exercise: an eco friendly yoga mat made of PER (Polymer Environmental Resin), which is a unique material that is more sensitive to the environment and your health is a good place to start.