January 21, 2011
I’ve been working on next week’s Inspiration post – Len Kendall is coming your way – and found this post on his blog. Len didn’t create it (he can’t remember where he found it – anyone want to claim it?) but it’s brilliant. It certainly touched a chord with me – I think half of those resolutions have been on my New Year’s list at one time or another! And I love the way the image just keeps on going and going. Nice bit of graphic design there don’t you think?
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
January 21, 2011
Around the web this week:
1. Skitch is a clever little app that allows you to grab and share images easily. I’m always looking for smoother ways to work and this is particularly smooth!
2.The Cool Hunter for their collection of offices. Always looking, looking, looking for great work spaces.
3. Maya*Made for her office storage and organization ideas. I do love a bit of burlap.
4. Photographer Gabriela Herman for her portraits of bloggers at work.
5. Bneato for the organizing advice and the refiguring of her home office. Love the sites new look.
6. things i have seen for a bit of visual inspiration.
7. Interior design firm Wonderwall for their completely trippy water-inspired site. Check it out with the sound up and you’ll see what I mean.
8. The Mid-Century Modernist for their interesting take on my favorite designs.
9. Imagination Cubed for its awesome simple drawing capability. Because we all need a break every now and again.
10. Home tours on MarthaStewart.com for some surprisingly edgy spaces.
January 21, 2011
Curbly is devoting the month of January to home offices so we’ve decided to share a few stories with each other. Enjoy!
Curbly reader and guest blogger Alica Di Raga recently moved into a new townhome, and got the chance to create a totally sweet home office from scratch.
She says, “I live in Houston, TX and run Dismount Creative, a company that runs social craft classes (jewelry, fashion and home projects) in bars and restaurants. I also sell online at Etsy at and blog regularly. My husband and I moved into a 2.5 bedroom townhouse a few months ago.”
“We’d originally planned to get a 3 bedroom and devote 1 of the bedrooms for my studio, but the loft in this slightly smaller place really appealed to me. I love the 3rd floor balcony outside and the bright light that streams in through the windows all round.”
“It doesn’t have a door, though, which means I need to keep things neat so I hit up The Container Store and Ikea to get organized. ”
This story originally ran on Curbly.
January 20, 2011
Dallas Clayton started his career as a teenager writing and illustrating magazines and selling them to strangers. Later, as a new father, he wrote and illustrated An Awesome Book from home simply to encourage the idea of dreaming big and holding on to those dreams. He sold hard copies of the book but he also put it online for free to share it. When the hard copy sales escalated he created the Awesome World Foundation, which donates one book for every copy sold. He has always written from his home, and now runs the foundation from there as well. May his experiences inspire big dreams in your family, too!
My name is Dallas Clayton. I write kids books. I don’t require much space or many amenities to be happy. I guess I’m lucky like that. To be honest, I would be just as happy living in a van parked next to the ocean as I would in any variety of palatial estate. I’m not much for sprawl or grandeur, or making other people who don’t have any houses feel bad about it because my house has six basketball courts and a television made of diamonds.
But I can recognize that “van” is a pretty lackluster answer to what is my ideal space. Maybe instead of van, I should say craft. Vehicle. Traveling machine.
What does that look like? It’s going to need to be fast, so I can hurry all over the world meeting new friends and getting into new situations. Maybe even “warp speed” fast. You know, near-instant traveling capacities.
And its going to need a lot of room, so that people can come inside and hang out and eat food and play party games, and draw pictures on the walls if they want to. What good is it being able to get Iceland at warp speed if you can’t have a dance party when you get there? And it’s going to need to be able to fly, and go underwater also, because – well, you asked me to use my imagination…
…and while we’re at it, it should probably be able to go into space- maybe to the furthest reaches of space- the parts of space that could answer all sorts of questions about mankind and god and science and whatnot. I would also like it to be painted on the front like a mural at a pediatric dentist’s office (rainbow-colored misshapen animals, wizards, etc).
Oh, and it needs multiple swimming pools for when we travel to desert climates (you’re invited too, you know!) I would also like it if it could play music as it traveled, like an ice cream truck- but less annoying. Maybe it could play something easy on the ears, like Sam Cooke or Bill Withers, man those guys could sing. If only my house could sing as well as Bill Withers, I’d be a happy fella.
I guess since we are on the subject I’d like to make one final request of my ultimate home- if it could end poverty, disease, and global inequality and maybe across the board make people of the world feel better about themselves, well that would be great too. *
Thanks so much!
* They said I could use 600 words. I only used 428 words so far so I would like to use the remaining space to tell you that I love you and that maybe you should call your mom today if you get a chance or maybe if you see someone outside (it’s pretty cold these days) who doesn’t have a house you should try to talk to them or maybe buy them some food or maybe just even a big smile would be nice. I know isn’t much, but at the end of the day we’re all just people, right?
January 20, 2011
If you’re trying to manage the installed software on your Mac and if you’re wondering on how exactly this can be done, there are some easy ways of doing so in order to get it done quickly and easily. This is a good way of maintaining your computer, as you don’t want to have too many unused programs installed on your Mac.
The first thing that you need to remember is that OS X doesn’t have something like the Windows Registry, so there are usually no wizards to uninstall software. There’s also no ‘Add and Remove Programs’ available in System Preferences. From time to time, there will be shortcuts created in the Applications folder for your to click to do this for you. However, with the plethora of different apps available, we’ve seen that most of them will stay on your computer, even when you upgrade to a newer version of the software.
Let’s take Photoshop and Microsoft Office as examples. When you upgrade, let’s say from Photoshop CS3 to CS5 or from MS Office 2008 to 2011, the old versions of your programs stay installed. This is how you can get rid of these programs, without creating too much of a fuss.
First, click on the Applications folder shortcut in your Dock. If you are running OS X 10.6 and later, it should open a black screen with all of your installed Apps. Earlier versions of OS X will open the folder directly. One way or the other, you’ll have to click ‘Open in Finder’ at the end of the list of available programs. Once you’ve selected these, just manually drag and drop them into the trash. If you’re doing things correctly, there will be a prompt that will ask you for confirmation (your user password) in order to complete this task.
For some programs, you’ll have to right-click on the icon in Finder, and select ‘Show Package Content’. You’ll only have to do this if the application is part of a bundle and not self-contained. Then, move the files to the trash. You can free up quite a bit of space on your hard drive if you’ve got a lot of programs installed. If you drag and drop the Apps directly from the first black screen when you click Apps, it won’t uninstall the programs.
(Image: Flickr member Khazeth licensed for use under Creative Commons and Image: Flickr member FactoryJoe licensed for use under Creative Commons)
January 19, 2011
How does jack-of-all-trades Sophie Donelson reward herself as she writes from her Cobble Hill, Brooklyn home? Find out in our latest playlist from this design writer (look for her in mags like House Beautiful), lifestyle-brand consultant, and EditorTV host for The Editor At Large.
What do you listen to while you work? Nothing! I’ve never been capable of listening to music while I write, but thankfully, I also spend a lot of my day brainstorming, researching, and reporting, all of which I can do while listening to music. Hip-hop and electronic tracks are mainstays, but I also love Motown, reggae and indie bands. It’s actually music videos that I obsess about all day. I watch them as a reward, lIke, OK, if I write this lead, I get to watch the new Kanye video. They usually rev me up enough to finish my work and move on to more fun things.
How do you listen? My MacBook Pro speakers or Bose sound dock and, when I’m out and about, an iPod Nano with an obnoxious shiny pink case.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Not really—iTunes by default for music, and Vimeo for music vids.
Does music influence your work? When I was in high school I wrote a poem influenced by Juliana Hatfield’s “Spin the Bottle” from the Reality Bites soundtrack. It was a relationship allegory in which my boyfriend and I were balls on a pool table. How terrible is that? Today I’m inspired by lyricism, I play certain Lil Wayne or Kanye West tracks over and over again because every listen reveals another layer of rhymes or references. I’m consistently inspired by the transgressive ways vocabulary is used in rap. Who isn’t at least a little amused the first time you hear Kanye rhyme esophagus with sarcophagus? That said, I have a pretty high tolerance for crude rap lyrics.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Blogs, Twitter, and via my husband, Greg, and my bf Matty, both of whom actively seek fresh songs, and sometimes even my favorite spin instructor, who is prone to leading the occasional all-Led Zeppelin or all-Stevie Wonder ride. I rely on The Awl contributor Dave Bry for a steady stream of rap and hip-hop videos, including from Southern artists I’d never otherwise run into. I Listen to Everything is a great resource, too. The author is the daughter of rock star astrologist Susan Miller, which I find super cool.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? On a good day, my career is like Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On“—fast-paced and multi-faceted, with quiet, meditative verses and a wildly accelerated chorus.
SOPHIE’S (VIDEO) PLAYLIST
Bang Bang Bang, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
I’m Not Your Toy, La Roux
Let Me Know, Róisín Murphy
Any Which Way, Scissor Sisters
Paper Romance, Groove Armada
Wonderful Life, Hurts
We No Speak Americano, Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP
Dancing On My Own, Robyn
Moloko, Familiar Feeling
Kim and Jesse, M83
Images: Sophie Donelson
January 18, 2011
1. Eco-Retro Desk Clock, $58.00 Laser cut from modern, eco-friendly bamboo panel, this well crafted clock might make you feel nostalgic for a bygone era. Get it: VectorCloud at etsy.com
2. Clock10, $299.99 Handmade by designer Mike Reynolds in Jamestown, NY, this clock comes from a line inspired by found materials (in this case, a found single unit of a Kartel stacking tower). Get it: supermarkethq.com
3. Wood Mantle Clocks, $34.00 Add a happy hue to your workspace with one of these solid wood selections. Get it: West Elm
4. The George Nelson Diamond Desk Clock by Vitra, $395.00 Because every desk deserves some love from an iconic example of mid-century modern design, right? Get it: Velocity Art and Design
5. Cronotime desk clock, $78.00 A pop of color from this Pio Manzù-designed Alessi clock will wake up any desktop. Get it: alessi-shop.com
Images linked to their sources within the numbered text.
Balance, Design, Products
January 18, 2011
The green revolution has brought about many creative solutions to everyday problems. We’ve shown you how to make your own office space more eco friendly but today we found an excellent example of a temporary office environment that utilized massive quantities of shipping pallets to create an extraordinary and functional workspace.
The Amsterdam offices of BrandBase were designed by the locals at MOST Architecture. The solution needed was in tended to be temporary which meant MOST was challenged to design a space that would ultimately be dismantled later on. Their solution was to use a recyclable product which could be reused for another purpose once the space is changed.
The result is an amorphous and sculptural installation that not only creates multiple desks but also an elevated floor along with staggered seating throughout. Glass sheets are used atop the desk surface to provide a smooth, splinter-free worktop. We love the neutral color the pallets give the space, creating a modern yet warm and inviting atmosphere. The pièce de résistance, however, is the main staircase that looks like a cascade of pallets pouring from the top floor down. The form is playful and organic. We could definitely see ourselves working in an office environment like this. And of course, we can all appreciate the fact that when it’s all said and done, these crates can continue their lives being shipped all around the world and nothing needs to be wasted.
By Mike Tyson.
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.
January 17, 2011
Artist, photographer, designer and blogger Elisabeth Dunker lives in Sweden with her husband Dennis, their two kids, Tovalisa 12, Otto 9 and their Devon Rex cat, Hiro. Her blog, Fine Little Day covers art and design. The Times called it quirky and put it at the top of their 50 best international design blogs. Here Elisabeth lets us into her home office.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I’ve worked from home the last 12 years. Home is in Gothenburg. (Sweden’s second biggest city).
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? Mixed. Inconsistent, patched and repaired.
How do you keep your work space organized? The most important things like bills and other important papers I keep in a document collector. Otherwise I don’t keep it very organized.
When you set up your home office what did you have to keep in mind? Were there any particular obstacles to overcome? It was important to have a good chair because I sit a lot in my work. I also wanted to be able to cover up the big window since I work with photos on screen. The biggest obstacles, well I should have installed a timer or something so I took more breaks. I tend to work to much, that most be the biggest obstacles for me.
Is there any piece of home office furniture you covet right now?I have a good chair, “Sun” partly designed by Bruno Mathsson. A better desk maybe, bigger and more flexible.
What desk accessory can’t you do without? The document collector. The computer!
What would you change about your work space? I’m always dreaming of better storage (below are journals designed by Elisabeth and Camilla Engman. Together they run Studio Violet)
What inspires you? Flea markets and second hand stores. (Below porcelain designed by Dunker and Camilla Engman for their Studio Violet project.)