May 12, 2011
Columbus, Indiana certainly lives up to its reputation as home to a vast array of architectural gems. It’s a testament to the vision of local industrialist J. Irwin Miller who set up a foundation that paid the architect’s fees for public buildings. Miller (pictured above on the cover of Esquire) also provided the town with a list of architects to choose from that included I. M. Pei and Robert Stern. The legacy left by the late Miller, who died in August 2004, is extraordinary. Take Fifth Street for example – the bank was designed by Eero Saarinen while his father, Eliel Saarinen, designed the church just a block away. And that’s two of 10 significant buildings on the street.
Yesterday was spent touring the town’s buildings and with the help of Cindy Frey from the Visitors Centre we were even able to get into J Irwin Miller’s private office on Washington Street. The building, which is being sold, was completed in the late 1800s but the interior was revamped in the early 1970s by Alexander Girard and it was amazing. It’s one of the coolest workspaces I’ve seen outside of the Mad Men set! You are going to have to wait a bit for a slideshow from yesterday. What I can share with you today is the Miller House. It was so interesting to see where Miller lived and also worked. Enjoy the slideshow!
Balance, Design, Products
February 18, 2011
Where we’ve been this week…
1. Design Crisis for Karly Hand’s frank and funny writing and the great images of interiors.
2.Design Traveller for strong inspirational interiors and a refreshingly clean design.
3. Eye Spy for graphic designer and Atlanta-based Susie Q’s warm modern aesthetic.
4. Pink Wallpaper because I am clearly on a girly interiors bent. But this blog somehow circumvents the obvious and gives us some very beautiful spaces.
5. Lonny magazine’s blog for its awesome coverage of interior design. This online magazine is wonderful and the blog lives up to its hefty monthly cousin.
6. Belle Maison for the interviews with designers. Nice informative series.
7. An Afternoon With for Michael Mundy’s beautiful photography and the voyeuristic pleasure of peeking inside elegant people’s homes.
8. julia for its amazing layout and her book-filled desk.
9. My Vibe My Life for a peek into interior designer Kelly Wearstler’s colorful world.
10. Dwell magazine for its strong round-up of incredible home offices and home office ideas.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 28, 2010
Dee Adams is an interiors consultant, an artist and a senior producer at Yahoo! She lives in a airy loft in Oakland, California where she paints as much as her day job allows. I came across Dee on Ann Gorman’s blog, Where People Create. Here, I talk to Dee about her work, the practicalities of creating in a loft and how she fits it all in.
How long have you worked from home? I’ve been working from home in some form or another for the past 14 years. I’ve stolen hours where I can find them in between sleep and my various day jobs, so home has always been a continuous place of work.
Tell us a bit about your work? I wear a lot of hats around here including graphic designer, painter, boss lady, blogger and interiors consultant. By day I’m a Senior Lead Product Designer at Yahoo! and in all my in-between hours I’m running the studio here producing work for personal clients. Most of my fine art clients reside in New York, San Francisco, London and Sydney with work in both private and corporate collections. Graphic design clients include Taschen, GOOD Magazine and design shops like Rare Device and Renegade Handmade. I produce a wide range of products like interactive user interfaces, paintings, illustrations, logos, and infographics.
How big is your work space? The loft is 2200 square feet on the ground floor where most of the work occurs. Larger art pieces are transported in through the heavy double wooden doors. The living area upstairs has been deemed a no work zone.
Is there any form of technology that really inspires you? I’m a bit old school. Blank paper and canvas still get the best response out of me because that’s where all my ideas start. Technical drawing pencils also get me excited. But if I had to pick a newer item, I’d definitely say high-end audio headphones. I’m a bit of a collector and audiophile when it comes to them and the bigger the better. I love headphones where the modern components are hidden inside retro looking shells.
What desk accessory can’t you do without? My orange flip clock. I can hear the gears grinding and it keeps me on task. It’s a stunning bit of machinery and always gorgeous to look at. When the days and nights blur together as I obsess over another project, it reminds me where and when I am.
Do you have any tips for organizing a home work space? I live and work in basically a large rectangular box. If something is out of place or disorganized you notice it pretty quickly. To stay organized means knowing my limits when it comes to how much I can store. The loft has no built in storage so supplies are kept to the level of what’s necessary to complete the job. Paintings are often hung to maximize the immense wall space and serve as a gallery display when clients come over for viewings. I also tend to group and organize items by colour so that they give the appearance of being part of a related group. My biggest secret is that my vintage lunch box collection serves double duty as a filing system for important papers and business receipts. Finding creative ways to keep organized allows me to keep the space from getting too cluttered.
Balance, Design, Products
April 6, 2010
Last week we ran an interview with Francesca Connolly, one of the four women behind Remodelista. This week we hear from Sarah Lonsdale. Sarah, who lives in the Napa Valley with her husband and two children, is the daughter of an architect and has lived through five renovations and two ground-up constructions. She is also the author of Japanese Design. She brings all that design nouse, plus a good dose of warm minimalism, white interiors and Belgian linen, to her Remodelista posts.
How would you describe your workspace? What is the design aesthetic? I love my desk (pictured above) which is a wooden top that I had for years when I lived in Japan placed atop some recently acquired French metal industrial trestles. As much as I consider myself a minimalist and have a house that is fairly clutter free and simple, my desk is usually piled high with magazines and papers. My first job was in a production company in Japan where the way to demonstrate creativity was to have a desk with piles of interesting stuff and images and I don’t think I have ever stopped working that way. Once a week, I go through everything and clear it up then the piles begin again.
Does anyone else use your office? I’m afraid I am quite territorial. My husband works from home a lot and we each have our separate offices and respect each other’s space and it seems to work well.
How do you organize the space? My office is basically my desk and some shelves where I file papers in simple wooden file holders from Ikea. I also use large, natural grass baskets for storing magazines; they look good and can be easily moved around.
What impact do you think color has on a workspace? I spend my day looking at so many images daily, that great light is essential. I love an all-white space mixed with natural tones, grey stone colors and textures such as rough beige linen. That said, I would like to paint one wall of an otherwise white space this Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe grey (pictured above).
What desk accessory can’t you do without? My original 1227 Anglepoise “salvaged” from my father’s office. I also love Muji gel ink pen (pictured below) which I stock up on whenever I am in New York or London.
Is there a piece of furniture you’d love to replace? There is nothing I would like to replace however I love coming across a great find whether it be a chair in a garage sale or a piece of vintage furniture in a shop (which is how I found my current desk chair and the trestles). Those are the times I find myself adding pieces to the home.
What inspires you? We moved from the city to the Napa Valley over three years ago and being surrounded by such great natural beauty is pretty compelling. Being able to get on my bike and cycle on a country lane and see the seasons change is very poetic. I am a forager and invariably haul a branch or some fallen lemons ( or whatever is in season) back home to display. It’s a creative outlet in a way.
You see so many great workspaces. Is there one that really stands out for you? I have been thinking about this Japanese house recently by architects, Takaharu and Yui Tezuka and how for me an office really only needs a desk, some bookshelves and good natural light. An office along the lines of this bedroom (with shelving instead of bunks and a window to the ground) would work perfectly for me.
How do you manage a balance between work and the rest of your life? Since I work at home on the computer all day it is very tempting to be online the whole time. Multi-tasking is great but I am making an effort to close my computer when my children return from school even if it is only for 30 minutes so I can give them my undivided attention. The nature of this work is endless so being able to close the computer and do others things is really healthy.