Monday, January 10, 2011

Organize in Style

It’s a new year and it seems like all the clutter from last year has accumulated everywhere. Forget spring cleaning. I like to get everything organized and back in order to start the New Year off on a clean slate.

Most things get misplaced and cluttered because they’re homeless. Give those items in your space a home but use them in a non-traditional way. For example, in my living room I always need something to write with, but who wants a desk receptacle in their living room? Instead I use an Anglo-Indian porcupine box to house pens, pencils, scissors, etc.

In my office, in addition to a traditional desk organizer I use a small tonsu chest. It is out of the ordinary to have in an office but is great because of its multiple drawers and compartments. The combination of the black metal mesh pencil receptacles is interesting; I like the combination of new and old.

Here I’ve used an antique Chinese box to house rulers and stencils.

This blue and white Chinese jar has been turned into a receptacle for scissors, rulers, and an drafting brush.

I love this antique iron urn. It’s got so much intrigue to it and at the same time does a wonderful job of housing my rolls of drafting tissue.

This wicker suitcase is great to have around. It adds a worldly, traveled feeling to a room but doubles as a storage compartment.

Cigar boxes are another great re-purposed storage unit. They add color and character to any office. I've used them since my art-school days to house some of my paint supplies.

This antique burl wood and marquetry box is a great place to store cords and chargers so they're out of the way.

In place of traditional paperweights I like to use quartz crystals and river stones. They bring a hint of nature into the room.

In what ways have you re-purposed items in your home? I'd love to know!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Old West/New West



The movie block buster “True Grit” reminds me of a simpler time when life was not complicated with Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and Blogs, iPhones, apps and 24 hour news stations. Life then was very tough but there’s something appealing about the period's raw simplicity. This simplicity can be found in western vernacular, but looks even better when combined with classic interiors or with clean modern styling.


Recycled wood: Trends overlap. The “Western Look” meets eco-repurposing with the use of recycled woods. I have seen a number of interiors using recycled industrial wood palettes or old barn wood for a textural effect.



Here West Elm has used the wood palettes to hang various pieces of artwork.



In House Beautiful's February 2011 issue designer Cheryl Tague has done an excellent job of creating a country modern feel with wood walls.



Cow hides: Natural textures prevail. Hides show up in rugs, as shaped natural hides or as rugs, pieced in squares or in strips.



Furniture is especially interesting as mid-century Eames chairs are covered in cow hide = modern western or western modern.

This Sling Chair by Le Corbusier form Design Within Reach is classic with a twist.



Horns: Horns look new because they are used in a cleaner way or in classic interior settings. Horns are bleached, and used in wall d├ęcor, lamps and chandeliers, table bases, chairs, and as an accessories, in a bowl on a table.