March 29, 2011

Modern Living

Life can change drastically and quickly.  Some recent events have forced me and my fiance to move to take a new job and start a new life.



This move has made me more familiar than ever with the new trend of modern living in historic renovation projects that are sprinkled throughout New England.  

These buildings tell a story of the regions manufacturing wealth and prosperity.  They symbolize both the tremendous opportunities of the past and the pain and desperation that was left behing when manufacturing found their way over seas. They symbolize so vehemently and graciously the absense of industry in the US. Slowly, very slowly these communities have struggled to rebuild and redefine themselves.  

People have taken note of the beauty and integrity of these old mills and mill communities.  Many of these communities  have been reborn an commuting cities or chic places for middle-income hipsters.




These buildings tell a story of the regions manufacturing wealth and prosperity.  They symbolize both the tremendous opportunities of the past and the pain and desperation that was left behind when manufacturing found their way over seas. They symbolize so vehemently and graciously the absence of industry in the US. Slowly, very slowly these communities have struggled to rebuild and redefine themselves.  

People have taken note of the beauty and integrity of these old mills and mill communities.  Many of these communities  have been reborn an commuting cities or chic places for middle-income hipsters



In the end I have fallen in love with mill living, and could probably write a short essay on all the benefits and joys of waking up to 14ft ceilings, 8ft windows, and wood and brick.  The purity is refreshing.  The history is utterly captivating. 

October 03, 2010

Welham Studios by Mark Merer, Somerton, UK

Mark Merer’s work is rooted in the elements. They range from kinetic and balletic sculptures that move with the wind, to solid grass tors hewn from the earth. He was brought up in Malaya, where he spent much time on the beach flying kites and much of his work retains a love of light and air. But just as influential, perhaps, were the hours he spent digging sand. “I like to understand the landscape,” he says, “not just by walking through it or looking at it but by splitting it open to reveal what’s underneath. I want to peel back the crust to reveal Mother Earth.”


Welham Studio, designed for Landhouse, is a housing module developed from the Swinomish project at Washington State. Constructed from structurally insulated panels (SIPS) clad in Thermoform three-strand ply, with a meadow roof. A variety of layouts have been designed for home, holiday or work and three basic sizes have been developed. Welham studios is the larger of the three designs.


The Penncocks, a couple from Seattle, was interested in Merer's work and how it would translate to a building form. That is how Landhouse project was born. Merer took off with the idea with the help of architect Art Peterson of Cedar tree Architects in Seattle. A meeting was organized and out of it came the idea to develop an environmentally sensitive scheme for an allocated development area. The structures were refined and developed into module units comprising of Elder, Student, Single Family, Vacation, Multifamily and community facilities.  


Merer got back to the UK and decided to build an example of the larger unit. It became Welham Studios, from which Merer and his wife, artist Lucy Glendinning, work from. The building is constructed in structurally insulated panels using the factory in Seattle that was involved in the Swinomish project; this was to be a test for the modular units. Thermoform 3ply cladding was used. It came in 5m by 2m sheets. The roof is an EPDM membrane with a inbuilt root barrier, a 100mm substrate with a wild flower turf.


October 02, 2010

Art + Design = Life

(Etsy: ArgyleWhale)

When it comes to design, we forget that it is handmade, just in a different way.

Certainly this had some labor involved in its making.

(NYT Logo - made of chairs)

But design can be fun and lite (or light).


Design can be inspired from anywhere and anything.


Ikea has put out a visually stunning cookbook ( titled: Homemade is Best


Is this the future? Will everything be broken down into a global visual language?


Which begs the question:


Design + life = unexpected delights in everyday life
(blend of hand-made, mass-produced, creative applications)



Everything is going to be alright

That goes for everyone. (below: Kumi Yamashita)


And anyone.
After all, this is our world.


(above: Richard Galpin, "Noosphere", 2006)

September 28, 2010

Modern Tea Towels

With the weather starting to change, I am starting to dream of the lazy afternoons of baking and cooking.  Here are some wonderfully architectural and clever towels from Girls Can Tell  to add to your collection.


 Classic Holga 


Tandem Bike


Beer Lovers



September 24, 2010

New from 2Modern: BDI, Iannone Design, Indi B, Ink Dish, Oeuf, Thomaspaul, and MASH Studios

BDI now on 2Modern

BDI is now on 2Modern! In BDI, you'll find a collection of furniture pieces that are unique, functional and great looking. Their Home Theater furniture is engineered to meet the demanding needs of today's electronics, and do so while enriching the home and the home theater experience. They also offer incredible Home Furnishings and Office Furniture. The Drop Table has a two-tier design available as a coffee table, end table, or console. The Icon 9423 Swiveling TV Stand has a slim profile and swivels 90 degrees to always allow the perfect view. The Sequel 6003 Compact Desk is perfect for smaller spaces, with magnetically attached tilt-down front panels to provide easy access to wall connections while keeping all wires out of sight.

New Iannone Block-O-Drawers
Iannone has redesigned their Block-O-Drawers Long Dresser! This dresser is made from white oak and sycamore wood combination. Comes with 6 touch release dovetailed drawers for a modern sleek design.

New Indib Rugs

Indib is delighted to inform us that their new rugs are now available. They've added a new biege option for their Bunny and Veggie kids rugs and 4 new Round Rugs.

New Collections from Ink Dish

Ink Dish has added some new collections: Kites, Poem, and Tattoo Lotus. They have also added serving platters and bowls to several of their existing collections. The Poem Mug was designed by David Palmer and holds 10 ounces. The Kites 4 Plate Gift Set has 4 side plates and features the great designs from Dana Oldfather. The Cherry Ink Serving Platter has Paul Timman's beautiful tattoo art but is large enough to serve at any dinner party.

New Oeuf Dresser
Oeuf has redesigned their Sparrow Dresser! Now with a top drawer rather than an open space, this 3 drawer dresser is clean-lined, functional, and even eco-friendly.

New Thomaspaul Fall Collection

Thomaspaul has released their new Fall collection with over 60 items. They've introduced a new line of pouches and cases called Big Business. They have also added the shower curtain, bath mat, and pillows to their popular Luddite Collection. Not to mention numerous other items including pillows, scarves, throws, boxes, and Christmas decorations. You just gotta check them all out!

New items from MASH Studios

MASH Studios has added 5 fantastic new items to their lineup. Introducing the PCHseries Canopy Bed, which offers a secluded place to rest, with a minimalist approach. The LB Dresser and HB Dresser offer a clean-lined way to store clothing. The 2x5 bookcase gives you the perfect place for your books, plants, and more.

September 22, 2010

"Good Design"




201005177381KF 20 Coffee Machine by Dieter Rams 1972 Braun GmbH Koichi Okuwaki.




German Industrial designer, Dieter Rams’ ten principles to “good design”-

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long-lasting.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.

Having worked as head of design at Braun for 30 years and also designing furniture for Vitsoe, his approach to "good design" continues today and has influenced many, including Apple.

Less and More, a retrospective of Rams' work was carried at The Design Museum in London 2007-2010.

~via dwell 

Tires Rock...and Roll


Tire by Roy Lichtenstein 1970 image source: ElissaSCA

photoRob Pruitt 2010

Pattern and Degradation Opening reception at Gavin Brown's Enterprise and Maccarone, New York image source: VernissageTV Didier Didier

Tires are in.

Ever since we had the car tires balanced 3 weeks ago and found out they had weather cracking, it has been nothing but tire research and obsessive e-gathering of info by Tom. Including tread designs and compounds, you tube videos of tires being tested in Sweden near the Arctic circle, images of tires so zoomed in they fill the entire screen. When we opened up the NY Times art section last week and saw the huge picture of Rob Pruitt's new gallery show in NYC I was as Tom puts it "surprised to see that someone else saw the art in tread design" or as I put it "amazed to find his same recent obsession made manifest in the NY art scene." The tire has been used often in modern art. I found Lichtenstein's portrait of a Tire. I like it, even though Tom says it's old tech. When I think of tire that's the image that comes to mind, a big outdated symbol of power! It's been nothing but tires tires tires everyday, I don't think I've ever been so keenly aware of tires, everyday we go out we stop to look at people's tires, they must think we're vandals. As Tom puts it, "black and commonplace and taken for granted, hissing beneath your car seat is a work of art!"

Literally there's hundreds of tires going by outside our window right now, we hear tires, we see tires, I'm sure Tom dreams about tires, and smells them too. We also just heard, involuntarily, John Lennons' I'm Just Sitting here making the wheels go round and round(no doubt with tires mounted!!) Snow treads, summer treads, rain treads, treads that wear fast, treads that last! With tires black is the new black! You may recall BMW's ad for a car freak, using the tire tread as brush. Set up on a giant canvas the Z4 powerslides across the surface to create a unique work of art. Their campaign was dubbed "an expression of joy" I think it's an expression Tom is all too familiar with!!

September 14, 2010

Looking to the Past for Inspiration and Motivation

This weekend was spent participating in an annual family tradition that dates back long before anyone can remember.  The change of the season is marked by sudden cool snaps, shorter days, and a bountiful fall harvest.  Each fall in early September vine-ripened grapes make their journey from vineyards around the world to small produce markets where amateur and professional wine makers alike oggle at their beauty. 

Having finally participated in this tradition I can't help by recognize how the current economic and political climate has a lot of people looking towards traditions of the past. Many are looking to live a more simplistic life and learning to appreciate the small wonders around us. What could be more modern than that? 

Here are a few fun finds to get you in the mood to go and make your very own Vino della Famiglia. 


 Modern Cellar - CURIO Wine Server


MuNiMulA - Wine Tray 


 Burlap Wine Bottle Bags



There are 2 reasons why I had to share this with you guys. The first, because the DBA pen is the first 98% biodegradable pen in the world. The body is composed of bio-plastic, the ink reservoir from biodegradable fiber, and the ink itself is ACMI certified non-toxic. The second reason is that the promo video for it is BAD ASS... and we love BAD ASS.


DBA 98 Biodegradable Pen from DBA on Vimeo.

September 07, 2010

New on 2Modern: Knoll Kids, EVRT, FLOS, Bholu, and more

Introducing Knoll Kids

Brand new to 2Modern, Knoll Kids is a collection of spirited, modern furniture scaled for a younger generation. With the largest amount of fabrics and colors offered yet on 2Modern, we are proud to be one of the few online retailers to offer the full line of Knoll Kids products. The Child's Barcelona Chair was created in 1929 and features a pure compositional structure that now epitomizes modern architecture. The Womb Chair is GreenGuard certified and was designed by Finnish designer Eero Saarinen in 1948. The collection of Suzanne Lounge Seating is a versatile line that can be used as modular seating.


Introducing EVRT Studio at

Introducing EVRT Studio on 2Modern! Developed by designer Brian Everett, EVRT Studio offers a collection of modern art prints, available on archival quality canvas and complete with frame. The artwork ranges from and combines elements of painting, drawing, photography and graphic design. Brian Everett has carefully selected three designs exclusive for 2Modern art enthusiasts: Atlas Oats, Birch Trees, and McGee - available only on!


Great New FLOS Items!

2Modern is happy to introduce new modern lighting from Flos. With a mix of floor, ceiling, hanging and table lamps, we've added a wide variety. Starting with the Tab Table and Floor lamps, these items have a simple modern feel to them. We've also added the KTribe Floor and Wall lamps, the Smithfield Ceiling and Pendent, and the Chasen S2 Pendent. All these lamps have wonderful designs and will fit most contemporary styles. Last but not least, the Nebula Pendent. This is a very unique pendent that has that wow factor.


New Flower Powersol From Fatboy
  Fatboy celebrates the summer feel with a new peaceful and loving parasol. Overgrown with a sunny and iconic Scandinavian flower print by Marimekko, the Fatboy Flowerpowersol represents the ultimate summer feeling.


New Obstacle Courses from bObles
  bObles' popular Tumbling Animals are now available in cute obstacle course sets. The Small Obstacle Course is a 5 piece set featuring Fish, Crocodile, and Chicken. The Large Obstacle Course is an 8 piece set featuing Fish, Elephant, Crocodile, and Chicken.


Introducing Bholu on 2Modern!

2Modern is pleased to introduce Bholu - our newest vendor, featuring bold and free designs. All Bholu Rugs, Pillows, and Throws are handmade by traditional artisans from rural and urban communities in India, following Fair Trade standards. The Bholu collection of wallpaper is a collaboration with Porter's Paints, one of Australia's leading paint brands. All of Bholu's products can be mixed and matched with one another - there are no rules, so be brave and embrace Bholu's bold, free style.


New Tempaper Wallpaper

Stay Connected

Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Flickr Photo Contest
Add to Google
Add to Yahoo
Subscribe Now


  • modern design directory

Social Updates