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Design Line: Honeysuckle Pink

26 Feb

I’ve always believed in the power of pink. Now, of course there’s some unflattering connotations (Pepto, carnations-instead-of-roses, girlhood frills), but there’s something infinitely charming about this classically pretty color, Honeysuckle. It calls to mind French boudoirs, lipstick stains, and Audrey Hepburn’s dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

In the spirit of spring revival, I’ve compiled a list of home decor and accessories as an homage to this year’s Color of the Year. With pinks, a pop is best, balanced with neutrality. Combinations tried and true: Pink with Gray, Brown, Taupe, Black.

From Top left:

1. Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names Poster, $25, available at Brooklyn Flea or, 2. Hoodies by Brooklynski, $60,, 3. Powder Room Shower Curtain, $55,, 4. Furoshiki Shiki Business Card Holder, $17, Droog, 5. Jaipur Hand-Blocked Quilt + Shams, $119, West Elm, 6. “Edition” Wall Art, $99,, 7. Watermelon Knife, $25, MoMA Store, 8. Tube Top Lamp, $110, Room and Board, 9. One Color Subway Map, $110, Future Perfect, 10. Praxis Desk Accessories, $25 and up, MoMa Store, 11. Drinks stay cool, So do you: Neoprane Bottle Case, $12.25, MUJI USA, 12. Music Balloon, $45, Design Within Reach, 13. Kontextur Blossom Shower Curtain, $195, Design Public, 14. Empire State Building Stamp, $6, MUJI USA, 15. Ekko Cascade Mobile (Copper), $337, Design Within Reach



Design Line: Spring Blues

26 Feb

Blue Curacao is Spring 2011’s whimsical take on turquoise. Seen on the runway by the likes of Peter Som, DKNY, and Versace, this shade’s versatility is perfect for welcoming spring. Evoke lazing in the Caribbean tropics or spice  up earthy tones with patterned, worldly prints.

Keeping up with color trends in your wardrobe might seem mandatory, but accenting your home with goodies has the same spring awakening effect.

Look out for my next installment of Design Line Budget Edition, when we tackle another spring staple , and Color of 2011,  Honeysuckle Pink.

I’ve compiled this  list of 15 of my favorites for sprucing up your digs for less than $100:

Design Line: Haiti SOFTHOUSE Project

20 Feb

photo courtesy of Haiti SOFTHOUSEgroup, LLC

The Haiti Softhouse project launched a pilot program to create four housing units in Haiti by the summer time. Deutsche Bank has granted $50,000 to mass produce these light, modular homes. They utilize steel frames and durable fabric exteriors, all designed to stand strong against natural disasters, including tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.

TheSOFTHOUSE group is working with The Rural Haiti Project, to secure a location in Jacmel, Haiti, to create the first SOFTHOUSE village. Ultimately, the goal is to transfer design and fabrication expertise to local manufacturers, thus stimulating the Haitian economy, as well as providing a transitional solution. SOFTHOUSE communities buy time to envision long-term rebuilding strategies. As long as people remain displaced from their original homes, there’s powerful potential here. The structures can be mounted directly into the ground with high-strength earth anchors in a variety of soil conditions. Another option is to anchor them onto a prefab concrete base structured from concrete rubble leftover from the earthquake. Both durability and sustainability are of grave importance, since much of the 2010 earthquake’s deadly damage was caused by the weak structures of buildings and homes.

“We are trying to get the pilot off the ground,” said Mr. Rodney Leon, project manager of Haiti SOFTHOUSE. “If we can get them made in the thousands, then they can be manufactured cheaply for a couple thousand dollars each.”

Fort Greene’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) presented project plan mockups of these transitional shelters in the “Le Projet Nouveau” exhibit, which features the work of artists re-imagining Haiti a year after the earthquake.

Re-Imaging Haiti will be at MoCADA through May 8.

A video with Mr. Leon discussing the need for focusing on solutions to the crisis of shelter in Haiti:

Below: The project plan outlines the tools, time, and people power needed. It’s as simple as having the softhouse, 1 adjustable wrench, 2 socket wrenches, a 10-ft ladder and a 6-ft ladder, and four volunteers.


Design Line: Strawser & Smith, Inc.

17 Feb
This is one of my favorite off-the-subway detours in Brooklyn.
Inevitably, when you step inside this showroom, you immediately start envisioning a dream house fitted with strong, sturdy, and beautiful things. Strawser and Smith present an impressive collection of handcrafted pieces reminiscent of  industrial factories  It’s like a mid-century museum, featuring a motley of perfectly proportioned tables and benches constructed of reclaimed wood and steel, 1960s pecan-hued leather armchairs, and delicious collectibles, such as old subway marker signs. The giant industrial relics are re-purposed old factory and machine parts re-fashioned into functional design for home, office, and loft. Cleveland Art, masters of the trade, are worth checking out, especially for you L.A. folk.  Check their website here.

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As you walk into the store, there’s an almost macabre sensation, maybe it’s just anatomical drawings or the vibe of  mid-century medical lamps or the cast aluminum U.S. Navy-commissioned barber chair. There’s also an old school bleacher bench recalling football games in the Midwest

The 1920s wall-sized world and survey maps accent the earthy and steel tones of the furniture.

Note: Between February 9-18, Strawser & Smith will only be open by appointment only!

Don’t forget to look around at the house itself! High ceilings are stationed on earth by roughhewn wooden pillars, and what seems like exposed brick for miles. I love going in when it’s afternoon, beautifully-lit, west-facing, receiving gorgeous afternoon sun.

Tarnished elegance nailed on its head!

All photos courtesy of the Strawser & Smith website. For more information, check their FACEBOOK.