Category Archives: Interiors + Architecture
If your neighborhood is anything like mine, empty storefronts have become the norm, city or suburb.
Enter miLES (“Made In the Lower East Side”).
Founder Eric Ho discovered that NYC’s lower east side had about 200 vacant storefronts and decided to do something about it. miLES has become a sort of “airbnb for storefronts” (Fast Company) for ease of dialogue between landlord and renter. Their recent (successful) Kickstarter campaign wrapped up funding for their Storefront Transformer, a modular kit that will provide flexible furnishings for temporary spaces.
mILES aims to temporarily breathe life into display windows, driving traffic into the space and giving entrepreneurs (and many more) a taste of space. With “pop-up” shops becoming more popular, the concept of temporary retail has become quite popular and exciting. Retail isn’t the only business to benefit, either. These vacant spaces could be occupied by eateries, artists, co-working spaces, shops for classes, or events. miLES also operates as a daily, weekly, or monthly installation space, giving even more flexibility to interested parties. Even landlords benefit from this exchange, as it drives potential buyers and provides some rent in the interim.
The Storefront Transformer incorporates the idea that design really can make things better. And just because they’ve reached their goal, that doesn’t mean it’s over. You can still fund the miLES project to enable even more pop-ups with more transformers. Check out all the awesome rewards: gifts, experiences, services, or even your own pop-up! Or stop by their upcoming shows this winter (below), if you’re in town.
If not, support it anyway. I think miLES could easily be adopted in other cities and towns. Businesses and individuals are given the opportunity to temporarily try on a store, promote their work, and develop a customer base, while enhancing the local community. Give this project legs and have it come to you.
All images from miLES Kickstarter campaign here.
While the wonderful fall weather is giving me great joy, Schoolhouse Electric’s photos of their new fall campaign are making it even better. They’re crisp and bright and a little unexpected with polka dots and graphic art. It’s refreshing to see how they’ve easily infused a little more life in a season that, let’s face it, can recede into dark tones after a long run of summer’s bright and airy aesthetic.
What makes me most happy about these images is that I can see the spaces coasting through winter and into spring. Schoolhouse still manages to produce classics (mostly made in the USA and by artisans, which I love) that can carry not only through seasons, but through different functions and spaces. Take their Wire Framed Trash Bin – I would totally make this a planter. Here are some more favorites:
(Clockwise from top left: LET IT GO Wall Banner by Ashley Brown Durand, National Parks Print by Ello There, Black Dot Teapot, Miles Desk Lamp, Herringbone Rug (a collaboration with Tess Darrow of Egg Press), and Wire Frames Trash Bin)
It’s been a work in progress but the shop is really shaping up! Reclaimed pine countertops are installed, vintage chairs and tables have replaced the dining table (just in time for holiday dinners, too!), and a final installment of shelves are under way. And while Pop was taking care of those things, I’ve been curating a small collection of handcrafted items from some favorite vendors for the season:
Chase Studios: Fellow coffee addict, Heather Ossandon, invited me into her studio to co-design the custom mugs for the shop. She also brought in some of her recent pieces – vases, carafes, mini cups – and has some more exciting things in the works for us. Currently based in Haddonfield, New Jersey, but she’s actually a native of the Medford area where the shop is located. Small world!
Chez Sucre Chez: Kimberly Scola’s “handcrafted miscellany” has been on my fave list for years. Her embroidery work is simple and perfect every time, but she’s been getting some high praise lately from Martha herself with her pretty and functional sewn goods. But I don’t need Martha to tell me that her bowl covers, mulling spices, and other goodies are great, because I already knew that. And it happens to be that this Thornton, Pennsylvania, transplant is yet another native of the shop’s location. Even smaller world!
Melo Studios: I met co-owner Olivia Lotz through Craigslist. After an exchange of quality furnishings, we soon realized our meeting was meant to be – her husband, a contractor, and I started networking for future projects, and I knew I’d find a way to get her candles into my possession (muah-ha-ha). She and her partner, Jess Lee, hand pour each candle in their Germantown studio – not Medford, but still local.
To put it all together, I spent an afternoon with Stacy Jackson at Meadowsweet Vintage in Manayunk poring over her treasures. The various crates and hardware drawers assembled on the wall are from her shop, as well as the Neapolitan flip coffee pots added for good measure. So one wall down, one wall to go!
This image greeted my this morning in my mailbox from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co., making me wish for sunshine, fresh flowers, and brunch with friends and family. Despite springtime palettes on my Pinterest boards, this shiny black is doing the trick. All handmade in the US of A, too? Bruce would be proud.
I’m doing research on pieces for an office today and am in love with the NY showroom WYETH. This Edward Wormley for Dunbar desk and chair are gorgeous.
Just as the summer comes to an end, I suddenly want it last a little longer. And I want it to be in this beach house. Mona Ross Berman, a Pennsylvania-based interior designer, was recently featured in the latest House Beautiful issue for her “Retro Beach House” project. The colors and patterns used bring a fresh energy to beach house design (no offense Pottery Barn). The painted chevron pattern on the dining table (above) gives a clue to what I’m talking ‘bout here. Click below to see some more of my favorite views:
A mirrored shoot by The Good Mod.
I’m an interior designer, in case I never mentioned that. I live and breathe design in any form, really. Life is a composition for me. So trying my hand at photographic styling should come naturally, right? Well… sort of. I recently (translation: months ago but am just getting around to posting) borrowed my friend Gavin’s amazing kitchen and sweet camera skills to get creative. I severely underestimated the amount of time in preparation, which compromised our available natural light. I guess it’s because I’m pretty specific when it comes to lining things up, assembling items on trays, etc. It’s what a designer does, right? We go crazy getting things just perfect. Luckily, Gavin’s kitchen (one of the many highlights in the 869 Compound) was rich with natural finishes and, being home to two skilled chefs, was also filled with fun accents like vintage baking pans and fresh produce to arrange (and rearrange several times).
This a common phrase my other half hears me say often. It means that I have found a new project or cause to take on. It doesn’t mean that I will come anywhere near accomplishing them most of the time, but it is a moment where I dedicate myself entirely to something, however fleeting. The famous decision he teases me about is, “I’ve decided I need to make a sofa for this room.” So that has been the running joke in our house, though I still intend to make a sofa one day! It’s on my life list, I swear. Anyway, I think I’ll share my decisions with you to give him a break once in a while…
So today, in this moment, I have decided that I want to find a project with an open space plan to lend my interior design skills (anyone in desperate need of how to outfit their huge space?). This home by Postgreen and Interface Studio featured in this month’s Dwell, inspired the “decision”:
[Photo by Mark Mahaney]
Basic materials with little clutter – the way living should be. I’m in a purging mood, so bare and simple-to-manage interiors are drawings me in. The balance of this kitchen come together so beautifully – the equal-width upper and lower cabinets, horizontal straight lines of all the surfaces, and the character in the dining room table and concrete floor against the clean white and black. (I’ll take two, please.)
[Photo by Mark Mahaney]
This nursery just speaks for itself. Clean and simple, though the other side of the room is a more realistic view of the needs of a babe. Now I find myself wanting to re-do Lucy’s room for a fresh start. She’s a toddler now and has seemingly outgrown her baby toys. She needs rooms for her growing book collection (and dress-up stuff she’ll soon be amassing, the diva she is!).
Be sure to check out the rest of the home here and try their Project Customization tool to create your own house, learning how to keep a budget with REAL pricing. You can check my design out right here.
A few weeks ago, my friend Gavin brought me to this cafe he’d been telling me about in Northern Liberties – One Shot Coffee. We walked in and I was amazed – salvaged tin on the ceilings, suiting textiles on the banquette, and warm wood tones throughout – I felt home. We ordered up some grub and he told me there was an upstairs. “An upstairs? This gets better?” I thought. We passed local hipsters converging on social and business matters, and settled down in the lounge with worn leather mid-century sofas, layers of rich oriental rugs, and walls of gas pipe shelving (a la Ace Hotel and The Brick House). The food was quite delicious, as well. I ordered a grilled cheese with tomato on rye (a special request despite all the yummy daily specials) – almost bit my fingers off it was so good. And I’m dreaming about their Tom’s Dirty Chai (with 2 shots of espresso) – I’ve begged my local baristas to make it for me but it just ain’t the same (sorry dudes).
As you can see, I firmly approve this place and hope you visit there soon!