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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bench obsession

Have you ever had a notion that stuck in the back of your head and simply wouldn't go away? Ever since I first saw a George Nelson platform bench, my brain has been saying, "I want that."

Lately, want has changed to gotta have, so I've been giving serious thought to buying one. Of course, the object of my desire is the walnut version, which ups the price considerably, so now my thoughts need to turn from buying one to affording one.

All images from

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

And while we're on the subject of bedding...

My previous post was about bedding in my grandsons' room, and before moving on to a new topic, I'll continue the theme a bit longer.

For years I've bought my bedding from Crate and Barrel, until I purchased a lightweight quilt from West Elm about a year ago. While there's nothing wrong with the WE Nomad quilt I have, I've found myself missing the more substantial heft of the C&B quilts I've owned in the past, so I'm planning a purchase soon.

My favorite Crate and Barrel quilt style is the reversible Raj. I think the pattern is suitable for a home with strong mid-century leanings. For quite some time, it was only available in khaki and gray*, but the company has added light blue, bright blue, purple and green to the lineup. Now my only problem is choosing a color.

Crate and Barrel Raj quilts
(from top: khaki, grey, purple, green, bright blue, light blue)

I'll probably go with the gray and use brightly colored throw pillows so I can change color schemes later if I wish, but that bright blue is really tempting.

Raj in Grey
Note: I use the typically American spelling "gray," while the Crate and Barrel color name is "Grey"...helpful to know only if you go in for decorating trivia games, I suppose.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Great buy for modern bedroom

While searching for new quilts for my grandsons' beds, I ran across an exceptionally good buy at Target...a quilt and sham set featuring a stitch pattern of slightly asymmetrical triangles, which is a great modern look. The quilt is reversible, and the set comes in several good color combinations.

Best of all, the twin set is only $34.99. (It is available in full/queen for $44.99.) The quilt is lightweight, almost identical in thickness to the Nomad quilt purchased from West Elm that I'm using on my bed. While the quality seems the same, the Nomad twin quilt normally retails for $149 (on sale currently for $89), making the Target quilt seem like even more of a bargain.

Queen Triangle Stitch quilt by Pillowfort in Wild Orange

Twin quilt in Vapor Green

Quilts in the room of Grandson #1 and Grandson #2
Note: I was offered no incentive for posting about these items. My daughter paid full price for them at our neighborhood Target.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser (1929- ) is an American graphic designer. He was born in the Bronx and attended art school at Cooper Union, graduating in 1951. He then spent two years studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna on a Fulbright scholarship.

Returning to the United States in 1954, he opened Push Pin Studios with several fellow Cooper Union graduates, creating 86 issues of Push Pin Graphic. They combined Italian Renaissance, art nouveau and art deco to form a new kind of mid-century visual language.

In 1968 he worked with Clay Felker to create New York magazine and was design director until 1977. He left Push Pin Studios in 1974 to open Milton Glaser, Inc., a multidisciplinary firm that did interior and environmental design and corporate branding. He told AIGA, “I have been opportunistic and through the years have sort of blurred the distinction a little between professional practice in architecture, product design, interior design, graphic design and magazine design.”

In 1977 he did a pro bono job for the state of New York and created what turned out to be his most famous and instantly recognizable work--the "I Love New York" logo. He admits that he never expected it to take the whole world by storm, but he told The Telegraph that he understands why it did. “First of all, you have to figure out that the ‘I’ is a complete word, then you have to figure out that the heart is a symbol for an experience, then you have to figure out that ‘NY’ are the initials for a place. We know that the issue in all communication is moving the brain, and puzzles move the brain. This one makes everyone feel good because they solved the problem.”

Glaser's work can be seen throughout the world and in permanent collections at MoMA and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. He’s been honored with shows at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Lincoln Center Gallery in New York, in addition to many other accolades – including the Cooper-Hewitt Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

From and

I Love New York campaign

Bob Dylan for Columbia Records

Knoll Sottsass campaign

American Bar Association

Cooper Union

New York Film Society

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Eichler for sale in Walnut Creek, CA

My last post was about a Dallas teardown.  After sad news, it's nice to feature a home that has been lovingly maintained and will be appreciated for years to come. This beautiful Eichler home was designed by architect Claude Oakland and built in 1969. The colorful double doors enter into the huge atrium of this 2,435 square foot structure, which features 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Updates are tasteful and period-appropriate, making this home very desirable.

Whoever buys this property will own a little piece of Utopia.

All images from

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Another tragic teardown

The Mayrath Home in Dallas was sold at lot value and is scheduled for demolition, in spite of efforts by preservationists to save it. Designed in 1956 by Truett A. Bishop, it has remained virtually unchanged. Word is that the new owners will hold a sale so that mid-century lovers can salvage some history before the structure is bulldozed.

The home was described this way in a Dallas Times Herald article from Sept. 23, 1957, titled "Not a Splinter of Wood Used In Outstanding Home in Dallas":

Wood, the most frequently used material in homes, is completely shunned in the home of one Dallas family. There isn’t so much as a splinter of wood in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Mayrath, 10707 Lennox Lane…Built on columns of steel, the two story house is constructed with aluminum, glass, concrete and Austin stone. It may look like a country club at first glance, but it is a luxury home—one that probably is not equaled in the vast Southwest.

The 5,240 square foot home has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and one half bath. It is situated on a 2.29-acre lot and has three additional structure...a cabana with pool room, bar, and two bathrooms; a one-bedroom apartment; and an office with windows on three sides.

The feature, however, mentioned most often in comments about the impending teardown is the pristine set of mint green Geneva cabinets in the kitchen. With luck, they will find a deserving and appreciative home instead of ending up in a dumpster.

Another architecturally significant home comes down. I suppose most people would call this progress, but I'm not so sure.


Sunday, April 10, 2016


Sometimes I have good intentions, but I get sidetracked. This past weekend is a perfect example. I've been posting faithfully on Wednesdays and Saturdays for several weeks now, and I truly meant to post on Saturday. But I got two huge shipments of beads on Friday, and my plans for the blog went right out the window.

What looked like total chaos was very clear in my head, and I couldn't wait to make a start. Here's a sampling of what I accomplished the last couple of days when I should have been writing.  Modern silver and gemstone jewelry!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Porta Forma planters

I love being surrounded by green, growing things, so I'm always searching for modern planters. I ran across a line by Porta Forma being offered by Frontgate, and it was love at first sight. There are so many styles, sizes, textures, and colors that it's going to be hard to choose just one. Here are some of my favorites.




San Miren



Saturday, April 2, 2016

Goodbye, Zaha. (1950-2016)

Zaha Hadid was so much more than a "female architect." She was a fearless trailblazer, a creator of beauty, and a role model for us all. May she rest well.