Monday, April 30, 2007

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos from Michigan. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: left, Porcelain: right

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Pretty Pillows

I'm really feelin' these two floral pillows from Weego Home. They're a little pricey for throw pillows (at least for me in my current station of life) but that doesn't detract from the fact that they sure are beau-ti-ful.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bonus Bone: Love mug

Love mug, available at luxeville

This weekend Cardboard and I are attending a good friend's bridal shower in Michigan. Next weekend my husband and I are celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary. Yay for LOVE! In honor of all this love going around, what better way to celebrate it than drinking your morning cup of coffee from this Robert Indiana inspired Love mug.
For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Linen Spray?

I would like to discuss linen spray now.

With the arrival of new bedding (which, no, I haven't unwrapped yet), I wouldn't mind getting a soothing linen spray to complete my somnolent experience. I also just realized that I'm running out of the last bottle I bought at Bath & Body Works.

I'd like to try something new so I come to you now for opinions! Which brands & scents have you found to be calming, peaceful, the perfect pre-slumber perfume? I just heard about
Caldrea Linen Spray and I'm ever-so-curious about Basil & Blue Sage!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Real estate wish list

Our real estate agent asked my husband and I to come up with a wish list for what we want in our new home so she could start doing MLS searches. Here's what we've come up with:

+2 bedroom (or 1 bedroom + den)
+No high rises
+No garden units
+Edgewater neighborhood (Or similar neighborhood. Must be close to Red, Brown or Metra trains and within walking distance to a grocery store.)
+Cats allowed
+Wood floors
+Central Air
+Control over heating and cooling
+Balcony/deck space
+Washer/dryer (hook up in unit or in building)
+Basement storage
+Newer windows

Our agent told us that our list was very realistic and thought we could get most of the stuff on our list. She warned us that she always tells her clients you will have to compromise on at least one item on your list and you won't know what that is until you walk into your new home.

We met with her over the weekend and talked about all the nitty gritty steps that go into buying a home. It was incredibly informative, a little overwhelming, and very exciting all at the same time. (I'll be writing up a post on all these steps shortly.)

Our next two steps are:
1. Talk to a mortgage broker.
2. Start looking at condos!!! (My personal favorite step of the process!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Stain

This past weekend, I stained the plywood floor of Bamboo's (my sister's new blog name!) bedroom. I decided to stain it (instead of paint it) because I really wanted the wood grain to come through AND Bamboo really likes brown. After many minutes in consultation with Raúl at Thybony, I decided on "Dark Walnut."

Midway through the process, late on Friday night, I realized that I should have worn some gloves. I don't know if it was the fumes or the self-empowerment of home-improvement that made me grab the camera (carefully!) and snap some artsy hand photos. These photos mean a lot to me because they're proof that I can do this stuff all by myself and have fun at the same time. If only I had remembered to buy paint thinner...

Saturday morning, I returned to the store, with my stained fingers, to buy the polyurethane (and paint thinner). The poly was sooooo much easier to put down than the stain because I applied it with, basically, a mop. The stain took me about 3 hours to lay down, with lots of arm work and knee grief, and the poly only took about half an hour. Sunday morning, I did a quick sand, which my shoulders and knees did NOT appreciate, and applied the second coat of poly.

The floor is dark, shiny, and still drying. I'm going to let it sit for the suggested 72 hours before I go back in there and take pictures. But I will let tell you that it's probably the swankiest subfloor I've ever had the chance to, well, create.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Is This Yours?

Chicago Skyline, with Sears Tower

Did you take this picture? If so, I think I have your camera.

I found a Canon digital camera outside of Whole Foods in Evanston last Thursday night. If you can describe the photos saved on it, you can get it back. If you fail, it's all mine. Haha, good luck!

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: left, Porcelain: right

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bonus Bone: 9 to 5 Laptop Sleeve

9 to 5 Laptop Sleeve, at Barry's Farm

I think this laptop sleeve is so very nerd chic. And it looks as if the pocket actually works!

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Heart shaped bucket

Heart shaped bucket, available at Cox & Cox

Are you having difficultly diving into spring cleaning? I think this adorable pink, heart shaped bucket is just the sort of push you need to start scrubbing! I have never wanted to mop more in my life!

Green Festival 2007

Porcelain & I will be attending
Green Festival this weekend (with our very first press passes)! Over 20,000 people attended the festival in both Washington D.C. and San Francisco last year so we are expecting a pretty good turn out here in Chicago. Our plan is to check out the two-day festival on Sunday. I'm excited to find out what the presentation called "Naked Chocolage" by this guy is all about!

Is anyone planning to attend? Here are the details:

Show Hours

Saturday 10AM- 8PM
Sunday 11AM- 6PM

McCormick Place
2301 S. Lake Shore Dr
Chicago IL 60616

$19 Membership Fast Pass
$10 Day Pass
$14 Membership Fastpass for Public Transit/Seniors/Students with ID/bike riders (at door)

$5 Public Transit/Seniors/Students with ID/Bike Riders (day pass at door)
FREE -- Children under 12

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Duvet & Pillows

I'm still working on my own bedroom, although perhaps not as feverishly as I'm working on my sister's. To go along with my new sheets, I bought a new light and airy duvet cover. I do hope it stands up to the cats...

Suite 109 Serenity Duvet, at DesignersLinensOutlet

I plan on keeping my wine-colored shams and bed skirt, you know, for, like, contrast and stuff. We'll just have to see how it looks when it's all put together.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bedroom Progression

Project: Bedrooms is coming along. On Sunday, I moved two giant pieces of furniture out of the studio and into the former dining room, which is now my temporary office space.

I centered my big ol' desk under the bay windows. This is turning out to be quite lovely with all the natural light that now floods in.

As for the art cabinet, I crammed all the art supplies into the bottom shelves (covered by the sliding doors) and turned the top two shelves into my sideboard.

The studio, however, is far from empty. The stuff I had to take out/off of the furniture to move is all over the floor and there is still the closet which needs cleaning out. Those are projects for this weekend!

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: left, Porcelain: right

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spring Party Recap

The Spring Design Party was a success! Porcelain & I networked and munched on goat cheese and olives. Although the snacks were great, we had a brief Top Chef flashback as there seemed to be no adequate place to deposit one's olive pits! Yet we were soon distracted by this minor dilemma as soon as Professor Nugent began her well-orchestrated lecture. The topic she was asked to speak upon is how current design rivals what is considered to be classic design. She revealed that she was a bit nervous to give her presentation because her choices (both for classic and contemporary) might not be accepted by everyone. I don't think she had anything to worry about. My favorite comparison of the night was the classic design of the Bertoia Side Chair, made by Knoll in 1952...

Bertoia Side Chair, by Harry Bertoia, at

...with the newer version (1996) of the Marcel Wanders' Knotted Chair.

Knotted Chair, by Marcel Wanders, at Cappellini

I totally dig on the Knotted Chair! It's produced by covering the knotted rope with resin which is left to harden. It is claimed to be very durable and it only weighs about 6 pounds.

Thanks, again to ApartmentTherapy - Chicago for inviting us to co-host. Thanks to the other bloggers who showed up to support the movement. And, most of all, thanks to Hejfina for providing the space and the snacks (pits and all).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

6 & 7 - Japanese Style

These two photos were taken during my second weekend actually in Japan, instead of just trapped in an airplane on the way there.

The first one is my sister's ankle with her tattoo. The Japanese are none too fond of tattoos, as many of them believe they identify mafia cohorts. My sister covered the horns on her devil-girl-bathroom symbol-esque tattoo so as not to be seen as a "white devil." We are, by the way, riding the bullet train at this point to visit Hiroshima.

Sunday's photo is a close-up shot of a tiny, intricately woven basket. It was served with our dinner the previous night, set off to the side of the plate and holding a few delicate cherry blossoms. The surprising thing about it is that it's made from seaweed and entirely editable! It tasted very salty but it was fun to munch away on a wee basket.

Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: top and bottom

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Saturday, April 14, 2007

6 & 7 - Japanese Style

Konichiwa, everyone! I am back from Japan and here are my weekend photos. Due to the 14-hour time difference between Illinois and Japan, both my Saturday and Sunday morning photos were taken on airplanes. Saturday, I was operating on Chicago time and Sunday, I was on Osaka time. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: top and bottom

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bonus Bone: Twig bench and cube

Twig bench and cube, available at PINCH

The twig bench and cube designed by Russell and John Pinch are so magical. I can imagine this furniture being in the Beaver's lodge in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Mr. Beaver would have constructed this himself, making Mrs. Beaver so proud of his chic workbeavership! The cube would look amazing right next to the front door where you could take your boots off after returning from a muddy day at the dam. Oh but wait, beavers don't need to wear boots! Back to reality. What I love most about these pieces is the varying sizes of the twigs. When you look at it from the end it looks like a pointillist painting.

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

New Sheets!

Step 1 in Project: Bedrooms is buying new sheets. I'm a little intimidated about all the work I have to do so googling "aqua mint sheets" seemed like a good way to ease into it. I just bought the aqua set above (the ones at the bottom of the stack). I want to lighten up my bedding and also coordinate with the minty-green vertical stripes found in the wallpaper.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Project: Bedrooms

The first project on my "Design To Do" list is bedrooms. I want to re-situate my own which includes tidy, paint, perhaps switch out furniture, and certainly buy new bedding. I also have less than a month to turn my studio space into a quaint little bedroom for my sister who will be living with me for the summer. In general, I would like to simplify my room and make it a bit more grown-up and serene. For my sister's new space, I basically just need to bring it back to "clean slate" status so that she may make it her own. Below are the "Before" photos, in all their uncolor-corrected and flashed out glory. I hope that the fact that my roommate recently moved out and I just got back from a 10-day trip to Japan will excuse some of the disarray.

Cardboard's Bedroom

The walls in my bedroom are painted a very light grey shade. I've painted this room 4 different times and still can't manage to get rid of the lavender tint. Since I can't quite seem to get it right, I'm leaning toward a mature taupe. And, speaking of lavender, yes, my closet doors are stained a really awful orchid-y purple. It was a mistake. I got carried away. I need to change this immediately. Any thoughts?

Cardboard's Bedroom

I still love the wallpaper wall I uncovered soon after I moved in and started peeling away old paint. I plan on keeping that feature. I also like my bed frame a lot but I just don't like the color of the wood. I can paint it, rough it up, or stain it a new shade. Again, I welcome your feedback! The red duvet will be thrown out soon so don't let that sway your opinions.

Cardboard's Bedroom

I don't think I can afford to buy a truckload of new bureaus so for now they stay. Like the bed, I would like to change their appearance. The window treatment was meant to be a temporary fix about 2 years ago. Let's re-think that too, shall we?

Sister's Space

This room is now what I call my "junk room." The floor is plywood covered partially with a carpet remnant. The walls are only primed white and paint-splattered in places. This is the room I can make a complete mess in and not worry about a thing. Since my sister will only be living with me for a short time, I don't want to finish this room completely. Once she moves out, I hope to
reinstate the messiness. This means that I will paint over the splatter but I don't think I want to put in a real floor. I've been interested in the idea of painting wood floors and I wonder if this might be a good chance to try out something fun. What do you think?

Sister's Space

I do need to get all this chaos out of the room, which may prove to be a challenge. Also, I'm not sure if I should leave up the quick shelves (located above the desk). I would also like to find (or make) some fun curtains for her big sunny window.

As you can see, I've got some work ahead of me. I would really love to hear your ideas so don't be bashful with your comments!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wine knot

Wine knot, available at Generate

I love useful items that are sculptural and cool. This wine rack designed by Mint definitely fits the bill for me. Another reason to love it, it fits 6 regular size bottles and one jumbo one. I'm not sure I've ever seen a wine rack be able to fit both sizes of bottles, which is just pretty darn nifty!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spring Design Party reminder

Just a reminder to RSVP for the Spring Design Party at Hejfina this Friday if you haven't already. Hope to see you there!


Monday, April 09, 2007


What I remember most about the Cesca chair is how it slid so smoothly upon the carpet and the caning allowed for a pretty good bounce. Back then, of course, I didn't know that the chairs had a name and I certainly didn't know that what I was sitting on was woven cane.

When I was a little girl, the Marcel Breuer Cesca chair was my parents' choice for their dining room set. For many years, they've been stacked up in my mother's basement, waiting for their chance to, once again, host a dinner party. When she off-handedly mentioned she still had them, I jumped! I've wanted to replace my second-hand country-style dining room set with something a little more desirable, something a little more "me." It's actually odd that I got so excited about these chairs because they're a little modern (yet '70s) for my taste. For whatever crazy reason, I'm loving the silhouette (especially on the armless version). Now I just need to find a non-matching yet perfectly suited table!

Four of the Cescas (two with arms, two without, all with the black wooden frame) will be arriving in my house next month. My mom tells me that they're in pretty good shape but a few might need re-caning. Does anyone out there have any recommendations for a reasonably-priced Chicago furniture fixer-upper?

6 & 7

Here are my weekend photos. Cardboard is still on vacation in Japan. We'll be back to our regular 4-square photos next week. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Porcelain: top and bottom

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bonus Bone: Black Kabbes Tables

I am so loving this coffee table. Its simple lines make it seem a little fragile. But the wooden slats give it dock-like feel and part of me wants to take a running leap off of it and splash into my couch.

The Black Kabbes style table is designed by
Henk Vos and available through Linteloo. Vos also designed a Black Kabbes dining table, which I also love. It's pretty much exactly the same as the coffee table, only taller. The tables are available in a variety of sizes. One can buy the coffee table in a quaint 3.25 ft square, which, for me, dashes the whole tire swing appeal. Although it would take some figurin' to fit it into my living room, I would go for the lengthiest model, which stretches out to a full 8 ft! Another challenge with the coffee table is that it doesn't quite hit 12" in height. Madness!

For now, I'll just love the shape of it and replay my mountain lake fantasy in my head. If I was ever really serious about buying it, I would have to see the table in person to really understand how it fit. I would want to make sure that I could sit on the floor, my back to the couch, and make collages or eat cereal with my legs stretched out in front of me. This is my main coffee table requirement.

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Collages by Chris Ferebee

New Relic (collage/digital pigment print) by Chris Ferebee

Epoch (collage/digital pigment print) by Chris Ferebee

These collages by Chris Ferebee remind me of an old Hitchcock film starring Grace Kelly. They're mysterious and oh so elegant!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Toast!

Holy Toast Bread Stamp, at Perpetual Kid

Have a great Easter weekend, everyone. Don't forget to stock up on plenty of eggs and lamb-shaped butter!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Mason

The Mason, available at Rare Device

These ceramic mason jars/vases are so sweet. They'd be perfect for a bouquet of daisies, sunflowers, or any big happy bloom.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Oh the cuteness!

There is so much cuteness going on at doe right now I can't stand it!!! I'm loving all the wooden toys. So cute and so beautiful.

A ray of sunshine

Marimekko red kivet umbrella, available at

Dombra yellow fabric by Merimekko

On my way to work the other day, I saw a woman carrying a sunny yellow Merimekko umbrella (just like the one pictured above, but I couldn't find the yellow version anywhere online). It was such a happy burst of sunshine on a grey, drizzly day. It made me smile instantly. I've been noticing that I have been smiling more and more lately when I see these little bursts of sunshine and happiness. I smile at a planter full of pansies, a flowering tree, tiny little crocuses, and squirrels frolicking.

I've been thinking of ways to achieve those smiles indoors. I think I would get the biggest smile from some curtains made out of the sunny yellow Dombra fabric by Merimekko. Imagine waking up in the morning and seeing these curtains in your bedroom. POW! You'll bounce out of bed with more energy than a 3 year old after a birthday party!!

Made From Yours Truly

A friend of mine recently let me in on a little secret: free cardboard furniture! Foldschool is an online collection of free cardboard furniture. Swiss architect, Nicola Enrico Stäubli, provides the downloadable patterns so all you need is some of heavy-weight good stuff and a few cutting tools. If I had a couple kids to entertain, I would definitely attempt the rocker!

Thanks for the tip, Mr. Hand!

Monday, April 02, 2007

6 & 7

Here are my weekend photos. Cardboard is on vacation in Japan. When she returns she will have an extra special Japan weekend edition. Hurrah!!! Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191