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Design Dose

March 2008

9 years
ago

 

To Paint or Not to Paint Wood Moldings?


My husband and I have been shopping for a new house for months and if we ever find a home that we both agree upon and that we can actually afford, it will be a miracle. Here’s one issue. While we both want a vintage place, we are divided on our preferences for original wood trim (husband likes; I don’t). All the real estate ads make a big deal about “original woodwork,” and I when I arrive at these places I feel the weight of history pressing on me the second I walk through the door. If I buy this place, am I morally obligated to carry on this torch of originality? In wanting to paint the woodwork white, am I as evil as all those developers who destroy old buildings to put up hideous new construction?

I turned to two interior designers, Laura Soskin and Jessica Lagrange, to get their two cents. Both were adamant: Paint it white! “Just because that’s how they used to do it doesn’t mean that’s how it should stay,” said Soskin. “White is modern—your house doesn’t have to look like grandma’s!” Lagrange added, “Many times, the wood itself is nothing special—just stained pine.” That made me feel better. Now I just have to find the house.

Living room photo from Jameson Realty.
Soskin’s home photographed by Nathan Kirkman.

9 years
ago

 

Willow


Amy Doehla of Willow just sent us a sneak peek of what’s coming to her store for spring. Willow is a great place for affordable home accessories that double as conversation starters. Doehla was one of the first in Chicago to embrace the whole stag-head-as-décor thing. I’ve always loved the idea of this look but I don’t think I could actually live with it–I imagine being perpetually startled by the presence of a large deceased animal in my home. The House and Home section in the New York Times recently declared the trend dead (does it get deader than being declared dead when you are already dead?), but despite the backlash, Doehla is not abandoning her old antlered friends, offering a cardboard version from Cardboard Safari. She’s also carrying the coolest trash receptacle ever: a simple clothespin contraption that celebrates rather than conceals the old Hefty! And, the best is the Frozen Smiles ice tray-it’s shaped like dentures, so when water freezes in it, the ice is in the shape of dentures. Throw that into fancy-pants’s drink! Girl has a sense of humor about design. That’s why we love Willow!

9 years
ago

 

Binth Pillows


I am obsessed with the local screen-printing company Binth, which mainly produces paper products (greeting cards, art prints, notecards) but has recently expanded into pillows. Many of the company’s designs have a sort of Edward Gorey quality to them (but, more upbeat, like if Gorey went to therapy), but they are also surprisingly kid-oriented, featuring birds and bears. The pillows are made in the USA out of organic linen and are great for adults and kiddies alike. Watch for new designs, with mice and bunnies, based on Binth’s “cameo card” collection, out this month. Available at Sprout Home and Grow.

Photos from binth.com

9 years
ago

 

Moserform




Pauline Grace is displaying a new collection from Moserform, by furniture designer Thomas Moser. We’re not big Art-Nouveau fans, but these pieces caught our eye with their elegant restraint. They’re available through designers and architects.

 

Photography copyright MOSERform, from moserform.com

10 years
ago

 

Clearly Cool

If you love the whole Dale Chihuly-colored-glass thing, you’ll want to check out Prodigy Glassworks, a new studio I recently spotted on the happening Harrison Street strip in Oak Park, (on the way to yoga, natch). Matt Kwilas and Bob Johnson moved the studio from Westmont—both have experience in big-name studios like the Corning Museum of Glass. Let them make something for your home or garden, or take a class.

10 years
ago

 

Kathy Taslitz

At Wright auction house one recent evening, we thought maybe we were in L.A, except for the foot of snow outside. The people-watching was great for the opening of interior designer Kathy Taslitz’s new sculptural furniture collection, called Pieces of Ourselves. The pieces are no longer on display at Wright, but she’s opening a showroom soon. In the meantime, see the collection on her Web site.

Photos from ktaslitz.com

10 years
ago

 

Merging and Purging

My new husband and his son recently moved into my house, which meant some rearranging and merging of furnishings. So far, good. We decided that my coffee table, a gorgeous expandable, slatted walnut piece from my parents’ home in the 1960s, would look better as a bench against the wall in our entrance. So now we hunt a coffee table. There’s way too much wood in our home—a 1920s bungalow with quarter-sawn oak molding and oak shutters. So more wood is out of the question. Molded plastic is too modern. Glass-topped on thin legs would be fine. I love this Kagan one from Pegboard Modern, but it still might be too much wood. I had a wild idea that the Link sidetable from CB2 would look good. My husband is not convinced.

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