Finding the right sofa for your space can be a challenge. I’m in right in the middle of that right now. I find it more difficult to shop for myself than my clients. In a new city, unfamiliar with local stores. So, I’ve taken the internet by storm and have relied on my staple chain retailers to come up with options. Perhaps these options will help you in your search. And of course I am on a tight budget, so none of the following will break the bank.
Above: Room & Board Murray Sofa – this new tailored design is the right price and size. $900 for 72″, perfect size for my small living room
Crate and Barrel Petrie Sofa – the Florence Knoll sofa clearly inspired this sleek design, available at 74″ for $1460. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the natural or chocolate colors this piece comes stocked in. I found a fabulous linen, cotton blend fabric that I love but the resulting price is $2500, a bit steep for a C&B piece.
Mitchell Gold Dexter Sofa -mid-century modern inspired but I love the casual bench feeling of this sofa, available at 75″ for $1810. Love the stocked oatmeal fabric. The store often has great floor sample sales…keeping fingers crossed.
Steven Anthony Case Study Sofa – similar to the Petrie sofa but a bit more evolved and equipped with high polished chrome legs…I have a thing for tufting lately. Available from Vastu in DC at 72″ for $2166.
ADVICE: Take your time and don’t buy something unless you love it. Consider quality v.s. price – perhaps your sofa or sectional is your splurge piece in your home design.
ABC Carpet & Home
Craigslist (think vintage)
I found this great mid-century modern walnut credenza from Loft3F on Craigslist. And purchased it sight unseen for $250 based on a comprehensive photo album on the company website. The credenza arrived yesterday and I love it. Precisely the vintage look I wanted and at a great price. Click here to see some of the credenzas I was considering. This one is similar to the Lehigh Leopold one I loved. We don’t know much about the history of the piece just yet but Loft3 purchased it from an architect in Lynchburg. I am loving that it has found its way to another designer. I thought the piece would be the perfect companion for my walnut desk. Matches beautifully but I have an entirely new idea for the living area (which does not include said desk).
I had a chat with the owner who will be on the look out for more fabulous pieces for me and my clients. And folks – he can deliver to other locations including Boston and the DC area. He came with a beautiful walnut side table (below) that he designed and built. I was tempted but must keep my priorities in mind as I still have not found just the right sofa. More to come on the new digs.
Images from Loft3F
The Do Hit Chair by Marijn van der Poll is aggression meets customization in design. You basically bang the heck out of a sheet metal cube with a sledge hammer to create your own custom chair. While I can’t imagine that this is a pleasant and comfortable seating experience, I can certainly see the benefits of banging something vigorously. I say maybe you sit on it or maybe not but it might not hurt to have something around that you can use for stress relief. Available from Droog
Other pieces from Droog that caught my eye. I will have to stop in to New York store next time I am in town.
Godogan Table by Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe
Knotted Chair by Marcel Wanders
Chest of Drawers by Tejo Remy
Mat Walk Bathroom Mat by Paolo Ulian
Thonik Retrospective Wool Rug by Thonik
The Fall 2010 Collection of Louis Vuitton is masculine and rugged. They focused on tailored silhouettes in rich fabrics and simple colors. Loving the mixture of gray with black as well as brown. The dapper sportscoats are great – I love the use of contrasting fabrics for insets and armbands. The shall cardigan/jacket above on the left – I just need. Their bags in this collection are streamlined but eye catching, particularly curious about the one in the image on the left below. Already hunting for low cost solutions.
The New Orleans Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings in overtime 31 -28 and are on their way to their very first Super Bowl. Clearly this article is significant as sports are not typically covered on this blog. But I can’t hold back my excitement for my hometown. Wishing the Black and Gold a win in the Super Bowl where they face the Colts lead by Peyton Manning, a New Orleans native I might add. I feel a little of the Big Easy coming out…Who Dat said they gonna beat them Saints, Who Dat, Who Dat!
Image from NJ.com
Last year, John Morefield set up a booth at a farmers’ market in Seattle selling architectural advice for a nickel. His goal was to make enough money to support himself but he ended up receiving so many commissions that he earned $50,000 last year. In Architect or Whatever, a New York Times article, Michael Hanson also writes about the journeys of a few architectural designers including successful entrepreneurs running a ice cream sandwich business and a man attending truck driving school to support his family. The underlying message is bittersweet. Designers find themselves unable to find work in their field and have to be creative to support themselves. And I can relate.
Among the many to be laid off in the year 2008, I was convinced that I would find another job within a few months. I worked with headhunters, sent out several resumes, went on informational interviews, and networked like I had never done before. All to no avail. I gave up in the summer of 2009 and focused on completing my thesis work and pursued projects on my own. I realized that I was my best asset and despite how incredibly draining running your own one-man business can be…I was energized and vowed never to return to my days stuck behind a computer amidst the rigid bureaucracy of firms. I had struggled for so long to find my passion and honestly I couldn’t think of anything else that I would ever want to do…besides being independently wealthy of course. I never thought two years ago that at 30, I would be working directly with my clients and teaching interior design to a new generation of designers.
I am at lost at times when I think about the future of architecture and interior design. I am still unsure what is to come for us as firms continue to lay people and dissolve. The need for designers is still present and all is not lost but clients are significantly more cost-conscious and ready for a much more transparent process where they work more directly with those that are actually designing. And that means opportunities for young designers to create small firms of their own. We just have to be self aware and creative. Who knows how developing new skills might inform the development of a new architecture.
IMAGE FROM New York Times
Make a donation to the American Red Cross and to other charities focused on relief efforts in Haiti and get this snazzy t-shirt from Hozell, a new leisure clothing brand out of California. All of the proceeds from the purchase of the Hozell for Haiti tee will be donated to benefit relief efforts in Haiti. Purchase the shirt by clicking here, or you can donate directly to the Red Cross by clicking here.
Image from Stylecrave
Consider these Dandux Laundry Carts as an extension of my industrial obsession piece on Interieurs. The design dates back to 1918 and the carts feature a steel frame and canvas bin that’s elevated base. Store your laundry and make a design statement at the same time for $130-230.
Image from Uncrate
Love this furniture store in New York, Interieurs and I love their industrial furnishings and realized that I may have too much of a fascination with industrial furniture and decor. I just can’t seem to get enough. Check out some of my favorites from Interieurs:
Perforated Steel Side Tables – great for bedside tables (above)
Perforated Steel Dresser
French Steel and Oak cabinet
Tubular Steel Shelf (L) and Industrial Armoire (R)
IMAGES FROM Interieurs – Make sure to check out their antiques/unique pieces section. Great finds…inspiring me to find a flea market nearby.
One of my renderings for the interior design of Sensing, a restaurant in the Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston’s North End, has been included in the book, Hand Drawing for Designers. The drawing is rendered using a Sketchup view underlay, prismacolor markers, mixed with pastels. I am so excited that my work will help young designers convey their designs. The space itself turned out pretty great as well. It was great working with an amazing team at Arrowstreet on this project. See a photograph of the finished space below.
Check out the page from the book below, featuring my drawing. I highly recommend the book for design students, designers, decorators, and ethusiasts. In order to purchase the book, go to Amazon.com.
IMAGE CREDITS: Photograph of Sensing Restaurant by Richard Mandelkorn, Cover and Page from Hand Drawing for Designers