Category Archives: minimal

Mixology (12)

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Scarf: Geometric and art deco inspired HEART HEART HEART printed Scarf w/Leather available at Opening Ceremony / Room: Julia Edelmann from Buckingham Interiors + Design‘s showroom. A perfection of eclectic pieces combined in a way that is clean, vintage-inspired, opulent, and yet somehow uncluttered and aesthetically pleasing. Image found HERE.

Scarf: You probably have seen him before: an elegant man wearing a traditional turban acting in movies, especially those of Wes Anderson. Born in India, Waris Ahluwalia now lives in the United States, where on top of his acting career, he designs jewelry inspired by Love and History. Despite his lack of training in the craft of jewelry, his passion and instincts enable him to design eclectic and creative pieces, made in between Rome and Jaipur. Purchase HERE. /  Room: Modern living room from FOUND design, whose mission is to repurpose your home using existing new and objects! HERE.

Scarf: Wool-blend scarf by Lily and Lionel featuring photographic blue tinged London skyline print and frayed edges. Found HERE. / Room: Cornflower blue is a great shade for softening a living area. This pale shade of blue works well with creamy white to create a soothing contrast and a countryside feel. Image found HERE.

Scarf: Room: GIVENCHY Birds of Paradise Flowers Scarf. Found HERE. / Room: An East Coast condo on Myrtle Beach, this abstract dining room gives instant energy. Image found HERE. 

Concrete Jungle

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Concrete is a composite construction material composed primarily of aggregate, cement and water. Technically speaking, concrete is a heterogenous mixture that has several variations – it’s recipe can include sand, ash, pumice, silica, quicklime, pozzolanic ash, crushed limestone, and crushed granite (to name a few). The chemical process in which concrete solidifies and dries is actually (and ironically) called hydration. The substance and invention actually date from the Roman Empire – indeed the word comes from the Latin word “concretus” (meaning compact or condensed).  Apparently though, after the fall of the Roman Empire this technology became extremely scarce and all but forgotten until the 18th century – that’s thousands of years people!  HOW does something like that happen? The romans used the substance to shape domes, aqueducts, and archways. Several concrete bathhouses still stand from the era. That seems pretty advanced for the time period – and yet POOF! The discovery just disappears.

Via Knight Frank

In the town of Zwickau, Germany, concrete architecture peppers the rivers. Image found HERE. 

 LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by Ty Cole.

Brutalism was an architectural style that flourished in Critics of the style find in the 1950’s to the mid 1970’s. Many viewers found it unappealing due to its “cold” appearance, projecting an atmosphere of totalitarianism (this was the Cold War, folks). Others were upset that the material of concrete was used in residential areas as it lent itself easily to urban decay and graffiti.  Alison and Peter Smithson (British architects) coined the term in 1953, from the French béton brut, or “raw concrete”, a phrase used by Le Corbusier to describe the poured board-marked concrete with which he constructed many of his post-World War II buildings. To learn more about the styles origins, go HERE. 

Concrete is extremely susceptible to environmental damage. The mixes tensile strength can be damaged by wetness, sea water, freezing, and erosion. Today we have a bevy of materials that can hinder this process – however in the ancient days of yore – the Egyptians, and subsequently the Romans, learned to add horse-hair to the mixture in order to stop cracking.

A concrete wall becomes the new neutral. 

Reflective, glossy, air, and bright. Concrete becomes a minimal lover’s landscape. LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by Stebbi.

Concrete floors found in the Dutch Mountains, image via Design Milk HERE.

Brutal concrete stairs via Sisters Agency, HERE.

Sideboards by Eric Degenhardt for Böwer, image found HERE.

As far as being a decorative material, concrete actually can come in colors other than a drab grey! It all depends on the initial mix. Concrete even takes to staining, just like wood! The rock is also extremely energy efficient because it does not allow air seepage (like wooden house frames) – it can help to insulate and keep a building’s temperature constant.

A modern and white space complete with burnished and sleek concrete floors. The material takes on a natural and calming quality. Image found via House to Home, HERE.

This Spanish abode is 1/3 rustic cottage, 1/3 bohemian, 1/3 brutalist minimalism. Image found HERE.

Concrete loft in the West Village, NYC. Bricks, Concrete, Plastic, and Wood mingle in this airy space. Embrace materials. Found HERE. 

For the record, there is an abstractionist art movement called “concrete art”. It was first introduced by Theo van Doesburg in his “Manifesto of Concrete Art” (1930) – it has NOTHING to do with the rock mixture and EVERYTHING to do with casting off the strictures of interpretation. The art form aims to be devoid of symbolic influences or implications, in this way it is a concrete thought, not able to be read. Also affected by the varied uses of the word, “concretism”, is a practice of poetry wherein the visual arrangement of words form a pattern on the page are more importance than phonetic aesthetic. Oh the joys of the English language, etymology, and homonyms!

Shop by the Numbers:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Meet & Greet – Annabelle

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Meet Annabelle of the decor website Stylish Furniture & Decor. Annabelle worked for 10 years as a residential Interior Designer in Washington, DC and New York City, NY. She was inspired to start her new online furniture business because of her love of sourcing and helping to supervise a client’s design process. She believes that a new purchase as simple as one chair can help a home to feel “completely furnished”. She explains, “There is no purchase or project too small – as every piece is an important component.” She describes her website’s offerings as “sleek, “trendy”, and “fashionable”. Her favorite decorative time period is the present (even though I would love to live in Versailles or the Greco-Roman Era, her answer makes much more sense…I do love indoor plumbing)! She explains that, her version of “modern design” means mixing pieces from different periods and having fun with unexpected design.

Annabelle is a fellow New Yorker who lives in the West Village (one of my personal favorite neighborhoods in the city). As part of the EAT/SEE/SHOP/DO series, I asked her to come up with a short list of her favorites –

EAT: Mole, a Mexican restaurant on 57 Jane St, at the corner of Hudson St. New York, NY 10014. The mole enchiladas are actually to die for.

Image courtesy of Mole, West Village, HERE.

SEE: The Hudson River Park is one her favorite things about living in the West Village, she adores being able to access the river walk. The area is the largest park to be built in Manhattan since the completion of Central Park. It is right along the water and boasts amazing skylines and sunsets. The park also includes tennis courts and skateparks!

Image found HERE.

SHOP: Chelsea Market, especially the produce market, The Lobster Place (fresh lobster, fishmongers, and shellfish on ice!), and Buon Italia. If you plan on picking up ingredients for a gourmet dinner, this is your one-stop shop.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

DO: Sunday afternoon cocktails at any restaurant in the West Village or Chelsea! It’s always lively and fun! Bonus points for finding seats outside on a nice day for people watching.

Although Annabelle describes her home as simple and tailored meets cozy bachelor pad (her husband’s stuff), her website has a decidedly art deco, midcentury, anthropomorphic, and retro vibe. Here are my favorite finds from her site:

Shop by the Numbers: : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

If you love these items, Annabelle has agreed to give The Walkup readers a whopping 10% off all items from today until 5/31/2012, with the code WALKUP. Enjoy perusing!

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