Category Archives: store bought

Lucite in the Sky with Diamonds

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This just in – Lucite is not longer for stripper heels or for your lewd cousin Sally. Although I always associated the material with wanton fantasies and ladies of the night, its style resurgence has begun!

The material can be used to preserve items in a resin like substance – it also has a bevy of other uses including in CDs, tattoo ink, ceramics, rocket fuel, fiber optics, dental fillings, aquarium windows, hockey rinks, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, and basically everywhere one looks. Perspex, a type of lucite, has been used as a surface to paint on (rather than traditional canvas) by Salvador Dali.

Is it a table? A book? A Painting? Salvador Dali, Freud, Moise et le monothéisme, 1974  The texts chosen above were actually based in alchemy. 

Hailed as a chemical wonder and used in World War II bombers. Lucite was able to be explored in more domestic settings after the war. Here is an illustration from Modern Materials for Modern Living: Bakelite Plastics, 1957. I am assuming the windows are plexiglass. Image found HERE.

Simply put, lucite is a shatter resistant, acrylic alternative to glass. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in 1933 by Rohm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas. It has since been sold under many different names including Lucite and Perspex. I was going to attempt to give you the full and official name but all the “poly”, “methyl”, “acrylate”, “methylpropenoate”, and other chemically words had be a bit tongue tied.

 

A simple and clean solution to a watch display. Image found via The Glitter Guide, HERE.

Lucite backed bar stools and  the notable Oly Studio lighting. 

The translucent material camouflages itself to match any decorating scheme. Image via DecorPad. 

I spy Domino Magazine! That coffee table allows the magazines to look as though they are in a shadowbox on display. The lucite screen divider separates a room without shrinking its size. Image screen cap found via Lonny Magazine.

Image found HERE.

Contemporary gray foyer entry design with lucite acrylic console table, tall slat back chair, owl umbrella stand, white & black abstract art, white branch candle holders, gray walls paint color, crown moulding and crystal chandelier by Lori Graham. Image found HERE. 

A pop of color is calmed down by the clarity of lucite! Image by Tara Seawright, found HERE.

Cinderella would have made an entrance down this staircase whether or not she was wearing her glass (or lucite) slipper. The bannister is designed by Thomas Britt. Hanging on the stairs is Walking Cake II by Laurie Simmons. Photos by Andi Hatch and Francois Halard. Image found HERE. 

I would not mind reading, writing, or working at this wonder of a desk. Image via Atlanta Homes Magazine.

HOW DO I LIVE IN A CHEMICALLY MADE CLEAR RESIN LIFE?

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

 

The Meadow

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Tucked within the patchwork of cobblestone streets in the West Village neighborhood of New York City lies The Meadow. The store is the self touted ultimate source for gourmet salt, rimming salt, curing salt, finishing salt, sea salt, and artisan salts from around the world. The shop also carries chocolates, bitters, and fresh flowers. In short, it is a savory haven filled to the brim with saliva-producing tastes and smells. The space is postage-stamp sized, highly personal, and quaint. In the summer the shop even offers homemade ice cream sandwiches topped with sea salts and chilis! ARTISANAL! YES. Get thee to The Meadow for a dose of inspiration, stat.

If you have not heard about it, or usually do not partake in the world of nonfiction history through food (Cod, Splendid Exchange, The Big Oyster, et. al.), I highly suggest you pick up (and subsequently read) Salt. This mineral has a long and trying tale – a substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions.  Next time you reach your hand across the dining room table or spin the lazy-susan, think about the surprising importance of this commodity. In the end, we’re talking about an EDIBLE ROCK.

Himalayan Salt Blocks are truly the perfect pink color. Shave away!

The store not only smells fantastic (and I really do have a visceral reaction to how well planned and tactile it all is), it is also designed to fully appreciate the arts. This is my cathedral of gustatory meets visual – where lush flowers intermingle with charcoal smoked salts, where finely framed gouaches match the colors of paper-covered bottles of bitters. Sensual – to the truest sense of the term.

Japanese Salt Set – 1.2 oz Jars – A set of five gourmet Japanese Sea Salts: Amabito No Moshio, Iburi Jio Cherry smoked salt, Shinkai Deep Sea Salt, Takesumi Bamboo and Cherry Plum. Photo by The Meadow.

Mark Bitterman, one of the founders of this shop and second half of the married duo, also wrote a book extolling the wonders of salt. It seems it is easy to write a book about an item that is older than civilization itself! Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral with Recipes should probably line the wall’s of every kitchen’s cookbook shelf. “From the elegant fleur de sel and flake salts to 500 million year old Himalayan salt slabs that resemble pink quartz, Bitterman explains the history and science of salt production. The book profiles over 150 salts, and includes 50 recipes that showcase this versatile and marvelous ingredient.” If your kitchen scares you, or if like I used to, you live in a 500 sq. foot apartment wherein your kitchen touches your bathroom which touches your bed – buy this book just for its glorious photos.

As always, my favorite storefronts are directly inspired by the visual arts, “Before founding The Meadow, Jennifer Turner Bitterman (other half of the duo) worked as an art historian at The Metropolitan Museum and The Frick Collection in New York, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Musee du Chateau de Versailles in Paris. Jennifer’s passion for cooking, eating, and reading and writing poetry have guided her travels and inspired her belief in running a business that above all honors the intimate connections between producers, merchants, and customers.”

Would it be too weird to begin using these salt blocks as legs for tables? Or as bookends? Salt should be the next frontier in interior design. 

Your eyes doth deceive you!  Michel Cluizel Milk Chocolate Sardines – 5 pc Tin – Sardines En Chocolat Au Lait – Fine chocolate doesn’t have to be serious. These five milk chocolate sardines from Michel Cluizel are still made of the highest quality ingredients, but with an added element of fun.

I have actually had dreams that feature a wall of chocolate like this.

To show you that I am not crazy and that salt CAN actually be used as design inspiration, check out these Epsom Salt Luminaries, above. Photo and a how-to from Crafts by Amanda, HERE.

The shop’s name was chosen because Jennifer wanted to create a place that felt like coming home, where personal connections and sensual pleasures welcome you. I suggest you visit and spend time amidst beautiful fresh cut flowers, taste strange and enticing foods, and explore the astonishing depth of the elemental ingredients.

And now, for a pun, you’ve officially been A-SALT-ED (assaulted? get it? ….crickets).

P.S. All photos taken by me unless otherwise noted. 

American Pi(Day)

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First of all, happy Pi day. Pi day occurs on March 14th (3.14) and celebrates both math and dessert. Seriously, we need more holidays like this. I had a friend in high school who was able to recite Pi up to its 100th decimal point. It was actually, weirdly, relaxing to hear (almost hypnotic).

Secondly, AND I AM PUSHING SEGUES HERE, lets talk about American Pie. To me this song, and this ideal, represents a bric-a-brac of American culture. The song encompasses one man’s love of music in America that spans Bob Dylan (Minnesota), Buddy Holly (Texas), Janis Joplin (Texas and California) , Elvis Presley (Mississippi and Tennessee), and Carly Simon (New York). The song also mentions the changing American landscape during the death of the Kennedy’s. To me, this song commemorates America in a way that is not kitschy and uber-patriotic – it is totally genuine.


Based in Chicago, Illinois, the LGBT-owned furniture company 900Blok also celebrates the topography of America. I love the idea of designing in a patriotic way that isn’t the literal “Stars and Stripes”,  “American Flag Colors”,”Western”, schlocky and humdrum decor. 900Blok’s first collection called “50 States” aims to bring the shapes of midcentury design to the shapes of The United States. The shapes of the states are familiar, we have always seen them on maps on our elementary school walls, we see the shapes of the states on the news, the cutout is ubiquitous. Yet, we have not seen the shapes as tables. This design allows me to think of each area as an aesthetically pleasing form – rather than a political entity. I currently live in New York – but what an amazing way to remember where I grew up and commemorate their importance – Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

California Here We Come. Look at those solid oak legs and that lacquered tabletop finish! Image courtesy of 900Blok, HERE.

These nesting tables allow states to touch that otherwise wouldn’t. Ever wanted Ohio to touch Nevada (not the states seen above)? DONE. Image courtesy of 900Blok, HERE.

Chicago! Also can we talk about the Wayne Thiebaud coffee table book? This is probably a necessity in every home, in fact I might need to write a post merely about his cake icing and frosty pastel colors. Image courtesy of 900Blok, HERE.

‘Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends’, Ron Arad 2009, Corten and mirror-polished stainless steel , 5.5m wide, 3.5 m high, 40cm deep , Courtesy Ron Arad Associates and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, © Ron Arad, 2009

The United States of Logos. Look at each state’s different branding, calligraphy, and colors! Found HERE.

United Steaks of America. I think this would be a killer print in someone’s kitchen. Image Courtesy of the artist, Dominic Episcopo.

Both of the above images courtesy of dirtsastudio on Etsy! Grab yourself a chalkboard state! Chart your travels, mark your favorite spots, or just learn some geography with a chalkboard map of the United States.

q.a. DESIGN has a circus-striped and colorful take on the U.S. I love the contrasting colors in the prints. The shop is filled with maps from various states, with a simple heart over the state capitol (or your favorite city of choice). A person’s home can features the states in which she has spent most of his/her lifetime. 

I could not help the pun of using Wisconsin as a Cheese Board. However, any state can be found in this design shop! A.Heirloom Design Shop, HERE.

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (no longer available but if you Google Map Decoupage, DIY stuff comes up) / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 

What state are you?

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