Light and Shadow

Continuing my desire for some sunshine (it's freezing right now in DC!), and in the midst of trying to start thinking about thesis research, I'm thinking about the play of light and shadow. Most of my friends at school know about my obsession with lighting (thanks Aalto), but I also love the play of shadow created by manipulating form - and here's a pretty amazing example from a temporary "hotel" on the coast of Finland (what can I say, my summer there has stuck with me).

This rug is also pretty reminiscent of the one designed for my parents' house...
All images from ArchDaily


Today I'm loving...

Alright, maybe I need to break out of my color comfort zone, but it's hard to when I keep coming across perfection.

Found via Emily Henderson


In Need of a Little Sunshine

I know it's only January, but I'm already sick of this cold weather. You can take the girl out of California but you can't take California... Anyways, dreaming of basking in the warm, sunny glow of home - a Sunday at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market and an afternoon nap on the beach?

From Domino Magazine


I may have met The One

I have been in love for far too long with a chandelier that is way out of my league. Alas, $5,800 for an Emil Stejnar chandelier does not fit into my grad school budget. Ah, but a girl can dream...

So for now, the closest thing I could find in my price range (i.e. ridiculously cheap) was the Maskros pendant from IKEA, problem was it was like 30" in diameter and way too big for my bedroom:

(Yeah some people for scale would have helped, but trust me it is huge in person.)

So imagine my surprise when I was searching online (thanks to my Aunt Cheryl who is hunting for lighting for her new house and now has me addicted, too), and saw that new for 2011 is a smaller version of the Maskros! It is still a little big (almost 20"), but I think it just might work. And hey, it's $5750 less than the Emil Stejnar one - what a steal! Now I just need to drop by IKEA in all my free time and find a way to install it.



I'm a week deep into school and not only my last spring semester, but also my last design studio at Catholic (wow, thesis in the fall, still cannot believe how quickly time flew by). Studio this semester is supposedly the "capstone" of my education - the comprehensive building design studio (CBDS) group project that everyone dreads. Seriously, some legendary horror stories. Rumor had it we were going to have a Solar Decathlon project, but apparently that was just not enough, so now we're doing a net zero master plan in Southeast DC. Oh yeah, and my group also lucked out and drew scenario three, which as far as I can tell doubles the amount of work this semester as we have to design scenario 1 (21 townhomes) and scenario 2 (10 single residency occupances + communal area), all the way through construction documents...

Anyways, I thought for some humor I'd post images of what we're working with. A DC councilman came to introduce the project to us. It's pretty ironic that the new master plan calls for an entirely sustainable strategy and yet they have to tear down a minimum of 15 buildings on the site to clear the area (this is a real project that has had some financial problems but is slated to continue when the economy picks back up). The only building that is staying is the St. Coletta School by Michael Graves, which is adjacent to the block we're on (aren't we so lucky??). The site visit was fun in the snow last week, too, especially wandering around the STD, TB, and detox clinics that are on the site...

Michael Graves' St. Coletta School - our next door neighbor

Can't wait to spend some time here ;-).


It's off to Mop I go

Well, not exactly, but our house decided to have a group Spring Clean and organize day (I know we're in the dead of winter, but feeling motivated), so I better get my blue heels and apron on and get to work. Hope you all have a great three day weekend!


Inlay Inspiration

As I begin a new semester working in the wood shop, I've basically been told I need to learn to use the CNC machine at our school (will probably be a good idea when thesis rolls around, so I'm not complaining). I think I'm going to make a coffee table for the house, since our living room is currently the land of college furniture. I think the shape is going to be pretty simple, but I was thinking I'd use the CNC for the top - to inlay a pattern or design in it. Right now I'm thinking a combination of Walnut and plywood, but I'm also whirling around a bunch of different ideas for what I'd want the inlay pattern to be. I'm really digging all of these guys below...
All images from Iannone Design, a company that uses all reclaimed, sustainable or FSC wood - amazing pieces that are eco-friendly too.


Monday Morning Blues

Look 7 am, I want to like you. In fact I want to like you so much I'm willing to see you daily (well, maybe not on the weekends), but in exchange you can't be dark and dreary. We're not up in the arctic circle you know. Guess I'm feeling a little blue about starting school (and come on, you know it's my favorite color), so here are some blue rooms I'd rather be sleeping in right now...

Want to source these images but I've been hanging on to them forever - I think the first two were from Domino, and the last might be an Elle Decor (non-US version?).


Leaving on a Jet Plane

Getting ready for my flight - in less than 8 hours I'll be back in DC - and having to brave the cold again. At least classes don't start until Monday - here's to one final weekend of freedom!

Cute illustration found on etsy here

My brother is rad

My inspiration today comes from the most talented photographer I know, my brother Eric. Tuesday he showed me an album he shot of a friend's wedding (someday when I get married I think I'm going to need him to shoot my entire wedding in film) and tonight I noticed he posted some new photos on his blog he shot while hiking with his friends recently. I can't wait to get back to DC and continue using my new camera, feeling so inspired!

Eric and Bella.


Blue Velvet

After spending last night down in Encinitas with my brother, I made a detour to my friend Catie's new condo, helping her move some of her heavier furniture and talking about future plans for the new place. When I left her house this afternoon and drove back up to Orange County, I found myself daydreaming of my new apartment/condo/house - you know, the one with the perfect location in a mystery city, with amazing natural light, hardwood floors, lots of closets, and my very own outdoor space? While all that may just be fantasy now, I do know it is likely a blue velvet sofa will find its place into my living room. I've been collecting images of them for way too long...

From a vintage Domino Magazine


Emily Henderson's adorable living room (now I just need to get my hands on a flag of Finland).


Heading South

After spending all morning working on my new blog logo (see above!), I am going to make this quick as I need to run a bunch of errands before heading down to Encinitas to hang out with my brother, Eric. The weather should be nice, I'm packing my camera, and a night's stay at the beach sounds like a great way to end my SoCal trip home - 3 weeks are flying by way too quickly!

Here's one of the photos I took up north over Christmas with my new Hasselblad - hopefully I'll have some more great weather today and tomorrow down south.


Reappearing in 2011

I hate to jump on the New Year's Resolution bandwagon, but somehow fall 2010 flew by and all of a sudden it was Christmas and I hadn't made a peep on my blog. Then Friday I turned the Big 3-0, woke up magically transformed into to a sophisticated, graceful and driven woman, and found myself ready to make some resolutions for the new year. Some of them may be more like plans, but as I've started thinking about 2011, I realize it's going to be a busy and incredibly life-changing year.

So, in 2011, I am going to:
1. Graduate Grad school - wow how time flew by. Now I just need to come up with a thesis in the next few months to make that happen, but no big deal (I hope some sarcasm can be sensed in that statement).
2. Taking advantage of my last school travel opportunity - I am taking "Spirit of Place" this spring, and the class designs and builds a project every summer. This summer I'm going to Nepal. Un-frickin-believable. I can't even imagine the impact that is going to have on me - both as an architectural and cultural experience.
3. Find a job - or start looking for one at least. I don't think my dream-job (who am I kidding in this economy, any job!) is going to fall on my lap, or knock on my door, so I need to start the hunt sooner rather than later. Hoping this job could be in San Francisco (wow, big life change again), but I need to keep my mind open to various possibilities...

And for more of the resolutions...
4. Take more time for myself - whether that entails going to the gym, reading a book, going out with friends. Basically, spend more time outside of Crough.
5. Take more photographs. Looking through all of my brother's photography is so inspiring - I really need to make it more of a priority. Especially now that I have a really amazing camera.
6. You knew it was coming - blog more! My goal for 2011 is to write 4 times per week. Even if it's just a quick entry on what I did that day, or something I saw that inspired me. (Phewf, one down, only three more to go this week!)

And to start 2011 with a little bit of design inspiration... This Loft in San Francisco was designed by Edmonds + Lee. I found it through Desire to Inspire, but it was also published in a fall edition of Dwell Magazine. Love the rustic-wood ceiling juxtaposed with the industrial insertions (and oh those Tom Dixon pendants!).