Rewind to 504

I was browsing A+R this morning and had to post this gift. It makes me want to retake 504 (summer bootcamp that kicked off architecture school). We had to make a cube with various stipulations, and for most of us it turned into this weekend-long assignment as our first rounds weren't perfect enough. Would have loved to take the weekend off and shown up with this Monday morning instead...


Where East Meets West [Elm]

I think so much of my design aesthetic has been influenced by my various travel opportunities. While Italy and now Finland hold a special place in my heart, I have to admit that the bright colors, patterns, and textiles of the East really bring a smile to my face. So I was really excited to see the new West Elm catalogue - you know the "global trend" has really trickled down to the masses when a company like West Elm is carrying this stuff. And since another trip is not in the cards for me right now, I guess I'll just have to keep perusing the catalogue to feel inspired.

I put these two collages together for fun - the first are all photographs I've taken traveling in Morocco and Nepal. Below is my compilation of all my favorites from the new catalogue.


Organizing Life

I'm going to admit I just started my first self-help book. Gulp. Well, not sure if it exactly qualifies, but I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I think I am okay with it as A. it is/was a #1 New York Times Best Seller and B. my mom had bought it, so it was just lying around the house, waiting to be read. Regardless, I just started - 12 month-long projects the author devotes to different categories trying to boost her happiness.

January was all about having more energy, and one of the items that resonated with me was the idea to unclutter your life - both visual clutter and mental clutter. While I'll spare the details of the latter (and maintain some privacy), I really liked the idea of being more organized. Not leaving things around with the idea "I'll do it later." Not that I could qualify for Hoarders or anything, but I do admit to having a lot of stuff. I'm my mother's daughter, what can I say? And even though my flip-flopping coasts has made me pair down in many ways, I'm still thinking I could go through my stuff - both in California and DC - and figure out what I really need to hold on to.

With that said, I found this art project which I found inspiring for my goal to pair down, declutter, and organize my life. What would I keep if this camper was all the space I had for my worldly possessions? Not that I'll be that successful (or extreme), but it gets me thinking about what is essential and what is superfluous. Or if I did buy something new, I'd have to give up something old. Off to my closet...

Camper Bike art project found here


My Thoughts Exactly

I came across this photograph today on an Apartment Therapy house tour (which also happened to take place in my first neighborhood in L.A: Miracle Mile - which I still love). The Post-It sentiment rings so true, and gets me thinking I might just have a little too much texting going on in my life...


New Show Review & Pool Time

Home by Novogratz is a new show on HGTV that I taped over the weekend. When it was first being advertised, I wondered, who are these people? Should I know who Cortney and Robert Novogratz are? (Am I that in the dark in the design world...)

But I have to say, I enjoyed the premiere. I was impressed first and foremost that they are married with seven (!) kids, and run their business from home. Their first project was for two sisters who bought a beach house and basically wanted something "girly surfer bohemian." I'm not sure how bohemian I felt it was, but I think they had a lot of good ideas, and what I liked most about it was Cortney's hosting - she made the design really feel accessible, and it wasn't over the top expensive (which I assumed it might be as they live in New York - and most of the other HGTV shows out of New York have designers that come across very snooty and high brow - at least to me). I just grabbed these images off HGTV's website, and am bummed they didn't have a better kitchen shot - they put in really cute, vintage-inspired appliances (blue fridge, pink stove).

I loved the striped stairs (although it looked very tedious to do), and the wallpaper: although girly from afar, was rather risque patterned and quirky (busty amazon-type woman in various scenes, not your average toile).

Anyways, not surprising I liked a lot of the girliness of this house - the inspiration was Betsey Johnson, and I have always loved her home style:

I am curious to see how the show unfolds, but for now, it's definitely on my short list of new shows on HGTV with potential. But I've gotta run, Sara came down to Orange County, and we have a big day of lounging by the pool together ahead of us. Maybe with a cocktail and some guacamole...


My Little Papel Picado Project

I've been busy these last few days with a little graphic design project I've been working on for Robin's wedding. Oh yeah, I used to dabble in this stuff before grad school when I had free time (when I say dabble, I actually mean sometimes being paid for it - oh I miss those days). Anyways, Robin wanted something fun for the written portion of her wedding - the menus, programs, etc, and she and Dave introduced me to the Mexican art of Papel Picado. I didn't do too much research into how it came about, but think of paper snowflakes - except much more elaborate and turned into banners, flags, you name it, for celebratory events.

It is an amazingly delicate craft, and I found a lot of inspiration online - from using the traditional banners at weddings, to using the motif for invitations. I'm not quite done yet, but the last image is kind of a logo I'm working on - it's been fun. Now off to find a printer...

Image found here

This one here

And... my work in progress. The papel picado is actually shades of the bridesmaids' dress color, too - so pretty.



Ever since my trip to Nepal, I've been craving random baked goods (thanks to my friend Kevin whom every day pretty much would come up with a new dessert he "needed" once he returned home - fruit pies, lemon bars, brownies - you name it, he craved it). Well my one contribution was wanting Smores - maybe because we were building a fire pit as part of our project? Regardless, the thought of Smores transported me back to childhood - not that I was a big camper, but I do remember making them during my brief stint in Brownies (and apparently the Girl Scouts actually invented Smores - common knowledge? I didn't know that...)

Anyways, we finally made some last week down at my brother's - kind of the lazy way as we didn't even start a fire in the backyard fire pit but instead used the stove top. I was thinking my craving was sated, until I ran across this recipe for "Grown-up" Smores. Both cracker and marshmallow home-made? Yes please. Guess I'll have to try these out too. :-)

Both images from Fresh New England


Site Searching

Yesterday my brother Eric and his girlfriend guided me down the San Diego coast looking for potential thesis sites. We started in Encinitas, and headed south through Del Mar, Torrey Pines and La Jolla. We stopped at some of the big surf areas, and I was able to convince them we should stop at the Salk Institute (neither had ever been). We had lunch in La Jolla, Eric pointed out where our parents lived in college (both went to UCSD), and he took me by my grandparents' old house - which to our surprise is still boarded up and deserted. It was a beautiful day in San Diego, and I have to admit, it just didn't feel like that much "work" to scout the coast for a site.


I ♥ Finnish Design

I think it is safe to say that everyone who spent last summer in Finland in our program is nostalgic about it this summer - all of us keep posting about memories or reunion ideas, places we want to go back to - and now I'm realizing there is so much more to see. I discovered the firm of Lassila Hirvilammi this morning, and after my obsession with the churches we saw while abroad, I'm definitely wanting to return to Jyväskylä to see this one:

Kuokkala Church, completed 2010

I just think no one quite does it for me like the Finns...


Home + Architecture

After spending an amazing few weeks in Nepal, I returned to the hot/humid weather that defines summer in DC and thought to myself, "you're crazy, go home!" - which is exactly what I decided to do for the month of July. A last minute flight and a few days later, I'm settling in to the California lifestyle, which so far has consisted of moving in with my brother in Encinitas, reading a book for pleasure (crazy I know!), going to the beach, and a daily run or bike ride. Not too rough...

I am also really glad I took a definitive break from school, because now that I'm back in California and feeling refreshed, thesis is actually starting to become something I'm excited about. I haven't officially begun looking for a site yet, but over the weekend I walked along the coast for a while, and the ideas definitely started forming.

In addition to the bumming around SoCal for the month, I'm also excited to find out there are some cool exhibits, etc. happening this summer while I'm home. Somehow I usually miss things I'm interested in being on the wrong coast at the time (like Dwell on Design that was the weekend before I decided to come home). However, just got an email from LA Forum, and I'm really looking forward to the

Lewis.Tsuramaki.Lewis exhibit at the end of the month - 4 Projects: 4 Scales. The firm is out of New York, and our CBDS undergrad group permanently carried around their book last semester which I came to know and love. Excited to see some of their work first-hand.