Rustic American Style

The other day some of my friends asked me why I love America so much.  I think the answer lies in the pictures above.  We are in such an eclectic country where the working man often wins.  That’s about the last time I talk about the Protestant Work Ethic, but I think it’s why I love the USA.  I love everything americana and how simple and elegant it can be, contrasted to all of Europe where gold plating and tall ceilings showed your wealth.  People back home, I think, are wealthy in their expressions.  My friend Danielle said that she is sick of Europe because everyone is the same, everyone wears one of three neutral colors and complains when it is 55 degrees out.  I love America because the summers are humid where I am, and dry where my friends are, I love that we were the renegade country that is now constantly in the spotlight and I love that it’s perfectly acceptable for two adults to swing on a swing in an expansive backyard.  I love that we can be happy and we can tap into our past without it being pretentious.  I will be home in less than two months and I’m getting excited.

The NYT, via ginny branch

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Pond House

I absolutely adore this pond house interior from Washington, CT.  My mother must have raised me to love birch because I love these railings acting as aesthetic (and practical!) dividers.  The whole room appears to be so grounded.  Also mixing the light birch with the dark wood walls makes it seem a little brighter and a little less man-cave like.

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L’Oreal’s Women of Worth: Pauline Olsen

I know that this might not seem like anything except an architecture blog, but this is about Connecticut, to me.  It’s about home, and for me, home is Hartford.  If you have spare time, check out this website and please vote for Pauline!  Your vote could help her Malta House of Care recieve $25,000!  Vote here!

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Hey Everyone,
I’m still in Spain, but I saw a couple of great things today. One is the work of Brian Cook, a Manchester Graphic Designer, who created an imaginary metro system for Hartford – give it a couple years, we’ll get there.  If you want to order a matted poster, go for it! All the proceeds go to ConnectiKids, a non-profit matching kids with activities, role models and opportunities.

The other is that the “Butt Ugly Building” on the North side of I-84 will be knocked down. I don’t know the date. Do you think this is a good thing? Do you think it would be better in the long run to turn this into an ArtSpace or some sort of apartments or mixed use building? I am usually in favor of saving buildings if the condition is good enough. I just can’t help but think that Hartford thinks that a demolition is the quick and dirty way to do something and Hartford also thinks that everything will be better with a quick fix. Could it be better to do something with the existing building? Will it be better (aesthetically or otherwise) for the neighborhood in 20 years? What I really don’t understand is, who are all these people complaining about this building. I don’t think driving by on the highway everyday qualifies each passerby an opinion that should be listened to.

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While I love everything that I’ve posted on this little blog so much, I am going to take a little break from writing it. I may post something now and then, but if you really want to know what is happening with me I started a travel blog which I will be updating for the next few months:
Enjoy and maybe you’ll hear from me sooner than I think. I mean, I’m in Spain – there is inspiration and architecture everywhere!

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These Mirror Frames

The Selby
Fitzhugh Karolreally just knows what I like in a frame.

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On Vacation

Hi Everyone, I’m in a sleepy little southern town called Starke until Saturday.  Posts will be light.  Enjoy the summer days while they’re here.

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Unedited Coney Island

This is my favorite (although unedited) photo of the swings that I took from my trip to Coney Island last Monday.  This could possibly be my favorite photo that I’ve ever taken.  You aren’t able to see how high up these are – definitely not what I’m used to!  The swings had to be 50 feet in the air!  It was a perfect day and I’m so proud to be able to say that I rode on the Wonder Wheel before it is demolished.

To read more about Coney Island visit its Wikipedia page or Amusing the Zillion.

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Cape Cod

Hello, hello! I just got back from Cape Cod – the drive home was hellish, but when does construction make anything any easier?  I know that this post strays away from the typical architecture, but these photos really encapsulate my feelings of the trip, happy and beautiful.  These are some of my favorite pictures from the trip, mainly from Orleans and Provincetown.  I love “The Little Store” and its interior from Ptown (first two on the bottom).

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Movie Theaters

These two movie theaters are at opposite ends of the United States – The Clyde Theater (top in Langley, Whidbey Island, Washington) and The Florida Twin Theater (Bottom in Starke, Florida).  They are perfect because they are small and in quaint towns where there shouldn’t be massive AMCs or Cinema Studios.  The Florida Theater is a two screen movie house showing big budget films whereas The Clyde is an independent movie theater showing independent films and even musical guests on their stage.

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Nicolette Camille

What isn’t to love about this florist‘s Brooklyn home?  I love the blue color scheme (especially the teal blue in the living room – bottom center right), the Indian Toran.  I especially love the sky photos in the wall, which happened to be architecturally framed; those photos were clearly meant to live in that box.

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Recycled House

I love this recycled home. The photo frame ceiling and wine cork backsplash (?) are genius.

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Yesterday I went to Coney Island and it was AWESOME.  Yes, the caps lock was necessary.  I will upload pictures when I find the cord for my camera.  But, this artwork from Lulu Wolf reminded me of my trip.  I love it, I love it, I love it.  I’ll post my pictures sometime soon.

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The Deconstruction of Barns P. 1

This is a picture of a barn in Johnsonville behind the white Victorian house; while it speaks for itself, you should know that the top picture was taken last August and the second picture was taken in May.  Part II to come when my camera cord is found.

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Ahh! I love this Airstream.  Andreas Stavropoulos is a landscaper who decided to turn this Airstream into his office.  The aluminum showing where paint would normally be on the interior ends is my favorite part.  And I like the cork floors.  And the octopus.  And the fact that it’s in a Berkeley co-op with chickens – how American.

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What isn’t there to love in North Mississippi, Portland?  Flutter, a store located on North Mississippi, is stuffed with some of the most unusual things that I’ve ever seen, including, mounted heads, toy accordians, jewelry, and old world charm.  I feel like I’m in a life size jewelry box when I walk in.  Their tag line for the store is, “A Delightful Disarray Of Found Objects and Clutter,” I can’t think of a better way to put it.  This is what Anthropolgie wishes it was, maybe what it used to be, but they carry things for the home, books, dresses, gift wrapping paper, and really just neat things.

From a design standpoint, they decorations not only complement what the store carries, but enhances it.  Everything just looks a little bit better in the store than it would at home and that is because of the bold teal walls, the antiques, the wood ceiling, the concrete floors, layered oriental rugs, and of course, the chandeliers.

Check out their facebook page here.

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Plate Walls

{Design Sponge & Lolita}

I’m starting to get really into plate walls.  Maybe not for my own house (I don’t think they would look that good), but I do like how much color and personality they bring to a room.

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Child’s Paradise

I swear that I posted this picture before, thinking that it’s a genius idea for kids to have a great place to grow up and for adults to still feel young at heart.  However, I did not.  The good news, though, is that I found pictures for the rest of the house…

The kids’ father, Alex Michaelis, is an architect who actually listened to what they wanted and incorporated the design into the house blending sleek modernity with childlike whimsy.  What a cool dad!

The roof pictured above (last photo) has “Sedum planted…[which] provides insulation, reduces rain-water runoff, and helps filter carbon dioxide out of the air.”  Going green has never looked better, or more modern, in this London neighborhood, that’s for sure.

The two children asked for a slide, a climbing wall, and a foosball table.  The slide complements the limestone stairs proving that fun (and fast transportation downstairs) doesn’t have to be unsophisticated.  I also love the bean bag in the living room, allowing the kids to sit next to an adult leather couch without adopting the maturity of it.

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I love Design Sponge!  It has inspiration everywhere and I can always find something to post if I’m running low on time.

Growing up on a farm (and now managing it) I have a special place for burlap, americana and all things farm.  This chair is the perfect example to taking the farm to the house without feeling like you live in a barn, but you could, and that would be cool too.  It’s for sale on etsy.

What’s so nice about this is the centered font on the backing and the Ralph Lauren stripes matching up with the stripe going down the middle.  Who said farms can’t be classy?

Another reason I love this chair:  it makes me want to sit in front of a fire and read a book.  I just reread a book that someone gave to me when I had surgery a few years back.  It makes me think of how great friends are – a note to everyone in the world: children’s books are the best gifts for pick me ups, forget the flowers.  Pages last longer.

I got this book in a package, with a note that starts with, “Hi Kid.”  My favorite page (37) in the book (corny? I don’t care) reads, “I like you because because because/I forget why I like you/But I do.”

Sometimes not having a reason is reason enough.

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Grand Central Station

I lovelovelove Grand Central Station.  The lights, the skylights, the ceiling murals, everything about it.  It was really a beautiful restoration.

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Frosted Glass Kitchen

I love this kitchen.  The frosted glass, the dark good, the farm sink, the marble countertops and backsplash, the hot water tab above the stove…this is a chef’s dream.  While this is formally has a masculine kitchen decor, it isn’t so man like that it’s uncomfortable.  The industrial design of the sliding glass panels are so great.  I really think that I could love this kitchen, I just don’t think I could keep it presentable!

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The Big Moose Inn

The Big Moose Inn, in Millinocket, Maine, is where I have grown up.  Granted, I have grown away from there too.  I can always go back and it is always welcoming and I am always in awe of it as I was the first time I walked through the screened in porch which I love so much. The restaurant is on the first floor, the bar off to the side and rooms are for rent upstairs while there are cabins scattered across the property.  There are always an assortment of weird things through those screened in doors, for example, I saw the first dummy I’ve seen in a long time and little guitars hanging everywhere.  (Fine, there were just two.)  I also love the mismatched dining furniture.  But, would it be Moose Country if there weren’t any moose heads hanging over the fireplace?  I think not.  “Welcome back,” is what that screams.

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I know that ivy is hazardous for buildings, but i can’t help but love how it climbs and conquers.  It’s the closest thing to dry watercolors nature has to offer.

I’m off to Maine for the weekend; I will update you all on Tuesday night when I come back.

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I’m really enjoying these doors by Fitzhugh Karol.  I was recently in Anthropologie and the first thing that I see on the coffee table was the book by Todd Selby (who took these pictures), my new favorite photographer (aside from Mark Loper, of course.  They have different styles and subjects but that’s a different story).  But seeing the book, that means that I either: a.) Need it or b.) Was just meant to be friends with him.  I will add that to my list of things to do, track down and befriend The Selby.

In any case, I really enjoy the industrial/agricultural style of the doors – oversized, reclaimed (or so it seems) wood with a a visible sliding track.

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Kid Space

What a great kids room and contract between a parent and child.  The hoops on the ceiling are a genius way to make the space playful without having obnoxious colors on the walls or the typical green, yellow, blue, and pink.

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