Archive for July, 2008
Well, it finally happened: we got a little crafty.
Here is our attempt at creatively showing some alternative, easy and quick ways to frame and display artwork and photographs, all of which won’t dent your wallet.
Idea #1: Old Fashioned Metal Clips
An industrial look with endless possibilities. We chose to center a drawing inside of a report cover, mount a postcard on a piece of cardboard, and simply clipping an actual photograph.
Lean them against a ledge or nail them to the wall for a make-shift gallery. The great thing is that you can easily change what is being displayed. For a more sleek look, try metal or steel clipboards.
Idea#3: Twine and Clothespins
A more rustic look, this is a quick way to hang post-cards, drawings, photographs and less heavier art.
Consider stringing twine across the wall and using clothespins to pin up the cards you receive in the mail.
Idea #4: Old-School Wooden Pant Hangers
This idea originates from an article from These hangers are great for larger pieces and hang nicely when nailed into a wall. Our suggestion is to hang four or five on along a wall at varied heights.
If the recession is causing you to curb your spending habits and taking a toll on your interior design plans, you might want to consider a somewhat less orthodox method of shopping—perusing your local stoop sales. City living with its shoebox-size apartments and limited storage space isn’t conducive to the pack-rat existence. Stoop sales provide city dwellers with a fast, easy solution to consolidating their possessions by giving them the chance to sell the extras. Summer is prime stoop sale season, so take advantage of all the great bargains as people clean out their closets and get ready for seasonal relocation. Although warily synonymous with “dirt cheap deals,” stoop sales are invariably “stocked” with that magazine rack, mirror, or side table you’ve been looking for at ungodly low prices.
Locating these haphazard sales may take a little investigating, but by simply strolling around your neighborhood, you’ll probably come across quite a few signs taped to street lamps or tacked onto store bulletins. If you happen to live in Brooklyn, the unofficial land of stoops, then you can visit Brooklyn Stoop, to find out what sales are taking place in your neighborhood.
Here are some of my favorite recent finds, all of which were under $10:
And, for those of you who live in Atlanta check out our old post that lists great second-hand stores where you can find similarly cheap and awesome items: ‘Consignment Chic’ Post
Also, check out Yard Sale Addict for yard sale listings and reviews.
Posted by Nicole Anderson
We love any excuse to peek inside other people’s ultra-cool living spaces, especially when the resident’s are creatively inclined. Now there is a new eponymous blog called The Selby that allows viewers to do just that. Started a few months ago by photographer Todd Selby, famous for his dramatic portraits of celebrities, The Selby ventures into the homes of artists, designers, authors, relatives, and other creatives to capture their living environments. People and interior décor have equal rank in the artsy shots on display.
It has caused a bit of a stir amongst the blogger community and everyone seems to be slightly obsessed. We are no exception, having been personally blown away by the the quality of both the photography and the spaces, all of which are interesting in their own way.
Here are a few examples of tours we particularly liked:
Updated semi-weekly, we recommend hopping on The Selby train by perusing this highly inspiring blog.
Design magazines are always saying you should assemble a room according to how it feels and how you live. But something about those words or the way they say it always sounds very expensive and off-limits to me. I’ve lived in rentals with awkward floor plans for a long time, with splintering, unfinished pine and graphic plastic as the unifying themes of my décor. But there is one exception.
My very first apartment had an extra room, a sort of walled-in patio that was poorly insulated but very sunny. It screamed for bookshelves. Faced with the wobbly, no-tools-needed assembly items that came in all the not-quite-right proportions and colors, I paused to consider this investment. I would need bookshelves for the rest of my life, right? A local woodworker agreed to my small project and created six shelves that fit precisely into the room, creating my very first cozy den. They’ve accompanied me to every new space I’ve lived in ever since. If you want to have your own, there are two Austin area woodworkers I especially like, on different sides of the custom woodwork spectrum. With their help, you can get a unique piece of furniture into your modest dwelling. Most of Mark Macek’s clients come to him via architects and interior designers. He can design a piece himself, or construct pieces from other designers with his welder and four full-time woodworkers. Macek’s work is all over Austin—at universities, ranches, and in new condos. In Macek’s studio, woodworker Ellen Alger shows me a bench design that Macek created. I’m obsessed with the thick, blocky grey wood, and how the seat of the bench looks like it’s floating just above the legs.
Part of why Alger loves to work in Macek’s shop is his preference for domestic woods, which around here means cherry, walnut, maple, pecan, and mesquite. “Once you get into the jungle woods,” she said, “the composites in there can be toxic to work with.” While Macek’s custom work might be out of range for some, his production line of small tables and dressers can be made in a pinch, and will find a prominent place in all your homes to come. This dresser might find a new home with me.
A smaller-scale operation like By David Pasztor, can be flexible with small projects and ingénue customers. Pasztor works with private clients and all their specifications to design a piece that will suit their lives and spaces. Overall, Pasztor is focused on clients getting what they want from their investment. So when you’re ready, after that windfall following your big moving fiasco or in celebration of your first place with a sweet little alcove, consider having something made. It can bring a new element to the space, and my set of shelves makes every new place feel like home. Posted by Ann Raber
Dating services that have special “themes” seem to be all the rage right now. This is certainly true in Seattle, where there’s an organization that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “art lovers.” H’Art Dating was started by employees of the La Familia Gallery during a conversation about Valentine’s Day which included the fact that there are so many fabulous single art lovers also looking for another kind of love.
Interested people were sent a brief questionnaire, but the real ‘art’ was that applicants were then linked to several pieces of artwork where they were asked to rate each piece on a scale from one to five in areas such as composition, use of color, and creativity. There is also a comment field at the bottom of each piece to enter notes about individual impressions’ revealing the applicant’s personality. The viewing and rating of art used to make aesthetic matches are what set this event apart from other dating avenues.
Their first H’Art Dating event was designed for 40 people and exploded into over 300 applications for an invite to this first-of-a-kind event. The folks at La Familia were surprised and somewhat overwhelmed by the initial response, but they quickly realized that they had struck a nerve, adding more events and a website to publicize them.
The H’Art website is quick to point out that the service is as much about the arts and making connections as trying to find a love match. However, with the dating world inundated with websites promoting scientific matching, speed dating and date coaches, isn’t it more romantic to think about meeting the One based on your shared love of abstract expressionism? After all, love, like art, is subjective.
Posted by Kendra Redman
Each week Nicholas, our newest LoftBlog columnist, will blog about his attempt to renovate his new loft . . . entirely on his own.
Loft renovation has unquestionably become something of a phenomenon in Brooklyn over the past few years. More and more people are recognizing the satisfaction that comes with having control over a space from start to finish. Choosing the right color for the walls, or picking out just the right sofa is simply not enough anymore.
Putting long hours of work to frame out rooms, hang drywall, install a sink or shower, or accomplish the hundreds of other jobs that come with renovating a raw space instills a sense of pride that is unmatched.
This is exactly what I have been doing over the past three weeks. I moved into a 1,200-square foot loft in Brooklyn and began renovation shortly after. My roommates and I have managed to build three bedrooms, a bathroom, a shower, and storage closet. We also installed a second sink for the kitchen area. So far the work has been tough but incredibly rewarding, and although not quite finished, I cannot wait until the next project.
While some may be fortunate enough to hire architects and builders to design and finish their spaces, or rent out pre-built lofts, some of us are not. Through these weekly “RENO(VATION) 411” entries, I hope to inspire those who are passionate about Doing-Your-Loft-Yourself without spending an absolute fortune.
Posted by Nicholas
Boxing yourself into a color scheme is easy to do. Everything has to “go” together. It can turn decking out your loft into a burden. The good news is this: clear plastic goes with anything! Acrylic furniture and accessories are the new go-to item.
The look is clean, sleek and modern, especially when it is used to offset bigger, bulkier pieces. Turns out making Lucite and acrylic furniture is an expensive process, and the prices reflect as much. However, if you are looking to invest in a piece that will really make a statement, you might want to consider heading in this direction.
You can even go custom. Creative Acrylic is an Atlanta based company that designs and makes acrylic furniture. Their actual motto is “If you can draw it, we can make it out of acrylic/plastic”. Pictured left is one of their custom made bookshelves.
A similar company and one of the first in the industry is New York’s Plexi-Craft While they offer custom as well, they have a vast variety of products to choose from. Chances are you will find what you are looking for. They offer online shopping or you can order by phone. Shipping is reasonable.
Now for the cheaper options. If you like the idea of an acrylic table, but don’t have thousands to spend, head over to CB2.com, Crate and Barrel’s new venture. The store is all about inexpensive, more modern stuff, all of which can be ordered online and all of which is awesome. These nesting tables go for a mere $199.
Then there is Target. It turns out Target has an overwhelming amount of various furnishings available on their website, much of which is due to the ever growing team of designers they have hired to do home lines. We were shocked to find this acrylic bar stool and dining chair featured above.
In terms of accessories, the options are endless. Organizational tools are especially popular. The Container Store carries close to a hundred different acrylic products, something we found out by simply entering “acrylic” into the search field. Some of the gems include acrylic shelves, recipe boxes and their three canister box.
Last but not least are lamps. They are close to being readily available at this point, but here are three standouts:
The “Stacked Ball Acrylic Table Lamp” from ShopTableLamps.com, The “Tube Top Table Lamp” from DesignWithinReach.com, and a pair of vintage “Square Lucite Lamps” that can be purchased locally from the contemporary and vintage furniture boutique Pieces, located in the heart of Buckhead on Roswell Road.
Posted by Cate West Zahl
It’s only natural to wonder what your co-workers consider home. This is especially true when you work at a shelter magazine. Here at LoftLife we spend hours upon hours (upon hours) sharing opinions about the living spaces and design choices of complete strangers. The strange thing about this is knowing almost nothing about what many of our co-workers spaces look like.
To remedy the situation and relieve our curiosity, the web team gave the LL staff this assignment: Take a picture of your favorite space and provide a short description.
No limitations were set. Here are some of the results for your (and especially our) enjoyment!
Joe Resudek (Publisher)
“Your request for a picture of our spaces has been fulfilled.
Note: not staged.
- Red ikea desk lamp with wheels. Can’t remember it’s name. I don’t think they have it anymore.
- Desk: full on ikea too.
- Chair-duh. DWR Humanscale Freedom Chair.
- Prize 1982 Madison Muskies autographed baseball from my hometown in WI.
- One of my faves, the Tivoli Model One radio in Walnut.
- Apple bluetooth wireless keyboard.
- Custom work drawers built by me in 2003. Fronts are veneer maple ply with solid cherry edging. Drawers have half-blind dovetail details and cherry rails for the file drawer.
- World Time Clock, Charlotte van der Waals, 2000 (MoMA Store)”
Tom Ackerman (Creative Director)
“My favorite part of my space is not in my space. I live in a 300 square foot sixth floor walk-up corner apartment in the east village with seven windows. The apartment is so small and the windows are so big, that you rarely notice the the interior at all. Oh but the glorious view…”
Sean Songer (MBA Intern)
“I like this space because we took an unused corner of our apartment and basically used it to remodel our kitchen. Before we bought the rolling cart and put in the shelves and stuff, we had all of our dishes, glasses and appliances crammed into a kitchen that measures about 50 square feet. It was completely unlivable and this space by our door was completely unused (it had a bench that we never sat on). The shelves and stuff are from ikea. We got the rolling kitchen cart off of craigslist.”
Tom Eubanks (Editor-in-Chief)
“As we discussed, mine, like Tom A.’s, is more of a show us your view shot. I too have a too-small apartment, located in an old sailor flop-house built in 1888, a few blocks from the Hudson. And though there are corners and pieces of art and bookshelves that make me love my space, aside from my huge bathroom, the attached view into the lush courtyard from one of my windows is really the favorite and perhaps most used spot in my home. In late April the magnolia tree begins to bloom, followed in May by the red bud and the vines of wisteria that grow along the brick of my neighboring buildings. By June, the mysterious green vine that climbs my fire escape begins to grow like the Hulk and the view through my original casement windows becomes a wall of soothing green. Although I live in the Village, on a street between two popular bars, my courtyard makes living there quiet and private. The noises that rain- and windstorms make bring me back to the forest I grew up near as a child.
Blah, blah, blah.”
Kyra Shapurji (Managing Editor)
“this is a pic of a drafting table. i bought it off the internet from a veryyy random website, probably something like draftingtables.com or something like that. the whole thing including the lamp and a swivel chair(of which you can’t see) was a steal of a price i thought. this is my favorite “spot” in my home space because it’s a creative place. but it’s even closer to my heart because i busted out my tool set and somehow put the chair and the table together all by myself. i used an awl! i love my lil’ studio.”
Cate West Zahl (Online Editor)
“This is a dated picture of the shelves in our apartment (my husband is going to kill me because it lacks his ever growing record collection…). They are from Ikea and were on sale. I guess I love this part of our space the most because it contains my favorite books, dvds, cds, etc. I love books.”
7/2/08 Whether you’re searching for a community that thrives on art or a home environment that stresses the “green” way of life, Seattle has both. Here are two options that satisfy either sanctuary that you seek:
The Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts: The “starving artist,” it seems, is getting harder and harder to find. Like an endangered animal, this can mostly be blamed on the lack of proper habitat, for the starving artist lives with minimal resources (not to mention minimal income) thus making affordable housing difficult to find. Seattle has long been a supporter of the arts and its community. So it’s not surprising that artists can find refuge here, in places like the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts. Located smack dab in the middle of the city in the historic neighborhood of Pioneer Square, the Tashiro Kaplan houses 50 local artists and their families at an affordable price.
Tashiro Kaplan opened its doors in 2004 and filled up quickly. The economical units range in size from 800-square feet to 1800-square feet and are priced from $673 to $1,114. With spacious floor plans, the lofts have more than enough room for the residents to work comfortably on their art whatever discipline. The Tashiro Kaplan is open to all who have an artistic flair as fashion designers, photographers, musicians, web designers, writers, and painters make these lofts a community of people who are dedicated to creativity.
In addition to housing local artists, The Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts building also provides 27 outlets for the gifted 50 to showcase their work including the monthly Pioneer Square Artwalk, as well a few of the most prominent galleries in the city.
1 Hotel and Residences: In the not-too-distant past, green living conjured up images of hemp wearing, Birkenstock clad dread-heads; not so anymore. With the new celebrity-driven campaign on global warming and alternative fuel sources, Green is not just in vogue, it’s big business. From organic restaurants to natural groceries, the new movement is catching on quickly and retailers are responding to the demand for eco-friendly goods and services.
A huge market is that of eco-living and eco-tourism. If you are a green seeker and are planning a move to or even a visit to the northwest, 1 Hotel and Residences in Seattle offers eco-friendly homes with luxury as one of the main draws. The proprietor’s of the 560,000-square foot complex are committed to less waste, less energy, and less water use while providing unmatched elegance and style to their residents.
1 Hotel and Residences not only contains 10 floors of elegant condominiums, but also houses 40,000-square foot athletic club, an 8,000-foot day spa, and a restaurant and grocery store that serve a health-conscious clientele through natural and local ingredients.
Built with natural materials such as sustainable woods and hewn stone, 1 Hotel and Residences’s spacious interiors are calm and relaxing. City Suites come fully furnished in one or two bedroom styles with everything one would expect in a luxury hotel. Residences are treated to world class amenities such as housekeeping, grocery delivery, and a secure private entry. Such pampering is not cheap,however, as prices start at $500,000 and reach $3,000,000.
Posted by Tony Engelhart