Archive for August, 2008
A gathering of high-priced furnishings coupled with similarly designed, cheaper alternatives.
In this round-up we pay homage to mid-century modern design. It’s an era that many are harping back to, especially fueled by the recent “Mad Men” obsession that has taken hold (are you watching!?). You, too, can be “Don Draper cool” with the following items that are sure to bring “the sleek” into your space.
With the hit series CSI going strong for eight years now, it’s no wonder that geeky interest in forensic science has spawned a new kind of decoration: DNA Art by DNA 11. An inventive self-portrait, it doesn’t get more custom than your personal DNA blown up in more than 20 color schemes. The company does most of the work; all you have to do is painlessly swab your cheek with the DNA kit they send to you (included in the overall price of the process) and mail it back.
While the cheapest starts at $390, having your DNA transformed into contemporary wall décor could very well be worth the price of boasting. And if you’re not quite into DNA, they also offer thumb and lip print options to make a more bold statement. Visit DNA 11 to order and learn more details.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
This summer Austinites are nursing their obsession of outdoor movies. Each year offers locals the chance to ditch the theater and head to a park, a patio, or even a pool. Admission is a pittance compared to a traditional theater, and eco-minded Austin types love to shirk the air conditioning for the outdoors. Screenings vary from new releases to classics, and even though you’re due to say “sayonara” to summer soon, you can still give the season a proper send-off with a movie date.
Every year the Austin Parks Foundation sets up a screen in Republic Square Park (downtown at 5th and Guadalupe). They haven’t outright said, but this year’s theme is clearly “chick flicks of the last decade.” Thursday and Saturday nights around 9 p.m., APF presents the most shamelessly girly lineup this side of the Dirty Dancing/Flashdance double feature (which, incidentally, was part of the historic Paramount Theater’s Summer Film Series this year) in downtown. The APF series will wrap for the season on August 30th with 13 Going on 30 starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo.
For the family, the Deep Eddy Pool takes it a step further with their “Splash Party Movie Nights.” Every Saturday around dusk you can watch a recent classic kids’ movie from the lawn or from a floaty. Regular pool admission is charged.
And if you’re willing to take a mini-roadtrip, head to the town of Wimberly, where Austin hippies go to retire. The Wimberly Corrall Theater shows new releases and recent hits three nights a week (Friday-Sunday) for $5 all summer long. They have bleachers to sit on in addition to the lawn, making the Corrall Theater one of the area’s most laid-back outdoor venues.
Just look around the neighborhood, and come toward the light.
Posted by Ann Raber
With so many sustainable options for furniture and household products, it’s easy to forget what’s right under your feet. With the “green” design movement came innovations in flooring that make use of materials that might otherwise be discarded or ignored.
Bamboo floors, for example, can be a healthy alternative to wood, with a similar look and feel. They can be cleaned easily with a broom, vacuum, or a damp mop and vinegar. They’re known for being so hard (stronger than steel in fact) they can even resist those pesky high-heel marks that can so easily pepper soft wood floors.
Cork floors are another option that won’t contribute to deforestation. Cork is actually harvested from tree bark, so it’s removal does not impact the tree itself. Cork floors can also be considerate of your downstairs neighbor, as they absorb sounds well. As a perk, cork acts as a layer insulation to help lower those mid-summer energy bills.
And, believe it or not, linoleum used for flooring is both biodegradable and easy to maintain. It’s great for kitchens and entryways as it has a tendency to repel dust and dirt. And unlike your mother’s linoleum, you aren’t limited to a black and white checkerboard. These days you can find a large range of colors to suit your décor.
But not everyone wants a linoleum living room! So if you can’t give up on the idea of beautiful hardwood floors when renovating your space, consider reclaimed wood. You can get vintage wood, just like you can get vintage clothes, and just like fabric, the natural wear and tear on wood gives it that much more character when it finds its way into your home. The New York Times wrote about the benefits and the adventures of sourcing wood floors from unusual places. Check it out here .
However, you don’t have to travel all the way to Southeast Asia. There’s good news: many reclaimed wood companies are selling their products online. And if you can’t afford to do your whole floor yet, start off slow with a reclaimed wood dining room table!
Some sites to start with:
Other pertinent links:
Posted by Deirdre Zahl