The current season of Mad Men finds Don Draper married, and far away from his Conneticut colonial of yore and pathetic, dreary one-bedroom from last season and finally living in what mid-century fans and men everywhere have been waiting for: a warm and colorful bachelor-ish pad with a sunken living room, deep walnut cabinets, a built-in TV, a very, very impressive home bar.
You'll likely see this all over the art and design blogosphere in the next few days, but it's too cool not to share. Apparently, before becoming an emcee and actor, Ice Cube studied architectural drafting, and it turns out, he's a big fan of mid-century super couple Ray and Charles Eames.
You simply gotta check out the video below:
To celebrate the harvest season and all things Thanksgiving, Abstract Sunday artist Christoph Niemann created "Squash Modern," a collection of modern design classics reinterpretted with, well, squash.
When my neighbor, Gina, moved in next door, a standalone porch swing appeared on our shared patio. The thing was at least thirty years old, and had been outside for just as long, and showed the wear of snowy winters, blazing hot summers, and all the rainy days in between. Not that it was likely much to look at when it was new.
It was, in every way, an eyesore.
But, my goodness, if that thing wasn't useful. I'm sure I sat on it a good fifty times more often than she did. I took to enjoying my breakfast on it, and built a little morning routine around sitting outside, reading the week's New Yorker before I started my day. I used it to prepare for my bike rides: changing shoes, making adjustments, etc. And my friends and I would eat dinner out there, and watch thunderstorms. Boy, it was ugly, but it made me appreciate my patio, and got me out there frequently.
Then, Gina did the unthinkable: she got married, had a baby, and moved away. And, with her, away went the porch swing. And though I love my current neighbor (Hi Jillian!), she brought no shared furniture to the arrangement.
So, I figured it was time to make some outdoor seating of my own. For inspiration, I turned to the most iconic of mid-century bench designs, the Platform Bench by George Nelson (1946). It was created from easy-to-find 1x6" cedar decking, making it quite inexpensive to build, and safe for outdoor use.
Wanna make one, too? Okay, here we go...
I once heard that it takes 300 points of contact to be swayed by a piece of print advertising (that you're not already seeking out). That means a political candidate has to call, be seen on a TV ad, or send you junk mail 300 times in order for that technique to be effective.
And other than coupons or sale annoucements, I can't imagine, in this day and age, where postage is expensive, and we're touched by thousands of ads before we even check the mail, that sending stuff to a mailbox is helpful.
And yet, still it comes. So, turn that waste upside down, and make something from it.
To say Christopher and Javier's home looks like a nightclub isn't really accurate. Sure, their downtown loft is replete with an extensive music collection, a well-outfitted DJ setup, and plenty of tech-y lighting solutions, but it's also bright, cheery, and full of mid-century design icons and bold shocks of color.
Moby, once the epitome of urban, NYC musician type, has a new home: a castle in the Hollywood Hills. And? It's pretty awesome.
It has a turret built for the original owner's pet monkey, the Rolling Stones slept here for a bit, plenty of adult films have been shot around the pool, and possesses a killer tiki bar.
"There is also what he calls the “penultimate” Hollywood view, for which you have to go up the stairs to the master bedroom. Be careful: Moby’s one rule is no shoes on the rug. O.K., now plop down on the rumpled bed. Looking through the window straight ahead, you can see the canyon fall to the Hollywood Reservoir; to your right and up the hill is the famous Hollywood sign. If he were a Hollywood producer and wanted to impress some actress, Moby says, he’d use that view."
It's modernism month on Curbly, and to celebrate, we've been working on a collection of modern and mid-century classics silhouette clip art. We've put the finishing touches on it, and they are giving it away to anyone who can use it. It’s a full 25-page PDF or AI document, all royalty-free and available for use.
Feel free to use them in your own craft, art, and design projects. We hope you love them!
I remember the first decidedly modern home I ever visited. Certainly, there were none in my hometown or among my family or parent's friends, so when we stepped into what I now know to be an Eichler-alike ranch in the Smokey Mountains, I was totally blown away. "This looks like the Jetsons!" I remarked, and while I have no idea who those people were, at age 6, I started to develop a taste for modernism.
The home of this mystery couple, who were someone my parents knew that had just recently moved, sported this amazing large floating shelf, which served as both storage and a room divider. So, from the very beginning, floating shelves = awesome to me.
Rebekah Greiman of Potholes and Pantyhose is all kinds of fun. Her website is a neverending collage of witty images, random bursts of energy, and pretty clever crafty projects.
Like these super sparkly snowflakes, which look like a cross between Sputnik and some dangerous weapon from either 1350 or 3350. One or the other.
My friend and fellow blogger Capree has an amazing dining room, where she created this awesome hand painted branch wall. Her hard work is accented by her spectacular light fixture, which is a single bulb surrounded by thin metal rods that jut out at artfully random angles, the Twig Light by Fire Farm.
I loved it so much, I decided to take a stab at recreating it myself. And I did! I don't know how to weld, so I knew I couldn't make one from metal, and I was worried about holding everything in place for glue to dry, but I figured out a workable solution that only took me about two hours, start to finish. As it turns out, the whole thing ended up costing me less than $10.00 USD, as well, which is a lot of lamp for the buck.
Only the most virile of haters would be opposed to adding a little seasonal festiveness to your Thanksgiving table. It's just that most of us with tastes that lean towards contemporary have a hard time finding cool, modern-looking Thanksgiving decor items. Even the master crafters at Etsy haven't really been able to translate the aesthetic...Most of its harvest-y, country, or just straight dated.
So, this cool collection of modern, free printables from Hostess blog is a breath of fresh air. Yep, the orange and brown still abound, but do so in geometric stripes and dots. Includes: place cards, buffet labels, drink tags, dessert toppers, napkin rings, and bottle labels.
There's not too many toys that make me wanna to live in them. Barbie's dream house is a definite no-way, and while I definitely wanna visit Castle Grayskull, it seems kinda dank and drafty.
But I might be convinced to enter a miniaturizing ray chamber if my ultimate destination were this: The Sunday Barbecue Cut Out Set by Argentinean illustrator Maxim Dalton.
Isamu Noguchi's Akari lamps are among the classic, iconic pieces of mid-century design. These practical light sculptures are a playful take on the traditional Japanese paper lantern; updated with legs that echo the emerging atomic culture of the early 1950s, yet still maintaining the biomorphic shape found in Noguchi's other works. The Akari lamp series has been a part of the MoMA's permanent collection almost as long as it's been around.
IKEA has featured their share of paper lantern-inspired lamps over the years. The most recent rendition is the VÄTE series, a collection of rice paper shades on steel frames that give an obvious nod to
"Anyone can go to Design Within Reach and buy some stuff and say: 'Look! It looks like "Mad Men." But if you actually watch the show, you'll realize you've never actually seen anything sold at DWR. The set dressers purposely avoid iconic mid-century pieces by outfits such as Herman Miller and Knoll, opting for timely pieces, not design classics. [I did spot a few Saarinen womb and office chairs when Don went to Calfornia, but they filmed it in the famous Case Study House #22, so in every way appropriate.]
"In keeping with the producers' gag order on details about the upcoming season -- even the exact year in which it's set -- he declined to talk about how the residential scenes, including Don and Betty Draper's home (or homes, should she go through with the divorce threatened in Season 3), might evolve this season. But he did share a few hints about how interior design changed going into the mid-'60s. "Part of it is a color thing," he said. The show is moving more toward primary colors, and away from the muted tones of the '50s. During that time, people moved more toward more curvilinear, shapes -- wilder shapes and colors. In one sense, I'd say it's less sophisticated, the '60s," he said. "We are moving toward that to a degree."
So, just before the end of 2009, I had the pleasure of collaborating on a publication with the writing team at Curbly.com. The outcome is Make It! Mid-Century Modern: a how-to manual for creating items that echo the era of Mid-Century Modernism, a design movement from the mid 1940s- 1960s that took advantage of changes in processes and manufacturing after World War II. One of the reasons this book is unique is that most of these pieces are decidedly difficult to make by hand, in that they use factory techniques like bent plywood, fiberglass molding, and the like. The book includes material and tool lists, and step-by-step photos, that
Having worked on how-to publication over the last few months (win a copy here), I've been immersed in the world of DIY mid-century products. There's simply not a ton of these projects out there, and for good reason: The entire mid-century modern design movement emmerged from contemporary manufacturing technologies. These pieces are decidedly difficult to make by hand, in that they use factory techniques like bent plywood, fiberglass molding, and the like. which are innaccessible to most weekend warriors.
So, it's always exciting to see achievable mid-century inspired how-to projects. And these very atomic nightstands from