30 Apr 2010

I can't cope with the wobbly lamp I have at the moment. It has such an awkward mechanism and a few months ago I didn't pull the lever tight enough and it went crashing down onto the table shattering the glass shade. Now all that remains is a halogen bulb on a long stem! So I really need a beautiful Anglepoise... *dreams*

*Images via Flickr 1, 2

Bekväm Clothing

29 Apr 2010


This evening I discovered Bekväm Clothing which is designed and handmade by Hannah Elsie. I'm in awe of her talent (she is self-taught!) and I've fallen in love with the scalloped edges and the soft, feminine shapes. Read an interview with Hannah over on Clever Nettle.

*Images from Bekväm Clothing. Found via Clever Nettle.

Rotating Bookcases

rotating bookcases

I'm relieved that I'm now fully absorbed in my university project. As part of the Language Centre that I'm designing, there will be a library. I found these images of a library in Brussels which incorporates rotating bookstacks. I'd like to apply the concept of rotating bookstacks and other furniture to my design, to give the option of one large open space or several closed-off private areas. I've reached the fun part of my project and it's quite exciting!

*Images scanned from The Architectural Record. Issue 7, 1997.
Bibliotheca Wittockiana by Igloo Architects.

Comforting collections

28 Apr 2010

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I came across the striking art by Serena Mitnik-Miller, and today I was so happy to see these photos of her bungalow. I love the relaxed nature of this home, and all the various collections on the shelves. This looks like it's a really comfortable place to be, and it exudes personality. It's refreshing to see a home that's so natural and 'unstyled'.

Ikea Family Live

27 Apr 2010

ikea family live

Ikea Family Live is a new website that features real people, in real homes. It's great to see Ikea furniture in natural surroundings, rather than overstyled catalogue pages! These are a couple of my favourite spaces.

*Images: Ikea Family Live. Found via Ninainvorm.


I've really fallen for these pieces by Dace... they are so simple and pretty. I think I've found my dream jacket - shame it's a tad out of my price range ($298 !). I love the loose shapes of the dresses and the light fabrics.

Looking at pretty dresses has given me such itchy fingers; I'm desperate to make something, but I must resist temptation and stay focused on my uni work! I submitted my critical essay yesterday so I can really concentrate on the practical side now (making the model of the building). If I'm a good girl and get lots done over the next couple of days, maybe I'll let myself make something pretty over the Bank Holiday weekend...

P.S. I just can't decide if to keep the Google Friend Connect gadget on my blog. I like to see it on other blogs as it's such an easy way to add to Google Reader, but it makes my sidebar look so cluttered! For now I think I'll remove it...

*Images: Dace. Found via: Down and Out Chic.

Cube Pods

26 Apr 2010

goldberger goldberger

How could I not post about this, the moment I saw it?! It's an office that has been divided by CUBES..! How ingenious is that?! This project really does excite me, and I think it's because it kind of sounds like a student concept, but the project has been lifted off the paper by Hungarian architects Benedek and Lakos and realised in such a beautiful way. I love the tension of the boxes within the existing building (a former textile factory) and the way this has been played up with the use of dramatic LEDs to make some cubes appear to float. Apparently the space transforms into a nightclub in the evenings -- talk about getting value for money with this space! It's never empty!

*All images from tervhivatal. Found via Dezeen.

Bolig Magazine

25 Apr 2010

bolig magazine
bolig magazine
bolig magazine
bolig magazine

I think Bolig is my new favourite website. I can't understand a word of the Danish, but I can recognise a pretty room when I see one :) It's all about white walls and fresh colour. From what I've seen so far, there's nothing I dislike. When I have the time, I plan to revist the website to absorb more.

*Images: Bolig Magazine

Textural fabric


I came across this incredible textural fabric by Textile & Surface Designer Yemi Awosile via Bricolage Project. It looks like one complete piece with intricate slits cut out between each square - so innovative! I really like the way it takes on a structure of its own when draped.

Kitchen nook

22 Apr 2010

I adore the atmosphere captured in this photo. Tables in kitchens always make me feel cosy, for some reason. This little nook is so pretty with all the natural light flooding in.

*Home of Klaartje de Hartog/image via Bloesem

Translucent Inspiration


1. Extension of Kunsthaus Gallery, Zurich - David Chipperfield (image)
2. The New Residence of the Swiss Embassy, NY - Steven Holl (image)
3. Cottbus Library, Germany - Herzog & De Meuron (image)
4. Spa, Switzerland - Curiosity Design (image)
5. New Synagogue, Germany - Wandel, Hofer, Lorch & Hirsch (image)

Following on from yesterday's post, here are some images of translucent materials that inspire me.

Isn't it funny how the first two buildings - by different architects - are so similar? Look at the printed text on the glass in the third building - it's just what my project is all about! (Although I will be using this idea on a much smaller, more personal level inside a building). The silk and linen screens in the final two photos are so calming and serene. I like the quality of light filtered through soft, natural materials like these.

Translucent Cubes

21 Apr 2010

millbank studio

What I've learnt about myself through designing.

Before I started studying Interior & Spatial Design, I hadn't given any kind of materials much thought. I had no idea how to design, or what design was really all about - I was a bit of a nightmare! - but my tutor encouraged me to try to work out what I like, and I spent a lot of time looking through projects in the library and built up a little collection of things that inspire me. Ideas that jumped out over and over again were CUBES (anything cubic or rectilinear - do you get the blog name now?) and TRANSLUCENT materials (glass, mesh, wafer thin stone.. anything that partially lets the light through). It's funny that I felt so strongly about these things, but hadn't given them a second thought a few months prior. The image above is from my first project (a studio apartment for a fellow student) and I combined my love of cubic forms and translucent glass in the form of an intersecting wall and table.

Well, after this first project I didn't realise I was allowed to continue exploring the same kind of design language, so I spent a couple of months pulling out my hair trying to work out what to do with the second project. Then I suddenly realised that it was OK to continue working with this idea of layers and filtered views. So I was sorted and it worked out fine.

language centre

So you'd think I'd know what to do for my Masters project, wouldn't you? Well, apparently not. I've spent the last few months in a panic, not knowing what direction to go in. My research area is the use of text in buildings (linking back to my Linguistics background) and it was only a few weeks ago that a little lightbulb lit up in my head and I realised that actually translucent materials would work perfectly with this project too.

The photo above is of an early sketch model for a community language centre that I'm designing (the wood actually represents the existing steel framework). The site I chose is in Bethnal Green and it is very rich in terms of languages spoken (around 100 different languages are spoken in that area). The words printed on the glass are Yiddish, which was widely spoken at the turn of the 20th Century, but it's hardly spoken by anyone in that area now. I'm trying to create a building with layers of materials that relate to the layers of history.

Anyway, the reason I felt so compelled to write all of this down is that I had a tutorial this morning. My tutor seemed to understand exactly what my project is all about, and hearing him say it back to me has cemented it in my mind and I feel much more confident pursuing it. It's just as well, as I need to submit my whole portfolio for an interim assessment in 2 weeks. Better get working. Yikes!

* Both photos are mine. Please do not reproduce. Thanks!

My dream room

19 Apr 2010


As soon as I saw this living room I knew I had to make a note of it. I wish I could step straight into the photo... everything about it seems perfect, to me. The white walls, the grey sofa, the touches of yellow and turquoise, the beautiful wood furniture. I just love it all!

Well, that's enough dreaming for now... I've been taking a bit of a blog break over the last few days and it will continue for a little while. I have A LOT of work to get done for uni, and I've been finding the Internet to be a terrible distraction. I forced myself to sit down on Saturday and write an essay, and... *shock* I actually enjoyed myself! The Internet is great for many things, but it's has a detrimental effect on my concentration.

I'm allowing myself to post when I see something that I'd like to make a note of, but I'm strictly limiting the amount of time I spend browsing other people's blogs. I'm also desperate to make another shirt dress, but that, too, will have to wait...

*image: Apartment Therapy

Origami Tiles

17 Apr 2010


Aren't these Origami tiles by Lubna Chowdhary stunning? (Found via Bloesem).

Beautiful necklaces

15 Apr 2010

I *love* these necklaces by Kristina Klarin (found via The Design Files).

Leslie Nichols

leslie nichols
[Images from Leslie Nichols. Text from Calligram Designers]

I love these text portraits by Leslie Nichols, and I found a short interview she gave about her work:

"Experimenting with text and image has become endless source of ideas and inspiration central to my studio practice.

Letterforms create both spatial and literary passages, which provide a visual texture that is exciting and sometimes challenging to work with.

It has been a natural evolution to use writing in my visual work. Informal sketches while doodling or writing letters to friends were my first calligrams. I began incorporating text in my fine art portraiture when I discovered a typewriter was an exciting image making tool."

Serena Mitnik-Miller

14 Apr 2010

[Image credits: Serena Mitnik-Miller. Found via: A Merry Mishap]

This morning I came across this beautiful and very refreshing artwork by Serena Mitnik-Miller. I especially love the painted wooden blocks. The last painting is so dreamy; I feel as though I'm lying on grass looking up to the sky through a canopy of leaves or bubbles. It's very comforting.

Natural Slats

13 Apr 2010

[Images: Natural Slats by EDH]

When I saw this house by Endoh Design, I fell in love. It's so clever that the slats provide privacy from one direction and then the building looks open from another angle. I'm sure the angles of the slats were carefully calculated to take into consideration how the natural sunlight falls. Overhead beams/slats continue across the roof terrace, keeping the line of the building but providing open air space. Like all Japanese architecture, this building is striking and elegant.

Transition Wallpaper

[Images from Dezeen]

Danish textile designer, Leni Toni, blends different patterns to create wallpapers that change from one design to another. I particularly like the patterns that look slightly old and faded as they seem to blend perfectly into a more modern print.


card treasurebutton treasurebutton treasure
[Photos: mine]

On Saturday my local artshop gave me permisson to freely take anything from a skip-full of stuff they were throwing away. (I wanted to buy some sheets of perspex and they were embarrassed that they'd thrown them all away that morning as they'd just relocated their picture framing business). So we spent the next hour sifting through a skip and salvaged some enormous pieces of mount board, as well as loads of sheets of perspex - clear and frosted! My mum kindly drove to collect us and pointed out I now have enough card for a lifetime!

Then on Sunday I picked up a massive tub of buttons from a Boot Sale for £1. I sorted them into different categories and put them in pretty saucers. They look like sweets.

A skirt from a shirt

11 Apr 2010


I made this skirt using a rainbow striped shirt -- I keep coming across such pretty men's shirts! It was too short to make a dress and I thought it would make a perfect summer skirt. The fabric is very light and crisp so it will be cool in the warmer weather.

It was really fun working out how to make it. I was aiming for a somewhat full shape which nips into a fitted waistband, to wear with a top tucked in. I'm generally pleased with how it came out - I asked myself whether I'd want to buy it if I saw it in a shop, and the answer was yes, so I'm happy - but there are a couple of things I will change next time:

1. I'll choose a long-sleeved shirt so there is some excess fabric in the sleeves to form a wider waistband. Here, I had to take fabric from either side of the shirt to form the waistband which was quite tricky. Next time I'd like a deeper waistband and a fuller skirt.

2. I might try gathering the skirt instead of using pleats. I started off gathering this one, but it felt too bunchy. Next time I'll persist with the gathering as it might look OK once it's sewn in place.

* How I made the skirt *


Other tutorials:
A dress from a shirt

Links of the week

9 Apr 2010

"His jokes were never humourous"
Personification, by Little Brown Pen.
This whole post is so wonderful...

Apartment Therapy Small Cool: Darling Dexter's 300 sf studio apartment
It's incredible how Whitney has fitted so much into this tiny space. It's so well organised and pretty. I wish I'd seen this 4 years ago when I was in a tiny studio!

Crystals and Lasers by Matt W. Moore. [Found via Loafing Odysseys.]
When I saw this I couldn't believe my eyes. Check out his website for more incredible pieces.


Thanks for the lovely comments on the dress I made. It's sooo comfortable and I've literally worn it all week! This afternoon I made a skirt from a shirt so check back for a tutorial over the weekend. It's meant to be the hottest weekend of the year so I can't wait to wear it! It's so much fun making clothes and much more rewarding than spending money (that I don't have!) shopping. I'd totally recommend giving it a go. Happy Weekend :)