Posts tagged ‘interior design’

12 + Adler = actual swooning.

Ok, the word “swoon” is so overused in design blogs that it’s ridiculous. That said, the residential part of this mixed-use project by Skylab Architecture [warning: despite their amazing work, Skylab’s flash-crazy site may cause motion sickness] has actually caused me to become enraptured.

living, dining, and kitchen of 12+Adler by Skylab Architecture, photo by John Clark

Located at 12th and Adler in the southwest quadrant of Portland, this amazing space is home to Jeff Kovel (founder of Skylab Architecture) and his family. The final project boasts adaptive reuse, site sensitivity, high ceilings, a roof deck, open floor plans, and – frankly – just great style. Did I mention that I’m swooning?

a (very) carefully constructed opening in the living room looks onto the church across the street and appears as if “a skylight has bled into a window”; 12+Adler by Skylab Architecture, photo by John Clark

via Dwell (April, 2007):

“The ramshackle building that has become 12 + Alder serves as the office for Skylab Design, the storefront for  the furniture shop Intelligent Design, space for the salon D Studio, and home to the Kovel family. Erected in 1907, the building has housed a messenger service, a boardinghouse, a storage space, a gay bathhouse, and more recently, a store selling fine, handmade men’s lingerie.

Manly underthings aside, for years the West End’s only architectural draw was the First Presbyterian Church, a stately Victorian Gothic just across the street from 12 + Alder. “The church is amazing,” Kovel says with clear admiration for the sanctuary designed by William E. McCaw, Richard Martin, Jr., and Manson White in 1890. “It was a real no-man’s-land down here, and one of the things we wanted to do when building 12 + Alder was to feed off the church and to extend the context of [the] architectural experience.”

While the modernist glass-and-steel façade is an aesthetic departure from the First Presbyterian’s design, the clearest and grandest example of Kovel’s dialogue with the church comes in his open, uncluttered 2,000-square-foot residence on the second floor. “When it was a bathhouse in the ’70s, there was this pitched skylight that looked up to the steeple.” Kovel kept that detail in the bathroom, but wanted an even more sweeping statement for the living room.”

More photos available on the Dwell slideshow (by John Clark), or on Skylab Architecture’s website.

March 15’s daily design idea is swoon like you mean it!


March 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm 1 comment

Design Exercise: Sparkling Chair

After seeing Marcel Wanders‘ Sparkling Chair for Magis on Dezeen, I instantly thought it was super clever and cute. I also instantly started thinking about what other items I would pair with it… and here’s what I came up with:

Clockwise from bottom left:
1. Pietro Chiesa’s Fontana Table series
2. Richard Hutton’s Dandelion Floor Lamp
3. Marcel Wanders‘ Sparkling Chair
4. Ivory Rug with Textured Circles from Domestic Modern
5. Rain Mirror by Ironies

December 8’s daily design idea is furniture can sometimes be the best source of inspiration for other furniture. It was sort of fun to think of an interior in this way. Maybe I’ll tackle the Shanghai Togo next?

December 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

Design Exercise: Pink Zebra

At my day job, we’ve been doing a lot of research on interior furnishings this past month, so I’ve been subconsciously thinking a lot more about interior design and decoration than I normally would. In honor of this, I wanted to share a few conceptual combinations that I’ve been playing around with.

First up is Pink Zebra!

the inspiration

the combination

the components: La Lampe Gras (No. 214) by Holly Hunt, Strut Medium Table from Blu Dot, chair from Think Black Line by Nendo

On a side note, I don’t think the Nendo chairs are actually meant for sitting on… but HAY’s Spider Woman chair would be a good alternative and/or adding in a Zebra Cowhide Cube from Design Within Reach.

the variation

Update: Making Waves (a newly discovered FLOR carpet tile) is one more variation to through into the mix. I’d probably do Pink or Earthen – or a mix of the two.

December 7’s daily design idea is boldly feminine colors are a great way to warm up a tubular steel look.

December 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

A super sized brief for a “tiny huge design contest”.

In an effort to personally demonstrate how to “save money, radically reduce our environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated life,” Treehugger founder Graham Hill has opened up a design contest for renovating a 420sf New York apartment. Called “LifeEdited,” the contest has been set up with Mutopo and Jovoto as an open forum to “propose, discuss and evaluate designs” for super small residential spaces.

existing plan and photo of Southeastern bedroom at 150 Sullivan, both via Treehugger’s Flickr set

Here’s the challenging, but super exciting, Creative Brief for LifeEdited:


Design a jewel box of an ultra-low-footprint apartment in 420sf (~39 m2).


What if we could save money, radically reduce our environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated life?

Treehugger founder Graham Hill has part of the answer: we need to have less stuff and live in smaller spaces, like the 420sf (~39 m2) apartment he will renovate in 2011. With some design and technology magic, we think 420 square feet can allow for working at home, space for 2 guests to stay over, a sit-down dinner for 12, lounge space for 8, and maybe even a steam room.

So we’re asking you to redesign a small space thinking about these core ideas:

  • transforming space – use one space for work, play, sleep, guests
  • digitize everything – photos, books, music
  • from ownership to access – think Netflix, Zipcar, Airbnb, etc.
  • only the essentials – cut down on extraneous stuff, leaving only what’s really necessary

The winning concept will be used in a renovation of a 420sf apartment in New York City in mid 2011. Ideas will remain online as reference, to inspire and encourage others to rethink how they buy, rent, renovate and furnish their future properties.

Task Definition

Create a design based on Graham Hill’s 420 sf apartment. The design needs to support the life of a real person in the apartment – someone who works, eats, lives, and entertains. We’re looking for apartment designs that allow for:

  • a sit-down dinner for 12
  • a comfortable lounging option for 8 people
  • space for 2 guests with some visual and ideally auditory privacy
  • a home office
  • a work area with space for a rolling tool chest
  • a hideable kitchen

As the room function is changed, it should not feel like you are sleeping in your office or eating in your bedroom. At the same time, it should be easy and quick enough to change the room function that one would actually do it.

We believe feedback and conversation can help you improve your ideas. You have the ability to post and update your entry at any time up until the submission deadline — and we highly encourage you to do so. In return, you’ll receive feedback from Graham, your peers, and our jurors.


Photos of the space we’ll be renovating are available in this Flickr set.

For those who have AutoCAD, DWG files are available here.

If you don’t have AutoCAD, there are still plenty of ways to get involved! Google Sketchup is a free 3D modeling tool with a huge library of pre-made components available. We’ve created the basic plan for the apartment that you can use as a starting point, available here.

Floorplans and concept sketches are also great submissions. Here are floor and elevation diagrams in PNG form, and more detailed ones in PDF are available here.

photo of fire escape at 150 Sullivan, both via Treehugger’s Flickr set

Ready to sign up? Check out these other examples of living small and thinking big if you want some further inspiration.

December 4’s daily design idea is applying your creativity to real world situations will help develop real world solutions.

December 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

For people who like to work in yellow.

I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving week! This one coming up is always one of the more busy work weeks, in my experience… so here are some photos of Urban Station, a super well-designed public workspace in Buenos Aires (discovered via Dezeen). Urban Station was designed by the BA office of Total Tool.

All photos by Sergio Esmoris

If I was only working for myself, this is pretty close to what my ideal workspace would be. November 29’s daily design idea is what’s yours?

November 29, 2010 at 10:13 am 1 comment

Ground Up breaks it down.

Three spunky women in Brooklyn recently started an interdisciplinary design studio called Ground Up Designers. They are Lana Zellner [Architectural Designer], Kristen Svorka [Interior Designer], and Tayef Farrar [Multimedia-Graphic Designer], and they have a genius way of breaking down their wide variety of services that really supports their process and overall style:

“Tags” identify specific design services, while “Tag Packages” allow you to mix and match them for your own project. It’s such a straightforward and client-friendly way of approaching project development and defining the scope of work, which I really admire.

Ground Up‘s ideal client is an independent business owner who needs “attractive, unique and fully functional spaces, as well as one-of-a-kind, comprehensive brand identities.” But as you can see above, they’ll tackle almost any (small-ish) project. I’m sold! Ladies – definitely let me know if you’re ever interested in doing a 3×3 Interview.

November 20’s daily design idea is descriptive labels are great, as long as they don’t stop you from being versatile.

November 20, 2010 at 10:22 am 1 comment

3×3 with Jennifer Hoffman.

Jennifer Hoffman is a Designer and the Principal/Founder of Ecohaven Project.

What do you design?
Interior Design, Branding, Art Direction, Mixed Media Art + most recently – Collaborative Design.

Copyright Jennifer Hoffman

Where do you design?
Chicago, IL

Copyright Jennifer Hoffman

Why do you design?
We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, which is usually more polluted than outdoor city air.  In addition, we spend our time in spaces that aren’t designed well in terms of aesthetics, functionality, accessibility + sustainability.  Designing functional, beautiful + inspiring environments that are healthy + safe for the planet + its people is fundamental for good design.

In terms of Ecohaven Project + collaborative design, we’re just starting out.  On the projects we’ve worked on so far, it’s been really great to brainstorm ideas with other disciplines to come up with interesting + innovative solutions for design problems.  We’re big fans of IDEO’s collaborative design process because everybody has the opportunity to contribute.  We also like the idea that EVERYBODY is a possible design collaborator in this forum.

November 4’s daily design idea is be more like Jennifer: take care of the earth, take care of its people, and collaborate in the process.

Jennifer Hoffman Design:

Ecohaven Project:

November 4, 2010 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

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