New Design Books I’m loving …

New books

Yo. Some quick fast recommendations for y’all by people in my industry who I respect SO MUCH. Now that I’m working on the book I am buying/devouring more and more design/art books, with wonder if mine will ever come out (it will, there is a contract, fall, 2015, folks it just feels sooooo far away) and when it does, if it will be good. I thought my summer was going to be kinda relaxing but I have a feeling that i’ll be obsessing about every shot in this book. Its kinda like why even do it if you don’t make it REALLY good, right? It’s just wasted effort if its mediocre.

So this is my official ‘Nice job guys, you done good’ post.

Creative Block by Danielle Krysa of The Jealous Curator. I shocked how much I love this book considering I’m not an artist. Creative blocks come in so many different forms, for not just artists and designers and in this book Danielle Krysa asked 50 of her favorite artists how they deal with that. It’s not wordy, it’s not full of essays, just real life quick stories and advise of how they get over the natural, yet dreaded and often soul sucking, creative block. Plus Danielle is one of the nicest, most lovely to be around people on the planet.

Bright Bazaar by Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar Blog. Who doesn’t love Will Taylor. I missed his signings here last week since i was in New York, but I’ve always been a fan of his blog and his style. Its full of color, fun and whimsy, without being cheesy or too young. This book is full of a ton of great snippets of design advise that is approachable without being cheap.

Decorate with flowers by Holly Becker of Decor8. It’s a book full of beautiful houses with beautiful flowers so whats not to love? My old house is in it, so is DesignLoveFest and SFGirlbybay’s. I just got it last week and haven’t had a chance to read it but those pictures sure are nice.

Whatever you are be a good one by Lisa Congdon. I just purchased this but haven’t gotten it yet, but I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa for years and pretty much love anything she does. So I’m very excited to get this book.

Also as a general note – if you guys buy these on Amazon (which I do) and you like the book, go ahead and rate them 5 stars. I guess this is strangely important to their searchability or something. None of the authors asked me to say that or even told me about that, I’ve just heard it a few times so I wanted to throw that out there.

Am I missing any great new design books? Oh WAIT, I LOVE the new Remodelista book, too. Any others?

Handmade | Kitchen Edition

 

handmadekitchen

1. Dipper & Jar Honey Set| 2. Cleaver | 3. Made-to-order Mixing Bowl | 4. Herringbone Engraved Cutting Board | 5. Arrow Wooden Spoons | 6. Schmidt Brothers Teak Knife | 7. Pellicano Decanters | 8. Handled Rolling Pin | 9. Hand-Painted Triangle Bowl

1. Dipper & Jar Honey Set : Made by a jewelry designer in Brooklyn NY. Ok, I have no idea what I would actually dip honey on .. cereal, toast, Brian’s throbbing hairy pecks? .. I don’t know. But this guy sure is pretty (but seriously, what do you need one of these for beside photo shoots?) (also they don’t throb … unless provoked).

2. Cleaver : Handcrafted from stainless steel and boxwood in a small town outside of Barcelona. I need this for all the bones I constantly be breaking; I’m hardcore like that. Also I only buy my cleavers from provincial Spanish towns. Or French .. wait, don’t be ridiculous the French are way better at butcher knives.

3. Made-to-order Mixing Bowl : By NelleDesign from Orchard Park, NY. Beautiful. The old me that styled a ton of food shoots would have shoved you into your cart and comically rolled you into that big stack of cereal boxes at the end of the isle  to buy this mixer. Its just so pretty.

4. Herringbone Engraved Cutting Board: hand-crafted by Richwood Creations in Fayetteville, WV. There are a million handmade cutting boards out there right now, and I really appreciate this subtle pattern. Sweet, simple classic but with an edge.  Like Meryl Streep.

5. Arrow Wooden Spoons : This pair of walnut  spoons with arrow detail are hand carved from locally sourced walnut wood by Amelie Mancini in Brooklyn. My only wish is that these were big enough to toss salad. Unless that hand model has a HUGE hand and they are actually really big in which case i’m terrified and yet want to see more pictures.

6. Schmidt Brothers Teak Knife : Yes the creators of Schmidt Brothers are actually brothers. I picture them probably singing masculine musical numbers (like from Sweeny Todd of something). Great knives. I have two and someday will cut something with them. Hopefully intentionally.

7. Pellicano Decanters : by Madrid-born Jaime Hayon. OH you are VERY cute you little copper penguins. I’m going to decant all over those.

8.Handled Rolling Pin : one solid piece, hand turned, no two are alike. Now this is something I would LOVE to get as a gift. So pretty, will last forever, and tells people – ‘Hey, I have time to bake a tart if I want to’, which is a story I’d like to tell.

9. Hand-Painted Triangle Bowl : By Half Light Honey Studio in Ashville, NC. So Organic and happy, like the weeds growing all over my neglected front yard.

Post curated in partnership with Rebecca Zajac and check out Handmade Paper, too.

Utilitarian & Chic #3 – Laundry

For years, YEARS, doing laundry meant schlepping clothes once a month down to the basement and basically spending the rest of your saturday afternoon monitoring said clothes. I would avoid this at all cost, practically buying a new wardrobe to avoid dealing with the dirty one. New Yorkers, you know what I mean.

In the new house we have a washer and dryer which I know isn’t a reason to celebrate to most people, but to us its like that scene in Goonies at the end where they finally find the treasure and gold. Every. single. day. Having a washer and dryer is indeed a luxury. But thtere are a lot of ugly things that go along with them – laundry sorting, detergent, ironing boards and organizing paraphernalia. I could do without any of it, frankly, but these clothes aren’t going to wash themselves.

So here’s one part of my ‘Utilitarian and Chic’ laundry edition. There are a lot of products so you’ll see more later, but what i love about these are again how simple and functional they are. Laundry doesn’t need to be decorative.

Lets (not) get dirty:

Utilitarian & Chic Laundry

Maybe those pieces ill help my laundry room look a little more like this:

Utilitarian & Chic Laundry Utilitarian & Chic Laundry

1. Wicker basket Pretty and simple, plus I use this for plant pots, too.

2. Wool & cashmere shampoo I like the packaging and its a reminder to own more cashmere. I mean, how can I let this soap just sit their unused?

3. Ironing board Its architectural and simple. Now if only i learned to iron.

4. Anchor laundry bag  So cute. Throw it on a hook in your laundry room for your more delicate clothes.

5. Drying rack Its a classic – the fold out drying rack. With its white and wood combo i’m totally into it.

6. Rattan hamper I have one of these in Charlie’s room and it does a good job of blending into the other decor – its just so simple and white.

7. Ironing board cover Fashion for you ironing board. Don’t let your board get caught naked. How embarassing!

8. Clothes pegs they are classic and always in style. Just need to figure out what to do with them …

9. Lavender laundry soap These are the kinds of things that I have to be given in order to appreciate, but whenever I do, i’m like ‘why oh why haven’t I washed my clothes in lavender laundry soap before’. I haven’t tried this one, but the packaging is so pretty. Although i’m sure its not exactly cheap if you know what I mean.

Oh Joy for Target is here!

Well now that my partnership with Target is announced (Yeah!!!! and thank you all who left such supportive comments last week on the announcement post) it seemed only appropriate that I shout out my good friend Joy’s collection.  Joy and I have worked together for years and have become good friends although we certainly don’t see each other enough. I’m just so psyched that she is working with them as well.

Emily Henderson Oh Joy

So, in case you haven’t seen her new line, it’s totally adorable and perfect for outdoor entertaining. Many, MANY parties will be thrown with these pieces and here are my favorites:

Oh Joy Target

1. Confetti dots | 2. Noise blowers | 3. Party hats | 4. Cake topper | 5. Cake stand | 6. Goblets | 7. Water bottle

Go get some Joy, and tell her I sentcha. Check out pics from her garden party where she launched the collection HERE. 

Happy Monday, folks. So good to be back at my home in L.A. xx

Handmade | Paper Edition

Not sure if you are aware but there is a massive maker movement happening – like taking over the world. People that make things, sell them then I buy them and stare at them and wonder if I’ll ever make anything. So to celebrate this movement we’ve started a new column called ‘handmade’ which highlights our favorite handmade pieces from around the interwebs. First edition is ‘paper’, and here you are.

handmadepaper

 

1. paper folded book | 2. paper house mobile | 3. hand painted notebook | 4. geometric paper tassel panel | 5. patterned paint roller  | 6. personalized paper dolls  | 7. digital family portrait | 8.  paper cut shadow box | 9. paper cloud mobile

1. Paper folded book : I’ve seen these before but this one is super intricate and so well done. What if it was Charlie’s favorite book with his initials carved into it? That would be awesome unless his favorite book was the Flowers in the Attic, in which case that would be creepy (did anyone watch the recent made for tv movie? I taped it and am saving it for a night when Brian and I can really hunker down and watch it together, except for the fact that Brian would leave me before he would succumb to such an evening).

2. Paper house mobile :  It’s so simple, clean, modern and white. It would look awesome in a kid’s rooms, or a creative space. There is something so ‘Wizard of Oz’ about it. I want.

3. Hand painted notebook : My only issue with this hand-painted notebook is its over-promising nature, and you know how I hate to over-promise. I feel like every time that I saw it I would open it all excitedly, eager to read my ‘best ideas ever’ and then constantly be disappointed. But the notebook itself is super cute.

4. Geometric paper tassel panel : Great colors, cute little frame, overall an awesome little addition to a wall. I’m picturing it big and bold. It also reminded me of the art installation at The Fig House.

5. Patterned paint roller : Waddup, genius? While this isn’t actually paper, it’s ability to make a wallpaper pattern has me intrigued. It’s like a combo roller / stamp and if you have pretty smooth walls and don’t want to commit to wallpaper, give this bad boy a try. Renters need apply.

6. Personalized paper dolls : Its hipster crafts to a meta level and I’m totally into it. I’m picturing little Charlie super bummed out that instead of ‘toys’ I gave him paper dolls of me and his dad. ‘Go ahead, little one. Play with your toys’, I would encourage. He’ll just love them.

7. Digital family portrait : If paper dolls aren’t your thing how about a simple clean and modern family portrait?

8. Paper cut shadow box : Remember those dioramas you created in a shoebox as a kid? Thats what this shadow box is, only better. Layers of paper precisely cut out to make an interesting scene. So beautiful.

9. Paper cloud mobile : I’ve loved this mobile since forever and I wouldn’t mind even creating a large version made out of lucite for an art installation in my house somewhere. It’s just so simple and sweet and yet has a lot of impact.

If you are a maker and have a handmade craft that you want to share, leave a comment with your link and we’ll check er out. xx

Post curated by Rebecca Zajac | Design by Numbers, in collaboration with yours truly.