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How To Paint a Wall With Zero Drawing Skills!

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I am re-posting this amazing write-up I read on Meta Picture, which I thought all of you should see, if you haven’t already.  Here’s how a man, who claims he has no drawing skills, transforms a boring wall into a room with personality – with some impressive wall art that he paints all by himself. It’s so clever and yet so simple, and I bet it’ll make you want to try it yourself! Read on!

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Award Winning Chairs and More!

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Today’s post is about chairs that have won awards, and some others which, perhaps, ought to have won, too!

The first on my list is the “Rag Edition” by Swedish designer, Maria Westerberg. Made out of t-shirt rags wrapped around a metal frame, it won the Green Furniture Award, 2011. I’m amazed by how this chair seems to defy the forces of gravity. However, all your doubts will be assuaged if you one see the photographs on Maria Westerberg’s website where she performs all sorts of balancing acts with the chair!
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I absolutely love this one. It’s called the “Bambi Chair”, and was the recipient of the W.H Designers of the Future Award, 2011. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this chair has just two legs. It has four, alright, two that are hidden in this photograph. Click on the photograph below to see it from different angles. The designer, Takeshi Sawasa, took inspiration from fawns to design this chair, and so the name, Bambi. Don’t see the fawn? Well, it’s a bit far-fetched, but this funny photograph should probably help you see it from the designer’s eyes. 

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Smocking is an embroidery technique that I only remember seeing on pretty frocks that my mother used to buy for me when I was little! These chairs are high maintenance, without a doubt, but completely worth it!ImageThe “Paper Chair”, by designers Peter Plantan and Nusa Zupanc from Slovenia, won the AWR Award for Eco Design, 2012. They’re claimed to be made out of 100% recycled material, including – believe it or not – expired flour! Pretty amazing, huh?Image

This is another chair that I’ve become terribly fond of. It looks like an industrial chair from some angles, and then again, I could imagine it fitting beautifully into any home with light wood furniture.

ImageI’ve been obsessing over these chairs and a many more for a while now. At the rate I’m going I fear that my home will, one day, be filled with discordant chairs of different shapes, sizes and designs!

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A High-Priority Low Table

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A High Priority Low Table!

It’s rustic. It has character. It’s picturesque. Follow the lines that cross each other at 90 degrees on the table top, and you’d see the intelligent, thoughtful design that went into the table. Four pieces of beautiful, symmetrically cut pieces of wood that converge to resemble a blooming flower. Just squint and picture it upside down!

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Four-Poster and Canopy Beds, Anyone?

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I’ve been thinking about four-poster beds lately, and if it’s right for our bedroom. What’s been holding me back is the fact that ours is a smallish bedroom. I must admit that there’s something regal about these beds, but they also seem to eat up visual space. In any case, I’ve decided to look into them a little more closely. Canopy beds are close cousins of the four-poster bed. They’re different in that they have an overhead roof-like structure covering the bed. I read that these beds were designed more out of utility than luxury. Medieval barons often had attendants sleeping in the same room, so four posters with curtains helped create a room within a room.

The warmth and coziness that this photograph emits almost has me convinced.

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Here’s an interesting, modern twist to the four-poster bed by New-Zealand-based designer, David Trubridge. It doesn’t serve the purpose and intent of the original poster bed, but it’s, nevertheless, visually appealing. I hope to write a separate post some time soon on some of his other amazing designs.

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You could play around with the posts and side rails to introduce intricate designs and detailing into your room.

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That rustic, unpolished finish (or lack of it?) looks good on everything, even four-poster beds!

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Here’s another endearing poster bed that complements a white background amazingly well.

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What do you think of four-poster beds? Are you for or against them? I’ve never had one, so I would love some thoughts on it.

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Of Baskets and Bread

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Pretty bread baskets instill images of The Sound of Music and Little Red Riding Hood. Don’t ask me why! Flat baskets are very versatile and needn’t just be limited to serving bread. I could think of using them as a fruit basket, a medicine box or to store odd things around the dining table. I didn’t look at bread baskets designed exclusively to fit baguettes because, well, I don’t always eat baguettes!

Had I not gone looking for beautiful bread baskets, I surely would not have stumbled upon Reiko Kaneko, this incredible British-Japanese tableware designer. I love her east-meets-west approach as she effortlessly design bone chinaware that fuses oriental and European influences. She calls this bread basket “The Boat”, and that’s just so apt. She sells The Boat with rope handles in different colors, but nothing beats the natural tone of the one below, if you ask me.

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I cannot decide if I’d use this basket for bread or fruits, but it really is wonderful! This one’s hand-woven from the fiber of natural date palm leaves, and it definitely looks less coarser than regular wicker.

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Aren’t they pretty? I like the idea of being able to change the ribbon every once in a while, or perhaps, to match the dress I’m wearing?!

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I’d posted sometime ago about a cork coaster that was shaped like a slice of bread. Adding to the same amusement is a bread basket that’s made to look like brown bread. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the bread basket was actually edible? Like edible ice cream wafer cups? Well, I’d definitely be a taker if someone came up with it!

ImageIf any bread basket can make my heart skip a beat, it has to be this asymmetric, burled wood bread basket that I simply adore! There’s beauty in imperfection, and that’s precisely what even burled wood is all about.

ImageAll that talk of bread baskets has made me hungry, and I cannot wait for breakfast time and for some scrambled eggs on toast!

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My Dream Umbrella Stand

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Eureka! I just found the most beautiful vase in the world. Or the most beautiful umbrella stand? Or the most beautiful urn? Call it whatever you like, but this is a classic example of how dull, boring colors can be put together artistically to create something of a master piece. Not only does the rope change colors after every seven or eight rounds, but it creates tiny patterns as it winds its way up. However did they manage that?!

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Stable Labels!

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I’m not done with kitchen organization ideas just yet! You cannot say your kitchen is organized unless you have labels to identify some, if not all, cooking ingredients. That’s not an empty statement, mind you. It comes with disastrous cooking experiences! Like a brownie that was baked with rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. Like using baking powder instead baking soda for fritters. And the (unintentionally) healthy cake made out of  whole wheat flour instead of self-raising flour.  It may be silly to label things that just take a quick look to identify, but that’s seldom the case with flours and powders. And so, the pursuit of kitchen labels becomes top priority! I didn’t look towards sticker labels much because they start peeling off in no time, and that would just annoy me.  So it’s all about stable labels!

This is probably the simplest, neatest and easiest labeling idea that I can think off. Just pick up that marker, and write neatly. The person who did this as a DIY project did use a stencil, but the only stencils I’ve found at stationery shops are hard plastic ones that won’t bend around much. But how hard can it be to just write a few alphabets in full caps? So even if your handwriting looks like the scrawl of a drunken spider, don’t hold back! Just do it!

photoI attended classes to make paper bags last year, and one of the things I found fascinating is how metal eyelets are fixed onto the bags! I’m sure there are machines which automate the whole process, but we  poked the the eyelet in with a driver and then hammered the back side till it was flat and secure. And if I could use those skills to make tags for my kitchen containers, I would grab the opportunity without  a second thought! Of course, you could also just punch a hole and string a pretty thread or ribbon through it. And though this one’s dipped in blackboard paint, I’d probably use a strip of lovely handmade paper for the tags to beautify it even more!

ImageDo you remember that day in school when someone showed you how to wet chalk and make it write differently? I still remember, and I’m still thrilled by it! So once when I visited a Korean bakery that had its front windows beautifully and intricately sketched with wet chalk, I was so happy to find out that someone had invented a chalkboard marker! The best invention of this century! I mean, who cares about televisions, cell phones and the internet! As soon as I get one of those markers, I’m going to get a tin of blackboard paint, and implement this project. I saw it last year, and I’ve been so tempted to try. It’s easily the most versatile label idea. This one’s actually a sticker, but you could as well just apply blackboard paint directly onto the jar.

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Another variation of the blackboard idea that I took an instant liking for!

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Etching cream is like the fairy-god mother of mason jars. One touch and those mason jars are transformed into elegant, understated beauties that you’d think were store-bought. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with etching cream much though, because it seems rather expensive and available only  in large quantities. But they’re definitely my first preference for glass bottles and containers.

ImageDon’t label us, labelers, as freaks! No, we don’t suffer from OCD! We love our mess, but we just like that to be organized too!

 

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Tapping True Potential!

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What’s the one thing in the house that guests are forced to notice from up close? I would say the faucet. Still, a mundane faucet can go completely unnoticed. A beautiful and unique one, though, will register even as one goes about a task as mindless as washing hands. And boy, are there some breath-taking faucets out there!

Off with the favorite! Sleek, straight lines, suave. Need I say anything more?          Image

 And if you thought it can’t get much better than that, well, you thought wrong! A cascading faucet almost has something zen-ish about it, doesn’t it? I can almost hear the soothing the sound of the water falling gently. Sigh!

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Do you see it or am I just delusional?  I could swear that this faucet’s modeled after a tulip. I love designs that borrow from nature.

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This faucet from Kohler is simply stunning. I wouldn’t really be bothered about getting a wash basin with matching designs.I think it’d be best with a white sink, because I’d want my faucet to get the full attention that it deserves!

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I’m not sure if you’d be impressed by the faucet below after all that you’ve seen already. But I still like it for its curvy yet minimalistic design.

ImageI’ve realized only recently that there is almost nothing in the house that can’t be subject to design scrutiny. Think of all those little things in your house that you barely notice is there. Take a minute off to ask yourself whether those humdrum elements could look or serve you better. And I’m willing to bet that the answer is going to be in the affirmative!