Friday, August 27



Punkmodern or punkmodern. The combination of edgy discordant industrial, distressed and generally modernist odds-n-ends slamming together at an interior near you! A look less about pricey collectibles and more about recovering, upcycling and reinventing the incredible wealth of distressed modernism over-flowing around us!

Definitely a matter of individual detail and "hand" but always containing recognizable elements:
  • minimalist-- too much is STILL too much-- the punch is in the piece, not quantity
  • distressed and/or raw materials-- especially rust and steel, stone and brute construction
  • no material is too 'low' (formica, laminate and plastic welcome) and lots of redo's and DIY!
  • feel trumps finish-- don't confuse subtlety with being timid-- err on the side of impact
Weren't you ready for another design category anyway? I was!

Thursday, May 6

Modern Life at home with Modern Manor

UPDATE 2010: In July I left the Modern Manor crew. Great folks all, but I wanted to offer a far more eclectic mix with my modern including industrial, do-it-yourself and knock downs, at lower prices with more available shopping hours. Now as then you can find the MODERN LIFE pieces exclusively online at my eBay store (see the link in the side bar) or at the Antique Trove in Scottsdale.

Friday, April 23

Self Design

On Earth Day week I find myself short-tempered and bitter. "Green" has been co-opted by corporate wasters that the movement intended to stop.

Aside from environmentalists refusing to use their detractors wildly successful advertising strategies themselves I wonder, how did they go wrong?

To that problem of a failed process I bring an older piece with a possible solution that starts on the ground floor-- Facebook Suicide.
"...Twenge also found a large increase in self-reference words like “I,” “me,” “mine” and “myself” in news stories published in the 80s and 90s. These words replaced collective words such as “we,” “us,” “humanity,” “country” or “crowd” found in the stories of a similar nature in the 50s and 60s. "

Monday, April 19

Removing White Rings from Furniture

One question I am most often asked by clients is, "How do I get the white rings off my furniture?" and I always suggest they avoid getting, or buying them on furniture, to begin with!

Short of that I have decided to start a post that simply links to all the solutions I find and if you find something I've left out, please send it along!

1. Apartment Therapy: How to Remove Water Stains from Wood and How to Remove Hot Spot Rings from Wood.

Saturday, April 17

Fish Scales Coming to an Object Near You?

Caught this item on a random blog search: Trend: Fish Scales.


The first thought that comes to my mind is the honored axiom, "Question (presumed) Authority". The second is remembering watching with disgust as garment rag Women's Wear Daily pushed Seattle street grunge into the hands of high-dollar manufacturers!

I know it's utterly impossible to convince some young modernists, who've comfortably absorbed commercialism into their playpens through warm and fuzzy media toys, to heed warnings about Big Industry's ability to suck out their brains, but really, are design/decor trends (and buyers) still so easily manipulated? The modern period so many admire was also about avoiding commercial vacuousness, not just adding the other fish part (fins) to Cadillacs!

Real fish scales.

Endangered fish scales.

I'm just saying that modernism MUST include the design of responsibity to be elegant in the truest sense of the word. And having a trend communicated to us via media flash-cards is not a kindly heads-up from pattern watchers but a conveyance from industry trend setters who understand that the way to find new sales is to suggest something like FISH SCALES!

If you must have a trend, find one yourself. And then let me know about it.

Wednesday, April 7

More Girard...

Back in the day graphics designer Alexander Girard's look was copied and over-exposed to the point of appeal-exhaustion. As iconic as the now remembered Love logo of the 60's, Girard-style folksiness was a stand-in for old-timey-Americana-essence (i.e. trust) drizzled on everything from wrapping paper to textiles. The look became kitsch.

Maybe its my personal attraction to naive art and representative fabric sculpture, but I find Girard's doll Centaur (above) kind of appealing... and now that I'm personally past the commercial exhaustion of Girard myself, do I detect him line-walking pop commercialism when his work is viewed in something of a collection?

Thursday, April 1

Here Comes the Sun...

A problem for some old-school modernists in the business of selling to the public can be our political context of anti-consumerism. I, happily affixed to my own parent's Goldwater-inspired environmentalism (before corporations ran Congress even Republicans valued ecology) suggest that you make your own judgments on how to resolve the two but that aside, this flooring inspired by designer Alexander Girard is the visual equivalent of comfort food!

I might add there is nothing to prevent you from digging up or creating any modernist designs and reproducing variations by hand on canvas for your floors.

*Period Modernist, def: been there.

Wednesday, February 10

Palm Springs Modernism Week!

Ten, count 'em-- TEN-- days of Modernism in one of this country's coolest modern locations-- PALM SPRINGS!! I won't be able to make it but if you do, please send us a few photos of the best things you see!