Sunday, September 24, 2006

Project Update: Big Ass Rug II

We've been debating rugs for a few weeks. Meanwhile, our living room is like an echo chamber. One high pitched bark from the girls can burst an eardrum.

This weekend, we finally narrowed it down.

The first thing that weighed into the decision is that we really can't afford to make any other new furniture purchases at the moment due to impending landscape project. (More on that later). We can only get a rug.

So, that leaves me a new avocado/chartreuse sofa that we love, a Barcelona table that we adore, an Eileen Gray side table that we really like, and two inexpensive Crate and Barrel upholstered chairs that we kinda like okay, but hardly love. And with the impending project, the chairs are staying for a spell.

Since we really shouldn't spend much money and the chairs are part of the decor, it made sense to buy a less expensive rug that somehow magically makes the buff/lichen color of the chairs work with the groovy mini-striped green sofa.

That narrows the field down quite a lot.

We also really wanted some pattern in the room, although nothing too busy.

We really liked
this rug from Angela Adams there for a while. However, it is not inexpensive and is probably too trendy in the end.

The cut-pile texture in the dots and circles is cool, though.

this one from Room and Board was a favorite, but the pile is low, and very even, and pretty much lacking in texture.

Otherwise we would've bought it.

But I'm into the idea of a rug with a little texture for this room.

Finally, after much deliberation, we ordered this one, from CB2.

Wide chocolate, avocado, gray, blue and beige stripes with varied pile heights. That should provide some textural interest. And the colors will tie our chairs and sofa into a visual whole, I hope.

The other photos of the rug on the CB2 site are better, but the site wouldn't let me save them to post.

I think we'll be happy with this one. If not, we'll send her back and continue the quest.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Read This.

Take 2 minutes to read this post on

Basically, he's intimating that minimalists are more evolved, right?

I'm not sure I agree with him, but I do want to bring up the obligatory house tour, referenced in the post.

Being carted around as if on a tour of a little museum is a pompous act on the part of host (to offer or insist on it) and guest (to suggest it). A good host will allow her/his guests to wander the house as they wish. A good guest never suggests them taking time away from other guests (or from preparing dinner) for the ridiculous house tour.

As a host, when someone asks for a tour, I simply say "roam around...make yourself at home". As a guest, I only go on house tours if the homeowner seems hell-bent. And I grit my teeth and smile.

And as a minimalist, I don't really feel more evolved. I do feel more free though. I have enough responsibility in my life.

Even if we're talking about candlesticks and occasional chairs.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Design Find: Melt

Melt is Josh and Shane, two Dallasites who saw an unfilled niche in the art marketplace...and filled it quite successfully.

Their affordable,
modern modular decorative wall pieces are printed on wood and come in one size: 15" X 15" X 1.75". They do offer custom projects in other sizes:

"Frustrated with our search for affordable, modern artwork to fill our place, we sought to take matters into our own hands. Eventually in 2005 we took our modern, clean graphic approach and combined it with our passion for interior design, thus was born melt- modern elements living together."

These little pieces are more than just printed square images. Most of them allow the grain of the wood panel to show through, giving them a handmade feel and adding a textural layer that you just can't buy at your local poster shop.

And, at only $200 each, they add a lot of quality punch to a space. This motorcycle image is cool:

As is this image of the old Alamo Plaza Motor Court in the Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff.

In that nebulous and neglected space, somewhere between the world of highbrow gallery art and poster store reproductions, lies melt.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shopping: A Little 'Off'

Our friend Joanna Satana, a colorful, creative and lovable character to say the least, recently posted a comment about this chair from Vivre. She has quite the eye.

I promise you, if I had an extra $2600 laying around in a drawer somewhere, one of these would soon be living in my house:

Every house needs something arresting or just a bit off. And I've been keeping my eyes out for some ugliness to shake up the new casa decor. The place is a little bit too pristine right now, for real.

Vivre has some distinctive stuff. I am also quite taken with this carved wood deer head, although the facial expression is a little bit too 'cute':

And I think I might have to buy this silver Manzanita tree. I need it.

Last weekend, I spotted a pair of heinously beautiful 60's ceramic lamps in a vulgar turquoise color at a resale shop. They've been on my mind a lot, and I must assume that they want to come live with us. I think I'll go have another look at them today.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Project Update: Art Install

I've surprised myself when it comes to the art installation. Usually, I know well in advance where most of the pieces will hang. It is intuitive.

And, I'm a gay man, so that usually helps a new place get "styled" rather quickly.

With this house, however, it took me two weeks to drive the first nail.

Perhaps subconsciously I didn't want to mar the walls. Or maybe I've put more pressure on myself to make it perfect since I'm publishing the entire process through the blog. Or maybe I'm just lazy.

Whatever the reason, I've just now managed to hang most of the art. The guest bedroom floor is still littered with the leftovers:

And, I need to relocate a towel bar in the master bath for a favorite paper piece on a prime wall, but I'm pretty much done with the big art installation.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Good Books: Lake Flato

In case you missed it, a new Lake-Flato book is out.

Coffee table-sized, thick soft-bound, and loaded with photos, it features a few houses I've never seen published elsewhere. I've really enjoyed having it.

Right now
marked down on Amazon.

If you like the 'modern Texas vernacular' thing, well, these guys pretty much brought it to the forefront. In my opinion.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fun Finds: Ultimate Tree Houses

Everyone loves the idea of a treehouse; an arboreal retreat built above and outside the responsible world. Just for us and our allies. Grownups not allowed.

Every year, the
Dallas Arboretum hosts an exhibit of Ultimate Tree Houses.

This year, fifty five entries were submitted and
thirteen were selected by the jury then built on the 60+ acre grounds.

Granted, we're using the term "tree house" somewhat loosely here. Most all of the structures are on the ground, making them accessible to everyone.

Which is a good thing.

The exhibit is up until the end of the year. Check it out.

Inspiring Houses: Un-named House

A friend of a friend recently completed this house out west of downtown on Mount Bonnell Road, and I hear it is now for sale, although I can't find a listing.

The house was designed by Dick Clark Architects and is three stories with a pool...and from what I hear has every amenity one could dream up. I don't know the square footage or particulars.

However, the photos are really inspiring and I wanted to share.

Let's take guesses on the asking price. I'll shoot for 1.3 million.

The photos are by Matt Schodorf.

I'm sure if anyone can dig up a listing, it is our friend over at Modern Austin.