Bucket Stools & More by Pedersen + Lennard

Along with indoor greenery and plants that won’t kill the cat, I’ve been on the look out for items to create that indoor greenhouse feel or an ‘indoor outdoor’ room. Outdoor bike stands, wrought iron moldings, concrete floors, industrial furniture, steel lockers were just a few of the things I’ve been considering.

Pedersen + Lennard are a South African design duo whose functional yet witty Scandinavian-esq designs have attracted much international attention and labeled them as young emerging designers to watch.

I’m a big fan of found-object furniture and these bucket stools are no exception. I especially like the humorous cow-hide version (even though.. it does evoke horrors of what might one day… be found.. villainously… deposited in them…)

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Men in Permanent Disguise

Moustached men, as regarded by my RLSH, are all part of some masonic sect organised around ancient and hairy rituals members vow never to speak of.

Today we name just a few of these Men in Permanent Disguise.

“I’m in the middle of filming a movie in China,” said Bale, sporting a bushy beard for his part in Zhang Yimou’s ‘The 13 Women of  Nanjing’. “When I finish the movie in China, it’s straight to Batman. Much more Batman.”

The beard? The bat? Honestly you can’t get more MIPD than that.

“Oh my! Grandma! What shapely whiskers you have!” Clark Gable’s chevron-style moustache supposedly disguised his large ears.

Sam Elliot plays Sam Elliot in all his movies. His permanent disguise includes a full wardrobe – chaps, hat and even full riding gear.

and the list goes on…

And last but not least there’s the stashtrooper. Happy MIPB spotting!

Microsoft PhotoSynth

I’ve seen PhotoSynths before. Unfortunately, the last specimens – perhaps due to poor lighting, or perhaps glacial rendering speeds – were hardly inspiring. So this is the first time I’ve actually thought about some of its potential

PhotoSynths aren’t exactly a great departure from things we’ve seen previously, and honestly, with the amount of photos you need to take, you might as well create a video (much more discreet and you’d look like less of a manic trigger-happy tourist). Nevertheless, I really like being able to interact with a photo and having a more ‘self-directed’ experience – look up, down, AROUND, drag it, zoom in, out, walk through it, stare in at its soul, watch and create 3D slideshows/tours. Its ease of use also makes it simpler to create a great photo immersion experience. I’d love to see more house tours and art tours using this – really get a feel for those awesome Apartment Therapy house calls! Here’re a few that were fairly interesting:

 

Surprising Indoor Greenery

While researching ideas for my indoor garden, I came across some unusual ways of integrating foliage into our home – even merging with household appliances and furniture. Looks like life’s getting greener on the inside.

Green Light by Natalie Jeremijenko, Amelia Amon, Will Kavesh of the Experimental Design Lab is 3-in-1 lamp, terrarium and air filter. An integrated solar panel makes this even greener than it already is. Story via greatinteriordesign.

Have a look at this Table with a Planter by Emily Wettstein via topbestdesign. I’m not worried about my cat eating it but the question is..  will she poop in it?..

We’ve seen a lot of vertical planters but Vertilignes does it with style. Its patented compressed soil systems ‘Vertisoil’ allow super slim vertical planter designs.

Take Care Umbrella Stand by Mélanie Vandenhecke and Hugo Cociani of What Else? Read more at e-potpourri

I love these moss tables at the ‘Kinky Muff Land’ exhibition in Osaka – the grass comes up close to you without you having to bend all the way down. Read more at pingmag

A more stylised version of the moss tables, this is the Ukiyo-e floating garden by Florent Coirier, Gregory Marion and Laurianne Lopez. Read more at bestinteriorhomedesign.

If only more offices were designed like this branch of Sugamo Shinkin Bank in Tokyo designed by Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture.

Here’s one from Ong&Ong Architecture via Apartment Therapy. What I want to know is – where can I get one of those cute green bean bags??

Cat-safe Plants

There is a tree that peers in on us from the kitchen window while we do the dishes. It is a swaying flotilla of leaves and branches – something of a pirate ship skippered by a crew of brawling mynahs – a constant source of entertainment for Cas.

Our new apartment will be above the tree line so as compensation for keeping her in captivity, I’ll be using the extra space we’re gaining to bring more of the outside in for the cat to play in. Here are a few cat-safe indoor plants, basic care instructions and decor inspirations.

Cat-safe, air-purifying plants

Other than being entertaining, plants help purify the air – this is especially useful if you keep the windows closed to prevent the cat from falling out of one (note: it’s not advisable to have plants in bedrooms as they do release more carbon dioxide at night).


African violets – Description: Furry-leaves; flowers vary from white to dark purple. Care: Humidity encourages flowering. Avoid pouring water on leaves. Place: Ideal for bathrooms and kitchens.

Wax begonias (Begonia semperflorens) – Description: Perennial plants with flowers coming in red, pink and white. Care: Prefer bright shade; keep soil evenly moist Place: Great in flower beds or pots.

BromeliadDescription: Exotic looking single flower plants. Care: Thrive on neglect. But metal can be toxic to them. Blooms only once, but each flower lasts 2-3 months. After flowering, the plant stops producing leaves but will grow baby plants that will grow and flower in 2-3 years. Place: Anywhere

Boston FernDescription: Brushy green fronds. Care: Likes consistency; not too wet or dry; Medium or bright indirect light. Place: Well-lit area indoors, good pollution-fighting variety.

Fig (ficus benjamina) – Description: Quirky tree with large characteristic leaves Care: Best to re-pot to one at least 2-inches larger every 2 years; sensitive to changes in position; keep soil moist, use fertiliser every 3 weeks or so Place: Needs bright sun about 3-4 hours a day; best to be in the center of the room, not by a large window.

OrchidsDescription: Simple large waxy leaves and characteristic flower. Care: Moth or butterfly orchids (Phalaenopsis) and Dendrobiums prefer indirect light. Ideally, water every three weeks if the orchid is planted in moss, every other week if planted in bark. Don’t let pots stand in water; roots can rot. Pansy orchids (Miltonias) like their roots constantly damp but never soggy. Place: Dining or seating areas within the home.

PalmsDescription: Spikey plant with multiple long thin leaves e.g. kentia palm (Howea forsteriana), lady palm (Rhapis excelsa) and robellini palm Care: Regular weekly watering schedule. Prefer distilled or filtered water and occasional misting. Place: Need space as well as indirect light.

Other recommended indoor plants that are non-toxic to cats include:

  • Prayer plant (Maranta) 
  • Ribbon Plant (Anthericum Comosum)
  • Miniature Roses
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum)
  • Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus)
  • Wandering Jew (Zebrina)

Tips

– If your cat enjoys nibbling your plants, you might try a natural non-toxic repellent spray such as Bitter Apple or Bitter Orange from a petstore (great for preventing wire-chewing and furniture scratching too). Some people have also suggested chili powder and pepper.

– Don’t use mulch in the pots as your cat may use your plant as a litter box. If this has already happened, you could try placing aluminum foil or large flat stones in the pot or using a deterrent scent such as lavender, mint, or citrus (or mothballs in a jar with small holes poked in its lid – BEWARE as mothballs are toxic to cats).

– If all else fails, go for hanging plants instead.

Fern at Life on the Balcony offers a host of great apartment gardening tips.

DIY Chairs and Makeovers

Among many amazing transformations, this chair makeover was featured on Apartment Therapy. For guidance, CasaSugar provides a basic rundown of how to change the covering, the DIY network shows how to replace the entire webbing, and ReadyMade shows how to replace the foam and fabric with adhesive spray and a staple gun.

This lovely Toddler Bench was made from shelving by Destri on The Mother Huddle. I’d probably add an extra interchangeable washable cover over the top.

Jarring Lights

I grew up in a commune with a good culture of recycling, and a correspondingly robust love of wine, Perrier, (bread) and jam. Sunny days were made for walks to the glass recycling bank with my step father, paper bags of clonking bottles in tow.

Rainy days however, were reserved for craft projects.

If you’ve ever admired the way light passes through glass, you’d understand the fascination everyone’s been having with mason jar lights and wine bottle chandeliers. The future of glass vessels has never been so bright!

Mason Jar pendant lights featured on Laura Fenton’s Blog, Jug Lights by tbDsf on Etsy

Jar of Flashing lights from Instructables; Jar Light by Greg Hatton via Remodelista;

Mason Jar Chandelier and Christmas Lights from Treasure Again on Etsy

Sun-powered fairy lamp from Comparestoreprices, you can see a homemade version at Kootoyoo. lithium cell versions by Evil Mad Scientist

Wine Glass Cluster Chandeliers: a usable glass holder design via Remodelista, and a freestyle version using clear clips by Gitta Gschwendtner.

Wine bottle chandelier from Pottery Barn

Glass Lamp Terrarium via Design East from the glass design studio of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.

Bjorn Stillefors, Jorgen Pudeck & Gunnar Cedervall

Bjorn Stillefors, Jorgen Pudeck & Gunnar Cedervall

Blue Kitchens

Blue isn’t traditionally a colour used for the kitchen but more recently I’ve been coming across many kitchens going lighter and cooler with sky to tiffany blue walls, glass tiles, white marble and frosted glass cabinetry to name a few. Here are some to pique your palette.

Blue Subway Tile Backsplash from Becoming Home

Seaside escape in the kitchen! from Elle Decor

Blue-grey gradient subway tiles with marble top from House Beautiful

Cool blue-grey tiles mixed with cherry wood and grey tops at The Kitchen Designer

Marble Tops ideal for chocolate making from Blossom Interiors

The back of these old cabinets were given a bright coat of blue at Martha Stewart Homes

A similar treatment featured in Hooked on Houses

Kelsey Grammar’s Mediterranean Tiled Kitchen featured on Decorpad

Floors and ceilings at Coastal Living

I just adore this teal porcelain sink featured in Country Living

A Less Costly Way to Furnish

While visiting relatives over the Chinese New Year season, an uncle introduced me to a shoe cabinet he had made over the school holidays. It was ordinary – simple, practical. But it it reminded me of the buzz of handling a jigsaw, slicing planks and piecing together stage props for the local drama club.

But like everything in Singapore, creating stuff on your own is just so costly. I was shocked to hear that even chipboard could cost $30 a plank! Sounds completely over priced to me. I’m convinced I can find better.

These found-object inspired projects and ikea hacks were so darn good-looking and do-able I just had to repost them.

Branch Coat Rack featured in Ferm :

Nakashima-esq Table on Casa Sugar :

Haldane Martin inspired pendant lamp by Ashley :

Bike Rack by Jules

Kitchen Butcher Block Hack for Bathroom Sinks by Jules

Another kitchen island turned Sink Pedestal by Jules :

Ikea Wardrobe Door Room Dividers by thedesignguy :