A Perfect Perch

Love these incredible treehouses...

Aren't they the fulfillment of all your childhood tree house daydreams?

Maybe my favorite interior shot from the book-- love that the tree is coming through the wall, the cozy built-in nook, the bookshelf, the totally simple cushion and pillows...

Click the jump for more treehouses....

Fresh Pulp (nerd edition) >> We Love DataVis Blog

I think clever infographics can be functional design at its best...  Communicating statistics or messages clearly and simply in a visual medium, and then even making it look pretty, is not actually a simple task.

Here, a few great ones from the We Love Datavis (data visualization) blog, which keeps track of the latest and greatest infographics.  I swear it's not as nerdy as it sounds.

Who can resist a great flow chart?

 And maybe the only thing better than a flow chart is a really good Venn diagram...

Below is an example of a more technical infographic gone wrong.  This graphic was generated by a consulting firm for the US Army, and it is meant to show the complexity of the military strategy in Afghanistan to Gen. Stanley McChrystal.  

As it turns out, all it shows is that the strategy is so complex that no one can understand it.  (NYT article about this here.)

I particularly appreciate when people with this sort of visualization skill put their efforts into something fairly useless...  The below graphic shows the evolution of crayola color choices from 1903 to the present.  

Maybe working on "fluff pieces" like this is like the guilty pleasure of infographics people?  

They're like, "What data, if arranged into a graphic, will just look really pretty?" ... "I know, crayola colors over time!"

This is an amazing example of a totally useless, and yet totally awesome infographic.

On a continuum, the pierceived trustworthiness of beard types.  (Click image for larger version, then click it again to zoom.)

This is pretty entertaining... We all know about the "Missed Connections" section on Craiglist (I happen to love it), and this graphic shows the most commonly listed locations people give for where the missed connection happened, by state.

The geographic variation between places like gyms vs coffee places vs Walmarts is pretty interesting!


Random Acts of Creativity >> Moss "Graffiti"

 Living walls + silhouette art + random acts of creativity + street art = just too much.  In the best way. 

Living (or green) walls, also called vertical gardens, are such a cool concept, and Mosstika, an "Urban Greenery" collaboration between Edina Tokodi and Jozsef Valyi-Toth, has turned them into silhouette art using grasses and moss, and then, even better, they put their pieces on public walls.

 I love how their work challenge the traditional notion of graffiti and the effect someone can have on a public space when "making their mark"-- both through the content and the medium. 

I love that it is something living on the wall, and reminds you of the nature that might have been there before all the buildings were.

Rather than just leaving a tag or a cryptic design, their street art gives something to the passerby-- just a small moment in which he or she gets to stop and marvel at the fact that an anonymous stranger spent their time making something beautiful for them to see.

It's an experience that is capable of making you feel more hopeful about the world for a moment, knowing that someone put that there expecting nothing in return.

Mosstika website here.

via twig and thistle


Check out Neiman Marcus's headline on this ad!!

"Lust for Wonder"!!

Maybe they should read my blog...

PS -- Thanks Ginna!
Check out Ginna's calligraphy here... 
Loving the script on that third Christmas card down!

Is it summer yet?

Philip Lim Resort '10

Particularly loving pleated trousers and trouser shorts, high-waisted skirts, skinny waist belts, and blazers and leather jackets for summer.

Elie Tahari Spring/Summer '10

Jidori Chicken: The New Kobe Beef

Have you heard about Jidori chicken?  It's like the kobe of beef, but for chicken, and the craze is sweeping LA and catching the eye of eating-local junkies.  

Check out this great article about a Jidori company in LA that is truly free-range, gets its birds from slaughter to table within 24 hours, and feeds them only vegetarian diets.  

They even manage to do the processing in a way that really doesn't have a gross-out factor.  Did you know that the "chilling systems used by many larger purveyors tend to fill the birds with so much water that they often become poultry-scented popsicles"???  Pretty gross, right?  Makes me only want to eat Jidori chickens, which don't get processed that way.


(Still) Listening To >> The Morning Benders

The new album by the Morning Benders, who I posted about back in February just before the new album came out, is so good.  

Called Big Echo, the album has a lot more depth and interest than the previous album (though it is good too), and on the whole sounds much more musically mature, which probably has more than a little bit to do with the fact that it was co-produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor.


Check out this awesome video in which Christopher Chu employs Phil Spector's "wall of sound" recording technique and piles a bunch of musicians into the studio at once for an amazing atmospheric orchestral sound.  I'm loving it!!

Wonderment for your Monday

Loving this project...

French journalist, environmentalist, and photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand started an image bank called Altitude Agency, for which he commissioned and assembled over 500,000 aerial photographs of the earth.

Then, alongside UNESCO World Heritage, he gathered the most beautiful images into a project called The Earth From Above (la Terre vue de ciel). 

 This one is a shot of an underwater plant that is only visible 
when a certain tide changes the water level in the Loire River.

These images were put into a book with the same name, and they were additionally shown in numerous free exhibits, in which the images were printed on giant posters and hung in public places like on the gates of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.  I love that the public got to see them...

A wonderful reminder of how incredibly beautiful our world is...


Styling Brilliance >> Desks

Good looking furniture, fabrics, and lighting are certainly essential, but the importance of accessories, art, plants, etc., cannot be underestimated.  Styling is soo important in making a room look both lived in (rather than just a bunch of furniture gathered together) and giving it personality.

These three desks are taken to the next level by their wonderful styling.  Styling takes a functional piece and allows it to add to the overall look and feel of a room.  What if all of these desks just had a blotter and some pens?  Their visual power would be much less effective.

In all three, note the use of books, plants (fresh flowers, architectural branch arrangements, etc), lighting (the top piece uses two lamps to great effect-- not an obvious idea though), art, and actual desk necessities (writing utensils, paper goods, and organizational things) made to look appealing. 

The arrangement of such items is also key-- the books are both stacked and upright, objects are grouped together, art is both hung and propped, pieces are layered in front of and behind each other...

At top, Michael Bastian's apartment (the whole thing is great.) (Also, no coincidence that someone in fashion would have a well-styled apartment, styling uses many of the same principles in fashion and interiors.  See more about his fashion looks here.)

Second, unkonwn.

Third, David Hicks.


Spring Fever Continues >> Container Garden Solutions

The Bacsac is brilliant.  It solves the dilemna of rental-dwellers everywhere who don't want to plant a garden only to have to leave it behind for the next person.  Raised beds + mobility.

I have a nice big balcony with a southern exposure, so I've been starting some container garden efforts, but I've resisted my desire for a nice big raised bed type wooden container because there'd be no way to take it with me when I eventually move.  

Even moving a bunch of small pots will be annoying, and a bunch of small pots doesn't totally satisfy my desire for a big soil-filled garden patch.

The Bacsac is cleverly made of material usually used for erosion containment, so it's lightweight, durable, and allows for drainage-- perfect not only for gardeing but also mobility.  As they demonstrate in their cute photo at top, you can just pick up your garden and take it with you!

They come in different configurations so you can get whatever size you need.  From the photo below, it looks like you can even get one that could drape over a balcony or fence-- pretty clever.

And, it's actually more affordable than I expected.  Buying pots and containers adds up fast, and the easy alternative of just buying one Bacsac instead of a bunch of containers is pretty appealing.  

Available through the cool design store A+R (they have lots of great little gifts!)

LustList >> The Ultimate Guest Book

Just stumbled upon this portable photo booth below, and I'm pretty sure I'd like not only to have it come to every party I ever throw, but actually, I'd like to just buy one for my house. Wouldn't that be fun?? And when you have people over they could go in and take pics? Who doesn't love a photobooth?

As the author of the book at top says, "I have never met anyone who didn't have a fond memory of moments spent in that little house"

It would be super cool to just have an actual real old one with black and white film, but this company is so clever-- the photos automatically upload to an online gallery, so your guests could take their printed ones home, but you'd have a record of all of them-- it would be like the best version of a guest book for a house ever. You'd have so many fun memories!!

Unfortunately, the company is based in Australia, and the photos are 11MP (!), so I'm guessing the whole contraption is pret-ty, pret-ty spendy. But if anyone ever wants to get me a really awesome gift, a photobooth is definitely on my LustList. Just sayin.

PS- If you love photobooths (does anyone not??), and you live in New York, you'll want to check out this guide to photobooths in the city.

American Photobooth by Nakki Goranan, which is made up of photostrips she found scouring flea markets and the internet. (Also on my LustList, so if you need a small gift for me, this might be more attainable.)
Fourth, one of Amelie Poulain's photobooth messages from the movie Amelie, which you should defffinitely see if you haven't.


Fresh Pulp >> 30 Days

I've decided to extend this "Fresh Pulp" category to new blogs I come across, in addition to magazines, since I come across so many of both that I want to share.

Here, for your enjoyment, 30 Days, which chronicles one person's outfits over 30 days! 

I love this concept as an alternate to street style blogs where you just get one shot of a person, or, alternately, one person's blog where you see just their outfits every day.

With this concept, you get to see how people work their wardrobes!  This cute lady works for Tracy Reese.

Here, just a sampling...

PS - I saved this quite a long time ago to share and just got around to doing it, and I just checked back on it and it looks like it hasn't been updated in quite a while... too bad.  Still, what's in there is still interesting to browse.  Hope they'll bring it back online!


Listening To >> Local Natives

Listening through a bunch of stuff online looking for a new album to download, jumping from one band to another, listening to clips of songs, nothing was catching my attention...
until I came across this LA-based band, the Local Natives.

With a sound that hovers between Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and Grizzly Bear, it's hard not to like them.  But that isn't to say they're just they another band jumping on the bandwagon of chorus vocals, Afropop beats, harmonies, etc.  Although they do incorporate those elements, their sound still manages to bring something new and intriguing, and I can't get enough of them.


The new album, Gorilla Manor, which came out in February, is named after the nickname of the house in Silver Lake where they all lived while they wrote and produced this album.  Listen to more songs here, or download the album on iTunes.  

I'm pretty sure they're going to blow up, so you should probably go ahead and give them a listen.

An Itching Green Thumb

Spring is definitely here, and it's definitely affecting me.  I love the idea of spring-- re-birth, new life, and the coming of summer.  And I have planting fever.  

I find myself daydreaming about things like custom planter boxes and what I'm going to cook come summer using my the produce I'm producing on my balcony.  So, I loved this post on Design*Sponge about an heirloom seed bank in Petaluma.

Started by Jerre Gettle at just 17 in 1998, this business, which sells only non-GMO* heirloom seeds, expanded so much after its beginnings in Missouri that he decided to take it to California, to the crossroads of "foodies, farmers, and the slow food movement."

*if you don't know what GMO is, you must watch Food Inc., it's available on Netflix instant and will instantly change how you think about food.

Gettle started his business, which was originally mail-order, after becoming interested in, and starting a collection of, rare and old varieties of seeds.   Since most seeds available at the local hardware store are manufactured and/or hybridized GMO seeds, and pure seeds are harder and harder to come by, his company quickly developed a loyal following.

Today, it operates out of this cool space in Petaluma, where each seed is given a detailed description and is packaged with these cool retro graphics.  The owners had the seed shelves seen above Amish-built on site according to custom designs.  

I like a company that wants every detail to be exactly right.

In the middle of the store, design*sponge noted, were bags of heirloom tomatoes, still covered in dirt, with signs denoting their varietal.

And of course since it's design*sponge, they then went home and organized their seeds into these airtight cork vials, labeled with the varietal and date.  Pretty clever if you're not going to plant them right away-- seeds are actually alive and have a life span, so it's a good idea to know when you bought them.

The cool at-home packaging makes this whole thing even more appealing to me.

Now I'm feeling the spring fever more than ever...

See the whole post here on Design*Sponge.
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