Category Archives: Design 101

2013 Ikea Doll House Furniture

Ikea Dollhouse furniture 2

My 2013-2014 Ikea catalog was delivered yesterday and I immediately spotted a toy that I have to have…..I mean my kids have to have.  A set of miniature iconic Ikea furniture!  The Huset Dollhouse Furniture set is new this year and its already a hit in Europe.   I dont think I can get to Ikea fast enough and I have a feeling that it’s not even in our American stores yet, but Im going to see anyway.

IKEA HUSET Doll's House Furniture

Ikea Dollhouse furniture

IKEA HUSET Doll's House Furniture

The European bloggers are already having fun with this set, this blogger has set up a well designed barbie house with it, check out all the pictures here:

ikeadollhousefurniture1 ikeadollhousefurniture12

I hope Ikea has manufactured A LOT of these sets, I definitely need two.  I have a feeling Macy wont want to share hers with Hudson and I think that its not specifically designed for girls, so he’s going to want it too.

I did a little looksie around the web and the idea of miniature ikea furniture has been introduced before, a New York Times article featured a dollhouse crafter that created her own modern furniture when she couldn’t find any available.  Check out some of her amazingly styled and handmade ikea dollhouse pieces: new-york-times-modern-miniature-dollhouse-ikea-bookshelf


Many modern furniture enthusiasts collect miniature Vitra chairs, I thought about it myself but being they cost several hundred anyway, I’d rather just invest in the full size chair.


Vitra Miniatures Source


Vitra Miniatures Source

If you know me, you probably know that I have a little obsession with designer chairs and have a pretty good collection that Im proud of, but the miniatures are so cute and tempting, so big thanks to Ikea for making affordable modern miniatures for me (I mean my kids) to indulge in!ColourCheck: Proof Magnus G

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Filed under City Mouse + Country Mouse, Design 101

Candy Coated Artist


I have a sweet treat for you all today.  Its not my usual style of posts but when this New York Magazine issue was delivered in late February I  knew that my readers would appreciate it as much as me.  I am in love with these confectionary images of Elle Fanning by artist Will Cotton, who’s work explores the themes of temptation, gluttony and indulgence.  The surreal landscapes and saccharine sweet muses he paints are a dreamy stroll through Candy Land.

“The paintings often feature scenery made up entirely of pastries, candy and melting ice cream. He creates elaborate maquettes of these settings from real baked goods made in his Manhattan studio as a visual source for the final works. Since about 2002, nude or nearly nude pinup-style models have occasionally populated these candy-land scenes. As in the past, the works project a tactile indulgence in fanciful glut.”  – Greg Lindquist 
ellefanning_willcotton2 ellefanning_willcotton3 ellefanning_willcotton4 ellefanning_willcotton5 ellefanning_willcotton6 ellefanning_willcotton7 ellefanning_willcotton8 ellefanning_willcotton9 ellefanning_willcotton10 ellefanning_willcotton11 ellefanning_willcotton12

ellefanning_willcotton15ellefanning_willcotton14I highly recommend continuing your sugar high with a quick jump to his website HERE.

And if you think that his style is something you’ve seen before, then you have probably seen Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album cover or her “Califorina Gurl” music video.  Both are works by Will Cotton, click HERE to get a scoop on that.

katy perry_willcotton

Katy Perry by Will Cotton

Now if only I had enough room in my apartment for a sculpture like one of these?
againstnature_willcotton delight_willcotton


Filed under Design 101, SugarCoated

A Tour of the Historic TWA Flight Center

The TWA Flight Center was designed to capture  the spirit of flight.  Completed in 1962, this bird is undoubtedly the most famous architectural work of Eero Saarinen.  Composed of four thin-shell concrete lobes and fully supported by only four piers.  The main lobby’s soaring, swooping walls and sculptural staircases stretch onward until they reach the cavernous ceiling, the beginning becoming its end and the end becoming its beginning again.   Theres no doubt when you see this building that you know it is special, which is why the city of New York designated both the interiors and exteriors a historic landmark in 1994 and has spent 20 million to restore it so far.

“All the curves, all the spaces and elements right down to the shape of the signs, display boards, railings and check-in desks were to be of a matching nature. We wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully-designed environment, in which each part arises from another and everything belongs to the same formal world.”—Eero Saarinen, 1959 from Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser. Architecture in the Twentieth Century. p250

The terminal was in use until 2001, changing hands throughout the years to American Airlines and now Jet Blue. Restoration of the “head house” is now mostly complete and the building is opened up for public and private tours a few times a year.  Hudson and I were fortunate to attend a very intimate tour sponsored by Archtober and AIA last week.  I have over 50 blog worthy photos, its been hard to narrow it down to the very best but here it goes!

I had built up Hudson’s excitement by telling him that we were going to see a building that looks like a spaceship.  He only heard “spaceship” and was very excited to go.  Saarinen did not disappoint this two-year old.  Hudson’s favorite spot was in the sunken red lounge, that is until he discovered the red tubes.  We entered our tour at the original main entrance, unlike the UHNY tour where Jet Blue opens terminal 5 for visitors to enter through the tubes, so unfortunately I could not let Hudson run down them like he wanted too via Catch Me If You Can style.

Hudson modeling for Banana Republic’s fall/winter ads

The upstairs lounge portions of the head house are not restored yet.  Most of my pictures are cringe worthy, so I’m going to spare you the disgust.  Sometime during the during the 80’s and 90’s it was someones grand idea to remodel the lounges with cherry and brass.  Really.  I have also come across photos from the 90’s that show very unsympathetic alterations to the building’s character, such as floor to ceiling drapery on the 30 foot wing windows, ramps over the grand stair entrance and the sunken lounge was leveled!  I don’t know if the photos I’m including are of original lounge furniture and details but they aren’t far off from the feeling that Saarinen used in the rest of the building.  I enjoyed looking for construction elements that we are not allowed to do in American anymore because of our strict building codes.  Besides there only being stairs to the second level, there were other non accessible areas like entry to the back of the grand information desk and narrow doors

I had to rush through the second floors, running out of time and Hudson out of patience (he was really distraught about not being able to run down the red tubes) but I got some great shots of the first floor from up there.

But my favorite photos to take are always of the details, so here’s for all you detail oriented designers!

I also caught two great photos on my way out, these are exterior shots at the front of the building.

As an interior designer I was ecstatic to come across the survey drawings for the restorations by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects, here are 2 of my favorite sheets from the set.

I hope that the restoration continues for the TWA Flight Center and I plan on returning to any tour that I hear about, it is truly an amazon building to visit.


Filed under Design 101, I heart NY