We Are a Part of the Patchwork Nation

Patchhhhhhhhwwwwworrrrrrk! Say it for the people! Say it for the children! Do you think Obama's entire inaugural address could be set to the tune of Rhythm Nation? It's undoubtedly best not to find out, but what a speech! It was especially nice to have a president acknowledge what every American already knows: hey, we're all different, and that's a good thing. So put away the one size fits all rhetoric of the past, and enjoy the pretty fruits of our collective, cobbled together heritage, design style.

tom mannion

Photo via Innumerable Goods

Patchwork quilts and pillows have long held the symbolic weight of history -- a scrap of grandpa's shirt here, a square of baby's first blanket there, and in time a singular piece of fabric weaves together the stories of generations. Perhaps the zeitgeist of changing history is sweeping through the land, because patchwork is EVERYWHERE, but this ain't your grandma's country quilt.

patchwork egg chairs tal r

Nosireeebob, patchwork can be modern, even mod. Arne Jacobsen's seminal Egg Chair, reconfigured by artist Tal R, is bright, bold, and one of kind -- awww, just like us. Look! There's even a stars and stripes model. And that actually makes me... proud.

patchwork couch

Patchwork goes haute in this gorgeous living room featured on Desire to Inspire. I will take the entire room, please, but the space would be bland city without the sofa, which looks like it was produced by Squint Limited, makers and purveyors of all things bright and patchy:

squint patchwork couch

squint kissing bench

squint patchwork bed

Can you even imagine all the labor that must have gone into the tufting on that headboard?! And I enjoy peeking into their studio in the background... I would love to rifle through their stacks and stacks of fabric scraps. But for me, the real prize is that kissing bench. Momma like.

patchwork headboard

This headboard featured in Living Etc is a little more DIY friendly, but still patchylicious. I love the tiny red buttons hidden in the tufts, like secret surprises only sleepers can see.

batchwork bokja

For some global flava, these patchwork couches made of treasured Turkish tapestries by Bojka are singularly spicy and delicious. Found on super blog, Double Takes.

bertjan pot patchwork

Ok, this patchwork beanbag couch by Bertjan Pot is kind of like something my grandma used to have, but it's so much more squishy and inviting than grandma's hard, lumpy, bumpy seating. I envision a sleepover party with pillow fights and popcorn, but don't eff up my rad duct tape rug, you messy beasts.

boca do lobo patchwork

We can't let fabric have all the fun. Welcome to the patchwork party, crazy case goods by Boca do Lobo (designers with a cute wolf logo). This inspires me to paint all the drawers in my buffet table different colors, although I think I might fail to capture the full range of awesomeness without some mad carpentry skillz.

patchwork boca do lobo

Speaking of mad carpentry skillz:

patchwork amy hunting

I'm sure fitting all those tiny pieces of wood waste and off-cuts together into something -- anything -- was challenging. Making an actual load bearing chair out of scrap is pretty damn impressive. Good job, Amy Hunting!

Meanwhile, I have a minor obsession with vintage patchwork goodies, but not quilts...

paul evans sofa

paul evans cityscape

I'm a woozy floozy for pretty much anything in Paul Evan's Cityscape series. Super shiny patchwork metal casing + ultra square lines = unmitigated lust on my part. Meow. Both pieces available at 1st Dibs if you got the money, honey.

cibone patchwork tea service

Yes, the times they are a changing. So why don't we all sit down over some tea to talk about it? This Tea For Two set by Vika Mitrichenka is sure to get the conversation flowing. How about, you say "Toe May Toe" and I say "If you break my fancy tea set, this happy fun time tea party is over, pronto." Oh, alright. I say "Toe Mah Toe." Because, thanks to Obama I'm feeling warm and fuzzy like that.

Industrial Chic Part Deux: Non-Lighting (and Also Some More Lighting Because I Said So)

Ok, wonderful readers, in my quest to bring back that bright and shiny feeling of hope and growth and prosperity, I'm taking our bandwidth to the max to present a day of industrial inspired furnishings that evince the streamlined yet utilitarian perfection of yesteryear. I have so many pictures that it may be a miracle if I don't find myself babbling in a rudderless sea of despair somewhere around the middle of this post, but right now I feel GOOD, so let's capitalize on this moment and get started, shall we? Come on in!

deco doors

These fantastic Art Deco doors welcome you to a tour of machine age simplicty, of Bauhausian form and function, and obviously of scintillating surfaces sure to dazzle the eye.

Yesterday I showed a lot of kitchen pictures because it seems so easy to integrate the industrial aesthetic into a space devoted to utility. Let's review with this image from Desire to Inspire:

desire to inspire

Apparently the lighting, cabinets and stools, are of the vintage medical/dental persuasion, and given the sterility of those environments, it's easy to see how those pieces work well in a food prep space. I'm not normally a fan of bar stools, but I like that pair.

i suwannee

Here's a homier set up courtesy of I Suwannee's lovely blog, and while I adore the articulated lamp, I'm really fixated on the stools. Actually, it seems like vintage laboratory style stools have been cropping up everywhere lately:


Clockwise from the top left: Super cheap industrial stool from School Outfitters, Alchemy Stool from CB2, Rollie Stool from AvroKo (via the fabulously Nerdy Fashionista), and Modern Times Stool from Sundance.

If you're looking for something a little less curvy, you could always pull these stools from Crate and Barrel up to your farmhouse table:

crate and barrel

I'm guessing that you savvy readers saw the home of ersatz director Roland Emmerich in The New York Times. If not, I'll skip the craziest rooms and go straight for the highlights:


Love the webby wire chairs with the wooden table, the gorgeous stainless cubby, and holy moly, yet another bank vault in a home!


This room is kind of Captain Insano amazing... check out the lamp, the vintage dental chairs, and the repurposed airplane desk (and the chalkboard wall that totally makes this room happen).


Continuing on the wartime industrial magical mystery tour, this bed has a custom headboard made from a plane parts. Do you think he dreams of flying? (Also, I think the headshot on the nightstand is of him, which is kind of... different. But the GI Joe is hilarious!)

If you want your very own piece of a plane, check out LA Designer Voila's booth at the recent SF Art and Design Expo, which Leah from More Ways to Waste Time so elegantly documented:


Lo and behold, Voila carries all kinds of recycled sheet metal pieces, which have found new uses as homey aesthetic anchors:


This desk looks like it's primed for lift off!

For those of us with slightly less adventurous tastes, these pieces from Sultana (formerly known as X21) could easily blend with contemporary rustic and vintage 70's furnishings.


The desk is a little, tiny bit expensive, and ok -- the bookcase isn't much cheaper, but I can honestly say that Sultana is THE GREATEST STORE I HAVE EVER BEEN IN. The top floor is crammed full of 1st Dibs caliber pieces, and the bottom floor is a labyrinth of of the most amazing "castoffs" you have ever seen. Deals abound. I found a sweet Milo Baughman chrome base couch for $400 bucks, people. Plus the guy who runs the store looks exactly like The Dude from The Big Lebowski. If you are ever in SF, go there. You will find something.

My friend and I were drooling over the vintage industrial stainless cabinets, kind of like these:

stainless cabinets

The one on the left is designed by Piet Hein Eek, available through Cibone, and the one on the right appears courtesy of the Ferm Living blog. When I used to live in Hawaii, they had tons of those at the State Surplus, and I even saw one or two (sadly, already sold) at the Austin State Surplus. So if you have access to your local surplus, it may be worth a look.

Warning: the next image is so powerful that when I saw it on Miss Raina's awesome blog, If the Lampshade Fits, I nearly wet myself.

jeff andrews

Yeah, I'm busting out with 70's architectural modern, but it works as industrial, right? I'm not going to split hairs when I can't stop staring at this hot number from Jeff Andrews Designs, who has hereby earned a spot in the Design God Pantheon with this room.

Plus it inspired me to think outside of my tufted box and check out these fancy furnishings:

Gorgeous hunk of burning chair from the previously mentioned AvroKo:

avro ko

The original gangsta Brno chair reissued through Room and Board was designed in the 1930's by his majesty Mies van der Rohe (and you can ditch the tulip table. Really. It's ok):

brno chair

I'm getting tired and punchy... told you this would happen. Know what always makes me feel better? Coffee (tables)!

coffee tables

coffee tables

Clockwise from the top left: Spool table by CB2, vintage red firehose table that I desperately want at Sultana, crazy 1940's coffee table at 1st Dibs, Bradley Hughes coffee table on casters (via Raina at La Lampshade).

Nope. Not done yet. Perhaps you already have some ladderback farmhouse chairs, but you really want to mix them up with a more modern dining table?

Below: 70's chic Rivet Table on left by CB2 (if their lighting was better, they'd be my one stop mid-price interiors shop), uber hot 40's metal table on casters at 1st Dibs on the right. You know, I think I like just about anything on casters...



Above, tables on a smaller scale: Lime green desk at left by CB2 (on casters for under $150! Use it as a console table, perhaps?) and stainless table on right by Ikea. It's for a kitchen, but who cares? Why should they have all the fun... use it as a console table or desk. For even less than CB2's version, you can buy two.

Ok, we're almost done here, but I'm throwing in a couple of home porn pictures via Desire to Inspire that show the most amazing industrial lights (I know, I know... I already did that post, but I think you'll thank me for this anyway).

desire to inspire

Don't you LOVE the eclectic mix of things in this room? Mix and match eras at will, just keep the color and pattern minimal if you're going to wildly vary shapes, textures and scale. One more:

desire to inspire

This is probably the kind of person I'd be if Hunny Bunny would let me. A freaky pack rat with a penchant for 40's lighting and a row of bald mannequin heads to watch over me. Yes I would.

Random Post Generator

Kids, drinking is wrong. But sometimes it is a necessary evil -- for example, when celebrating birthdays. And sometimes drinking leads one to fall out of one's chair, thereby bruising one's delicate derriere, although one might forget that it even happened, save for the twinges of painful reminders while sitting. Which generally occurs from the hours of 9 to 5. And oftentimes one does not sleep well after a night of imbibery, thereby ensuring that morning shall come too soon and the day shall be hellishly long. And writing is the LAST thing one wants to do, as all that type type typing disturbs the lovely silence, and also because the cursor is dizzying. Eventually one is forced to seek out flashy means of entertainment, as one has the attention span of a gnat. Behold:

little joseph

Little Joseph candleholders by Qubus please one. One fantasizes about plugging Little Joseph's head hole with multicolored candles, and one laughs.

piggy bank

One also enjoys all kinds of piggy banks, but one is especially enthralled by this piggy bank cast from a real suckling pig.  One has read that piggy died of natural causes, and also that $10 from the sale of each pig shall be donated to the Humane Society. That makes one happy.

pig table

Actually, as a general rule, one likes pigs, and one also covets Karly's gold panther platter tables, so why not a gold pig platter table?

gnome table

Conflict! One cannot have two tables, and one LOVES gnomes. One may or may not have had a David the Gnome fetish as a child... One also finds it funny that Philipe Starck designed a gnome table.

moor table

One does NOT want this table, as one is totally offended by the idea that a "Blackamoor" (foolish term courtesy of the seller... one would never be caught dead saying such things) should be forced to carry cocktails. One feels that whomever purchases this table is a bad person. Not that one is judgmental, or anything.

baby hand soaps

One's agitation is soothed by these multiracial baby hand soaps. One likes the tiny baby fist that appears to say, "Fight the power!" in tiny baby sign language.

bust of lenin

One very much DOES want this bust of Lenin covered in traditional Czech patterns. One never realized how Lenin's facial hair makes him look uncannily Satanic, but one is entertained by his creepy visage in juxtaposition with the pretty pretty flowers.

One feels better now.