Good Gifts: For the Haute Hipster

Contrary to popular belief, not all hipsters are dirty. It's true that many are mullety and mustached, but lately I have sensed an upwardly mobile air about the bright young things. Maybe it's because they aren't quite so young anymore and were forced to clean up for their day jobs at Apple, or maybe it's just because style in general is trending away from whimsy. In an economy with an uncertain future, it's expensive to be a slave to flash-in-the-pan trends, and on the streets I'm seeing a lot of timeless classics with funky layered twists. Aspirational? Perhaps. But the true hipster will still thrift it whenever possible. Fake it til you make it, bitches.

And in that spirit, let the world know who's best in show with this vintage trophy inspired cream and sugar set. $18 from Etsy.

I've been snatching up vintage wool deck blankets by the dozens. I think I'm going to try to thrift some old belts or suspenders and rig up a carrying strap like so. If you're a holiday procrastinator like me, then you can just buy this one as a gift. Tick tock, says the Christmas clock... $78 at Urban Outfitters.

You need an Antoni Tapies poster of his Ultramarine Composition. It's like Yves Klein noir. $35 from All Posters.

Anything by Pierre Cardin is an acceptable gift (except for the perfume... you know what I'm talking about). These 70s French Opera style glasses are the bizness. $15 from Etsy. Pssst, if the glasses are not not right for your giftees, check out his vintage jewelry.

Neither inexpensive nor thrifted, this leopard pillow still hits all the right notes. Animal prints look cheap in the wrong fabrics, but this needlepoint cotton and wool number is klassy yet sassy so you can (safely) take a walk on the wild side. $215 from Ethan Allen.

Adjust your frame of reference to a geologic time scale with gorgeous agate bookends by Roost. Suddenly it seems the holiday madness will be over in the blink of an eye. $71 from Velocity.

I just don't feel like I can wrap up a Design Crisis gift guide without something gold and wildly expensive... Let's just say that this diamond studded, gold plated swiss army knife costs thousands of dollars, but I'm definitely feeling that a sweet vintage pocket knife is a good gift. Check your local pawn shop -- seriously. I mean, have you seen Pawn Stars? Madness. And because I know some of you want an online hookup, there's also a somewhat lesser version of this knife (but still gold!) available through Victorinox's online store for $145.

Don't you feel richer and more expensive, yet still edgy and cool just from reading this post? If not, go back and reread... you must have missed something. It can't be my fault. (Can it?) At any rate, I hope you got some good gift ideas. Now go buy something.

Dylan Thomas -- the Photographer, Not the Poet

For well over a year I've been nursing a crush on 70s design stars like Milo Baughman, Willy Rizzo, and Pierre Cardin, but I think the coke party may be over. Well, sort of. I can't just quit burl and chrome and brass and glass cold turkey, but I think it may be time to start mixing it up. Mixing with what, I have no idea, but recently I've been trying to broaden my horizons and garner inspiration from some unlikely sources. Enter Dylan Thomas, protege of famous royal photographer, Lord Snowdon.

Thomas has photographed everything from the home of fashion design team Preen to old money estates for World of Interiors, all in his signature moody, low contrast style.

It's all a wee bit frenchfied and don't worry -- I'm not going to go cat lady collector on you, but I am loving crazy fringe on pretty much anything, so that gets an instant pass from me. I also appreciate the mutedness of these spaces, the way almost nothing "pops." It looks expensive.

And it would probably look even better with my gleaming 70s Pace chrome and glass waterfall coffee table sitting pretty right in the middle of all that tattered history.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

I've been tagged by lovely Sherri of The Claw to play a little game, and hooray! lucky for everyone reading this, I love games. I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy, and the hardest part was whittling down a universe of goodness into an earth sized post. Let's get this party started, right? Quickly! #1. SLEEP

amazing bedroom

Rees Roberts

Having a baby means never sleeping again. Ever. Just thinking about cozying up in that bed and snoozing for eight straight hours makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And don't think I'm so sleep deprived that my glazy eyes missed that rock wall. After I wake from my beauty sleep, I plan to strap on a harness and scale that puppy... or maybe just sleep some more.



Francis Bacon

Artists with clean work spaces are like studio gangstas. You gotta make a mess to get shit done, yo... or at least that's what I tell myself when my house looks like this. Obviously, I am getting A LOT of shit done.




Ok, so maybe it's a not so little cabin, but let's face it -- asceticism was never my strong suit. I need polished floors and mod furnishings to make my stay in the wild worthwhile. Oh, and big fat windows from which I can view The Hunny doing his hot lumberjack routine outside (while I rest comfortably indoors, sipping a cocktail, thank you very much).



I took this picture about four years ago, and the cathedrals of Prague still set my flying buttresses atingle whenever I look at them. Someday we'll go somewhere again. Someday.



If the Lampshade Fits

I could probably open up a lighting store with just my leftover lamps and chandeliers. I can't walk into a thrift store without buying something electric, and lately I've been taking my light lust to Ebay in the hopes of snagging something as magical as this chandelier. Oh, and I'll also take the sideboard, the chairs, and the MARBLE wall. I'm passing on the dining table, because I don't want anyone to think I buy my furniture at Office Depot.


pierre cardin

Pierre Cardin

Did someone say Ebay? Well, I am currently OBSESSED with Pierre Cardin anything -- clothes, jewelry, and most importantly, furniture. The hot credenza in this pic is currently up along with an entire bedroom set in mint condition. If you have a ton of cash, let me try to talk you into buying it... you know it would look amazing in your house.


erin williamson

Hell yes, you know I love me some bargains! My house would be a barren wasteland without the bountiful trifecta of Craigslist, Ebay and thrift stores. That goes for the hoop chairs, Brian the golden deer, the marble and teak coffee table, the teak plantstand, the couch, etc. But not the rug. I can't do a recycled rug. Gross.


marilyn minter


I have a thing for big stuff. That sounds dirty, and maybe it is. After all, is it properly chaste to find my pulse racing at the sight of this colossal Marilyn Minter painting? I think not.


silver and gold togos

Richard Powers

And what's even better than silver and gold? Silver and gold TOGO COUCHES. Raina is probably having a heart attack right now. Sorry, babe!


ike roy

You suckas didn't think you were going to make it through this post without seeing a picture of Ike, did you? This one was taken on Christmas Eve in Hawaii, when we were out visiting my family. He's pretty cute, so I think we're going to keep him -- at least until puberty attacks.

That's it for the things that make me happy. Ok, there are a zillion more, but I ain't got time for all that. If one of you dudes want to play the game, let me know in the comments and I'll hook you up with a shoutout.


Well hootie hoo, guess what? I'm twisting Alison of Lipstick On Your Teeth's rubber arm and forcing her to play along. Go get 'em, tiger!