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Monday, August 5, 2013

Progress Report on Common Bond Design (nee Mother/Daughter Design Interest)

Hello! And thank you all for the messages inquiring about the blog's hiatus. We are alive and kicking. We just took the blog silent for a few months to concentrate on a few major developments. My mom and I have three active client projects right now (and one more in the hopper), but the real reason for our radio silence is...drum roll...www.commonbonddesign.com!

Back in 2012, we launched Mother/Daughter Design Interest on a platform called Blogger. I liked that it was user-friendly and, most importantly, free. But when I left my job as a regulatory analyst two months ago to launch a career in design (!), it was painfully obvious that our website needed an aesthetic boost. We contacted a friend and talented graphic designer, Amanda Pastenkos, to work with us on a new look. And since our client work has been picking up pace, it made sense to consolidate the blog and our design business under one name. 

There are still a few kinks to work out on the new site, but we're hoping to launch real soon. In the meantime (because I feel like I might physically burst if I have to keep a lid on these killer logos any longer), here's a sneak peak of what we've been up to since June:

Clockwise from top left:

The logo for Common Bond Design, the business. Courtesy of Amanda PastenkosIn my first meeting with Amanda, I asked for "modern, clean and minimalist-- but with a subtle nod to the mother/daughter connection." She nailed it! Did you catch the subtle nod? I admit, it took me a second to see it...

The logo for Common Bond Design, the blogCourtesy of Amanda Pastenkos. Continuity between business and blog was a driving factor in our site overhaul. But we also felt it was important to draw a distinction between the two. After all, the blog is a showcase for our aesthetic. And when executed correctly, client work should showcase the client's aesthetic.

Watercolor Social Media Icons. Purchased from Etsy Shop, LittleLadderCreative. I'm so happy we found a way to integrate these social media icons. Our new site is very crisp, so these hand-painted icons serve as a sweet counter note. Plus, I'm a sucker for teal.

Mr. Caterpillar via Instagram.This summer has been a lot of work-- but it hasn't been all work. I've been celebrating my emancipation from the office grind by slipping away for 3 or 4-day weekends at my parent's house in Bridgehampton, NY. The three of us have become obsessed with a swallowtail caterpillar family that moved into our herb garden. Mrs. Caterpillar went into chrysalis yesterday and this big guy started spinning his silk last night. This morning he was 100% ensconced. Check my instagram for the latest on #pupawatch2013. Nature=cool.

Herringbone Installation via InstagramOne of our client projects is under construction this summer. And while we can't take credit for the selection of herringbone flooring (kudos go to the homeowner), it was fascinating watching the workmen install it. Unlike plank flooring, each individual piece must be measured and cut individually. I am in awe of the patience and craftsmanship that goes into this kind of installation.

Pools, by Craig Fineman Image via Slate. Remember when I mentioned ages ago that we had a client project in Bridgehampton in the pipeline? Well, I would say it's about 75% complete now. And while we didn't wind up integrating large-scale beach photography, we came up with a really nifty (and very budget-friendly) plan for artwork. I'll hold off on revealing too many of the details until we do a final reveal, but it integrates these awesome skateboarding images by the late photographer Craig Fineman.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Stay tuned for the launch of commonbonddesign.com (plus instructions on how to continue to receive our posts via email, reader and/or rss feed!)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

An Iconic Design Gets a Summer Makeover

What do you do when the mercury hits 90 and your sleek leather Lama Chair suddenly feels sticky and unwelcoming? (An aspirational problem, to be sure.)

If you happen to be designers Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, you swap it out for a woven cord version. (And while you're at it, swap your Milan abode for a converted 17th century mill in Salento.)

To enjoy your Lama chair poolside, try this outdoor version:

This weekend, I plan to make a seasonal decor change of my own. Come Saturday, you'll find my window AC unit successfully installed. (Or possibly, in pieces on the street below my third-story bedroom window-- we'll see how it goes.)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Color Crush: Acid Yellow + Grey

source unknown. help!

As readers of this blog know all too well, I like a neutral palette. Especially one loaded with calming grey tones. But there's something about acid yellow that's calling to me. Against a silvery grey backdrop, it has a surprisingly soothing effect-- without being a 'taupe-on-taupe' snoozefest.

I'm keen to pair the hyper modern hue with an earthy tribal print, like this killer ikat chair from Furbish Studio. (How cool is the nude print? A steal at $28-- or take home the original for $365!) If your squeamish about acid tones, maybe a subtle neon zipper would do the trick?

Sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. Small Carnaby Acid Palm Lamp, Jonathan Adler - $195
  2. Nude Print II (8x10 print of original painting by Andrea M. Whalen) via Furbish Studio - $28
  3. Array Pendant, via Weego Home - $595
  4. Grey Ikat Chair, via Furbish Studio - $1,500
  5. Stripy Cushion (Grey), OYOY - $95 (available in the US via the Cool Hunter)
  6. Scamp Medium Table (yellow base/marble top), Blu Dot - $349

Monday, May 13, 2013

White Whale: Hans Olsen's Roundette Set for Frem Rojle

I think I may have discovered my white whale. Hans Olsen's Roundette Set for Frem Rojle tortures me. Well, technically, the source of my torture is the seemingly endless font of individuals on Pinterest, Apartment Therapy or Flickr who leave comments like:

  1. "Oh, my parents had one of these sets when I was growing up. They sold it at a garage sale for $20."
  2. "I have this dining set! Scooped it up at a thrift shop for $40."
  3. "My husband rescued one of these funny looking dining set off the curb just the other day. Not sure if I really like it..."
What!? Who are you people (especially you, no. 3. Cherish thy dumpster diving husband) and where do you live? I suspect I know the answer to the latter question-- it's "Not in NYC." This may be the greatest city on earth, but it's also a place where people recognize the worth of danish modern designs. But perversely, New Yorkers are the square-footage deprived population most in need of ready and affordable access to Olsen's ingenious design!

via Pinterest

I've run nearly 80 google searches using any and every word I could think of to describe the object of my desire to no affordable avail (FYI, the Bible is mute on the subject of coveting thy neighbor's vintage dining set.) Sure, there's an original Hans Olsen for Frem Rojle Dining Set available via 1st dibs for a cool $2,315 (not including shipping from the Netherlands.) Or Chelsea Textile's Olsen-inspired "Round Table with Four Chairs", which mystifyingly rings up for more than a vintage original at $3,282. (Although Chelsea Textile's color options are appealing.) But when do I get to stumble upon a garage sale gem or a garbage-heap dinette set?

Left: via 1st Dibs; Right: via Chelsea Textiles

I thought I'd experienced a breakthrough last night, when I stumbled upon this set of three vintage 3-legged chairs on Ebay described as "in the style of Hans Wegner" (a fairly common mix-up stemming, I think, from the similarity of Wegner's 3-legged Heart Chair. Also, I guess, they're both named Hans...) The seats needed new upholstery and the wood refinishing, but I was excited to restore them to their former glory. I spent dinner day dreaming about the magnificent transformation we'd undergo together, outside in the June sun, with a gentle sanding block and a sponge brush. I even sketched out a plan to build a corresponding table using parts from Tablelegs.com.

via Ebay listing

In retrospect, I was silly and naive to imagine that I could win an Ebay auction my first time out of the gates. I was the winning bidder for 3 hours. 3 hours in which I compulsively checked my email for news that I'd been outbid-- news that never came. Glued to my computer, I watched the auction count down to the final seconds when the Olsen chairs (at $40 a pop) would be mine. Then...a pop-up notification: "Sorry. You didn't win..." Huh? How is that possible? Clicking through the bidding history, I discovered that a much more savvy Ebay-er had waited until the final seconds to outbid me. So that I'd have no opportunity to bid again before the auction closes. SO SNEAKY! I feel robbed. (Albeit a little wiser on how to play the Ebay game.)

And so the whale hunt continues...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Habit | Habitat: Destination Austin

Growing up, my family always played a type of game on family vacations: what would it be like to relocate to our vacation destination? What neighborhood would each of us choose to live in? What would be our favorite neighborhood dining spots? What would be our go-to outfits as we attempted to fit in with the locals? (The latter being a higher priority discussion for my mother and me. My father is not known for sartorial variety.) Our answers usually turned into spirited debates over a final meal or while waiting at the terminal for our flight home.

Even though I don't always tag along on my parent's trips these days, I still like to keep the tradition alive when I travel on my own. It's particularly tempting to imagine relocating to Austin, where the lifestyle is active, the climate is hot and dry, and an abundance of creative energy is all around. (And the legendary food trucks aren't exactly a turn-off...)

I'm no fashion maven. But when I travel, I do like to observe what people are wearing in an anthropological way. Hence the the launch of a new column, HABIT | HABITAT. I started with a clothing that struck me as capturing Austin's distinct style-- a unique mix of cowboy, borderland, rock n'roll and indie. Then I translated that style into a room in my imaginary Austin home.

Hope you find Austin's laid-back, eclectic look as inspiring as I do. And if you're so inspired as to book your own trip, I absolutely recommend the very mod Airbnb rentals we stayed in-- a 2 BR House in South Austin and a 1 BR Guest House in East Austin.


Habit | Lila Mini, LemLem - $170

Habitat | sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Plant Pods by Domenic Fiorello, via Design Public - $100
  2. Vintage Safari Chair by Arne Norell, via LiveAuctioneers.com - no longer available (see similar here and here)
  3. Sunbathing by Beth Hoeckel (17x20" art print), via Society 6 - $35
  4. Tivoli Audio LLC Model One Radio (Frost White / Sunflower Yellow), via AllModern - $179
  5. Beep Lamp, Design by Conran for JC Penny - $260
  6. LAX Series Entertainment Shelf, via Smart Furniture - $980
  7. Navajo Rug/Weaving, via Allard Auctions - no longer available (see similar here)
  8. Knitted Basket by Ferm Living, via Fab.com - $55


Habit | Demma Embroidered Dress by Isabel Marant Etoile, via La Garconne - $505

Habitat | sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Pearl Accent Lamp, Design by Conran for JC Penny - $175
  2. Herringbone Woven Throw,  Design by Conran for JC Penny - $70
  3. You Rock My World Postcard, Sugarboo Designs 
  4. Long Horn Cow Decal by wallsneedlove, via ProjectDecor - $30
  5. Brimstone Cabinet, Design by Conran for JC Penny - $2,295
  6. Beam Bed, Dylan Design Company - starting at $1,840
  7. Neutra Boomerang Chair (2nd ed.), via House Industries - $1,500
  8. Eames Wire Base Low Table (Red.Orange), Herman Miller via Design Within Reach - $275

Until tomorrow,

PS As you might have spotted, I couldn't resist styling a few favorites from the Design by Conran for JC Penny collection. It's just too good!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recap: Austin Vacation

For me, a good vacation needs two qualities: relaxation and inspiration. Austin knocked it out of the park on both counts. 

Our schedule in Austin was fairly unambitious-- in the best way. We stayed in two awesome Airbnb rentals, took Hektor on a tour of Austin's dog parks, read our books, picnic'ed on a pontoon with friends, paddle boarded for exercise and turtle watching, hiked in Pedernales Falls State Park, scoped out UT's School of Architecture, ate tacos for almost every meal and fell asleep, bone tired, by 10pm every night. Happiness.

Tomorrow's post is chock full of Austin-inspired style. But for today, here's a quick instagram recap of our Austin vacation:

Until tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

High-Low Collaboration: Conran and Jonathan Adler for JC Penny

And we're back! (With April jam-packed with my Interior Design final presentation at Parsons, a bustle of activity with our freelance design clients, a staffing crisis at my law firm day job, my Austin vacation and my mom's trip to London and Paris, we decided an impromptu blogging break was advisable in the interest of preserving sanity.)

But I'm excited to return to blogging with a really fun announcement: JC Penny has launched collaborations with Sir Terence Conran and Jonathan Adler. The collaborations are part of the store's efforts to transform following years of diminishing sales and recent operational troubles. The "Design by Conran" collection is more furniture-heavy, with the "Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler" weighted more towards bedding and accessories, although the collection does include a few furniture pieces. My quick assessment is that the Conran collection is stronger than the Jonathan Adler collection, but then again, my aesthetic aligns more closely with Conran's and I suspect that a minimalist style may lend itself to a 'high-low collaboration' more smoothly than Adler's signature look. 

I rounded up my favorite pieces from each collection below. Which collaboration do you prefer? What items are you coveting? I'm particularly in love with the Lucina Table Lamp.


Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Beep Lamp - $260
  2. Colored Woven Throw (Yellow Lime) - $175
  3. Lucina Table Lamp - $175
  4. Candelabra - $70
  5. Hyale Console Table - $425
  6. Monk Chair - $1,125

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Lucina Floor Lamp - $345
  2. Coridon Storage Cabinet - $1,875
  3. Candlestick Holder - $30
  4. Grid Throw - $70
  5. Stacking Trays - $185
  6. Lulworth Sectional (right-arm facing chaise) -$2,895


Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Wood Triangle Leg Floor Lamp - $250
  2. Pedestal Bowl - $50
  3. Charlotte Ribbed Table Lamp - $28
  4. Bleecker 80 Sofa - $2,795
  5. Bleecker Nesting Tables - $485
  6. Bleecker 63 TV cabinet - $1,195