4.27.2011

two turkish bedrooms

the bedroom in catherine & zeki özdoğan's istanbul pied-à-terre (image from at home in turkey, photographed by solvi dos santos)
 an all-white background sets off the bed covering from malatya, turkey that was originally a curtain used to divide communal living space in a nomad's tent.  it was dyed with saffron and madder.  the kilim on the floor is also from southeastern anatolia.  this bedroom makes me want to paint all my walls white and save my pennies for colorful antique weavings.

turkish fashion designer rifat ozbek's bodrum peninsula bedroom (image from at home in turkey, photographed by solvi dos santos)
so many colors and prints and textures all working together harmoniously.  how cheering!  turkey is in my top 5 would-love-to-visit countries.

detail of rifat ozbek's bedroom (image from at home in turkey, photographed by solvi dos santos)
a genius arrangement of columns and striped fabric create a striking display for books, objects and art.  next time i happen upon some weathered old posts at an architectural salvage shop, i'm bringing them home for this expressed use.

4.24.2011

happy easter!

tumeric, onion skins, red cabbage, beets and coffee as dye
in process

4.13.2011

contemplating contests

the media corner at home is filled with books, records, magazines and stereo equipment
this afternoon i noticed that apartment therapy's small/cool contest is currently accepting entries for 2011.  i entered in 2008 and while i enjoyed the process of trying to make our small logan square apartment look good on camera then, i realized that i'm not motivated to re-enter this year.  i do enjoy our current oak park apartment in many aspects but there are certain architectural elements and layout issues that prevent me from being truly enamored with the space.


the black hole of the tv, with ollie
one of biggest spacial challenges in the living room is that there are no long uninterrupted walls.  each wall has some kind of doorway/radiator/window/fireplace/closet obstruction.  our sofa is pretty standard length-wise but to be able face the tv while sitting on it, i had to remove the door of the living room closet (and replace it with a white curtain) and even still, the sofa extends into two flanking doorways.  one of the selling points of the apartment was the decorative fireplace and i can't say i like having to cover it up with a tv stand.  i don't feel too bad about it though because the tile behind is just plain black with no interest all at.  (it was serendipitous, however, that the width of the ikea unit is exactly the width of the tile.  i only had to saw off some of the height of the vertical back panel to fit it perfectly.)  at least the mantle is still fully visible.  there are other problems too, like a too-small kitchen, an awkwardly deep closet and storage-lacking bathroom.  despite all that, the place is still cozy and i'm happy to live here.

the preparation for entering the small/cool contest is a lot of work and i don't much stand a chance to win anyhow so i'm happy just to observe what everyone else in the world is up to in their little homes.  my own energies feel better spent elsewhere right now.  after all, it's finally spring.



4.07.2011

handsome devil

a home in oak park, illinois.  very un-prairie.  c. 1907.
i suppose this house looks a bit foreboding here.  serious with its dark brick, black shutters, leafless trees, white sky.  but as usual, i'm taken with the good-looking proportions and strict architectural order, and so i forgive its stuffiness.

complete with picturesque swagged curtains in the downstairs windows.
this imposing facade will soften when the trees leaf out (will they ever?).  i do wish the owners would dig out the yew hedge and plant something robust and messy like hydrangeas.  i've found that many of the grand homes in oak park have very little beyond the most basic mow-and-blow landscaping, which baffles me because i assume most of these people could easily afford a real gardener even if they didn't deign to dirty their own hands.  plus, oak park is an international tourist destination because of it's concentration of frank lloyd wright homes, so come on, people!  don't you want to show off a little?  spruce up your yards!

4.04.2011

i keep coming back to this one

the shine of the gold stool and of the black lampshade add zing
this image initially caught my eye because i have a pair of similarly hued velvet armchairs that were an incredible find at a thrift store here in chicago.  but what keeps me interested in this room is the play between the femininity of the wine-colored tufted linen, the masculinity of the charcoal grey carpet and the boldness of the graphic striped painting.  it's the dynamic sydney living room of chef-caterers John Wilson and Peter Lin as decorated by Iain Halliday of BHK.  (Vogue Living Australia, Mar/Apr 2010)

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