Aline Yamada

Looking for a illustrator for my new website I found Aline Yamada. She makes fantastic illustrations.
illustration, aline yamadaaline yamada illustration

Grey Crawford

Fantastic photographs by Grey Crawford.

Baggu, reusable shopping bag

The Baggu bag is the new it bag. Made from 100% rip stop nylon. It's easy to carry and you can Machine wash it in cold water. I think it's time to stop using those plastic bags for once and for all. The Baggu bag is still not in stock for shipping but it’s expected to be available sometime in July. Read more about it here.

Kids Factory

Kids Factory is a store in Amsterdam with great products for children. This site is also a great inspirational source for anyone who is planning to decorate a kid's room.

Bedroom Dilemma

I just received this question from Jenna who is planning to redecorate her bedroom. This is what she wrote. "Hi! This Summer I am planning on redecorating my room! I really want to use pink, but I want my room to look sophisticated and not too little-kid-ish because I am a junior in High School. Also, my room is really small so I don't think that I should use a shade that is too dark. Do you have any pictures of pink rooms that I could use for inspiration because I'm feeling pretty lost!! Thanks, Jenna V." I can see you are a bit afraid of using dark colors Jenna, you should know that as long as you have good lighting in the room it's ok. Lighting is one of the most important things in decoration. If you still find some of these walls a bit dark you can always go one or two shades lighter. Good Luck and let me know how did it go.

Pictures above are from Living etc, Domino mag and Ghislaine Vinas.

Fumi Minnie Nakamura

Beautiful drawings by Fumi Minnie Nakamura. The yielding colors are just stunning. Fumi was born in Shimizu, Shizuoka, Japan and currently lives in South Bay.

Nadja Girod

Nadja Girod creates cute bags and many other products from lovely vintage fabrics. I love this Coin Purse.


My thoughts on the heart of the house

I think the focal point of most homes, irregardless of the house layout tends to be the kitchen. It’s the one room (like the bathroom one hopes) that you’ll visit at least once a day. Hence the attention to detail and layout in kitchens deserves the effort companies are putting into it. Little things like correct sink height for end of day washing up, to handy storage of oils and spices by the stove, can make all the difference.

Delving through from a link on Mocoloco today revealed the Arclinea Mediterranean range.

This little number, pictured, with a central preparation bench leading to an in-kitchen dining area is great. The preparation triangle is a little stretched - I can’t see the fridge but the larger layout works for me.

Ideally there should be a preparation chain from fridge, to basin, to chopping board, to stove or oven. In the above, that would place the fridge beside the sink on the right. The final prep before cooking area faces out to the table where everyone not helping congregates.

For me, the ideal chain is streamed into two.
1. Fridge, to basin and peeling area, to chopping board, to stove or oven
2. Fridge, to microwave, to chopping board, to stove or oven
This meaning that the chopping and cleaning area need to be side by side.

As cooking is a performance, when entertaining guests and flipping pancakes, the stovetop should be facing the table as well. The fridge, microwave and oven play minor roles in terms of attended time, placing them behind the performer, within reach, would be best. The above design shows a clear path from fridge, to chopping board, to stove, all whilst facing guests, or children playing at the table. The rubbish bin and dishwasher fit under the sink, along with pots and pans within easy reach of the stove and prep area with the plates and glasses in side units along the wall. Also, from waiting on the right side of the table, leaning back, you can peek at the oven.

Technically, hafting to pipe water, gas, extractor and electrics in to the centre island is costly and difficult, but I think worth the effort. Ideally the wash, chop, cook setup would be reciprocated outside with the BBQ, yet against a wall for the BBQ flue.

I’m not sold on ovens or microwaves being above waist height as they’re hard to lift in and out of. I do however like the idea of a double door fridge freezer and to top it all off, the must have - a large plasma screen TV - on the wall at the far end of the table, perfect for all to watch and out of the way.

Links: Arclinea

Anna French

These are a few of the amazing fabrics that Anna French designs. See more of her gorgeous fabrics here.

Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson is an artist who makes whimsical beautiful items. Below are some of my favorite.

Michelle Kaufmann Designs - Breezehouse & Sidebreeze

Michelle Kaufmann Designs
Breezehouse & Sidebreeze

Michelle Kaufmann Designs and their sister company mkConstructs produce IMHO some of the best prefab home designs around. Real attention to detail in the whole design floor plan, use of materials and emphasis on environmentally sound construction.



They’re Green
Rather than masses of fans and electric heaters, passive heating and cooling via breezeways and solid floor thermal masses for heat gain. They act like big warmth storage units, heating up during the day for release at night. Not to say at extremes the house would not require help, but the designs are really ‘sun focused’, cutting the assistance required. Being brought up with the windows and doors open all the time in summer, I can relate to a house that’s designed to let a breeze flow through, something that all houses in Brazil and northern New Zealand could do with.

The floor plans are simple with very few wet walls. With all of the mechanical, water and plumbing centralised, costs are cut and things are simpler to put together in the final install of the units. Green timber (renewable source) is used, water-saving plumbing fixtures, on-demand water heaters, and a mechanical ventilation system that is 30% more efficient than typical forced-air systems.

Flat roofs could easily accommodate solar panel arrays and water collection.

From what I can see, very little bar concrete floor pads and perimeter walls is construct onsite, leading to great efficiencies in terms of labour, less waste materials and reduced emphasis on onsite project management. Time is taken in offsite construction and design consultation. The other bonus of having everything built offsite in a warehouse is that weather delays are reduced.

Favourite designs
To be honest, they’re all great and suited to their purpose. Their product range provide solutions that fit most sites.My wife, who’s keen on having bedrooms upstairs away from the noise (and perhaps with them up high she feels more secure), likes the
The floor plan for this house is great, presuming the house is orientated correctly; the kitchen can have all day sun, as can the master bedroom. All rooms have opposing windows that allow airflow across the room and have natural light. Those that require less light are in the core of the house: bathrooms, end of kitchen, mechanical and laundry areas. Clerestory (I love that term) windows are a feature in the living/dining rooms too. These let winter sun in when it’s most needed to heat up the thermal mass floors.

I’m partial to the Breezehouse, as I love the idea of being able to get outside from every room. The layout leads to two small courtyards, easier to handle for the novice gardener and although being one level, the house and courtyards seem to create a secure area for kids to play in, although the having so many doors to lock would worry my wife

Many of the features found in the Sidebreeze, designed for narrower lots, come from the Breezehouse. So the same Clerestory windows, breezeway, central core plumbing, thermal mass flooring, open light feeling are in this design. What are also nice about both designs are the minimal external windows. With lots becoming ever smaller and neighbours ever closer, it’s nice to see that the house’s windows are introverted. Larger spans of glass look across the property rather than out to the neighbours.

Both designs would suit a ‘south facing view’ type lot as well. This is where I can see the many doors of the Breezehouse leading out down to the river or beach and the master bathroom’s external door getting use when arriving home sandy.

Also in their quiver are the original Glidehouse and the new mkSolaire designed for views and even tighter urban lots respectively.

I cant wait to see what their next design will be.


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