bits of inspiration – #87.

Reading this Huffington Post article yesterday about a home designed by Japanese architect, Issei Suma, I was struck by how the woodland structure seemed so simultaneously modern and whimsical. While these styles seem in some ways at odds with one another, upon reading Suma’s biography on his own site it’s clear that these sort of contradictions are at the very heart of his approach. His “about” page reads like this:

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The home he has designed will serve an altruistic purpose as a cafe and guest house for the elderly, run by a social worker and a cook who serve the surrounding community. The structure, situated in the mountain ridge in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture, has an almost magical serene quality to it’s design. The exterior form projects a kind of ethereal woodland aesthetic, while the inside of the home has the feeling of a really modern spa or retreat space. I’ve included some of my favorite images below. Definitely head over to the original article for more details and check out Suma’s professional site to see more from his portfolio.

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photo courtesy of Takumi Ota Photography

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photo courtesy of Takumi Ota Photography

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photo courtesy of Takumi Ota Photography

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photo courtesy of Takumi Ota Photography

bits of inspiration – #86.

One of my favorite things about living in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood is the proximity to so many beautiful historic brownstones. Marveling at the facades of these buildings is a true pastime of mine so naturally I was very excited when Boston Magazine published an article this week profiling one of the artisans of these homes. Trained as a cabinet and furniture maker, John Carlton transitioned to making and restoring historic doors in 2005. Carlton’s one-man shop, Historic Door Corporation, has been inundated with requests ever since. I loved reading about his love for his craft and the efforts Carlton takes to insure that every door he creates is historically accurate to the home it adorns. I’ve collected some of my favorite examples from Historic Door’s portfolio below and  I’d encourage everyone to read the full profile from Boston Magazine.

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All photos courtesy of Historic Door Corporation

bits of inspiration – #85.

Considering how flawless she looks at every red carpet event, it should be no surprise that Jessica Chastain has impeccable taste. Looking through photo’s from her home tour, posted on Architectural Digest earlier this month, I was so inspired and impressed by the sophistication and elegance of the NYC apartment she shares with her boyfriend (fashion executive, Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo). In the corresponding interview, Chastain reveals that much of what drew her to purchase this particular apartment was the sentimental personal connection she felt to the unit’s history and previous owners. Head over to the original article to read the details and see some of my favorite rooms below.

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bits of inspiration #84. – Maylee’s Little Country Playhouse 

Oirignally featured on May Me and Mom.

This would have seriously been my dream as a child (and maybe still as an adult). Maylee is lucky to have such a crafty mom with great taste!

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We have been working on this project for awhile now and have been so excited to finish it so we could share it with everyone. Earlier this summer my mom had a neighbor move and they were selling their play set. Right away my mom had a vision of making it into an adorable Playhouse for Maylee so she decided to buy it. She ended up getting it at a great price! Below is how we got it. There was some wood missing from places and had just been worn from weather a little bit. There wasn’t much that needed fixed just cosmetic fixes.


The first thing we did was remove the divider  in the bottom of the playhouse. We wanted to create a larger room for kids to play in. We then added mini shiplap boards  to enclose the back to make it seem more like a house. We…

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labor day weekend in mystic, ct.

“To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?”
– Walt Whitman

Sharing some photos from a lovely long weekend spent in Mystic, Connecticut. The forecast looked pretty dismal going into the weekend due to the impending tropical storm, Hermine. We had some overcast moments but overall the weather was great and I loved spending time in another seaside town. Lots of eating, drinking, shopping and recreating iconic scenes from Titanic – a perfect Labor Day weekend.

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bits of inspiration – #82.

The world’s first art exhibit intended exclusively for dogs took place earlier this month in the UK. Artist and designer, Dominic Wilcox, curated and contributed pieces to World’s Art Exhibition for Dogs wich was on display at a London gallery from August 19-20. Despite its short run, the groundbreaking show has garnered significant press. Read more about the show here and scroll down for more images.

Contemporary art exhibition just for dogsphotography courtesy of Mikael Buck

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photography courtesy of Mikael Buck

cape cod: house of shifting sands.

Boston Magazine recently published an article about an incredible piece of modern architecture on the outer cape. The article on the House of Shifting Sands doesn’t reveal the home’s exact location (though I’m very curious now) but the beach and dunes pictured are very reminiscent of some of the more secluded portions of the Truro and Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

Wherever it is, the house is truly a wonder – both in design and engineering. The home, designed by the Ruhl Walker architecture firm, employs solar panels and a sophisticated heat exchanger to produce zero carbon footprint. Despite it’s modern appearance, the House of Shifting Sands was designed to feel like a part of its surrounding environment. Photos below are all courtesy of photographer Jane Messinger whose portfolio site includes other breathtaking homes. I’d encourage you to check those out if you like what you see here..

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Photo courtesy of Jane Messinger


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Photo courtesy of Jane Messinger


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Photo courtesy of Jane Messinger


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Photo courtesy of Jane Messinger

bits of inspiration – #81.

This month, students at the MIT Media Lab are debuting interactive temporary tattoos in partnership with Microsoft Research. The product is called DuoSkin and frankly, it’s incredible. The technology allows users the ability to interact with other smart devices in a handful of ways and can be programmed to change color when your body temp changes (like a much more sophisticated mood ring). I wont attempt to explain how the technology works but head over to their site or watch this video to learn more.

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