Yesterday was so cloudy but right at the end of the day the sun broke out and I found this incredibly chic woman chatting on Howard Street! That’s a great way to end a grey day, New York
At least five times a day Sherry gets asked: “What are those LED bulbs that John loves?” Sometimes it seems even more popular than the ever-present “where you’d get that thing in your house?” question (all answers are here, btw) or “what are those short girl jeans Sherry wears constantly?” (they’re these). Because as anyone who has listened to our podcast knows, I am, shall we say, particular about my light bulbs. And as we switched over our entire house to LED bulbs over the last few years, it has sent me down the wormhole of finding my favorite bulbs (and avoiding the ones that make my eyes extremely angry). Since one big pro of LEDs is that you won’t have to replace them for years – maybe even decades (many of them say 30+ years on the packaging) – I wanted to make sure I got it right.
And although we’ve spoken about them SEVERAL times on the podcast (did I mention I’m obsessive?) it’s not much help to all the people who regularly inquire about not being able to find “that blog post with our favorite light bulbs” (I even got a text like this from my own mom) because, well, that blog post doesn’t exist. Until now!
That’s a direct quote from my mom when she texted me about what LEDs to buy. While I’m not 100% certain what “heyday” of light bulb shopping she’s referring to, I can completely relate to the sentiment. The classic-but-energy-hungry incandescent bulbs are being phased out and the once-newfangled, higher efficiency CFL bulbs are looking downright oldfangled these days compared to LEDs. LEDs used to be crazy pricey, but have come down in cost considerably, meaning it’s finally practical for everyone to make the switch. Our favorites still aren’t as cheap as CFLs (they’re about $5/bulb) but they say the average person recoups that cost within a year or so by lowering their electric bill with their use. So off we set to upgrade our house to LEDs.
Before I get into our favorites, let’s talk about two intimidating terms on LED packaging: Kelvins and Lumens. They’re not nearly as complicated as they sound and (spoiler alert) you can mostly get away with ignoring them. Here are a couple of stupid word tricks I use to remember what those two mean (warning: cheesy mnemonics coming up):
But the good news is that most light bulb packaging still includes familiar shorthand. “Lumens” often correlates to a “wattage equivalent,” so if you’re currently using a 60 watt bulb in a fixture, you should be fine putting a 60-watt-equivalent LED in its place (typically around 800 Lumens). There are exceptions (like specialty Edison-style LEDs that have much lower light output) so it’s helpful to double-check the lumens on a label, but if that’s too much for your noggin to process – like it is for me sometimes – don’t fret.
Kelvins also has a plain English correlation, and that’s to terms like “warm white,” “soft white,” or “daylight.” Although these descriptors seem to be applied somewhat standardly, I’m a true maniac about color temperature so I always verify the Kelvin rating. Our go-to throughout our whole house (and the beach house) is a 2700K bulb, which is usually called a “soft white” bulb. I hate lights that are too cool or blue looking because I feel they make a home look cold or sterile – like a hospital or a Walmart. I know those “daylight” bulbs promise more accurate colors in your home, but they just don’t look right to me.
Picture an evening when you’re sitting down to a cozy fire and turning on some lights, maybe for reading or chatting with friends. You don’t want the room to feel too yellow, and you definitely don’t want it to feel blue and stark and cold, and that’s what daylight bulbs feel like to me after finding the right bulbs (say it with me: soft white 2700 Kelvins).
So let’s get down to business. Here are the 5 types of bulbs you’ll find in our house, starting with the heavy hitter and then moving to more special-use bulbs:
You’ll find this Cree 60W Equivalent Soft White LED light bulb in most of the fixtures in our house – lamps, overhead lights, sconces, etc. The price is one of the most affordable we’ve found, they sell them in bulk, and there’s not any sort of delay or humming that we’ve had with other brands. We stick to 2700K bulbs throughout our home and our beach house for the sake of consistency and simplicity, and only in some cases use corresponding 40W equivalents for a slightly dimmer light (like in the beach house’s bedside sconces). There’s also a candelabra version if you need that. And if you have recessed lights, here’s a soft white dimmable version of those that we love.
This Philips 60W Equivalent Clear Glass bulb offers the same light as our go-to Cree bulb, but the clear glass cover and Edison-esque filaments made it a better choice for exposed fixtures where the bulb is visible. They are a smidge more expensive but they’re far less visually intrusive than the Cree bulb’s frosted cover and chunky white base. So if you’ve got any bulbs that aren’t hidden behind a shade or a diffuser, these are a great option. There’s also a candelabra version of this bulb for chandeliers and such.
This specialty Philips Dusk To Dawn LED bulb incorporates a light sensor (that red dot) which allows the bulb to automatically turn itself on as the sun sets and then off when the sun rises. We put these in our front porch lights, meaning we no longer need to flip them on and off each day. It’s an extra little convenience that we’ve really appreciated and I’m only bummed I haven’t found a candelabra-equivalent yet for some other outdoor fixtures.
This is one area where I make an exception to my soft white rule. In work spaces or storage spaces like closets, garages, attics, or sheds, we’re not after that cozy “warm glow” of a soft white bulb – we need a bright, crisp light to find what we’re looking for! Our garage used to have two bare, incandescent bulbs struggling to illuminate the space. We swapped in two of these LED Flushmount Replacement fixtures that screw into a plain ol’ light bulb socket, making it look a bit more finished AND giving off a brighter cast. Suddenly things that were barely seen before are a lot easier to clearly find/see/use (which is a good thing when it comes to saws). They also sell a version with a pull-chain, in case you need that option too.
Lastly, for anyone else who’s incorporating smart home technology into our house, I’ve found these Philips Hue White bulbs to be an affordable way to go. They offer the same basic benefit of other smart bulbs: you can control them with your phone or your smart home speaker like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home. We even set up special routines so when we say “Alexa, Goodnight” downstairs as we walk out of the living room, our living room lights turn off and our bedside table lamps turn on upstairs to light the way as we walk in. I know, I’ve gone full nerd (and I couldn’t be happier). But unlike the pricier Hue Color Ambiance ($50), which can change to any color in the color spectrum, or the Hue White Ambiance ($29), which can change to any color temperature, these basic Hue White bulbs only produce my favorite 2700K, soft white light… and are downright cheap by comparison ($15).
I got a starter kit for Christmas that included two bulbs along with the required hub, so Sherry and I put them in our bedside lamps. Our favorite gimmick is to say things like “Alexa, turn John’s bedroom light to 22%” and it dims to exactly 22% of its total brightness. You can see the dimming in action in the Instagram below. They’re certainly more fun than they are necessary, but I thought I’d include them in this list just in case anyone else wants to get in on that smart light life.
So those are all of my time-tested, bought-them-with-my-own-money, favorite LEDs. And while they’re perfect for our house and our eyes (or at least my “special” eyes as Sherry likes to call them when I’m being particularly neurotic), I would recommend testing out a bulb or two in your home before committing to a houseload of new light bulbs. You may find that you have a different preference than us, and that’s fine… just as long as it’s not Daylight bulbs.
Sorta. Maybe not. ;)
P.S. For another post all about lights (and how to make certain fixtures look good together if multiple rooms open to one another) here’s a post all about that.
*This post contains affiliate links*
The post The Best LED Light Bulbs We’ve Found For The Entire House appeared first on Young House Love.
Most cars are designed to embody well established shapes, proportions and colors already associated with beauty. Beyond purely conceptual exercises or exceptional new models, automotive manufacturers rarely set out to tip the scales toward risk, especially rare in regards to cars adorned with an established lineage. Yet, the German giant BMW is setting out to shake things up with their newly unveiled Concept M8 Gran Coupe – a design expressing aspirations to redefine what a flagship means sitting at the vertex of their line-up.
Domagoj Dukec, Vice President Design BMW M and BMW i, says:
The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe is designed to stir things up, to polarise – it should move you emotionally. With this car we want to reach people who are looking for something special and who want to stand out from the crowd. Here, BMW M is unmistakably taking luxury out of its comfort zone.
Let’s begin with the Concept M8’s undeniably polarizing paint choice: Salève Vert, as it’s called, appears an electric green in most light or a greyish-blue in others, all depending upon surrounding lighting. The iridescence is achieved across the form with embedded micrometer-sized synthetic flakes, manipulating the reflection and refraction of light to the eyes.
But BMW implores to look beyond the eye-catching color and to take notice of the face of the Concept M8 Gran Coupe’s face-forward impression, one widening the contours of the car’s body through the execution of its emblematic radiator grille kidneys. Here, embellished in gold, and designed to accentuate the car’s low center of gravity, BMW’s signature front face is bookended with four-eyed headlamps, lighting technology originating from the seriously fast and quickly serious M8 GTE endurance racer. The hexagonal cat eye glare points inward toward the significant grill, floating above an assemblage of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic air intakes underneath engineered to deliver the performance associated with the M-Series.
In comparison to its immediate and direct predecessor the BMW Concept 8 Series, the Concept M8 Gran Coupe cues strikingly similar proportions. Accommodating the addition of two extra doors, a gentler downward taper from the roofline and softened creases adorn the sheetmetal. If the Concept 8 Series presented the pronounced musculature of metal tensed in preparation to go, the Concept M8 Gran Coupe relaxes this impression only slightly from the side, while doubling down on the angular and sculptural aggression from the rear.
Accessorized in gold-colored gills, brakes, wheel rim, twin exhaust tailpipes, and window graphic, the bold BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe will be easy to identify from previous generation M-Series models.Both the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe and and its M-Series iteration will sit atop of BMW’s stable for 2019 and beyond, with more details about its interior and performance yet to come.
Levi Sanders is joining seven other Democrats and three Republicans in the race for the 1st congressional district
Bernie Sanders’ son says he is running for Congress in New Hampshire.
Levi Sanders is joining seven other Democrats and three Republicans in the race for the 1st congressional district. Democratic representative Carol Shea-Porter is stepping down after her term ends.Continue reading...
Let’s face it, pets aren’t just pets. They’re a part of the family and because of that, they deserve all the comforts we do. You may have noticed that more and more designers are cleverly finding ways to incorporate furniture for our furry friends – the kind we’re not embarrassed to live with as soon as guests enter the front door. Cat furniture especially has been on the rise and the latest comes from RINN, the same Japanese brand that brought us their minimalist, automatic cat feeder, Petly. This time, they’re launching NEKO, a modern cat tree that gives your feline several spots to nap and a pillar to scratch.
The mostly wooden (from forests in the Hida region of Japan) cat tree features a marble base that holds a hemp cord covered pillar with three elevated levels for rest and relaxation. Each level is partially covered in Kvadrat fabric for additional kitty coziness.
Who would have thought that something so elegant would be designed for a cat? Gone are the days of those carpet-covered monstrosities, which can now be replaced with the wood and marble NEKO that will have your guests inquiring immediately.
if you’ve been reading here for a while, you know of my fondness for all things wes anderson (and more specifically, the charming mister anderson himself). so it would come as no surprise that this is my absolute new favorite instagram account: @accidentallywesanderson. it’s pure perfection with so many cinematic gems reminiscent of classic ‘wes-ness’ i had a hard time choosing just a few images to share with you. i’m obsessed with the color palette and symmetry of wes anderson’s eye so this account just brings me endless pleasure. should you also be a fan of the man, you might also enjoy this video which i found fascinating.
• all photographs courtesy of @accidentallywesanderson.
honestly, i don’t know quite what to say to you all, but yet again i find myself wanting to say something because ignoring this latest tragedy seems naive. we can’t just go on looking at pretty pictures, can we? i mean we have to but i’m sure you’re feeling much like me and thinking it feels a little bit shallow at a time like this when our country (our world) is grieving so much. and then i think, well that’s giving in to this terrorism, isn’t it? and i want to try not to do that. yesterday i was a ball of mess. i couldn’t focus, i cried most of the day and felt pretty well broken. and i wasn’t even directly affected like the poor families that were torn apart, forever shattered in one way or another. senseless sorrow that doesn’t have to keep happening. i am tired of hearing from our government that nothing can be done. Tragedies like this one don’t happen in other countries with stricter gun laws. it’s proven. and you can’t tell me that anybody in this country needs an semiautomatic weapon to protect themselves or their families. it’s utterly senseless to say that, so you can have your 2nd amendment but we have to have stricter laws to keep our world safe. jkrowling had this to wisely point out, and jimmy kimmel was so logical to me the other night when he tearfully spoke. he called out the senators who are in the pocket of the NRA, and asked for common sense and action from our elected officials to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again. there are some things you do if you feel the same — you can join everytown against gun violence or americans for responsible solutions. i’m not here to lecture, and if you disagree, i’m sorry, but i cannot keep hearing that there’s nothing we can do to stop this and i refuse to believe we simply have to accept this is our new normal. we can also be kinder to each other, we can love our families harder. we really just to do better as a country and as human beings. stay safe my friends. perhaps listen to this beautiful song, grieve and do what you need to do to get through this, but then i hope you’ll help fight to stop the cause of all this unnecessary sorrow.
• iconic poster by artist jean carlu.
Mexican design brand Studio davidpompa explores two timeless materials, cantera rosa and copper, and combines them to create two new lamps. The Ambra collection consists of a table lamp and wall lamp made from simple forms yet unlikely proportions. The results are the perfect examples of sculptural fixtures that are both striking and minimalist.
The Ambra Table lamp features contrasting textures with its copper cylindrical interior structure which partially fits inside the pink volcanic rock body. A round cantera disc rests on top of the copper tube and acts as a reflector for the hidden LED light. The lamp is outfitted with a dimmer switch to adjust the light’s intensity.
The Ambra Wall light comprises two round volumes, a copper base that attaches to the wall and a larger, cantera one that rests slightly skewed above it.
Studio davidpompa is presenting the Ambra collection at Diseño contenido during this year’s Design Week Mexico from October 4 – 8th, 2017.
Designed by SkB Architects for a growing Seattle family, The ToDD Residence was built on a corner lot with limited space available and a tight budget. The design references an urban farmhouse with a two-story, pitched roof structure attached to a single-story volume with a flat roof. The exterior is fairly scaled back with a contrasting color palette of gray and white, simple forms, and no extraneous details.
What would typically go in a backyard has been moved up to a side terrace that’s raised above the street for added privacy.
The home’s 1,970 square feet was thoughtfully designed to make the most of every square inch. The ground floor maintains an open floor plan, except for a guest bedroom, that comprises a living room, dining room, kitchen, and home office.
The living area benefits from two fairly private terraces, which expand the feel of the space.
Upstairs marks the private areas with bedrooms that are no larger than they need to be since most of the time is spent downstairs.
Photos by Lara Swimmer and Tim Bies.
Name: Karen Nepacena & John Shum
Location: Walnut Creek, California
Size: 1,663 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 4 years
Karen and John knew they wanted to raise their family in not just any mid-century modern home, but one specifically designed by the renowned real estate developer Joseph Eichler. "We fell in love with Eichler homes and mid-century modern design after seeing a nearby open house for a thoughtfully restored and renovated Eichler," Karen says. "We decided we wanted to live in an inspiring home like that one, as a place to raise our boys and entertain friends and family." When they toured this home and saw it's potential and the dreamy outdoor atrium, they knew it would be a perfect fit.
Online shopping can sometimes be a science when it comes to saving money. With all the coupon codes, social media campaigns, free shipping hacks, and surprise sales, a person needs to be savvy in order to tap into all of the available resources. In order to help you get the cheapest possible price the next time you go shopping, here are online shopping tips from real thrifty and money-minded people. Buy more for less from now on!
Design director Sam Soulek and his wife Natalie, an esthetician, had been hunting for the perfect mid-century house for two years when they finally came across this ideal option 10 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, MN in Golden Valley. The space boasted everything the pair wanted: untouched original details, an open floor plan, and a patch of woods just outside the back door. Such a well-preserved gem came with a hefty price tag, though — one rather far outside Sam and Natalie’s budget. Ignoring pleas from their realtor to pass up the expensive option, Sam and Natalie decided they simply had to bid even if their number was well below the asking price.
That night, with the couple’s paperwork likely sitting at the bottom of a stack of competing offers, Sam couldn’t get the house out of his mind. Fearful their modest offer would be ignored, he decided to appeal to the homeowner Tom’s softer side. By the light of a desk lamp he wrote a very sincere and heartfelt letter detailing his adoration for the house and how he would build a wonderful life for his wife and child inside its walls. His final touch, a page full of charming family photos, would accompany the note and play backup in case his words didn’t do the trick.
The following days seemed to drag, and the house becoming theirs seemed to stray further and further from reality. That is, until their astonished realtor gave them great news: their offer had been accepted! Even better, Tom loved the letter so much he requested they tour the space with him before he moved out. Shocked and thrilled, Sam and Natalie immediately agreed.
As Tom’s son pushed his father’s wheelchair around each room, the 96-year-old man talked of the original makers he’d worked with and of the wonderful time he had bringing his architectural vision to life. He even gave the couple a binder full of 1960s-era manuals and the receipts for everything he’d purchased for the space. Charmed by his kindness, passion and generosity, Sam and Natalie then graciously accepted the keys.
Over the years the couple periodically visited Tom in his retirement community, not only giving him updates on the renovations but catching him up on life in Golden Valley. The couple recalls one visit in particular: “I have something for you,” he said with a twinkle in his eye as he handed them a set of scrolls. Rolled immaculately and meticulously labeled, they seemed ancient. There, on cobalt blue, were the original plans for the home he had painstakingly configured all those years ago, a final gift to the family that had touched his heart. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Wing Ta
Image above: Updates weren’t solely reserved for the home’s interior. Many dingy, foggy windows were replaced, and the home’s railing was given a powdered, smokey paint job. But the most impactful change has to be the exterior’s new hue. Its retro, white-and-mint scheme has been given a moody facelift through grey-and-black hues and wooden touches. “It was amazing to see how the bold color shift changed the vibe of the house and made it feel more at home in Minnesota,” Sam says.
Croissants, The Mona Lisa, Brigitte Bardot – the french really do ‘timeless’ well, and yet are always setting the trends both in fashion and home. And while we don’t want to box up all french design into one single post or style there seems to be a large ‘Parisian Art Deco’ movement that we are loving, that has bled into the design world an ocean away.
So put on your dark red lipstick, your LBD, spritz that Chanel No. 5 on your wrists and let’s rendezvous. We’ll break this style down and dissect what this look really entails and how you can get it.
If you haven’t noticed already the french love their curves and that love is echoed in some of their furniture choices. For the most part this Parisian Art Deco look is filled with statement furniture pieces that have exaggerated curved lines in very simple forms. You will see couches with large overstuffed arms, chairs with rounded backs and small or no legs at all, as well as plenty of ottomans and tables that continue to echo that round and curvy movement.
They really know how to bring the drama by playing up the light and dark in spaces. This space below which is located in Hotel Panache and designed by the insanely talented Chzon design firm brings in the drama and contrast with the black panels on top of the white molding as well as the black and white check on the edge of the tables. It’s in the details folks.
And if a wall to wall paneling project is not in your foreseeable future then the graphic black and white element can also be brought in through art and accessories like the spaces below.
I mean, come on – how chic is the person that gets to call this apartment home?
If you haven’t noticed already cues from classical architecture are big in this style of design. Most the spaces (lucky them) have built in character like some of the rooms you have seen already what with their huge paneled rooms and carved moldings and doors, but in addition to letting this original architecture shine, they echo it in the room with additional architectural pieces like the column topper below that is used as a table or the obelisk on top of it.
Mixing old world with new world is something they are VERY good at and this style of design always brings in modern art or sculpture right next to say a century old bust or carving.
You won’t find a generic piece of lighting in any of these spaces, in fact most of the lighting is a statement sculptural piece on its own. Like in the previous example this style will always mix modern lighting with old world elements to help modernize the space. The below pic is from Hotel Panache again – I love this oversized ceiling pendant that they used above the bed that would typically go above an island or dining table. Breaking the (design) rules and getting away with it are something the french seem to be good at, and I like it.
You’ll also notice a mixing of styles with lighting. Although the sconce and the floor lamp in the below picture may not be from the same style they work well together because they are both statement pieces on their own and are in the same gold tone.
This style tends to steer clear of anything too patterned or flourishy when it comes to fabric and instead brings in the interest through the texture of the fabrics. You will find lots of velvets, textured linens, sleek leathers, hides, furs and suedes in this style.
Which brings us to the next point – textural accents. They love throwing in a shearling chair or a flokati upholstered pouf in the room. You can see in the room below that they have the fur covered chair, the flokati pillow as well as the metallic cowhide on the floor. Texture on texture on texture which plays well with the all neutral color palette so that it doesn’t get boring or flat.
Rarely will you see a room in this style that doesn’t have some sort of adornment on the walls or ceilings. It may be modern like the image below, or it could be original and centuries old like some of the images you have seen previously but this style is typically not one for a modern unadorned wall.
Rather than chopping the room or walls in half with a window treatment that starts closer to the top of the window, the majority of them stretch all the way from the ceiling line to the floor with some even having that dramatic puddle on the floor, and who doesn’t love a dramatic puddle of crushed velvet on the floor? (hint: many people but not us).
Although most of the walls stay fairly neutral in color you will see bold pops of 1 or 2 colors in the lighting, seating, or accessories. This rather neutral room is brought to life with an orange sofa, and if you know me you know I am not typically a fan of orange but this room is making a good case for the color.
They also love a good red moment, which is very scary for some people. Pierre Yovanovitch who designed the room below brought in the color through the fabric on the sofa and the art on the walls and kept everything else neutral to balance it out. Kudos to you Mr. Pierre.
See, another big pop of red with that bright blanket below. Is the red of the 90’s dining room everyone seemed to have coming back people?
Let’s also not forget about green…
Or blue and yellow…
Or Pink…. this style doesn’t discriminate with color.
Mirrors are a big element in this style as well. Whether it is a modern shaped one like the next few pics below:
Or an antique finish and gilded mirror, mirrors play a very big part in this style of design.
Oversized is always a plus, and a leaning wall mirror is never a bad idea either.
It might be because the rooms seem to be overwhelming large, but you will also see a lot of smaller seating areas used in this style rather than one centrally located seating area in the middle of the room. Not only does this break the space up in a good way but it also allows for multiple vignettes in a room which always helps to bring in interest.
See, if you were at a party at this house you can have a convo with your friends on this yellow sofa while the stranger you are avoiding could take a seat in one of the corner vignettes. And below there is a seating area in front of the fireplace as well as the main seating area in the foreground of the room. You should also take note of the mirror, the pop of red, and sculptural furniture and lighting choices which we have already discussed. Is it making sense yet?
Last but certainly not least is how well this style plays with scale. Whether that be a pair of oversized lounge chairs that seem far too large for the space, or a tiny little stool paired with a curvy armchair like below, the juxtaposition of scale with large and small is always welcome in this style. Now you don’t want to get carried away with it and end up looking like you live in the set of “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” but one or two cases of this can work within the space if it is balanced out by the rest of the furniture in the room.
So, who is into this style as much as we are? Do you think you could handle the drama in your own space? Stay tuned where we break down the style even further and pull together some roundups of some of our favorite products from this style to help you get the look. Until then we’ll be practicing our french conjugations.
And just like that, Donald Trump finally has the semblance of a presidential administration.
In the span of a few minutes on Thursday afternoon, the Senate confirmed dozens of the president’s stalled nominees to key posts in several departments. The departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Commerce got long-awaited deputy, under, and assistant secretaries. NATO, the United Kingdom, and a bevy of other countries received U.S. ambassadors. And three districts got federal prosecutors months after the president fired nearly all of the U.S. attorneys who served under Barack Obama.
The flurry of approvals marked the Senate’s biggest step yet toward filling out an administration that had sat historically empty nearly 200 days into Trump’s term. As of July 31, the Senate had confirmed nominees to just 51 out of the more than 1,100 positions that require the chamber’s consent, according to a tally kept by the Partnership for Public Service. Each of the previous four presidents had more than 200 nominees confirmed at around the same juncture. The president had already gotten a late start filling his Cabinet; the Senate did not confirm his final top-level choice until just before the 100-day mark in April. And he still needs to nominate many more for his administration to be complete.
“The Senate has confirmed more executive-branch nominees this week than all of the executive-branch nominees confirmed this year—combined,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the Senate actions, which all came by voice vote after Democrats agreed not to raise objections. Almost immediately afterward, senators raced for the airport to begin a monthlong summer recess that had been delayed by a week.
For Democrats, the confirmations were an easy trade to make: They gave Trump his government and got to keep the Affordable Care Act in return. The party had been stalling nominees for months in protest of the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace Democrats’ prized health law without their input. Having eliminated the 60-vote threshold for executive nominees a few years ago, Democrats in the Senate minority could not block Trump’s picks outright. But under the direction of Minority Leader Charles Schumer, they used their power to draw out the process, forcing McConnell to take multiple days to advance a single nominee.
As the GOP’s health-care bill floundered, Schumer hinted that Democrats would relent on their obstruction once Republicans abandoned the budget-reconciliation process they were using to repeal Obamacare and return to what legislators refer to as “regular order.”
“You can’t avoid regular order when you want to and then say Democrats should use regular order whenever you want us to,” Schumer said on Thursday. “But now that health care is done I think we can tie the two together—normal way of legislating, [and] clearing noncontroversial nominees as we move forward in September.”
In actuality, McConnell hasn’t officially given up on jamming through a health-care bill with 50 Republican votes. The GOP has until the end of September to try again under the rules, but once the Kentuckian announced the Senate would move on to other issues, he and Schumer began negotiating which nominees Democrats would allow to be confirmed before the August recess.
The deal came together so quickly on Thursday that aides could not immediately say exactly how many nominees were confirmed. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican, said in a floor speech the total was “roughly 65” and that the Senate might confirm even more before the day was done. Because no roll-call votes are being taken, senators would not necessarily need to be present for more confirmations to occur as long as none planned to object.
None of the initial batch was particularly controversial, and Democrats all but acknowledged they were holding them up as a procedural protest, and not on substantive grounds. (Republicans did the same to many of Obama’s nominees over the years.) Those that were confirmed included former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as ambassador to NATO; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson as ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland (formally known as the Court of St. James); and Lewis Eisenberg, a longtime GOP donor, as ambassador to Italy.
The Senate still has dozens more nominees to consider, including judicial vacancies and most federal-prosecutor posts. And Trump has hundreds more to nominate, including a pick to replace John Kelly as secretary of homeland security after the retired Marine general took over as White House chief of staff on Monday. According to the Partnership for Public Service, the president has nominated people to fewer than 300 positions—about one-quarter of those he needs to fill. But after the Senate’s busy Thursday, Trump’s administration is at least not quite so bare.
There are houses whose stories span not just over decades, but centuries. Their stories intertwine with those of their owners, and become meaningful pieces of history in their communities. Today we get to share one of these special historic houses, whose new owners have gone above and beyond to turn it back into its original purpose — a home, in the true sense of the word.
When Natasha and Jason Meininger moved to Hannibal, MO to start a family, they wanted to eventually find a great old home to do up. After their second son was born, the couple began looking for this type of house in earnest. An old house that had been converted into a bed and breakfast had been on and off the market for a decade. Although it wasn’t for sale at the time, Natasha didn’t hesitate — she tracked down its owners and, as it turned out, they were willing to sell. Natasha and Jason spent the following winter visiting the house numerous times, and couldn’t help but fall in love with the possibilities it offered. Comprising of 18 rooms all in need of some major TLC, this would be no small project. Natasha and Jason weren’t afraid of the challenge, and felt confident about bringing the 160-year-old house back to life. “The inspection took two days and read like a novel of maladies. We took it anyway,” Natasha says.
Natasha and Jason started work on the house while still living in their old home. During the first six weeks, every spare moment was spent pulling up 30-year-old carpet, removing painted-over wallpaper and preparing the rooms for various reparations. While the contractor worked on the three bedrooms that the family now use, Natasha, Jason and their two sons camped in what was once the servants’ quarters. Once the bedrooms were move-in ready, work started on some of the main rooms downstairs, followed by a kitchen conversion.
Natasha and Jason have worked hard to restore the beauty of their historic house, which was once stripped down to its bare bones. In the 1990s, the then owner of the house foreclosed, and all of the original contents were auctioned off. Over 20 light fixtures, a fireplace mantel and built-in bookcases from the library were among the pieces that were removed. Amazingly, some of the original light fixtures have made their way back to their rightful home. When Natasha and Jason bought the house, the father of one of their friends contacted them. He had purchased some lights in the auction two decades earlier, and wanted to return them! “Talk about kismet. He had stored them in his basement in shoe boxes all this time,” Natasha shares.
Today, Natasha, Jason and their three sons Oliver, Beckett and Jude reside in eight rooms in the main part of the house. With over half of the house yet to be touched, there’s a lot more work to be done to restore it completely, but the feeling of love and family is already there. Turning the house into a home that suits the family’s needs has been an exciting and rewarding project for Natasha, who works part-time as an interior stylist. She wanted to celebrate the grandeur of the house and still make it modern, comfortable and child-friendly. Natasha loves thrifted treasures, and several old pieces have found their way into the family’s home, where classic shapes are brightened up with color, pattern and various textures.
Four years in, Natasha and her family are enjoying every moment in their beloved home, and look forward to renovating more of it as time goes by. Future projects include the restoration of stained glass and various other windows, a rebuild of the historic two-story porches as well as the exterior, which is up next. The to-do list also includes tackling the servants’ quarters, laundry room and any of the eight bathrooms that need attention (two of which are original from the 1880s!). Most of all, Natasha and her family are thankful for being the stewards of this great home, and for being able to save it from an otherwise inevitable demise. “I love this house as if it were one of my children!” Natasha exclaims. 160 years ago, the house was built for entertaining friends and family. Natasha, Jason and their three sons have allowed the house to blossom in the way it was originally intended — once again, it’s full of love, life and laughter. —Sofia
Photography by Natasha Meininger
Image above: The colorful vintage kilim runner greets guests at the front door. “I want guests to instantly know when they walk in that this is the home of a modern family and is not a museum, [it’s] a place where they can feel welcome and have fun!” Natasha says.
I think we can safely say that there is no style that won’t make a comeback – no matter how much we dislike it at this very second. They just all come back, often in a different form or an updated color palette but at some point in our life every trend will return. I once joked that the only thing in fashion that I didn’t think would ever come back is the bolo tie, but I was wrong (not that I embraced that trend, please). So it should be no surprise that the Memphis Trend has been popping its bright, geometric head up lately. It wasn’t even very big or well-loved the first time around (in the 80’s) but that doesn’t mean that its all bad (in fact there are some awesome pieces on our roundup).
But first, lets revisit the horror:
Wow. That furniture sure had a LOT of character. I’m terrified to say that if I were 8 years old in the 80’s I probably would have been into it. I love me some ‘funky’ furniture (hell, I do own a hand chair after all). And what little kid wouldn’t love this – I read a quote that it’s Memphis is if Bauhaus had a baby with Fisher Price.
While many elements of the 80’s are certainly back in home design (with the 90’s also happening, too) I think it’s safe to say that the 80’s was not a decade where ‘timelessness’ really mattered and generally it wreaked havoc in fashion and home (P.S. I’m getting the new ‘perm’ soon … and I’m absolutely not joking.)
They like REALLY designed things. Going all out like this is so fun and I’d love, love, love to be in this bathroom for a very short time.
Now in this photo, below you can see a glimmer of hope. When you take most of the color out of it it becomes far more interesting and almost attractive… the 80’s referenced art deco a lot and I’m very into that original style.
This is one of the better versions from the 80’s – Karl Lagerfield’s Monaco apartment.
Totally normal…. but pretty awesome. You couldn’t pay me to live there but I would absolutely airbnb the heck out of that place for a week and the kids would think we went to disneyland.
This guy, Dennis Zanone, REALLY likes this Memphis style, so much so that he has amassed the largest collection in the world in his Tennessee home. I wonder if it’s because there maybe aren’t a lot of competitive “collectors”. Here is a link that talk more about him and his collection.
So how could that possibly be back, even a little bit? Let’s break down the elements – geometric shapes, bright colors, color-blocking and a lot of WACK. Sound familiar?
It may not be what I’m super into right now (or you) but those things are trending but in a more modern 2017 way.
We’ve notice it popping around more and more in editorials …
I love this shot below. Yes there is bright red and some ‘funky’ happening, but it’s restrained enough with sculptures that are balancing it in a neutral color palette.
The color blocking of the door, the melon cart and that piece of art are all we need to get the feeling of Memphis without the you know, total insanity.
It’s still pretty terrifying to be honest. And terrifying things always create good content, right? So we gave ourselves the challenge – could we create a collection of contemporary products that feel Memphis that we actually like and would own or buy for a client?
And we did.
1. ‘Fun Patterns with Pink’ Print | 2. Patterned Stool | 3. Winslow Sleeper Sofa | 4. Zig Zag Floor Lamp | 5. Black Coffee Table | 6. Rug | 7. Confetti Throw Pillow | 8. Black and White Sprinkle Pillow | 9. Grid Pillow | 10. Lips Throw Blanket | 11. Terrazzo Halfmoon Arc | 12. Neon Pink Candlestick | 13. Bottle Vase | 14. Buckle Jar | 15. Shape Up 5 Piece Chandelier | 16. Margot Pyramid Table Mirror | 17. Charcoal Dinner Plate | 18. Plastic Cereal Bowl | 19. Grid High Ball Glass | 20. Tea Towels Set | 21. Circle Wire Hook | 22. Triangle Wire Hook | 23. Pink Chair | 24. Striped Box Side Table | 25. Yellow Digital Print | 26. Neo Laminati Chair No. 34 | 27. Janis Metal Shelf | 28. Platform Bowl | 29. Scribble Vase | 30. Yellow Lamp | 16. Wave Trivet
Now not all of these would work in my current house (or perhaps “none of them” would be more accurate ) but let’s just say we had a client funky enough to go for this look, I could absolutely get behind it.
Are you slightly convinced that some references from this Memphis are back and awesome? Or are you over and out?
The following post is brought to you by The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Our partners are handpicked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
We’ve spent the last couple of months celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. From top designers explaining just how Frank Lloyd’s Wright’s design philosophy impacted them to a tour of some of our favorite Frank Lloyd Wright sites worthy of a road trip, we’ve hit some of the high points of what make Wright so integral to modern design and architecture.
However, there’s no better way to get at who Wright truly was as a designer and architect than to look at the spaces he designed for himself. Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Arizona both provide that insight. At the request of an aunt, Wright built a windmill on the Taliesin estate in 1896 when he was 29 years old. He continued to experiment with designs at Taliesin and Taliesin West until his death at age 91—that’s 62 years of work represented in two estates. Together, Taliesin and Taliesin West are often considered to be Frank Lloyd Wright’s autobiography in wood and stone.
These two pivotal structures continue to be relevant today. Frank Wright Foundation CEO Stuart Graff points out that the Foundation’s goal is to examine the values associated with each home and not only take care of the physical buildings themselves, but “to preserve the spirit of the buildings as well, continuing to use them as Wright used them in his own time.” He notes that some of the innovations in these homes are so ubiquitous today that it may seem as though they’ve always existed. “Thanks to Wright’s forward thinking, many of us have grown up with open floor plans, wide expanses of windows, and many other innovations that seemed radical at the time.”
Frank Lloyd Wright built Taliesin, a home, studio, school, and 800-acre agricultural estate, on his favorite boyhood hill in the Wisconsin River Valley property homesteaded by his Welsh maternal grandparents. As a nod to his Welsh ancestry, he named the entire compound Taliesin in honor of the Welsh bard whose name means “Shining Brow.”
“Taliesin contains many examples of Wright’s forward thinking, from contour farming to structural experiments,” Ryan Hewson, the Foundation’s Collection and Preservation Project Manager at Taliesin points out. In 1896, he designed a windmill for his aunts to provide water for the Hillside Home School. It not only functioned, but became an iconic structure. “The name is derived from the structural conceit—which is that Romeo, the diamond shape has his prow pointing towards the primary wind direction, helping to direct the wind around the structure; while Juliet is the octagonal shape, is the stable shape that is responsible for the structure standing up. Finally, at the top of Juliet is a balcony that provides views of The Valley,” explained Hewson.
In 1911, Wright designed and built the home after leaving his first wife for Mamah Borthwick (who also left a husband for the architect). The home was intended to be a refuge for the couple from the prying eyes of the public increasing media attention.
Taliesin breaks away from traditional prairie style houses, and is an excellent example of what wright calls a “natural house” due to the site’s strong connection with the landscape and the use of the local area materials. Wright biographer Robert Twombly has written that his Prairie School period ended after the loss of Borthwick. The property used local materials to echo the expansiveness of the Wisconsin landscape with a layout that the architect described as “low, wide, and snug.” Local farmers helped Wright move stone from the yellow limestone quarry nearby, which he then mixed with sand from the river to create Taliesin’s walls. Taliesin features many architectural elements that Wright used in many of his structures such as cantilever roofs, wide windows and an open floor plan.
The Taliesin estate was his laboratory of organic architecture, with designs from nearly every decade of Wright’s life. Many of the most iconic buildings of Wright’s career were designed here, including Fallingwater. As he worked on commissions, he also continually worked on improving and adding to the estate. The property showcases the evolution of Wright’s thinking. In addition to the residence, there are four other Wright-designed buildings, including the Romeo & Juliet Windmill (designed in 1896), Hillside School, Tan-y-Deri (home for his sister and brother-in-law), Midway Barn, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center.
A near-fatal bout of pneumonia coupled with the high cost and hard work of heating Taliesin during Depression-era winters convinced 70-year-old Wright to search for a place to create a desert “camp” where he could live and enjoy winter sunshine with his wife Olgivanna and their apprentices. Wright was able to purchase several hundred acres of land in the then-rural foothills of northeast Scottsdale. He had a vision of a desert utopia comprised of low-slung buildings designed to reflect the sweeping expansiveness of the desert. Wright wrote: “Arizona character seems to cry out for a space-loving architecture of its own” and then set about creating it. In an effort to preserve the local landscape, Wright would construct Taliesin West largely of “desert masonry”—local rock set in wooden forms and bound by a mixture of cement and desert sand.
During his lifetime, both Taliesin and Taliesin West were actively used, with Taliesin West becoming Wright’s beloved winter home. After his death, Taliesin West became the bustling headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship. Deeply connected to the desert landscape, it was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations. Over the years, the complex was continually altered and expanded, eventually including a drafting studio, dining facilities, two theaters, a workshop, Wright’s office and private living quarters, and residences for apprentices and staff. Each building is connected through a series of walkways, terraces, pools and gardens. Wright designed much of the interior furniture and decorations, the majority of which were made on site by the apprentices.
Wright would continue to spend winter in Arizona until his death in 1959. Today, Taliesin West continues to serve as the vibrant home of both the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture at Taliesin, carrying on many of the Fellowship’s traditions.
“The Frank Wright Foundation continues Wright’s legacy at Taliesin West by using it as a living laboratory for innovation,” explained Graff. “We installed a solar field in 2012 to offset our traditional energy sources, along with new LED lighting throughout the campus. With these innovations, we are more than halfway to our goal of net zero energy consumption, which is quite an achievement for a building that began construction in 1937. I hope that the exploration of values-based decision-making will aid the adoption of values-based conservation principles, and that the work done by the Foundation will provide a useful example for the field.”
For a truly unveiled look at the mind and thought process of Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin and Taliesin West are unmatched in importance. The two properties are world renowned not only as two of the most important landmarks of 20th-century architecture, but also as home to their creator. It’s through his own homes that we can really come to understand Wright’s legacy. So what are you waiting for—schedule a visit at FrankLloydWright.org.
Pro tip: bring a notebook—you’ll leave with more ideas than you came with.
To learn more about the 150th anniversary celebration and find events near you, visit FLW150.com.
For more information about Frank Lloyd Wright and his legacy, visit FrankLloydWright.org.
Designer Sebastian Herkner adds another outdoor furniture collection to his portfolio, but this time with German brand ames. CARIBE is a series of colorful seating and tables that were inspired by a traditional weaving technique called momposino from Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The pieces consist of powder-coated steel frames with woven recycled plastic string in bold color combinations.
The CARIBE furniture collection includes a dining chair, lounger chair, 2-seater lounge, a vis-à-vis bench, a dining table, high table, low table, and basket table, all in a multitude of colorways. The furniture is made exclusively in small Colombian factories that specialize in traditional weaving techniques.
Photos by Andres Valbuena.
South Korea-based FICT design studio, where FICT stands for ‘From Craft to industry’, focuses on using traditional elements and experimental processes to create modern objects. Their latest project, Nacreplus, brings a modern approach to jagae, which is a traditional Korean lacquering technique that uses mother of pearl.
The project consists of terrazzo-like trays and coasters with chips of mother of pearl suspended within resin where it creates reflections off of its iridescent surfaces. The pieces are then finished with bands of gold-plated brass or stainless steel around the edges.