Any of these look familiar? Of course they do. These were the toy newsmakers of their day, the juggernauts of fun, and part of every kid's Christmas list in the 1980s. Had the Internet existed, they would have gone viral. If you grew up then, do you get a gut reaction when you see any of these toys?
There was something so beautifully simple about the design of Fisher-Price's Little People in their prime: that circle face and peg shaped body that has allowed for so much imaginative play for so many children across the last 60 years. But Little People haven't always looked the way I remember them, or how my kids know them now. So...just what happened to the Little People?
it's not a coincidence that the two Modernist works of architecture that I
chose to study in depth while in graduate school were both built in France and created
by designers whose skills and works were undervalued for the first 40-50 years
of their careers.
I don't know if you had wallpaper in your room when you were little, but I sure did. If I shut my eyes, I can still see it: bright lemon yellow with white ABCs and 123s all over. I spent so much time staring at it that it's a firm fixture of my earliest memories. On a side note, it also went really, really well with my grass green shag carpet. My parents had style.
Sometimes, it's important to look back on what once was and examine the ways things have changed over the years. Today's high-style interior design will be tomorrow's dead trend, and then, inevitably, vintage chic. I love looking at the juxtaposition of these photos of Paris from 1900-2013, which illustrate that process.
We've all got the bottle/can/paper recycling down-pat, but what about fabrics? What do you do with the sheets that got so wonderfully soft that they finally shredded? Or the beloved t-shirt that was demoted to house-cleaning garb and then again to rag status? Or the legs of your jeans when you chop your annual cut-offs? Fortunately, all of that fabric is still very much in demand.
When I was little girl growing up in south Louisiana, my mother would take me on tours of the beautiful old plantation houses in the countryside outside Lafayette. It was the beginning of a lifelong fascination with architecture in general, and Southern vernacular architecture in particular. So when I saw this 200-year-old Creole manor in the pages of Garden & Gun, it brought me right back to my roots.
I'm a history addict; profiles of designers, descriptions of domesticity in the past, and accounts of the objects that shape our daily lives—all these topics fascinate me to no end. These five books, all of which indulge that love of history, share a common structure: they move through the home room-by-room, unfolding the contexts of the past, uncovering the cultural value of the experiences shared within, and providing anecdotal insight about the function-specific spaces that we live in each and every day.
Piet Mondrian used reds, yellows, blues, and blacks. Donald Judd's palette has included green, pink, and orange. Carl Andre relied on the colors of specific materials like wood and metals. And yet somehow, the term "minimalism" today calls to mind an image of a pure, clean, and orderly space with white as the dominant color. Why, despite seeing color everywhere, do we still tend to associate the minimal and the modern with whiteness?
It started with a description on a tin of coffee: "It pairs the prismatic glory of a Florida Highwaymen painting with the integrated restraint of an Eames chair, and still tastes good with ham". I'd never heard the phrase "Florida Highwaymen", but luckily my breakfast companion was able to inform me of the fascinating history of this remarkable group of painters...