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A Slide in the House!

15 Mar

I know I’ve posted about interior slides before, but I came across one today that is just too cool not to mention.


Slide in the house!


The architect is named David Hotson, and the project is a residence in Manhattan. …Because of course it is.

To access the slide you first climb up this awesome wall:


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It ends just on the other side of the living room, so you can just hop out of this crazy chrome portal and stroll on over to catch the latest episode or Parks and Recreation. Or whatever it is that you watch.


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How neat! I love it!


You can see many more images at the architect’s website. (All images here are from Neatorama.)


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Using Vintage Kilims for Furniture.

17 Jan

I have several clients who like the look of well-loved, vibrantly muted, geometric kilims. I like them, too. Sometimes people use them on the floor as rugs, as they were originally intended to be used. Sometimes people hang them on the wall; a technique that is great for stairway walls, because they can take up a vast amount of  what is usually awkward space without overwhelming a room. But most of the time, I hunt down ottomans that have been upholstered in vintage kilims and we use them as soft coffee tables. You can definitely have your upholsterer make one of these for you, or, you can find scores of them (often at great prices) at retailers like West Elm, One Kings Lane, or Anthropologie.

Here are five great pieces – from pillows to poufs – all upholstered in vintage, authentic, kilims. Enjoy and follow through with the links if you’re interested in purchasing them – that one-of-a-kind One Kings Lane pillow (#1)  isn’t going to last long!

Repurposing Kilims

1.  2.  3.  4.  5.



Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Quick Trip to Durham…

24 Jul

Last week my husband and I went to North Carolina for a quick trip and we spent a lot of time in Durham. We’ve been there a number of times together, and my husband knows it very well after being there for three years in law school. It’s changed a lot…he tells me (because I didn’t know him in law school, I’ll have to take his word for this). On our first evening after dinner we spent a lot of time driving around both the more vibrant and revitalized area of the city, as well as the, well, not so revitalized part (of course, we were headed to an auto parts store to find some obscure air filter for our a/c). I ended up downloading Instagram for my iPhone that evening, and I got some really fun pictures. In fact, I didn’t take any photos of people on our trip, just a few places. I love the way these turned out. Here are some of the photos I took that I really like.

I downloaded Instagram in the parking lot of this store we love visiting while in Durham; it’s called Parker and Otis, and if you know me and have been there, you know that I love it mostly for its selection of candy. This is in that parking lot right at the end of a huge rainstorm; luckily, we were under a covered roof.


The porch at this store has a ton of reclaimed/industrial materials. This is the case with a lot of downtown venues, as the area was once chock-full of tobacco warehouses and southern industry. Now, it’s just mostly southern charm and re-furbished lofts. Here’s the porch: I have to assume this was a fan.


While it was still drizzling, we set off on a drive. Here we are at a stoplight looking toward the stadium area. (In case you’re wondering, yes, there are a lot of railroad tracks downtown.)


I took this at another traffic light. The restaurant isn’t necessarily somewhere I’d want to eat – oxtails, anyone? – but the moment the red Cadillac pulled up I wanted to take a picture. Great color!


I may have made my husband circle back to capture this rundown building. The graffiti! The horizontal graphic black and white stripes! I really like it, purely in terms of gritty aesthetic.


What a cool green door. There were two of them. So neat.


This was actually taken on another day, but it’s a food truck that sells ice cream. On a school bus. My son would be in heaven. My limited understanding of the food truck culture in the Triangle is that they’re fairly new, people like them, and they’re still struggling with how to regulate them. Durham clearly has the most friendly food truck climate of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, and given my numerous encounters with black-framed glasses and waxed mustaches during our time there, it has the biggest hipster culture as well. In fact, lots of food “trucks” are actually bike carts. We went to the Saturday morning farmer’s market and it, too, was a food truck gathering spot.


And finally, this is entirely irrelevant to the vintage/gritty vibe I’ve been harping on here, but DID YOU KNOW THAT IN THE SOUTH THEY HAVE A SNACK WAGON FOR KIDS AT WHOLE FOODS WITH FREE SNACKS? I almost passed out. They also have towers of PBR…in Whole Foods.


Hope you enjoyed my very limited photo tour as much as I enjoyed capturing it all! I wish I’d taken more pictures!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Rainbow School in Paris!

2 Jul

If this super neat building doesn’t motivate your kid to go to school, I don’t know what will!


This vibrant, colorful, and amazingly fun Kindergarten in Paris is the Ecole Maternelle Pajol; the concept and design was executed by architects at Palatre and Leclere, a Parisian architecture firm.  Originally built in the 1940s, the building has been adapted to embody a contemporary aesthetic while retaining the original structure. From the wall hooks to the bathroom stalls to the interactive floors, it’s just perfection for any 5-year-old. Don’t you love it?


Check it out some more over at Cool Hunter.


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Neutral Perfection!

5 Mar

My Monday trend in blogging lately is to take a look at calming spaces. It helps start the week off right, don’t you think?  Neutrals can be awesomely comforting when done well; a mixture of all shades of white, taupe, brown, gray, and black, coupled with a mastery of textures (woven, silky, grainy, shiny, matte, soft, and graphic) is a delight to look at. They’re pleasant to live amongst, too! Here are three perfectly serene neutral spaces that use strict neutrality and a plethora of patterns and textures. It’s not surprise that two of them belong to creative professionals!

This space, home to beauty mogul Aerin Lauder, is one that my husband and I agree we could both live in. But really, who could say “no” to those views!? I love how they brought the snow inside via the light rug, and I adore the dark window detailing. You can see the entire tour at “Mountain High: Aerin Lauder’s Aspen Home” in Vogue.

Aerin Lauder's Rocky Mountain Home (photograph by François Halard via Vogue Magzine)

This lovely, unexpected nursery belongs to Baby Collin, and was featured on Apartment Therapy Family. See “Collin’s Fresh White Room” for more. It’s brilliant to put textures and darker colors on the floor and curtains, because this will help make the room last as baby grows up (and gets messy). Truly, one of the more lovely and practical ways I’ve seen white used in a nursery. I love the mix of ethnic patterns with modern touches with Ikea basics. What a stunning compilation of items, that doesn’t break the bank!

Baby Collin's Room in Seattle (image via OhDeeDoh/Apartment Therapy)


This meticulously organized and neutral apartment belongs to Todd Waterbury, an NYC creative director and brand consultant. These gorgeous photos come via the NYT article, “No Room For Mistakes” from this past January. I find the apartment beautifully successful because among all of the clean lines and blacks and whites, there is an element of warmth in the space thanks to a few wooden pieces that have moderate curves (if you peek at the slideshow, you’ll see it in the bench, chair, and a bowl).

Todd Waterbury's NYC Apartment (photograph by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times)


Gorgeous, right? Don’t you feel like you just took a yoga class? And as a bonus, this look is easily emulated on an extreme budget: just start collecting all of the moderately priced sisals and woven baskets and ivory twills you see at places like Ikea, Home Goods, and World Market, and you’re on your way!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Architecture and Design in the Classroom.

31 Jan

While I was perusing my iPhoto library this morning, I came across photos of the final project I did with elementary school kids back in 2006, when I was still in graduate school and teaching a few afternoons a week at an upper NW charter school for an after-school enrichment program. My class was “Architecture.” That may make you a bit confused, because you see, I’m not an architect. But these kids were eight and they weren’t exactly ready for their M.Arch yet. They were however, eager, focused, sharp, and they impressed me so much with their enthusiasm for learning and their limitless creativity. It took a matter of days before I realized that I could divide them into teams, give them each a box of straws and a handful of rubber bands, and they’d start figuring out how to build stable and structurally sound towers by using trial and error. I didn’t even have to show them first — they got it, and they liked it. Our final project was to build a neighborhood using boxes and “trash” they brought from home – cereal boxes, yogurt cups – the kinds of things that parents of school-aged-children know all about having to save. Their task was also to plan the city so that it made sense and was efficient and safe. Beyond suggesting that they rethink locating the jail next to the neighborhood school, I was able to mostly take a backseat to their ideas; they had good ones. This is what the town ended up looking like:


Finding these images is fortunate timing because I’m starting to think about future classes that I’ll be teaching this year – for graduate students, not kids. As heavy and stressful as that can be, I do love it, and I find that once I get some basic themes and a good structure going I tend to find good ideas for class exercises and projects all over the place. They come in the form of podcasts I hear in the car, rise out of conversations I have with vendors about new products, and they’re always popping up in my RSS-feed. As advanced and worldly as the adult students I now have are, I’ve found that they benefit greatly from some of the same exercises I used to give eight year olds. Not because they’re in need of review or an easy activity to keep busy, but because some of the most creative solutions come when your tasks are fun, open-ended, and colorful. In many ways it’s more challenging to work that way.

Being a designer is great, and being an instructor on top of that is awesome. It’s a complementary pairing, and I feel lucky to be able to do the work that I do. In fact, I’m lovin’ it (…get it?).



Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Dots Here, Dots There, Colored Dots Everywhere!

5 Jan

I love polka dots. Black and white ones, differently sized ones, and all-over-the-map rainbow colored ones! Turns out I’m not the only one…

This beautifully imperfect color-splashed room is part of an interactive space at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in their ‘Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever’ Gallery: it’s called The Obliteration Room. The photo is my Mark Sherwood. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama did a similar installation in 2002, which was the inspiration for this vibrant experiment. The installation features a room filled with Austrailian-made (local to the Queensland Art Gallery) furniture, painted white, and subsequently decorated with stickers by visitors, particularly the little ones (I sure know my little one loves stickers). 

A few years ago, my husband took me to a Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Kennedy Center, which was then hosting an exhibit by Yayoi Kusama called “Dots Obsession.” It, too featured a room full of polka dots that rendered the fixtures indistinguishable from the walls and floors (and ceilings!), but these were not stuck on, rather they were amidst inflatable protrusions and printed onto the walls, floors, and inflated shapes. You could literally walk through the huge shapes, feeling wonderfully disoriented. The best word I have to describe it is “fun,” and it was even more so because we visited very late at night after dinner. Almost no one was there.

Yayoi Kusama's Dots Obsession, "Day," featured black dots on yellow. "Night" was yellow on black. (image via


I think one of the things that has always attracted me to one of my favorite spaces (featured in Domino Magazine long ago), Jenna Lyons’ NYC  apartment, is the painting above the mantle. It features dots not dissimilar to those from Yayoi Kusama’s Dots Obsession installation. The repetition combined with the variation of the sizes is consistent yet exciting. I just adore these dots.

Jenna Lyons' former townhouse in NYC. (image via - the late - Domino Magazine)


If you’re interested in a similar look, consider perusing Etsy for polka dot decals and try curating your own Dots Obsession. It’ll be some of the most fun you’ve ever had with stickers, I promise!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.