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Panic Attraction

OH MY GOD, the swine flu is coming! The swiiiiiine fluuuuu! Everybody FREAK OUT. RUN. HIDE!!!!!!!!

Remember SARS? The avian flu? West Nile virus? All those other pandemics that resulted more in spiked ratings for the major news networks than in spiked fevers for you and me? Well, this just in: THE SWINE FLU IS NO MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE REGULAR FLU. Sure, the flu sucks — just ask Karly. Hell, she may have even had the swine flu for all we know, but she is still alive (trust me on this. I’m way too lazy to write posts for her).

So just chill, panicked people. Besides, wouldn’t you rather look like this:

lucy and bart

Than this?

swine flu freakout

I mean, those masks are just tacky, and what is the point of touching your infected mask to another infected mask? It’s like two nasty sponges mingling in a disgusting, germy sex dance. Gross.

And really, what do we have against viruses anyway? They’re kind of pretty.

swine flu

Awwww, look at that cuddly little guy floating around in there! Maybe the swine flu is just looking for love in all the wrong places? So, today let us celebrate the beauty of nature’s most resilient replicator in all its inspired glory. This flu’s for you.

phillipe starck

Viruses really are elegant examples of design. Stuff some DNA in a hard protein casing, and voila: Bacteriophagearrific! Even Philippe Starck knew to borrow from the basics — his virus-inspired juicer for Alessi remains one of his most classic creations.

dna lamps

dna lamps

And really, no one can blame little ol’ DNA for the flu. Because ATCG combined is one bad motherfu — What? I’m just talking ’bout the building blocks of life! DNA Lamps by Next.

vitra chair

What that DNA can do is just magical — slimey oozy gooey, groovy. New Order Chair by Jerszy Seymour for Vitra.

chernobyl doll

And who’s afraid of a few extra mutations here and there? There’s just more to snuggle up to, in my opinion. Chernobyl Doll by Jaime Pitarch.

cloud chair

This pretty shiny chair by Richard Hutten looks so much like our swine flu buddy that it should be named “Swiney for your Heiny.” I think it has a ring to it, don’t you?



Check out the Contamination series of ceramics by Tamsin Van Essin. Ok, so the designs were inspired by bacterial colonies, and I really have no clue how bacteria work except that they’re anaerobic or something like that (bio was a LONG time ago, ok?), but today bacteria is also getting a free pass. E Coli = E Cool!


Bom chicka bom bom, these aluminum cast tables from Reddish Studio make sickly look sexy.

third space

third space

Pretty soon the whole world is going to look like this anyway, so there’s really no use fighting the new germ order. Third Space by the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

glove lamp

So, throw away all those creepy masks and pesky latex gloves, and join the viral revolution. Glove Lamp by Katarina Britse.

swine flu

And while you’re at it, kiss a pig for me.

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Resolving to Tear. It. Up.

I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions.  Seriously, I have enough guilt already, I don’t need to make myself feel even worse by failing to cease one of my (really not that bad) vices.  Besides, when was the last time you ran into someone in August who looked all crazy fit and they said “yeah, it was my New Year’s resolution to stop drinking, eat healthy, and go to the gym”?  Don’t lie, it was never.

I do think, however, that the New Year is a grand time to look back on the last year to consider what you’ve accomplished and compare that to what you’d like to achieve.  This is where the drinking comes in.  Once you’ve nursed your hangover it’s time to get crackin.  I have lots of goals delusions of grandure both personal and professional for 2009 but I also have a ridiculous list of crap I need to take care of around the house.  Mainly, some big, expensive, overly-involved renovations.  I swear on all things holy, I will not let 2010 peak it’s ugly head around the corner until my guest bathroom is completely gutted and looks a little more like one of these rooms:
Because I’m working with a laughable budget and Matt is a genius with concrete, I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of this going on.  Minus the lame bench and utterly useless mini-counter.
Overt your eyes from the vassal sinks and focus on the counter, tub and poufy things.  See, concrete, not so bad. 
But then again, I do love the idea of a concrete floor and tub juxtaposed against a wooden counter:
Don’t give me none of your “where do you put your junk” jive talk.  Here are some solutions:
Nothing makes my heart race like neatly folded, matching linens.  Sigh. Of course, one day I’m going to have a gaggle of kids running hay-wire around this joint so I may need something a bit more practical:
Nice.  But in dream fantasy land, this Nakashima style counter would be the crown jewel of my bath:
I know, I know, why bother even showing another bathroom after this, it’s potty perfection.  But we’ll move on none-the-less:
Lemme tell you,  I really don’t like chandeliers in bathrooms.  And don’t try to sell me on those new-fangled chandelier shower heads either, they’re even worse.  It’s like, I’m trying to relax and take a bath then BAMB!  I’m assaulted with an electrocution fantasy.  You’re talking to a girl who shuts the toilet lid when she blow-dries her hair, so, nope, no convincing.
Here are some other things I don’t want in my salle de bain:
  • Glass or fancy painted vassal sinks.  Or any other vassal sinks.  I’m ok with raised sinks, but no bowls, please.
  • Anything not gold.  
  • A big deep cabinet, common in rentals.  Hey home builders:  these things are too deep.  All the stuff in the front gets knocked over when we’re trying to reach to the back.  A cabinet should be no deeper than a towel folded in quarters (the only way to fold a towel, right?)
  • pedestal sinks.  pretty, yes, functional, no.
Here is what I do like:
God give me the strength not to knock down all the walls in my home in order to achieve this look.  Breathtaking.  And, well, are we sure the kids will need cabinet doors?
Since I don’t have the stunning view, a wall treatment link this should do the trick:
I’m going to pass on the clock and the embroidered “sanctuary” towels.  Gross.
A big, bold shower curtain should liven up the joint, too:
While I’m not a fan of the country-cute, I’m not too mad at the idea of patch-work.  What I really love about this curtain is the scale.  I want mine to reach all the way to the top of my 10-foot ceiling.  Lika-so:
Ok, you got me:  it’s not a bathroom, but that is EXACTLY what I want my shower curtain to look like.
And it shall surround this tub:
I love how the legs look all robot-y.  Ok, ok, we’re scratching everything and moving in a new direction:  Gold Transformers!  I want everything to look like a giant pixelated transformer dipped in gold.  Where are my smelling salts??!!
If I can’t wrangle a bunch of shiny robot toiletries, this Starck tub should fill the void.
Or, I could just scrap the tup altogether:
Left: Murdock Young; Right: Sorry dude, I can’t remember where I found this.
Ok, so there’s a tub on the left, but that oval glass shower is clearly the star.  And yes, I know, I know, kids need a tub.  What’s with those babies, why can’t they just shower like normal people?  And get jobs?
When I was in Virginia in October, my mom and I went to go pick out faucets for her renovation project. Surprisingly, she didn’t choose any of my selections:
Note:  that dolphin comes in gold.
Who says no to a gilded dragon head faucet?  A crazy mother with “professional architects” that’s who.  Whateves ma, you’re going to be crying a river of tears when we have the renovation face-off.
And finally, just so you can get a firm grip on what I’m up against, here’s the dreaded bathroom as it stands today:
See, it’s going to be great, so long as we get rid of every. single. thing. in there.
There you have it, 2009 goal numero uno.   Of course, if I were going to make a real-life, honest-to-gosh resolution, it would surly be one that all of you would appreciate:  I would work on my spelling.  But, hey, I’ve managed 30 years without knowing the difference between sense and since, what’s one more?   

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Have a Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Good Time

Tomorrow we leave town on our annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage. Every year my enormous family congregates at our farm near Texarkana, and we all enjoy good food, good company, and lots of redneckified activities, like ridin’ four wheelers, burnin’ stuff, and shootin’ up a storm. I’m all about the four wheelers and any activities involving fire, but despite early indoctrination (I first shot a Glock at eight), I’m more than a little squeamish about guns. Because the only ass that’s getting a cap busted in it is probably mine.

Despite my misgivings, I really want to join in the fun. But I’m not even going to consider picking up a gun unless it looks like one of these:


(via Xirdalium)

Because, you see, everything does not look better in black. In fact, many things look good in pink and aqua with leopard on top, and there ain’t nothing that don’t look better in gold. No kind of thing.

Even though I was an eight year old badass with the hard black heart of an assassin, as a 32 year old wussy I may need to slowly ease my way back into the game. You know, get my feet wet. Try on some training wheels for size.

hello kitty ak

(via Glamguns)

Pretty pink Hello Kitty knows how to make a girl feel soft and feminine, but everyone knows that bitch can fight when backed into a corner. Watch out for the claws when they come out! Pft!

Who am I kidding? I may need to start out even… slower. Like, really slow. Like, more decorative, less lethal, slow.

paper ak

(via A+R Store)

This paper AK-47 is probably a little more my speed. Pretty, but ineffectual. I’ll look really cool while holding it, but self inflicted injuries will be kept to a minimum. Now we rollin! Dog.

Honestly, I kind of prefer the more old school weaponry. A little more Wild Wild West, with saloons and spurs, and weapons that aren’t in the least automatic. Although the lack of modern medical technology is a definite minus for the accident prone. Wonder who that might be…

guns montage

Awwwww yeah. Bet you thought I forgot this was a design blog! What have we here? Winchester shot glasses from Amazon, which are potentially lethal in a totally different way; A pistol shaped remote control seen at Design Boner that my dad would kill for; the uber slick “Smoking Gun” via This Next; and Jonathan Adler‘s whimsical needlepoint pillow, adored by pistol packin’ grandmas everywhere.

Of course, my newfound frippery would look fabulous against this old-school-meets-young-stunna backdrop:

thug stripe wallpaper

Designer Wallcovering carries Thug Stripe black and white gun wallpaper. Yes, please. And I have just the thing to cast a perfect, decoratively violent, glow upon it.

rock and royal

Rock and Royal (purveyors of the OG nefarious pirate ship chandelier) think that everything looks better under crystal, and they can glue, string, stitch, or wire it together in just about any configuration imaginable. I’m just not sure if I like the AK or the snub nosed pistol better:

rock and royal

Whereas the AK is sharp and pointy, the pistol is so soothing and unassuming. It says, “What, me? Dangerous? Never.” Kind of like that douchebag boy you dated in high school, and you remember how that turned out. Alrighty, AK it is!

Or maybe I don’t want any guns hanging over my head. They don’t exactly connote the same sense of imminent death that, say, a guillotine might. Still, there are only a few wires keeping that barrel off my neck. Perhaps I’d be better off with something gravity bound.

philipe starck

I blogged about this super fly gold table lamp by Philippe Starck a hundred million years ago, but time has done little to assuage my lust. I like that the business end is pointed up. I like gold. I like fetishize guns. Enough said.

But if I’m being realistic, I’d probably get the most use (and street cred) out of this little number:

tequila flask

(via Trendhunter)

Everyone respects a gun-shaped flask full of tequila. Especially during the holidays.

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Junk in the Bunk: A Top Design Story

I have an insanely high capacity for crappy reality television.  Specifically, any reality show in which something is created, designed, made over, or otherwise made prettier by a group of self indulgent “designers” who are then pitted against each other, leading to an inevitable finale anchored by dramatic lighting, threatening music and the sweet, sweet promise of immunity.  Presumably, Top Design would rock my decor-loving life, but instead it is putting me in a zombi-like trance otherwise known as sleep.

This week the “designers” were asked to decorate a bunker (all preempted by Todd showing a kitchy 1950’s build your own bunker for when the bomb comes video.  It was a waste of my time.) Theoretically, we were all to spend the next 50 years in said bunker waiting for death’s sweet release.  Surprisingly, none of the designers chose to outfit their new dwelling with a noose, so as to escape this nonsense:


I don’t even remember this room and I just watched the episode 30 minutes ago.  According to bravo it was decorated by Kerry and Shazia.  Would anyone like to discuss the fabric folded along the bedframes?  It reminds me of those cheap, round wooden decorator tables that are sold at wal-mart and are made for the sole purpose of putting a ruffled tablecloth on.  If it’s sooo ugly that it needs to be covered up, why is it even made?  I understand that with this show they were given these ugly beds, I just HATE draping fabric as a cop-out.  I’m going to call this room hobby-lobby chic.

Next immemorable room:

another room

Ondine and Preston (Erin’s Gay BF) Got in trouble for this room, apparently it was too “real.”  As in, they had THOUGHT OUT WHAT THEY MIGHT DO IN THERE AND DESIGNED THE ROOM TO FULFILL THOSE NEEDS, how dare they?!  Please pack all personal belongings and proceed to a properly decorated bunker immediately:


The winning Bunker designed by she whom shall not be identified as Mrs. Schroder and Eddie.  Look it’s got cows and trees, just like outside!  We’ll forget we’re locked down here for the rest of our natural born lives!

PS. Is that a trash bag at the end of the right sofa?

And the runners up:

another room

Sleepy-town by Nathan and Wisit.  I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction to this challenge was to cover the walls and ceiling in fabric, so Wisit did tug at my heart strings with his suggestion.  However, I was picturing something a little more along the lines of, oh, I don’t know, something a top designer would produce, something, say, like this:

dream curtains

Yes, I know I posted this last Friday, but you know you loved it and want to see it again.  A+ Philippe Starck, you have the top design.

Trying to end the misery as quickly as possible:

losing room

Jennifer and Robert’s losing room, so bad it sent both of them home.  I think it’s really funny that they both threw temper-tantrums and drew a line in the proverbial sand.  ha ha.  babies.

BTW, Bravo, thanks for tipping us off on the ending:  When the designers were shopping Mrs. Schroder got mad at Jennifer and said karma would come back to her, which the producers awkwardly fit in to the production schedule, presumably to make the viewers, retroactively, at the end of the episode, realize that Mrs. S is more than Ricky’s wife, she’s freakin psychic!  Amazing!  Go home Jennifer and Robert!

Last room, promise:


I think it’s the warmest room of the bunch, and I don’t hate that thing on the back wall.  The slipper chair is hurting me a bit, though.  And, like (also psychic!) Todd Oldham predicted, Natalie and Theresa needed to edit, there’s just too much junk in that bunk. 

Digression:  Wouldn’t it have been funny if someone had put a weight-lifting bench and some free weights into their room?  I mean, if you’re really going to be there for 50 years, you don’t want your muscles to atrophy.  A potty would be nice too.  And a mess kit.  I think the judges really missed the mark this time.

Here are some other highlights from the episode (I dug deep)

kelly wearstler

1. Kelly Wearstler’s outfit was EASILY the most interesting thing on the show last night.  A bit overly dramatic and costumey, but I was still hypnotized by the lovely striped scarf and all those gold brooches.

2. I spy anthropologie’s wallpaper in the designer’s apartment

3. We learned that contestant Natalie!!! has a very sophisticated world view:  apparently, the Chinese are building a transformer that will force us all underground when they seek vengeance for that Hiroshima bomb thingy

4. Jonathan, please stop saying j’adorable.  Your new catch phrase is not.

5. Hanging the models out of a hot air balloon made for a really cute photo shoot.  Wait, that was from the entertaining show that was on last night.

6. I’m sick of team challenges.  

7. I remember where I was the first time I found out that Andrea was Rick Schroder’s wife.  I was reading Elle Decor in my living room with my cat and an ice cold diet coke.  

8. I CAN’T WAIT to watch Jeffrey Sebelia become overly dramatic and serious about the store our designers are making for him next week.  Because, you know, the store is totally real and he has to live with their design.  Forever.

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Trip the Light Fantastic

Whooowee kids, I am feeling lazy this Monday. I may have a touch of the Olympic fever… you know, the kind of marathon malaise that comes from staring wordlessly into the boob tube for hours on end. But never fear! Here at Design Crisis headquarters we power through even the worst cases of indolent slothiness to deliver your weekday eye candy fix.

Behold the brightness!

tom dixon

There’s nothing like a little Tom Dixon pendant light porn to send an electric jolt through the system. CLEAR! Yes, I am already feeling resuscitated by my lust — which knows no bounds — for those gorgeous copper globes… they’re like a million little MC Escher balls (sans the topsy turvy staircases and gecko lizards. Thank God.)

More righteous pendulosity coming your way: check out these Swarovski crystal-filled net sack thingies with lights in them. Yeah. Net sacks via Yanko Design.


Eva Hesse-ish, aren’t they? Kind of like creepy jewelry for your home.

Not to be outdone in the crazy department, these anthropomorphic lights have potential to create some seriously silly atmosphere.

deer head

Shoal chandelier by Dominic Bromley and Trophy Lamp by Isabelle Rolland (at Unica Home). That deer head is pretty damn awesome BUT it costs $7600. Uh, no. However, it kind of inspires me to just rip the head off one of those plastic Christmas reindeer that inexplicably hover around the baby Jesus’ cradle at nativity scenes, and then shove a light down its throat. That sounds like a plan.

And now, a pair of lamps so brilliant, I think their golden glow may have emanated from that mysterious briefcase in Pulp Fiction:

ak lamp

Above, Philippe Starck’s Gun Lamp from Hive Modern. Below, Tony Wurman’s Backlight at Wunderwurks.

backbone lamp

Obviously I have a minor obsession with weird gold things, and Karly is determined to paint anything that won’t move (and perhaps even some things that move slowly) shiny, glorious gold. Although the two of us are gentle creatures, I nevertheless predict that violence would ensue if an awesome reader (or deep pocketed sponsor?) sent an (one) golden gun lamp to DC Headquarters. Now Karly is six feet tall and ridiculously buff and I am but a wee five-one and significantly less buff, but I’ve had five years of Kung Fu lessons, dawg. I’m pretty sure that Karly would piledrive my ass all WWF wrestler style, but I could try to put up a good fight for the right price two lamps. Are you listening, Hive Modern? The pictures will be fantastic!

Next up, a flurry of bright lights from Generate Design:

rubber chandelier

Lefty is cast from rubber by Tobias Wong, and that makes me laugh for some reason. Why is rubber funny? Is it me? Or is it just jokey that something usually sharp and delicate has been rendered soft and flaccid? Flaccid rubber wong? And what do you think about the bundle o’ light cords? There’s a DIY project in the making, but I wonder if all those lights would blow a fuse in my old house… only one way to find out.

Last, but not least, one more from Generate Design:

plexi xhandelier

Love, love, love the picture, and the plexiglass chandelier is pretty cool, too. Designed by Buro Vormkrijgers, Therese costs $2,569.00.

Looks like a job for super Ponoko to me.

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