Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful Renderings

A detail of one of OLIN's renderings for the New Presidio Parklands Project.

A detail from a screenshot of one of OLIN’s renderings for the New Presidio Parklands Project.

Philadelphia/L.A.-based landscape design firm OLIN not only opened Dilworth Park last week but also unveiled its proposed plans for San Francisco’s New Presidio Parklands project. OLIN is on the shortlist for that project, but here’s hoping these renderings — featured in an A/N blog pictorial — seal the deal.

They’re luminous and beautiful and, well, we simply want to live inside of them. And look at the maps — don’t they have a native Pacific design echo? Brilliant. We had to grab a few screen shots to show you (gallery below), but to see all the renderings for the project, from OLIN as well as the other shortlisted firms, go to the A/N blog for the full pictorial.

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PHOTOS: Paper Dresses Work the Runway at Tabu

Last night Tabu played host to the Paper Dress Competition, a contest (that was not presented by Josh Schonewolf, oddly enough) that benefitted locally based cancer- and HIV-fighting organization City of Hope.

The event was similar to one of those unconventional challenges on Project Runway. Contestants were tasked to create two looks—formal wear and “fun wear”— out of any kind of paper material. Then they paraded the looks up and down a makeshift runway in front of a panel of judges that included HughE Dillon. Of course HughE wouldn’t be HughE if his camera wasn’t in tow, so he whipped it out and took some photos of the evening. Check them out in the slideshow below.



 

Local Designers Named Finalists in Martha Stewart Design Competition

eric and christopher pillows

You’ve probably seen Eric Fausnacht and Christopher Kline around town at a street fair or weekend arts market. The duo have made a business—called Eric & Christopher—out of hand-screen-printing images of animals residing on Bucks County farms onto everything from pillows to totes. Their wares have popped up in newspapers and magazines like The Washington Post and HGTV Gardens, and most recently they got a thumbs up from Martha Stewart herself.

The arts-and-craft goddess chose the pair as finalists in her 2014 American Made Awards. The 20-year-old contest “spotlights the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.”

Eric and Christopher are nominated in the “Design” category. If they win, they’ll score, among other things, $10,000 to grow their business, and a spotlight on marthastewart.com. Sounds like a life-changing opportunity for a pair of local home-good designers, huh?

Winners will be picked based on reader vote. Polls open September 8th, so set your calendar to show them some local support. You can find the voting page here. If you want to congratulate the guys in person, they’ll be  hosting a pillow-signing at gay-owned Glenside boutique Kelly-Cataldi Home this Friday, August 1st. Call the store for time details.



Six Design Ideas SEPTA Should Steal Now

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A recent article on The Atlantic Cities website made a point that is at once obvious and rarely made: Good design and strong imagery can attract more riders to mass transit.

Call it “branding” if you must, but the point remains: Easy-to-identify symbols and attractive stations and shelters make transit systems easier to spot and more pleasant to use. And a system that’s easier to spot and more pleasant to use will end up with more people using it.

This was the main point of my recent commentary elsewhere on how design does matter in transit, too. In it, I argued that SEPTA could stand improvement in that department, especially on its subway-elevated system and signage. Some readers agreed strongly with that argument, while others disagreed vehemently.

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How to Find the Perfect House in Philadelphia

First appeared in the March, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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CENTER-HALL COLONIAL

THE LURE: “The colonials are simply indigenous to our area, and it’s the style that most buyers are attracted to,” says Coldwell Banker Preferred Blue Bell’s Nicole Miller-Desantis. “Buyers know they’ll ultimately have resale value.”

KEEP IN MIND: On the Main Line, these houses can have hidden expenses: lot premiums, high utilities, spring and fall landscaping costs. “It can be expensive to ‘live the dream’ in suburbia,” Miller-Desantis warns.
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Amazing Spaces: Philadelphia’s Most Spectacular Interiors

Rafael Novoa and Robert Lieberman of Rafael Novoa Interior Design converted their Upper Makefield barn into a soaring space that’s part rustic, part glam.

The Converted Barn
Rafael Novoa and Robert Lieberman of Rafael Novoa Interior Design converted their Upper Makefield barn into a soaring space that’s part rustic, part glam. (Photo by Jeffrey Totaro; Styling by Lauren Payne)

THE BEST DESIGN—whether seen in the curve of a bike rack or the arch of a barrel-vaulted ceiling—is immediately recognizable. It makes you feel something. These days, everyone cares about aesthetics (see: Apple’s world domination; elegant spatulas), and the trend is especially striking in populist Philadelphia, now an internationally known design hub. To see our city’s design evolution, you only have to look around: Sophisticated design is now omnipresent, from corner coffee shops and corporate offices to seriously covetable homes. In the pages that follow, we feature some of the area’s best interiors, spanning spaces that surprise (slides in an office building?), bewilder (is that really a porthole in a living room?), stun (that bathroom ceiling!) and, above all, inspire.
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Could 30th Street Station’s New Art Installation Save Lives?

AED art

Here’s a horrifying situation for you to consider: A stranger goes into cardiac arrest right in front of you while you’re waiting in line for coffee. What do you do? Chances are, you’d try to remember how to perform CPR from that babysitting class you took 15 years ago. But would you look around for the nearest automated external defibrillator to help save their life? Probably not. University of Pennsylvania’s Defibrillator Design Challenge wants to change that.

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This 600-Page Chanel Book Has Absolutely No Ink In It

Chanel Book

When Chanel commissions you to make a book, you don’t just print words on a page. After all, this is the fashion house of Karl, a man who has two maids and a driver for his cat, Choupette, whose house looks like this, who is equal parts crazy and brilliant. So Amsterdam-based book designer Irma Boom had her work cut out for her. And did she ever deliver.

Click to watch the video of the book being made.

The Coolest Things Ever Made From Felt

Felt Donuts

Because bowls of fruit as the centerpiece of your kitchen table are so 2012, there’s this: Heidi Bleacher’s collection of absolutely adorable felt sculptures in the shape of donuts. There are also tiny topiaries, and crazier designs that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, but we’re partial to the sweets. Her collection (which also includes custom replicas of your wedding cake!) is on display at stadler-Kahn on Sansom Street through October 20th. Go there, and buy yourself a baker’s dozen.

 

Photo by Christopher String

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