Monday, September 28, 2009

Finding inspiration in Tokyo

I just returned from a great trip to Tokyo.  For a week straight I walked and walked and walked.  I think you could explore for months, maybe even years, taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Tokyo and still find something new just around the corner.  Here are a few photographs from our trip that I hope capture the feel of this dynamic city.  I was inspired by the various layers, old and new, that make up the orderly chaos of the world's largest city.

I love coming back from a trip and looking through the photos to remember all the places I've just been.  After each trip I choose just one photograph to add to our wall.  It doesn't have to be of a recognizable sight, just something that captures a great moment, or the essence of a place.  I started framing our travel photos when we moved to France with only a few suitcases and boxes and had an entire apartment of bare white walls to cover.  I went out and bought as many black gallery frames as I could carry, all the same size, and I hand cut mats with both vertical and horizontal openings (of course I learned quickly that it is much easier to buy precut mats or have professional framer do this for you).  After each trip another picture went up until an entire wall was covered.  At this point I've run out of the original batch of frames and so I am thinking of expanding to a second wall, this time with a collection of vintage frames in various sizes and colors.  

I never get tired of looking at these pictures, remembering the many wonderful experiences that I have shared with family and friends.  Starting a gallery wall from your own personal travel photography is one way to make your home reflect your own unique personality and lifestyle... and might be a great solution for that awkward wall that you've never figured out what to do with.

Now the hard part, picking just one! 

Here is the photo we have chosen... the first one I'm actually in by the way!  It was taken in Kamakura, not Tokyo, on the last day of our trip.  This  beach city is famous for its 170 temples and 40 shrines in the surrounding foothills, and believe me we did our best to hike to every one.  This was the last shrine we visited before catching the train back to Tokyo.  By this point in the afternoon, I was so exhausted from the heat that I wasn't sure if I would ever make it to the top of the steps!  We had definitely built up an appetite by the time we returned in time for our last dinner in Tokyo.  I enjoyed every last morsel of a great Unagi dinner!

Sayonara Tokyo!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Announcing URBANvernacular...

URBANvernacular is...

The juxtaposition of sophistication and simplicity. 

Good design should enhance our everyday experience, quality of life, and the way we interact with our environment. Vernacular architecture and design evolves to reflect the social, historical, and cultural context in which it exists.  Design should be relevant to contemporary life.  URBANvernacular combines 10 years of residential and commercial design experience with a passion for found objects and textiles.   

Please stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring design ideas as well as the most recent vintage finds.  We offer a full range of residential and commercial interior design services, so whether you are working on a single room, the entire house, or just need some help with the finishing touches, please contact me to discuss your latest project.