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Shelterpop

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    We recently reported on the Core77 Design Awards. This week, we're celebrating our favorite winning designs in the 15 categories. To kick off, here's a closer look at the grand prize-a custom-designed trophy that recognizes everyone as a winner.

    For the first Core77 Design Awards, the web site's editor-in-chief Allan Chochinov commissioned the up-and-coming Brooklyn-based design trio Rich, Willing, Brilliant and Motorola Prototyping Services to create a special trophy. "We tried to re-imagine what such an artifact might be. Working with Brooklyn-based Rich, Brilliant, Willing, we realized that one of the clear disadvantages of most trophies is that there is only one of them. This is fine for individual triumphs and endeavors, but more and more, design is recognized as a team sport--between designers, researchers, engineers, colleagues, managers, clients, and more."

    The result? A "trophy to make more trophies out of." Rich, Brilliant, Willing created a mold that allows the trophy to be recasted for contributing members on each team. So often the movers and shakers behind winning designs go unrecognized, so we love that this trophy lets one give credit where it's due. See the categories here and stay tuned for our picks throughout the week!

    Core77 Design Awards trophyCourtesy of Core77

     

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    Having trouble trying to keep everything in order and in its place? Four designers offer their expertise on how to straighten up your home and let it help you be organized.

    This week as we look at how your home can help solve your problems we're exploring how it can help you get organized. We reached out to the New York Design Center's new Access to Design designers to get their thoughts and tips on how your home can inspire you to get more creative. (You can also get great advice and find a designer at accesstodesign@nydc.com.)


    Kati Curtis of Nirmada Interior Design sees built-in shelving and storage as the key.
    "Ultimately the best way to incorporate extra storage and stay organized at home is to have custom built-ins designed to suit your individual needs. We work with our clients to analyze what they have and create beautiful built-ins that disguise all of the things that quickly multiply and become unsightly. Spaces for electronics, books, files, and even those inevitable 'junk drawers' can become beautiful, architectural elements of a room."

    how-to-get-organizedCourtesy of 2Michaels


    Jayne Michaels of 2Michaels suggests incorporating smart storage solutions.
    "A clever way to create more storage and give a room warmth and charm is to inset bookshelves into closet doors. It's also an attention grabber, guests will marvel over the idea!"

    how-to-get-organizedThe Atelier Showroom at the NYDC


    Drew McGukin of Drew McGukin Interiors says to get to work on closet space.
    "Like most 'evil' the problem usually starts at the root. One at a time, begin opening up every, single closet in your home. Completely empty each space. Think about painting the interior walls with an interesting color and add lighting if you don't have any or if it's not correct. Rethink the shelving and/or organization entirely and reinstall something that's adequate. Once you've made it this far, thoughtfully add back only the items that are relevant. If you've not touched it in six months and it's not sentimental in some way, it's out!"




    how-to-get-organizedWY Cherington bookcase: Courtesy of Profiles through NYDC


    Thomas Burak of Thomas Burak Interior Design says to roll in the casegoods.
    "It is crucial to make sure everything you own has a home within your home. Once you have organized closets, kitchen, and bath cabinets and find that you need more space, consider armoires, breakfronts and bookcases as a perfect solution. Take the WY Cherington Bookcase from Profiles as an example. It is ideal for books or stacks of decorative boxes to hide your goodies. You can shirr curtains over the glass doors and create endless shelves of hidden storage. Don't forget you still have all the space at the bottom of the cabinet behind closed doors. Now all you need is to remember where you store everything."


    Looking for more tips on how to stay healthy indoors? Check out our previous Home Remedies on How To Get Creative and How To Be Productive.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.


    Editor's Pick: Clockwise from top left: Surface Collective Global Geometry in silver, Cherry Blossoms in gold/pink, Peacock Feathers in black, Grass Blades in dark green, Origami Cranes in teal. $37-$75 each, Fab.com.

    In this day and age, who has time to make permanent interior design decisions? Surface Collective's wall tattoos resemble painted murals but they're easily removable and promise to leave behind no trace of adhesive. We don't understand how that works, but we love it! These are an easy way to punch up a kid's room or add flourish to a blank wall in your bedroom or an open kitchen.

    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Tuesday, 11am.

    Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Who knew that a pawn broker could be so glamorous? We chat with Lauren Kaminsky, the 22-year-old Vice President and head of sales at the EZ Pawn Corporation, a family-run business based in New York. Her latest project piqued our interest: Curator at Manhattan's Beauty & Essex lounge/restaurant, one of our favorite hangouts. The drinking-and-dining area is actually hidden behind a pawn shop...and that's where Lauren comes in. Here's a glimpse into her day-to-day life.


    pawn-broker

    So, you are not what comes to mind when we think of a pawn broker. Why are you in the biz?

    I just started! In fact, I'm just about a year in. This will sound funny because it's a family business...but I shied away from going into the business! But then I worked with my dad for the summer and discovered I loved it. There were facets to the job [of working in the pawn industry] that I never realized. Like how to choose jewelry, watching interest rates change and then the whole treasure hunt aspect.

    Where does your inventory come from?
    A little bit of a mix of people pawning and then me going out into the world and finding amazing pieces at dealers, estate sales, vintage places and other pawns.

    Here's a little bit about the business-side of being a pawn broker: To come to a pawn broker as a client is to get a loan based on a collateral security. We keep in touch and they generally come back for it. In fact, we have 90% redemption rate from our pawn clients. Then, there's the 10% of the time that they can't pick up the item or can't pay. The loan defaults and then a decision is made on whether to resell the item.


    You mention going out in the world to find a good chunk of your inventory on the secondhand market in a bunch of places. Where's the best place to find treasure?

    Going to the pawns, because you really get down and dirty with jewelry. And I mean down and dirty: I'm literally digging through packages that haven't been opened in months. My hands get incredibly filthy from this! Then, I decide whether the piece should be melted down, or if it is a good candidate for resale. It's a complete treasure-hunt in every sense.

    How do you know whether to resell a piece or to melt it down?

    It's all about how it looks. I have an eye for something that looks different. I often also take a look at a piece with diamond appraisers to determine value.

    Whats a top seller in your shop?

    Top trend is definitely rings. Also, necklaces that have "stand out" appeal. We had a great piece that I called the "Cleopatra necklace." It was a collar-style necklace with this amazing Egyptian geometry motif.

    How do you price your items?

    It comes from a mixture of style and the current price for gold and diamonds. I really put the emphasis on pricing items according to the gold and diamond prices, though...and often, the main criticism is that my prices in the store are too low [for how stylish the pieces are].

    So going back to how often you spend time finding great pieces for the shop: What have you learned about shopping and finding that diamond (literal or figurative) in the rough?

    Reall, it's to trust your eye--if you pick it up, it means it caught your eye and it spoke to you in some way. The next step is to know about diamonds (read about the market beforehand for the typical price, diamond prices are set). Then, weigh the gold, ask if its 14k, 22k.


    How can you tell fake gold from real gold?

    Being part of the pawnbroking industry, we see a lot. Pawn shops will do an acid test to ensure that a piece is real gold. But one thing you should keep in mind is that gold never turns color from wear-and-tear. It can oxidize, but it definitely should not be green or black.

    Also, you can always come in to a pawn broker and ask for appraisals. At EZ Pawn Corp., it's a transparent process where we do everything right in front of the customer.


    What should someone know before they go to a pawn broker for their items?

    You need to be over 18 and have a state ID. That's about it. Shop around to a few places and try your best. If it's gold, check the price of gold that day.

    So, a fancier topic: What is it like to work in a hot spot like Beauty & Essex?

    Every night brings a different person. And it's also interesting because the entrance is through my selling area, with the restaurant in back. It never gets old, people asking where the restaurant is, then slowly browsing through the shop and looking at my latest finds.

    And, there's lots of celebs too...But what's more remarkable are the people who come in to shop. Once, a woman came in and was saying how she had a baby and wanted to give her baby a present: A play toy made completely out of gold. And then there's the lady whose friend had to talk her out of buying the most expensive piece in the shop: A $24,000 superman necklace.

    Wow, a $24,000 Superman necklace?? Is that the weirdest item that you've come across?

    No, that has to be the handbag completely made out of 14k gold!

    *Note: Beauty & Essex does not have a pawning license yet-it's bonded and insured. You can buy anything you'd like, but not you can't sell your items there. You can, however, sell at one of the EZ Pawn Corporation shops in Manhattan.

    Want more info on pawn shops and other resale options? Check out...
    Cleaning Out the Closet With "Pawn Stars"
    The Ultimate Estate Sale Guide
    Secondhand Stories: The Weirdest Things Brought Into My Consignment Shop

     

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    We're making use of old toothbrushes as a cleaning tool this week. Today, we've rounded up a few of the best ways to clean with a toothbrush in the kitchen.

    1. Appliance knobs. Probably one of the hardest (and dirtiest) things to clean in the kitchen are the knobs on the stove, dishwasher, and other appliances. Considering all the traffic they get, from wet hands to fingers with hardly noticeable sauce stains, knobs require careful cleaning and attention. Sponges and wipes don't do the job since dirt gets stuck around and in the edges. So bring out a toothbrush, which lets you work under and behind these knobs where the real grime is.

    2. Vents. Safety first: You can't spray cleaner into the vents as it will burn out the fans, so here's a safer alternative. Dip a clean, old rag in cleaner so that it's a little wet and wrap it around the head of a toothbrush. You've just made the perfect tool for cleaning out the vents in microwaves, refrigerators (it lets you get between those slats), and above the stove.


    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Daily Clean-Up tipsChiot's Run, Flickr

     

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    Our favorite authors give us a peek into the space where they write, research and yes, procrastinate. Today, we get a glimpse of 500 Acres and No Place to Hide author Susan McCorkindale's window-facing desk that looks out on to her Virginia farm.

    Where do I write? Anywhere, any time, with whatever's at hand. A pen, pencil, even shh,
    don't tell my Mother, a marker. The poor woman still hasn't recovered from the bright
    red "Manny & Me 4 Ever" hearts I drew all over the white baseboard in my bedroom.
    And the fact that the relationship lasted two minutes but the hearts hung in through three
    fresh coats of paint didn't help.

    Susan McCorkindalePhotos: Kimberly Petro


    I write wherever I find myself, and whenever something strikes me as funny. Most of
    the time I work at my desk, of course, but as my desk is in the living room, in front of
    a window that overlooks one of our pastures, I'm usually distracted by some kind of
    wildlife shenanigans. Stuff like cattle fornicating on my front lawn, hunks of groundhog
    being spirited away by a phalanx of turkey buzzards, or a tree branch. I know; a tree
    branch isn't wildlife. But when you've been staring at it and suddenly realize it's staring
    back--and slithering away--take my word for it, it's wild.

    For maximum distraction and, ultimately, maximum productivity, I stop watching our
    critters from a safe distance and do something that's still relatively new for me: I venture
    out to commune with them. I grab my laptop and head into the fields, the barn, or, if I'm
    feeling exceptionally feisty, the hen house. The birds eyeball me, I eyeball them, and
    we all take notes. Sure, I'd love to know what they're saying, but really, who can read
    chicken scratch?

    Speaking of chicken scratch, one of my favorite places to write is in the car. This isn't so
    bad when I'm parked or sitting at a stoplight. It's when I'm driving that things get a
    little dicey. And I'm not talking about texting; that you get a ticket for. I'm talking about
    good, old-fashioned paper and penciling, (or penning, or marker­ing, or yes, even crayon-­ing because, as I've already confessed, I'm an equal opportunity writing implement
    employer), for which you get a warning and sometimes (surprise!) an audience.


    Hey, some people try their stuff out in clubs. I try mine out on cops. Shoot me.

    There are, in fact, two different police officers who were treated to snippets of 500 Acres
    and No Place to Hide
    while I was writing it (in the aforementioned chicken scratch) on
    the backs of Cosi receipts, dry cleaning tickets, napkins from Cracker Barrel, those New
    Testament-­length printouts that come with prescriptions and, occasionally, post­-surgical
    care instructions. That's because these nice, patient policemen patrol Route 66, the
    highway my husband and I drove several times a week while he underwent treatment for
    pancreatic cancer at Georgetown University Hospital and the Lombardi Comprehensive
    Cancer Center. One of them actually pulled me over twice, the second time offering to
    arrest me if it would help me make my deadline.

    As an orange jumpsuit would look like crap against my complexion and jail is the one
    place I know I couldn't cobble two words together, I politely declined. And put my pen
    away.

    Before you get to thinking I should have my license revoked or at the very least slapped
    with a restraining order barring me from buying as much as a box of chalk, I'd just like
    to point out that in the scope of things, very little of 500 Acres and No Place to Hide was
    written while racing down the highway to the hospital.

    On the contrary, most of it was written in the hospital.

    I outlined "Cluckster's Last Stand" sitting in the emergency room, (alternately writing,
    reading it aloud to my husband, and rattling off his health history to at least two
    dozen different people), did a full first draft of "Children of the Cheetos" during one
    exceptionally long delay in the radiology department, and put the finishing touches
    on "I'd Like to Have a Word with John Wayne" on one of the many Tuesdays we spent in
    the infusion center. As you can imagine, most folks don't do too much cracking up during
    chemo. But we always did.

    I also wrote a good deal of it in my husband's various hospital rooms, either in the
    recliner next to him, or sitting cross­legged on his bed, my laptop plopped on his pillow,
    keeping his spot warm while I waited for him to return from one test or procedure or
    another. Sometimes he was awake when he came back, and he'd ask me to regale him
    with whatever I'd been working on (particularly if, as they rolled him in, he caught me
    typing at light speed and laughing like a hyena). Most of the time he'd laugh too, and I'd
    breathe a huge sigh of relief. But if he simply said, 'Suz, what have you got for pain?' I'd
    ask the nurse for a double dose. And hit "delete."

    Since his death in April, I do a good deal of writing at my husband's desk. Sure, I sit
    at my own and still, scofflaw that I am, write my funniest stuff on the road, but I like
    sitting at his. It makes me feel close to him to sit in his chair, surrounded by his baseball
    collectibles, New Yorker calendar, and little piles of post­-it notes covered in the titles of
    books he wanted to read. His handwriting makes my heart ache, but his keyboard makes
    me mad as hell. The "b" prints twice, the "n" not at all unless I jab at it, and the spacebar
    sticks. The whole time he was sick, I thought the disease had destroyed his ability to
    spell. To find out now that he just needed a new keyboard makes me want to cry. And
    laugh. And read this entire thing to him.

    I think he'd have liked it. And if he didn't? There's always the "delete" key and a couple
    of leftover Vicodin.


    Susan McCorkindalePortrait and cover: Courtesy of Penguin


    Susan McCorkindale 's humorous and insightful memoir 500 Acres And No Place To Hide hits stores today nationwide. She is also the author of Confessions Of A Counterfeit Farm Girl, and currently lives on a farm in Virginia. Visit her online at susanmccorkindale.com.

     

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    At 101, Bunny Mellon, a high-society philanthropist and (constant) gardener is under investigation.


    Check out this inside scoop from our friends at The Daily Beast.


    featuring


    On the eve of her 101st birthday, reclusive philanthropist Bunny Mellon, the wealthy zelig who cavorted with Kennedys and stood by John Edwards, talks exclusively to Meryl Gordon about life with Paul, her famous friends, and the secrets buried in her gardens.


    The voice on the phone was frail but clear, with a hint of Southern gentility. "I have to tell you, my dear, I hate publicity," said Rachel "Bunny" Mellon. "I don't know what I've done that has made people so interested in me, more than anyone else." Mellon, now blind, lives in luxurious seclusion on her 2,000-acre Virginia farm, cosseted by a staff of 120 loyal retainers. She had not given an extended interview in more than a quarter century.

    Until recently the philanthropist, whose net worth exceeds $400 million, was primarily known as a passionate gardener and discreet woman with a discerning eye. As Jackie Kennedy's closest confidante, she helped decorate the White House, redesigned the Rose Garden, presided over the floral arrangements for JFK's bier, and remained an intimate to the first lady until Jackie's death. As the second wife of financier Paul Mellon, she helped him amass a renowned art collection, hundreds of works ranging from Cézannes to Rothkos, either donated to the National Gallery in Washington or still hanging on her walls.

    Yet now the private Mellon, who turns 101 on Aug. 9, has become front-page news for her unwitting involvement in two unrelated criminal cases.


    To read the rest of the story, head on over to The Daily Beast.


    We're also reading these stories:
    An Artist Turns Us All Into Puppets
    Thirty Years of Tiffany Ads
    Baring Skin During Soviet Russia

     

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    The sample sale site now offers coveted home furnishings by well-known brands at extremely reasonable prices.

    We've added a new name to our list of must-visit sample sale sites offering great home finds! MyHabit, the sample sale site that stocks marked-down fashions for men, women, and children, just launched their home section today.

    First up in the daily line-up of sales are some colorful Trina Turk pillows and charming tableware by Richard Ginori. Needless to say, we're already fans! And after seeing what MyHabit Home has lined up for this week--bold-faced brands like Frette, Dransfield & Ross, and Bodum--we know we'll be spending some (a lot) of time on the site.

    If you haven't yet, have a browse over at MyHabit Home.

     

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    Looks like Barbie has a new career...and a newly-imagined house that has serious design cred.

    barbie


    You know, we always thought Barbie's home could use an overhaul, and apparently The American Institute of Architects (AIA) agreed. They recently held a contest for its members to re-imagine the design-focused doll's home. The entries in the AIA Architect Barbie Dream House competition were winnowed down to 5 finalists, which were then put up to a public vote. The public has spoken...and the winners are: Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP and Maja Parkler, Assoc. AIA.

    Their winning design features entertaining space and a chef's open kitchen on the first floor, along with an office/library/meeting space. The second floor contains a terrace, while the third and fourth floors house Barbie's private enclave (her bedroom and inspiration room, respectively). There is plenty of garden spaces, with a green house on the roof and a landscaped garden for her pets. Design elements include solar panels, operable shading devices, bamboo flooring, low flow toilet and sink features and locally sourced and manufactured materials and furnishings.

    barbie

    While the architects' submission will not be produced by Mattel, they will have a $1000 donation made in their name to CHAD, a charter high school in Philadelphia focused on architecture and design.

    barbieArchitect Barbie with winners Ting Li and Maja Paklar


    Here's a little about the winners:

    Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP lives and works in New York City. She recently graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Design's MArch program and has previously worked at the internationally-renowned firms of Kohn Pedersen Fox and Gensler. While she pursues her architecture license, she volunteers at Minds Matter, a non-profit that helps students from low income households achieve their fullest potentials.

    Maya Parklar, Assoc. AIA also lives and works in New York City. She received her MArch Degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and was one of the students featured in the 2010 Wallpaper Graduate Directory. She's also working to obtain her architecture license.

    I chatted with Ting and Maja, who had plenty to say about their newest client.

    What did you take into consideration when designing for a client...who can't talk?
    It was surprisingly easy: we channeled our inner barbie, but were also thinking of things that we wanted in a barbie house as kids.

    How was Barbie as a client?
    She knows what she wants, and goes after it. She has incredible taste- its really the best client an architect could hope for!

    What are three words that describe your house for Architect Barbie?
    CURRENT,STYLISH, FUN.

    How did your vision for the home come about?
    We tried to think of what is important for Barbie. When one thinks of Barbie, one thinks of her love for fashion. Such passion could only be complemented by an amazing closet, which became an architectural element that unified the rest of the home.

    Which room do you think will be Architect Barbie's favorite?
    We think Barbie will enjoy her entertainment room for its social value and direct access to the library & landscaped terrace. It provides a perfect space for her to entertain her guests and spend time with her sister and her favorite dolls.

    What's your favorite part of the house?
    Closet!!!

    Where do you envision this house being located?
    Malibu Beach

    Would you live in architect Barbie's house?
    Absolutely!!!

    I think Architecture Barbie will inspire a new generation of design-savvy girls to think beyond princesses. (And I would've loved to have this doll growing up!) To bring her home, visit Shop.Mattel.com.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick:
    Architectural Anarchy vintage English Leather Suitcase in brown, $298, One Kings Lane.com.


    Jetting away on holiday? Stow your Hermès scarves and beach coverups in this wonderfully sophisticated vintage leather trunk. We love its rich, redwood hue, and the tell-tale signs that the luggage has been loved in all corners of the world. Whether you're heading to the shores of Cape Town, or maybe just taking a staycation, you're going to want to have this global carry-all by your side.

    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Wednesday, 11am.

    Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    We recently reported on the Core77 Design Awards. This week, we're celebrating our favorite winning designs in the 15 categories.

    The Category: Interiors/Exhibition: "Spatial design as it relates to interior environments and physical exhibition or installation designs both permanent and temporary."

    The Winner: Phu Hoang Office and Rachely Rotem Studio.

    The Design: A rope installation at the Exhale Pavilion at this year's Art Basel Miami Beach art fair, which was put together with the nonprofit arts organization Creative Time. From afar the 25,000-square-foot beach pavilion looks almost like a giant ship with numerous masts. And we love that the materials are so simple yet sculptural and stunning.

    Core77 Design Awards interiors/exhibitionCourtesy of Core77 Design Awards

     

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    Get rid of grass stains without serious scrubbing? It's true.

    grass-stainswolfyy, flickr

    Vodka isn't just for Cape Cods and Cosmopolitans-it's also a surprisingly effective way to get rid of grass stains. Just dip a cloth in vodka and blot the offending spot. While we wouldn't use our top shelf stuff for this one, it's nice to find a new use for the bargain-priced vodka leftover from our last big party.

     

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    We're making use of old toothbrushes as a cleaning tool this week. Today, we're putting the toothbrush to everything in the dining room, from furniture to tableware.

    1. Wood Furniture. Any hand-carved tables, chairs, armoires, and consoles crafted from wood will have grooves in which dust can collect quickly. Get in there with a toothbrush; the bristles pick the dust right up.

    2. Lighting. From chandelier arms and lamp shades to light switches and candlesticks, a quick swish with a toothbrush cleans any dirt and dust off.

    3. Porcelain. Whisk away dirt on delicate porcelain items and ceramics with a toothbrush. The bristles will be gentle to the surfaces and it will guarantee for a scratch-free finish.


    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Daily Clean-Up tipsChiot's Run, Flickr

     

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    Each week, bring a new bloom into your home and garden with our gardener's favorite floral find.

    Wild bergamot at Pier One, Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    Go native with this perennial butterfly magnet...

    Monarda fistulosa is a member of the mint family, and native to Eastern North America. Its rather lovelier common names are wild bergamot, bee balm, or horsemint, and its strongly scented leaves were traditionally used as an antiseptic tea. The leaves are also edible as a fresh herb or cooked green, but its pale lilac flowers steal the show this month, luring butterflies and other pollinators in midsummer. Full sun is best for producing the most flowers, and it is very hardy, from USDA Zones 3-9.

     

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    A little-known lens-woman's stunning and poignant street photographs finally get their due time in the spotlight after her death, thanks to a historian who's been amassing a collection of her works.

    Take a look at this inspiring story by our friends at CasaSugar!


    h&m home

    In January, I learned about Vivian Maier, a stellar street photographer - possibly the greatest of the 20th century - whose work had been acquired by historian John Maloof at a furniture and antique auction while researching a book he was writing about Chicago's northwestern side.


    "From what I know," he said, "the auction house acquired her belongings from her storage locker that was sold off due to delinquent payments. I didn't know what 'street photography' was when I purchased them." After days of looking through her work and developing negatives, Maloof was inspired to pick up photography himself and as he progressed, he began to realize what a talent she was and what an eye she had. The collection Maloof had purchased included more than 100,000 negatives, about 20 to 30,000 were still in undeveloped rolls.

    One day after finding her name penciled onto a photo-lab envelope, Maloof decided to google her: he found her obituary printed the day before his search. He learned that she was an American of French and Austro-Hungarian and had worked in Chicago as a nanny in '50s and '60s. Extremely private, she would shoot photos in her free time, but zealously hid them from the eyes of others. Maloof had stumbled upon a goldmine and was determined to champion it and bring it to the public eye.

    His massive undertaking has finally come to fruition. Come November, Powerhouse Books will officially release Vivian Maier: Street Photographer ($40) written by John Maloof, presenting Vivian Maier's incredible, unseen body of work for the first time to the public.


    Find out more about an upcoming exhibit of Maier's work and see more of her stunning street photos at CasaSugar.


    Also check out these stories:
    Picker Sisters Premiere Promises From Trash To Treasure
    Sneak Peek: Set Design From Gus Van Sant's Restless
    5 Stellar Chevron Pieces You Haven't Seen Yet

     

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    Explore some of the best home boutiques around the country with us. This week: Pal + Smith, 3323 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA.

    Melissa and Marc Palazzo's new 4,000-square-feet storefront is cool, luxurious, and everything in between. One look at the chic mix of home finds laid out in the store, and it's immediately clear that the couple have an eye for bold colors and unusual designs. And Melissa, an interior designer, has also got a knack for glamming up "grandma's antiques"--as she calls her stylishly refurbished pieces. We caught up with them about their fashionable new store.

    pal and smith Eric Staudenmaier



    pal and smithEric Staudenmaier




    1. What was the inspiration for this store?
    Me and my husband, Marc Palazzo, wanted to bring the Pal + Smith look and style to a retail venue that welcomes both interior designers and traditional consumers. We take a lifestyle approach to interior design and offer home furnishings that reflect our notion that interior design should incorporate fashion, art and music. It has been my dream to create an environment where people can come in, sit with a cup of coffee and look through our design and architecture books, browse our furniture, lighting, fabric, and wallpaper selections, and also get design help. That's where the idea for the design lab came from--to offer hourly design consultation and access to a variety of home furnishing lines that were previously only available to the trade.

    2. Are there any highlight pieces that are specific to this store?
    There are one-of-a-kind vintage pieces I have reworked that are mixed in with the Pal + Smith line. One of my favorites is the Harper sofa, a lovely little piece upholstered in chartreuse and black damask. New pieces are constantly being introduced and everything can be customized. We also have an eclectic mix of European lighting and some great vintage lamps.

    3. What's been most popular with visitors to the store?
    People love our wallpaper selection! In the design lab we show new selections each day from companies including Osborne & Little, Designers Guild, and Cassaro.

    pal and smithEric Staudenmaier



    4. What keeps these visitors coming back?
    People love the pop of colors and the unusual and unexpected mix of Art Deco, mid-century and Asian designs. The store's look is multi-layered--both urban and old world at the same time--and our goal was to push the limits.

    5. Do you have a favorite item in the store?
    I love the book wall! The 16-foot-tall bookcase houses my latest must-reads on subjects including architecture, design, photography, art, music, and fashion. And our pillows are fabulous.

    pal and smithEric Staudenmaier


    6. What do you like most about your store?
    We offer hourly consulting services in our design lab for customers who want assistance in designing on their own. A lot of people in Southern California who can hire a full-time designer just won't. They have an idea of what they like, but they don't know how to pull things together. Our showroom is a place where people can be inspired to create rooms themselves. We don't want anyone to be intimidated by the design process, so we have various packages that offer people our expertise, from space planning to design and architectural services.

    7. Fun fact:
    We are currently planning a full schedule of events at the showroom, including introducing authors, artists and product designers in a series called "Meet the...", in order to give clients a complete immersion in the Pal + Smith experience. Marc and I love wine and cheese, and that will be part of the experience.

    On Shelterpop's Wishlist: Lily ottomans, $455-$670, palandsmith.com.

    pal and smithEric Staudenmaier


     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: From Left: Orvino tumbler, soap dish, toilet brush, and soap pump, all by Umbra. $2-$11, Fab.com.


    This is quite possibly the easiest--not to mention cheapest--way to spruce up a bland or dreary bathroom. These four pieces are colorful, punchy, and fun, but are subtle enough not to look garish. We especially love the simple yet modern silhouette of each piece that makes them the perfect blend of classy and playful.

    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Thursday, 11am.

    And check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    We recently reported on the Core77 Design Awards. This week, we're celebrating our favorite winning designs in the 15 categories.

    The Category: Packaging: "All graphic design, branding and structural designs related to the packaging of products."

    The Winner: Fuseproject, Yves Behar

    The Design: For Yves Behar, the designer who has his hand in many pots, this environmentally conscious package design he made for the shoe company Puma comes as no surprise. The packaging consists of one piece of cardboard that is folded into the shape of a shoebox, which then fits snugly into a red cotton bag. It may not seem the case, but the design uses 65% less cardboard than a standard shoebox. And that's something we can get behind.

    Core77 Design Awards Fuseproject Yves BeharCourtesy of Core77 Design Awards



     

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    We're making use of old toothbrushes as a cleaning tool this week. Today, put your toothbrush to work on the more delicate and fragile accessories in your living room.

    1. Glass items. Small crystal tealight holders, apothecary bottles, glass vases, magnifying glasses, and decorative glassware can be easily and safely dusted with a toothbrush.

    2. Frames objects. If you have art displayed in frames of any sort--like a hand-carved gilt-wood frame or a modern black one--and if you have accent objects like paperweights, rocks, bookends, etc., use a toothbrush for some quick and easy cleaning.


    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Daily Clean-Up tipsChiot's Run, Flickr

     

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    We recently reported on the Core77 Design Awards. This week, we're celebrating our favorite winning designs in the 15 categories.

    The Category: Graphic/Branding/Identity: "All graphic design, branding and identity projects for print, online or environments."

    The Winner: Bruce Mau Design

    The Design: The Toronto-based design studio Bruce Mau was charged with the task of reinventing the logo and visual identity for the renowned design and art school OCAD University. In a pivotal time where self-promotion and brand identity play crucial roles for companies and institutions, Bruce Mau's winning design--which reflects the school's creative and innovative spirit and appears on the college's letterheads, cards, and even coffee cups--is an example of what works.

    Core77 Design Awards brandingCourtesy of Core77 Design Awards



     

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