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interior superior: lazy saturday edition

interior superiorTaylor P.Comment

i n t e r i o r  s u p e r i o r

 

We've been a bit quiet around these parts since the first of the year-- mainly due to the extraordinarily time-consuming process of relocating that seems to drag on quite literally forever. Thank you for sticking around with us, though, and we'll be posting new content daily again starting this month!

We have many new features on the way. Speaking of, are you an artist? If so, please contact us at ta@tamer-animals.com to be highlighted on a new feature we will have coming up soon! 

Here are some fresh looks that are inspiring our home renovation right now. Happy Saturday, folks! :)

( . ) Light, natural tones, and pops of color can really work wonders to enhance a space. 

(.) Light, natural tones, and pops of color can really work wonders to enhance a space. 

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(.) Graphic tile can add dimension to a kitchen or bathroom. 

( . ) Less is more! This minimal kitchen uses color to add wonderful visual contrast. 

(.) Less is more! This minimal kitchen uses color to add wonderful visual contrast. 

( . ) Wide open space can be useful for a variety of activities-- not just cooking! 

(.) Wide open space can be useful for a variety of activities-- not just cooking! 

( . ) Furniture pieces with low, clean lines can create directionality and visual harmony. 

(.) Furniture pieces with low, clean lines can create directionality and visual harmony. 

( . ) A clean and compact workspace can ease distractions while promoting productivity. 

(.) A clean and compact workspace can ease distractions while promoting productivity. 

( . ) Bringing the outdoors in can be calming and add some visual interest to your cleansing rituals. 

(.) Bringing the outdoors in can be calming and add some visual interest to your cleansing rituals. 

( . ) Cozy bedding and green plants can compliment a space well. Some plants can even help with replenishing oxygen in the home or with filtering out negative odors. 

(.) Cozy bedding and green plants can compliment a space well. Some plants can even help with replenishing oxygen in the home or with filtering out negative odors. 

( . ) Big mirrors can add dimension to a space and make it seem larger than life!

(.) Big mirrors can add dimension to a space and make it seem larger than life!

( . ) We just love the gray flooring with the pops of color. The adaptive reuse of the fireplace is a nice touch, too!

(.) We just love the gray flooring with the pops of color. The adaptive reuse of the fireplace is a nice touch, too!

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interior superior: 5 Things To Do Right Now to Go Metabolist Minimal

interior superiorTaylor P.Comment
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I've always, or at least since I can remember, had a huge fascination with Metabolism in Architecture. Perhaps it was my love for the 60's-70's or the World's Fair but much of what I love in design originated in the juxtaposition between the utilitarianism and the natural world. Metabolism is essentially that. Although the majority of features are inherently space age and minimal, the forms often took an exaggerated importance with a more organic feel. This, in some ways, was reminiscent of Brutalism but with a softer touch.

Rooted in postwar Japan, the movement began with a proposal by architects, artists, and designers to significantly overhaul the classical conventions of urban design. The sky was the limit in terms of how they represented this new form of the built environment. Think colossal structures with an organic, fuzzy side. 

Historically, the style was short-lived in terms of application but the longevity of different principles and characteristics lived on. The architecture was visionary and extremely ahead of the times with ideas that could be utilized now. For those more interested in the history and philosophy behind the movement, this book  is amazing. Although many of the buildings now are gone, or in a state of disrepair, the extreme detail of design and ergonomics were wonderful examples of what architecture could accomplish. 

I'm currently in the process of renovating a 1940's bungalow made out of marble and the interiors were severely dated in terms of having pre-minimalist bones but a lot of filler. The upper attic has a really unique layout and details which I felt would make the perfect studio to work from. I had some reservations about completely whitewashing the space but found that by taking a more organic approach it is coming together in a way that captures the spirit of this movement for me. While most modern designs don't really echo the same aesthetic, there are more distilled versions of some attributes of the style that could be utilized in our homes today. Some are more obvious than others but the organic spirit is what counts.

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I know most of us can't afford to completely overhaul our spaces or give up all of our precious worldly possessions in favor of something more utilitarian. We can, however, adapt some of the principles of this design strategy and make it our own.  I found some simple, relatively quick ways to echo this movement while still keeping it my own space and hope that these tips might help out others as well!

Nakagin Capsule Tower. ( s. )

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1. WHITE ALL OVER

Metabolism was an anomaly in the realm of architecture movements because it blended the grandiose and unconventional with the organic. There are some things about those bright white, pristine walls and low-intensity contrast that set my cold heart aflutter. Paired with textured woolen grays and pops of color (orange, chartreuse, and mint being some favorite recommendations,) the bright white becomes a warm and friendly environment sans the clutter. The result was more visually open, brighter, and energizing. Muted stone elements (like marble) add additional texture to a space. 

The white doesn't have to be just limited to walls either. I even went as far as painting some of my midcentury furniture white and it made a huge impact on how open the space feels. Circular forms and organic shapes were key features that set off the most symmetrical/perfected qualities in the space. Repetitive geometric forms were also desirable. Finding multiple functions or uses for items, when painted a similar color, can give a sense of cohesion that reduces the scattered energy in our modern world. Of course, using environmentally responsible paints or other low-impact paints would be ideal. 

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2. PLANT LOVE
The unity of man and nature with technology and advancement are characteristics very apparent in Metabolism. By taking a more passive role, we can find ways to configure the natural elements with the more stoic ones. When I think of that style-- mossy forms and a good balance of hanging/potted plants, cacti, or succulents are the first things that come to mind. Basically bringing the natural world in, with organic shapes and textures, can breathe new life into your space and put you in touch with your inner spirit. 

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3. HIGHLIGHT (A FEW OF ) YOUR FAVORITE THINGS
In an age of the maximalist, it is difficult to go minimalist. But it is good to *wabi sabi* your life a bit and put meaning into the objects that inhabit your space. If it does not serve a purpose or bring you joy, it needs to go. By having more minimal features in your space, it gives you an opportunity to highlight the things you love in a more intentional way. This speaks volumes about who you are as a person and can be a mechanism for growth (as well as reducing your carbon footprint)-- all good things. 

Wood is good, ya'll. ( s. )

Wood is good, ya'll. (s.)

4. WOOD IS YOUR COPILOT
Beyond contrasting with color, wood can be a great vehicle for offsetting the more clinical attributes of the Metabolist style Wood floors, some furnishings, or an accent wall can add an unexpected visual element to make your space more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing. Not only is it natural but it also has a story and a history as it was likely existing here before you were even a thought in the world.  It is a great way to pay homage to the world by showing some love for it. 

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5. A SEASHELL | A MOLD | A SPIRIT
Noburu Kawazoe wrote an essay entitled I want to be a sea-shell, I want to be a mold, I want to be a spirit and within it (albeit rather abstractly) discussed the proposed unity of man and nature. Something we can adopt from this is that, in existential terms, we come from our planet and the relationship to it is symbiotic. By honoring the natural world, we can live a more genuine life. Our environment is often the shape, or mold, that we are surrounded by. To transcend beyond ourselves and to unify with the world around us in a present way can enrich our lives and relationships in ways unfathomable. I believe, out of these 5, it is the most important takeway. By being intentional with our actions and our surroundings we can build a world that is closer to nature and our origins. 

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interior superior: Aurelie's "Frozen Fever" Kid's Room Tour

interior superiorTaylor P.Comment

My daughter really, really, really loves Frozen. Like she is in mad love with it. She loves Elsa. She loves Anna. She especially loves Olaf (although her absolute favorite character is Hans hands-down. Go figure!) She is obsessed with the songs and seems very attentive to fairy tales in general. She loves nature and being outdoors so it was very important to bring aspects of those into the design. She adores The Sound of Music, too, so as I began restructuring her nursery I was trying to find some way to tie in all of the things she loves into one space.

The end result was more maximalist than I had anticipated, which is way outside of my usual wheelhouse as an architectural designer with an eye for minimalism. But over the years I have accepted a certain level of creative mess and I think for kids it is important to stimulate them and give them a space that is not so stoic that it becomes boring and lifeless. We do follow the Montessori method for many things but I guess we've sort of made our own chaotic version of it. Aurelie is incredibly bright and it seems like the more colors and textures that are around her the happier she is so there is quite a bit of emphasis on vibrancy. She was born in the late springtime and tends to gravitate towards a color palette that reflects that so many things in this room feature colors she tends to be drawn to. 

When I was younger my mother used to go all out and paint pictures of our favorite characters on the wall. There was something very endearing and special about that and I hope to continue that tradition. I do think decals are fun (and definitely easier to remove if you needed to very quickly,) but it feels so much more personal to take the time and design something for my daughter even if it isn't 100% perfect. Even though she'll probably change her preferences half a dozen times in the near future, seeing the big grin on her face lately when she sees her friends on the wall is well worth the work! 

The room was originally built with the first portion of the house sometime around the 1870's. Although it has been updated since, it still retains its high ceilings and lots of light. I wanted to create somewhere where she felt safe and free to let her imagination soar while also paying respect to the architectural details of the room. Although there are many things as a designer I would change, I love seeing her have a space all her own that reflects the unique individual she is and her interests! 
 

If you are currently in the planning process, here are some takeaways from this experience that may be of help to you:

1. Repurpose a Bookshelf
Every time I moved I kept lugging around a massive bookshelf. It was sturdy and it did its job well so it probably moved at least 5 times with me already! But one day I was trying to figure out what to build for Aurelie's books/toys and realized the shelf would be perfect. I made it horizontal and refinished it in an afternoon. I also had wooden dowels installed halfway up on some of the shelves so that she couldn't pull the heavier, higher books out and potentially hurt herself. We removed these recently but they worked perfectly! 
2. Brackets Are Your Friend
We used brackets for nearly every shelf and piece of furniture to bolt them into the walls. Not only do they serve their purpose perfectly but they also are great for uneven floors and walls that are not orthogonal in old houses like ours. 
3. Murals Are a Pain in the A**
The mountain mural took forever and because of the settling of the walls did not always match up perfectly. The painted ones took a long time as well. Are they totally worth it? YES. Are they awful to work on? YES. Just fair warning that it's more of a project than you'll anticipate initially!
4. Tacky Tile is Okay
I used to absolutely abhor the primary colored foam floor tiles, but in all admission my daughter is thrilled and has a blast with them. They may be tacky as all get-out but kids love them and they are worth the investment even if the style wants to make the inner designer in you cry just a little.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Experiment
Experiment! Her nursery was a lot of trial and error with moving things around. Kids grow so quickly and just because they are into something right now doesn't mean they will be tomorrow. It is good to be safe and try to stay within the bounds of what is realistic and has the  longest lifespan in your household-- but don't be afraid to step outside the box and try something completely unorthodox. Some of the best designs are caused by happy accidents.

What about you all? What are some successes/failures you have had when designing spaces?

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interior superior: the city in color

interior superiorSonam A.Comment

This week we are very enthusiastic about adding those little pops of color and texture into our spaces. Whether "home" is in the city or in the suburbs, our wellbeing is often influenced by the spaces we inhabit (see this article and this one for more info.) Many in the design industry know this quite well, but what about the rest of us? Here is a weekly roundup of some unique ways you can add a more dynamic aesthetic to your living space. Elevate your mood = elevate your life, right? 

Also, if you're a creative native, don't feel bad if you're not a "minimalist." A lot can be said for a messy desk (or house.) For example, you might be a creative genius. Or maybe you are just a sloth like me-- I won't judge! 

P.S.--We are HUGE fans of this fantastic app. You should be, too!

Warm matte finished wood and pops of complimentary colors can add so many happy vibes to an otherwise plain kitchen ( source )

Warm matte finished wood and pops of complimentary colors can add so many happy vibes to an otherwise plain kitchen (source)

Patterned tile in your kitchen or bathroom is great, but taking a color out of it and reproducing it in your textiles or dinnerware is even better! How pretty is this? ( source )

Patterned tile in your kitchen or bathroom is great, but taking a color out of it and reproducing it in your textiles or dinnerware is even better! How pretty is this? (source)

Sometimes your "pop" of color can be warm tones against cooler ones. The result is clean, modern, and inviting. ( source )

Sometimes your "pop" of color can be warm tones against cooler ones. The result is clean, modern, and inviting. (source)

Live plants, warm earthy shades (green, blue, and brown) can liven up a space while still looking effortless. ( source )

Live plants, warm earthy shades (green, blue, and brown) can liven up a space while still looking effortless. (source)

Adding an accent pop of color in a room and tying it in throughout the house with your belongings can aid in pulling a theme together without being overbearing. ( source )

Adding an accent pop of color in a room and tying it in throughout the house with your belongings can aid in pulling a theme together without being overbearing. (source)

Vintage vibes abound, using complimentary vintage pieces and poppy bright colors (such as on the door) can be party in the front and business in the back. We love how these vintage pieces mesh so well with the new ones! That rug really pulls everything together also by adding playful texture. ( source )

Vintage vibes abound, using complimentary vintage pieces and poppy bright colors (such as on the door) can be party in the front and business in the back. We love how these vintage pieces mesh so well with the new ones! That rug really pulls everything together also by adding playful texture. (source)

Happy murals, bright (but not too bright) colors, and whimsical rugs can create a safe and imaginative space for the kiddos. ( source )

Happy murals, bright (but not too bright) colors, and whimsical rugs can create a safe and imaginative space for the kiddos. (source)

Although we wouldn't recommend doing this to EVERY wall or EVERY room, extremely bright pigments can be eye-catching and spur the creative native in you to action (as can coffee.) ( source )

Although we wouldn't recommend doing this to EVERY wall or EVERY room, extremely bright pigments can be eye-catching and spur the creative native in you to action (as can coffee.) (source)

Unique geometries and bright contrasting colors really make this space feel comfortable and friendly. ( source )

Unique geometries and bright contrasting colors really make this space feel comfortable and friendly. (source)

The pops of color here and wood texture are phenomenal and make the room seem cozy despite its size. ( source )

The pops of color here and wood texture are phenomenal and make the room seem cozy despite its size. (source)

Prints with similar styles and colors can work beautifully together while creating interest.  ( source )

Prints with similar styles and colors can work beautifully together while creating interest.  (source)

Bright colors work well against wood furnishings and white walls while not appearing overly cluttered or ambiguous. ( source)

Bright colors work well against wood furnishings and white walls while not appearing overly cluttered or ambiguous. (source)

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