What is keeping us busy!

We are working on a new blog…

Why? You may ask. Shouldn’t we be working on this one and focus on growing it? Well-that’s a fair point. That is also in the works, and we have some very interesting conversations scheduled with some cool folks that bring an edge to design. But that aside, let us give you a bit of background on what ELSE is going on….

A while ago, in “Quiet Time is Over” we announced that we are working on a new start-up. The new Blog that we are working on is for that….makes sense, right?

We are launching a new benefit company that will help showcase the works of artists and craftsmen and help give them a platform to display and sell their works. Now you may think that the internet provides plenty of opportunities to do that. Yes….but some of these guys are not technology savvy, and do not have the resources or skills to comprehensively market their product.

So WE will help them Curate and Quality Control their work, and finally help them bring it to a sale–sounds like fun? Yep! It is! It’s also a LOT of WORK!

Below is our “Photo Studio”-Using makeshift products to photograph some of the products. Then its Photoshop/Lightroom and finally it will make its way to the Blog (more on that soon).



Sustainable & Fun Night-lights

In continuation with Kids Room posts, here is another fun idea that we did for our children’s bedroom. We wanted some fun night lights but did not get anything we liked, so we DIY-ed our own. We used the basic IKEA Solvinden lights (string of 8) with a solar panel, like this:

IKEA Solvinden Lights

Then we took some paint and my son went to work on them to take the white out and make them look like this:
Close up of "artwork"

And strung it up on the wall (near the ceiling) using a staple gun. It looks pretty decorative in the day:
Stringing it up

We ran the wire so that the tiny solar panel rests in the window so that it charges in the daytime:
Solar Panel at work

And at the end of the day, the lights emit a warm and lovely glow in the room. Since the “bulbs” have been painted over, they are not too bright-just enough to act like a night-light in the room. The boys love it!
Lights at work

Feel free to share. Just remember to credit us :)!

The DIY of the Chest

On Before and After you saw the pre and post DIY of some colorful drawers/chest from IKEA. These were relics from previous apartment moves, and some cheap sale items from the “As-is” departments. I was looking for ways to customize my furniture because I hate to waste things so I went online, looking for inspiration. After much searching I found Lindsay.  Her DIY prowess and ability to make things her own amazed me and I decided to do something about my chest of drawers/cabinets.

So using her tutorial here, with a few modifications of my own (below) I made my IKEA my own for the kids room.

What you need to know:

  • You dont need a large work area to do this, only a dedicated one you can keep closed especially if you have kids, pets or both. Why– To keep them safe from fumes and keep fingerprints off while the paint dries. We gave up our bedroom and shacked up with the kids. This is what our room looked like for a week:
    Workshop for DIYMy desk during the DIY
  • COVER IT- its worth the time saved in clean up afterwards.
  • GET ADVENTUROUS- it can always be changed. Paint is cheap.

What I changed from Lindsay:

    • I did not take my furniture apart. It was old and would not have been able to take the disassemble and reassemble process very well. I figured if I used enough masking tape I would be able to keep it contained to where I wanted it. And if it was not visible then it did not matter anyway.
    • We bought a sanding attachment to our drill and went right into it with a 180 grit paper but on a slow run. It will take just enough off, and fast.
    • We used B.I.N PRIMER with Ultimate Stain Block. Its a bit more expensive than the one that Lindsay used but dries in 15 minutes to the touch and 45 minutes for another coat. We left it to dry overnight anyway and did 2 coats of primer instead of one.
    • We ROLLERed on everything with a 4″ foam roller– Primer, Paint and even the final Polyacrylic protective coat. I just dont like brush strokes…! The small parts were finished with a 1″ or 2″ foam brush, but I got pretty good with using the roller so turned it in different ways to get a smooth finish.
    • Another thing about the roller-If your roller is not running evenly be BOLD and dip in the primer/paint/polyacrylic again. Also make sure you scrape the paint off the stick and handle each time you change the foam attachment. That helps!

Rollers and Trays
Drawers and their rollers

  • 2 and sometimes 3 coats of paint as needed. I watered down the paint a bit to make it easier to apply, but the final coat was with thicker paint. Always leave paint, even quick dry paint, overnight to dry.

Thats it!

Before and after





Hope you like…!

In the works…

This is what has been keeping us busy recently. Full info and a possible tutorial on giving an old room a new life coming soon- once the paint dries!


Louis I Kahn: IIM Ahemdabad

Blast from the Past. In my recent (and ongoing trip in South Asia) I have been visiting many places. Ahmedabad, in Gujarat is one of them. It is the only city in India that can boast to having the works of two of the three Great Masters of Modern Architecture. Louis I Kahn and Le Corbusier. It is rumored that Frank Lloyd Wright was also supposed to have a commission here but that project fell through…Otherwise it would have been the ONLY city in the WORLD that has projects designed and built by all 3 great masters of Modern Architecture.

A bit about A’bad. It is HOT. Brutally. Even in the winter, the sun and glare is merciless. So Kahn has a peculiar challenge. How to make the buildings cool and stay cool without using power. And of course how to let the brick be itself!

(I’m sure you know that anecdote about Kahn. When asked for his inspiration for IIM and other marvelous brick buildings he built here and elsewhere, he has said, “I asked the brick what it wanted to be, and it said it wanted to be an arch.or something like that!!)

Without further ado. here is Indian Institute of Management (IIM), old and new campus. Fascinating sun protection, deep seated classrooms to keep them cool, marvelous brickwork- then and now of modern architecture and the best of Louis Kahn!

Sunshade (New campus. Not Kahn but very good all the same)

Sunshade Detail with concrete

Walk to the old campus

I am an arch today

LKP: Louis Khan Plaza

Deep windows mean less sunlight

A building in a building


For more goodness visit my flickr photostream

Digital Fix

Check out Dijitalfix– this great digital products shop in Brooklyn. Although Brooklyn’s offerings are covered extensively by Design*Sponge Grace Bonney, we think we may have found something that has not featured on D*S yet ;).

It is the coolest store for the gadget-ally inclined, like myself. What draws you in are the custom chairs that the owner designs and builds. What keeps you there are the high end products that they carry.

Turntable Chair @ Dijitalfix, Brooklyn

And this cool suspended table–I went ga ga over it. The suspension detail is to die for-so simple and elegant! Check out the cool bamboo toothbrushes, and other paper goodies on it.

Hanging desk at Dijitalfix, Brooklyn

Hanging desk details @ Dijitalfix, Brooklyn


Apologies for the delay everyone. Unavoidable circumstances and all…

SO here’s what you guys have been waiting for (and finally found it on other internet sites and blogs): Completed Canstruction Entries for this year:  My FAVES! The awards get announced Nov 14th so watch this space for an updated.

Skanska, USA are working on the actual renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge right now. The team decided to build it, fully structural, just like the real bridge! Since I have a love for all bridges and all ideas that start off crazy-this one would have to be my pick for STRUCTURAL INGENUITY. (Although b/w you and me, they could have worked on making those tension cable “strings” POP a bit more visually. Right now they sort of merge into the structure from every angle that you look at it. I had to work a bit to get them to show in my pictures, but that could just mean I’m not a great photographer)


Here’s the “official” pic, courtesy Canstruction/Kevin Wick.

I’m also rooting for an HONORABLE MENTION for “Alexander McCan” by KPF Architects. These guys won the GOYA sponsorship for their idea. But the manner in which they constructed this giant shoe is incredible. They used a 3 can matrix, lined them up on plans and taped them together. They use minimal supporting/layering elements AND managed to get a pattern on the front of their ginormous rendition of Alexander McQueen shoe.

Alexander McQueen inspired/KPF Architects

Again SKANSKA’s bridge simply because the it is awesome. However I have a couple of other faves in close succession.

The “Loaded Dice” by Gensler and WSP Flack & Kurtz. Why? Because it is a cube so perfectly made! The slice out of the cube, represents the near perfect use of color from the labels. (At one level it reminds me of this cake by Darla, one of my favorite bakers) Of course the Gensler+WSP team is gunning for everything but I think they are a shoo-in for BEST MEAL but also might get BEST Of SHOW. Also, if there was an award for Best-Music-Played-While-Building-Can-Sculpture and Most-co-ordinated-team, they would have gotten that one as well.

Cube of colors/Gensler/

The “official” pic, courtesy Canstruction/Kevin Wick.

The “Root Against Hunger” by Dattner Architects. Simply because it is a really great way of getting a 3D quality to your Can-sculpture and using putting labels to real good use. And their T-shirts matched their idea for their sculpture. I think they may get BEST USE of LABELS.
Tree of labels/Dattner Architects

I would have to say that this one is a tie between Skanska’s Bridge and Gensler+WSP’s Cube.

Actually titled “Hungry Birds”, Ennead Architects target are inspired by this populist icon of present day gaming. They wanted to build something that would appeal to adults and kids alike. I’d say they’re bang on the can!

Angry Birds/Ennead Architects

But the jury is still out on whether DeSimone Architects did a better job than Ennead.
Angry Bird/DeSimone

“Can-tanership” by Halcrow. These guys have been wanting to participate in Canstruction for many years now. Finally here, their idea is simple, elegant and reflective of what their company’s strengths are.

Container ship/Halcrow

The Converse Shoe. Loving the lace.
Converse Sneaker

Stop/Walk sign by CetraRuddy
Stop-Walk/Carter Ruddy

“Ti-canic” by Robert Silman Associates
(These folks also get the prize for Great-Sense-of-Humour while building their sculpture)
Sinking Titanic/

KidSpace: Tribeca Pediatrics

Our absolute favorite places in the KidSpace series are the offices of Tribeca Pediatrics. The practice is the brainchild of Dr. Michel Cohen who follows a less intervention style of pediatrics. Although we could go on about Dr. Cohen’s warm personality, hands-on practicing style, the great doctors and care-givers at the practice and the rapidity at which Tribeca Pediatrics has multiplied, while keeping its quality intact–we wont.

This post is about the Kids. And it is about Space. It is about how a pediatricians office should look.

Tribeca Ped Waiting Room

The designers are Dr. Cohen and his wife, and artist Jeannie Weissglass. The ambience of the office, like Dr. Cohen’s approach to his medical practice, is meant to be comfortable and very approachable while maintaining high standards of client care. Taking cue from a curvy flower inspired chair that Dr. Cohen built for his first-born, the Warren Street office, the first of many, aspired to have a flowing quality.

The architectural language of custom-made curved seating, a street like space between exam rooms and a rippling moulding with spot lights all along the inside and outside of the examination rooms, successfully achieves the intent to make an organic flowing space.

Tribeca Pediatrics 3


Lighting is used to differentiate areas: Soft circular lights (designed by Dr. Cohen himself) hang in playful symmetry over the children’s play/waiting area, while round globes follow the curves of the reception desks.


Circular Reception Desk

The play area contains only eco-friendly toys and furniture, supplied by Rosie Hippo.

But what really sets the office apart is the vibrant vintage wallpaper that is different in each room, along with the silver circular examination tables which are again Dr. Cohen’s own design.

Exam Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

Circular Exam Tables

Wall paper in the restrooms…

Restroom Wallpapers


The wallpaper is such a visual treat that you almost miss the port holes that have moving fishes or mirrors at kid-height in most rooms! And the kids? They love it! For them, the fun of the waiting area just continues within the examination rooms!

Porthole Fishes

By comparison, the other Tribeca Pediatrics offices have a similar design language, but the seating is always different, and custom, the colors vivid and patterns vibrant.

Custom Seating and Painting

Nurses' Station

Custom Seating

Always one for supporting the art community, Dr. Cohen works closely with his friend Pascale Ouattara to implement his designs, textured walls, wallpaper and all. And the art? Well that is also in-house. Most of the work belongs to Dr. Cohen’s wife Jeannie.

When we asked Dr. Cohen what he would like to change in the design of the offices, he would like to create a whole environment for the children where they love to come and stay. To that we say: “Dr. Cohen, it is tough enough to take the kids home right now because they have too much fun at your offices. If we had a choice we would stay back and play too…”

Comfy Chelsea

We met Chelsea Carle from Bethlehem PA recently. We love her interesting handmade bags and accessories! Selling under the name Comfy Cozy Chelsea, her work is for exhibition and sale at street fairs and markets in PA, but you can find her cool goods at her Etsy store here.

We love the Autumn Tote, the Vinyl Up-cycled products and her vintage Burlap/Jute collection!

Chelsea Carle
Comfy Chelsea

Colorful accessories
CC's stuff-buy on Etsy

Handmade loveliness
CC's stuff-buy on Etsy